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Jennifer and Her Amazing Technicolour Duffle Coat
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Jennifer's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, October 4th, 2014
11:38 am
More showing off crochet
At last, I've finished my big crochet project and it's safely with its owner! Here is James the Red Engine:

PictureCollapse )

The pattern, and lots of help, came from Weebleflip's Craft Corner.

Thinking about doing a Death Star cushion next to use up some of the masses of spare stuffing. I've realised I'm now going to be in a permanent cycle of doing a project to use up materials, then buying more crochet thread to finish the project, then starting a project to use up the leftovers, etc..
Friday, September 12th, 2014
8:01 pm
Crochet again
Here's the full card that I posted a snippet from last month. The baby it's intended for has been born at last, hope to be able to meet her in a week or so. :)

I'm really glad it's the weekend. This morning some Microsoft Access reports mysteriously stopped working; it turns out it was literally because I'd looked at them strangely.

Crocheted card...Collapse )
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
9:02 pm
Getting back into crochet
Isn't this cute? I made it to go on a welcome card for our friends' baby, due any week now. As a size reference, the rainbow's about 3.5cm across.

It just needs the edges neatening and a bit of pressing to flatten out the clouds. I'll post a picture of the finished card when it's all done.

Crocheted rainbowCollapse )

(And while I'm showing off: here's a couple of photos of the birthday card I made for my mum last year: 1 and 2)

ETA: All the patterns I've used here come from Caitlin Sainio's books.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
12:04 pm
We got back last night from spending a fantastic 8 days in the Isle of Man. It is such a beautiful place, and I could go on for ages about the incredible variety of things to see and do in such a small place - wonderful sea views, mountains, historical sites etc. The pace of life there is perfect for a relaxed holiday - for example, to travel across Douglas (the capital town) you take a horse-drawn tram.

You get used to being able to view the Irish Sea round every corner, and I kind of miss that now we're home.

I'll try to add more photos later, but for now here's one image showing the view from our B&B room in Ramsey (on the north-east side of the island). This is looking east, and you can just see the hills of the Lake District on the horizon:

Large picture here..Collapse )
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
8:20 pm
Well, so far thirty doesnt feel any different from 29..

Also, I came up with a theory today that the deleted 1967 Doctor Who serial "The Macra Terror" could have been an early influence on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express. There must be a corner of the internet somewhere which would *perfectly* appreciate this cross-fandom fact, and I wish I knew where it was! :D
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
9:19 pm
Post-weekend comedown today after spending a fantastic couple of days in Edinburgh for a wedding. We had a wonderful time and drank, ate and danced lots - would you expect any less from a Scottish wedding? I caught up with old acquaintances that haven't seen for the best part of 10 years and met so many lovely new people, a lot of whom I didn't dare speak to. (My over-socialisation levels were running pretty high by the end; maybe another time.) But everyone there was witty and intelligent and it was all just so happy. Oh, and someone shared a Thomas the Tank Engine crochet pattern with me. :)

Part 2 of the wedding is taking place in Delhi in December. Because of the location and timing I assumed most of the British contingent wouldn't be there, but actually most people I spoke to planned to be at both. Unfortunately we can't attend the Indian celebration, but I really wish we could. And how lovely to have a group of friends that you can tell "The rest of our wedding is taking place 1/3 of the way round the world" and their response isn't "But how will I get there / what should I wear / I don't know how to dance / it's too far" but just "Yes. I'll be there for you".
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
10:06 am
Blink and you miss it
Here is my 0.5 seconds of television fame. We were in the audience for a recording of Pointless back in December, which was finally broadcast yesterday. It's currently available on iPlayer here. The's an audience shot at about 1 min 22s and if you look very closely you can see me in the top right corner. So yes, not exactly worldwide fame but it seems appropriate that my one TV appearance was applauding Richard Osman. ;)

It was fun to be there though, and very interesting to compare the studio version with the edited broadcast.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
7:37 pm
Happy new year! I haven't been able to get onto LJ for days; so glad you're all back.

2013 is going to be a good year for me. I've decided I'm going to (re-)learn to crochet, visit Germany and Switzerland, and turn 30. How about you?
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
6:02 pm
5 years
Last time there was a Thursday 23rd August, I was getting married. :)
Sunday, July 1st, 2012
9:20 am
It's been a fairly busy couple of months. The university exam period happened, so most of my time's been spent keeping track of around 4000 pieces of Maths work so that they got appropriately marked, checked, scaled, confirmed by the appropriate people. It maybe doesn't sound thrilling, but there's definitely a lot of job satisfaction from being able to get something like that done.

For some reason in the middle of this I also ran a Rainbow sleepover. Not sure why I thought that was good timing, but still - it all went well. Really looking forward to some time off, though. We're spending a few days in Edinburgh next week, during which time I hope to not think about work at all. :)

So, how is everyone else? Sorry if I've missed any major life updates.
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
6:31 pm
I think the Youth of Today gets unfairly maligned. When we got home from work this evening, two boys who were playing out on our street politely asked to borrow some scissors. They then used the scissors to cut pieces of wool to make friendship bracelets and politely returned the scissors. How very non-stereotypical..
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
11:09 am
Since my last Spring post, winter came back with a vengeance. How ironic. We had one day of heavy snow last week, which through an unfortunate series of events flooded the boiler in my house quite dramatically.

Luckily this happened in April rather than December, where a couple of days without heating and hot water was an inconvenience rather than actually dangerous. And *very* luckily, it happened while we were at home to notice. If the flood had started while we were out at work, it would have brought the ceiling down and probably destroyed a lot of our computer equipment before we could have done anything about it. So, an expensive month, but it could have been a lot worse.
Friday, March 30th, 2012
8:44 am
Season's greetings! I'm full of the joys of spring today. Everything seems to be blossoming about a month early and Durham is very pretty right now.

This was last month: 2 February photosCollapse )
By contrast, 2 March photosCollapse )
These are taken with a camera phone, hence the close-ups. It doesn't do distance shots very well.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
6:17 pm
Today I'd like to promote my 10-year-old [half-]brother-in-law's Youtube channel. He scripts adventures which his Mario plush toys then perform, and the special affects are well done too. Look out for the ones with "Baby Attack" in the title, which guest star my youngest brother-in-law Max. He's quite cute. :)

I never knew there was such a community of Mario plushie storytellers..
Friday, January 27th, 2012
8:07 pm
Ah, the drama
Legally Blonde has announced it's closing in London in April. Sad news, but it's had a good run of 1000+ performances. Hot on the heels of that is the fuss surrounding Aoife Mulholland (Brooke) coming back from her year's maternity leave to do the last 8 weeks of the show. Her understudy, who has played Brooke for the last year, is very upset by this and has been complaining about it somewhat indiscreetly on Twitter. I think most of her comments have been deleted now.

Some fans have got rather riled up, and started pointless Facebook/Twitter petitions intended to make the producers *not* give Aoife the work she's legally entitled to (and, presumably which she *has* to come back to or pay back her all statutory maternity pay?). Others have suggesting not applausing Aoife at the final shows to demonstrate their hatred of her. It's all rather unpleasant.

Charitably, I assume the understudy is just upset because this news immediately follows the closure announcement. Musical theatre is such a chancy profession, nobody would really expect one performer to give up 8 weeks' pay (on which she has to support herself and her baby) to avoid hurting another performer's feelings. And it's not like it can have been a surprise: you don't take on a maternity leave contract without being fully aware it's fixed term. If the understudy's contract didn't specify that she could go back to her ensemble role when Aoife returned then that's surprising, and unfortunate, but not Aoife's fault.

Anyway, I'm glad I'll have chance to see Aoife in the show one more time.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
10:00 am
Happy hurray-we're-past-the-winter-solstice celebration! We had a lovely Christmas day here. C's family were visiting for a couple of days, so we cooked a delicious (meat-free) meal and exchanged some very nice presents. I don't know what we did differently from usual but it all *worked* somehow, being left with the feeling that "yes, this is how it's meant to be" rather than just a family obligation to get through. So I'm feeling very peaceful. I hope everyone else's holiday is going well, or as pleasantly as possible!

The only slight downside is that I participated in an online forum's "random acts of kindness" anonymous present exchange, but disappointingly didn't actually get anything in return. Which I know is not the correct attitude for gift-giving. But still, it seems like something got unbalanced somewhere.
Friday, December 16th, 2011
12:03 pm
How very festive
This morning I've been baking mince pies for a party tomorrow, and now it's snowing prettily. Very seasonal. Now, if only it can snow just enough to look nice but not enough to stop anyone getting to the party..
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
4:30 pm
It's cold today, think there's even some snow predicted for tonight.I really hope we don't get as much as last year.
That aside, I'm feeling nicely festive right now. I took my Rainbows to the pantomime yesterday and today I've wrapped a nice big pass-the-parcel for their end of term party tomorrow. :)
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
10:37 pm
I was right
Starlight Express tour dates! Now it just needs to come up north-east. :D
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
10:06 pm
[placeholder while I think of a witty title]
So there's a rumour Starlight Express might be going to tour the UK again. That's quite exciting, but slightly sad when one has to speculate what's going to be cut from the script *this* time. I think I saw it 3 times on the 2004-7 tour (Sunderland, Edinburgh then Sunderland again IIRC) and each time the set seemed smaller and it seemed to have had less money spent on it. Which is quite a sad attitude given that, even on a reduced scale (less than a tenth the size of the London Apollo Victoria set) so many people absolutely love this show. [1] The last UK tour was sold out and had massively enthusiastic audiences for over 3 years. And obviously if it does tour again I'll still go and see it as many times as I can.

[1] I think I'm right in saying it's quite unique for being continually playing somewhere in the world for nearly 28 years. (even though it closed in London in 2002 and I never got to see it! Regret.)

It's just sad knowing that it *could* easily be more spectacular if they were willing to spend a bit of money on it. The first, and very easy, step would be to bump 3 of the ensemble back up to (secondary) principal pay so that some of the character-developing songs could be brought back in. It just seems ridiculous that some of the best songs were cut so that they didn't have to pay the performers any more than the bare minimum!

Instead, they might just cut even more roles. Chris and I worked out that you could, just about, horribly, stage it with two fewer national engines and/or one fewer component (probably Wrench) and/or no Caboose. But it would be horrible. (And yet, I'd still go and see it.) But then, oh wait, they'd have to re-film the 3-D races. That would also cost money, so we're probably safe from any more characters disappearing just now.

At least there'll be new costumes? ..Surely? The costumes used on the last tour were old at the time, it must be time to produce some new ones. And while they're making new costumes they might as well go back to the nice skirt + legging London designs rather than the Las Vegas production's inappropriately revealing designs, right? One can hope..
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