2018 / 2019 – Week 18

Socks. I’m getting a bit bored of them, I must admit. Seems like all I ever finish are socks, and even those here aren’t actually finished because I still have to weave in the ends. *sigh* Anyway, the two pairs are for my knitworthy friend, and the single one on top is for me. And just in time, I might add, since we had our first batch of snow today. (Totally makes sense – we switched back from daylight savings time last night and are on what is called „Winterzeit“ – „winter time“ in German – so yeah, winter totally hit the spot this year!)

As usual, this is the time of year I finally come up for a breather and a bit of contemplating. The year just wooshed by in such a hurry, looking back makes my head spin. I think I mentioned before that I work two jobs, one in that little shop I wrote about earlier in the year, and one for a fashion chain. Both couldn’t offer me the 20 – 25 hours / week that I actually want and need to work, but since each offered 13, and since chain was okay with me working weekends for little shop, I could combine them almost perfectly well. It worked well at the beginning. Then, once the 2017 Christmas rush was over, business quieted down in little shop, and my boss had to cut down my hours. Fortunately (well, that’s debateable, but let’s stick to that word for a while), one of my coworkers at chain quit, and I could take on her hours and work in some overtime to make up for the loss. Until about two weeks ago when the arrangement came to a rather abrupt halt. I was told by my boss at chain that I can’t work any more overtime, and they can’t up my hours anymore, so I’m back to working 13 hours / week with no extras. At my other job, I’m lucky if I get 13 hours / month! Steve and I have been calculating and contemplating how to make it work, since I actually like both jobs, and being happy is important as well. However, the truth is it won’t work in the long run. So whether I like it or not, I’m out job hunting again. Well, not right now, though, since I’m on sick leave with two broken ribs (no, I didn’t fall off my bike, I mobbed the floor, slipped and fell, and crashed ribs first into a chest of drawers) and hardly able to move at all. Even breathing is painful.

Crocheting still works, thank heavens. This is the beginning of the Tea Flower Shawl by Mijo Crochet. I bought the yarn at a yarn store in Forchheim in April, it’s Katia Spring Rainbow, and though it’s nice enough quality-wise (a cotton / acrylic blend, soft to the touch and a pleasure to work with even though the four strands aren’t plied), I’m less than thrilled with the colour changes. Usually, those multi-colour cakes just replace one tiny strand at a time which makes for practically invisible knots, and you just have two tiny strands to weave in. Not this one, though – one colour changes but all four strands are cut and re-knotted, and need I mention that knots of that size do come apart easily? Well, guess I’ll live. And the shawl is going to be lovely, if I do say so myself. I’m going to use up the entire cake for the net pattern, and add flowers in a contrasting colour, maybe some red or pink.

While I really could do without the pain, I’m trying to be positive about this broken ribs histoire – just think about all the crafting time I’ve got now, since I’m not allowed to do any housework or lift anything heavier than a sheet of paper (or a ball of yarn). Who knows, I might even get something finished! *gasp*

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.

Golden Autumn Days

The long, hot, and extremely dry 2018 summer has finally merged into autumn – and what an amazing autumn we’ve had! Long, warm, golden days, a light to die for, and Lilly ready and willing to carry us on numerous rides all through the countryside. Honestly, I’ve lived in this part of Franconia for more than 30 years, and about 25 in our house in this village, but there’s still so much to see and to discover. I’m already working on a list of places to go for next year.

For now, let me just share some of my favourite autumn photos with you:

(Please click to enlarge)

And now come the days of rain and grey skies … the days of cuddling on sofas, wrapped up in blankets, with a cup of hot tea or cocoa and a good book, and maybe a knitting project. And I’m so looking forward to it.

2018 / 2019 – Week 15

Hello my dears, this week, I’ve got such a special project to show you. Everybody, please meet Tinkerbell:

She is a Yamaha XV 535, also known as Virago, and apart from the fact that she is a typical „girl bike“, and the best (if not only) choice for vertically challenged people like me, it was her baby sister (the 125) that actually got me thinking about driving four years ago. When Steve announced he was thinking about getting his bike license, I was dead against it. Those supersports bikes he was into then just frightened the youknowwhat out of me. He tried to help me overcome my fear by explaining the physics behind two-wheel driving, and taking me to a shop to see bikes „in person“, in the hope I’d realize they weren’t as big and frightening as I thought. (No, it didn’t work. Not then.) Somewhere in line was this nice kind of cosy looking black little thing, the only bike in the entire shop that didn’t look terrifying, and the only one I suddenly felt this urge to sit on. From that day on, I knew that if – IF – I ever was going to drive a bike, it would be a Virago.

And now I’ve found her. Or rather, Steve found her. I didn’t really expect to get a bike so soon because we had already stretched our budget quite a bit, with buying Lilly, and Steve getting his license, not to mention all the equipment we needed. I had been prepared to wait until next year, or even the year after, but as luck would have it, there she was, a lovely 1993 Virago with not too many miles on her clock, and since she needed some love and repairing, we got her dirt cheap. I won’t bore you with details, let’s just say there was some technical stuff that Steve took care of while I concentrated on the style stuff. When we got her, she had this dull dark maroon-ish colour, so I decided to give her a paint job. To prepare for that, I hosed her down and cleaned her – and guess what, once the dust of years of neglect was washed off, we discovered her true colour is this beautiful burgundy. I’m going to leave it at that, it’s one of my favourite colours anyway. I polished her chrome parts (not done yet, there’s still some work and effort to put in), and chose a new tail light for her. She is also going to get new indicators and different mirrors, I just haven’t found the right ones yet.

 

So this is us, Tinkerbell and me, after our very first driving lesson. Well, not exactly a „driving“ lesson, though – it was more of a „slowly release the clutch and get rolling, and try to keep my balance, and Steve, please, stay close to me, I’m afraid I’m going to topple over, this is all so overwhelming, hey, look, two metres and I’m quite fine, how am I going to stop this thing, where’s the brake, heeeeeellllllpppppppp!“ lesson – but it sure was fun, and I can’t wait to try again.

Withered Rose

(Please click to enlarge)

Concentrating on the small things, and the beauty of that last rose of summer. Withered it may be, but who says that beauty can only be found in the young and freshly plucked blossoms?

Shooting

And so it’s autumn, all of a sudden. The leaves are turning, nights are a bit chilly, there has been rain (hurray for that!), darkness comes earlier, but most of all, it’s that very special light that tells me it’s time to grab the camera and go out. Photography is painting with light, as some wise person once said, so in that sense, autumn light is my favourite colour. Since I’m planning to built a very basic website to keep track of our trips with Lilly, and document the sights we’ve seen and things we did (like our recent trip to the falconry), we took Lilly out for a ride and mini foto shooting yesterday. Here’s my favourite photo so far (please click to enlarge):

I can’t wait for our holidays to start on Monday! With luck, and if the weather holds, we’ll take Lilly out for some lovely rides around the countryside. It has turned out to be one of the most amazing, and most beautiful, adventures of our life so far, and while I still refuse to be called a „biker“, I am embracing this feeling of being an enthusiast.