Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween...

....hope you have a great day! I'm not planning on wearing a costume today, but if I would this looks perfect, doesn't it?

Friday, October 26, 2007


Our always full of latest news (and gossip) Opera Chic has an update on the battle over the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti's assets (or lack thereof) in which Nicoletta Mantovani (P's second wife) does some damage control.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Pavarotti affair a short recap: Pavarotti died early September leaving his lawyers to sort out the mess with different wills. (For a long version of this dreadful story see here.) Last week the officials in Pesaro (Italy) could open an investigation into the filing of Pavarotti's last will, which contradicts his previously filed will, leaving most of his fortune to his second wife Nicoletta.
The reason behind such an astonishing situation? A massive overdraft (around 10 million dollars) has been found in Pavarotti's bank accounts for reasons that remain unclear.
This is all a terrible mess and I'm leaving everyone to their own conclusion. Nicoletta Mantovani's damage control is an article in the Italian newsweekly "Chi" which reports that she has been diagnosed in 2005 with MS and is in care at Multiple Sclerosis Research Center in NYC. What drove me up the wall were the words of "Chi"'s article '...There she attended a center that specializes in Multiple Sclerosis, an illness that she has combated for two years, in silence and with dignity...' What does this mean?
Does it mean that people who talk about their illness do not fight them with dignity? Do you measure how much dignity people have by how much they say about their illness? In other words one has to be ill and mute to have dignity - and what about people who aren't ill? How do you measure theirs?
Strange world! I know I feel rather strongly about this, so please don't be put off! I just happen to live with illness and sometimes it takes me all my courage to admit to it.
People who impressed me most were the ones who could actually talk about their illness as a fact, something you have to go through and you might as well take it graciously. A bit like you frog a knitting project when you're not happy with the result. You swear loudly and probably for some time one shouldn't talk to you, but after that you proceed with knitting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Feeling overwhelmed

This is how I feel at the moment - ok, I still have my hair. I had my lovely cat Hissy shaved at that time because she had some funny skin problems. She clearly has some difficulties adjusting to life with less hair. I leave the news for G. and will go on playing around with Photoshop to get our 300+ photos in a presentable shape - maybe later there will be time for knitting a bit on my Christmas projects. One must have time for fun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Swap Questions Coffee Swap3

Not to waste an enormous amount of space we thought we put our answers in one post... hope it doesn't make it too complicated :-)

1. Whole bean or ground?
Tigerduck: Ground (French Press) Tournesol: Ground

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
Tigerduck: Fully-loaded (good job Tournesol and I are sharing house...)
Tournesol: Fully-loaded otherwise what's the point?

3. Regular or flavored?
Tigerduck: I prefer regular most of the time, althoug I remember an amazing Macademia Nut Kona Coffee that was very nearly heavenly.....
Tournesol Regular, flavored only occasionally if it's nice, not too sweet/intense

4. How do you drink your coffee?
Tigerduck: quite strong and with lots of milk
Tournesol: French pressed with milk (sometimes fresh cream) best thing in the morning!

5. Favorite coffee ever?
Tigerduck: lots of favourites, usually full flavour, medium or dark roast, but not too bitter
Tournesol: So difficult, it's like choosing the favorite music/book, can't do it, usually the one I'm just drinking. I'm fussy at picking them out and like to try out new coffees...

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
Tigerduck: Afraid so.
Tournesol: I like smooth ones, not too strong or bitter

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
Tigerduck: A good audio book, and some chocolate or cookies...
Tournesol Depends on the time of the day...Chocolate or cookies or cake or bread (I found a banana bread recipe which is amazing with coffee on 101 Cookbooks) - but I don't think they ship that well, a good book, some knitting...

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?
Tigerduck: love to share it with friends :-)
Tournesol: Can't think of anything

9. Yarn/fiber you love?
Tigerduck: I'm a very tactile person, so soft natural fibres as well. Just saw some lovely chunky Alpaca at my local yarn store and made myself leave WITHOUT it in my shopping bag...
Tournesol: Soft natural fibers

10. Yarn/fiber you hate?
Tigerduck: same as Tournesol
Tournesol: I don't like acrylic or funny synthetic fibers - worst nightmare a furry orange acrylic yarn aaaahhhh....

11. What's on your needles?
Tigerduck: an Alpaca Silk Sahara Pullover and Kid Merino lace stole
Tournesol A lace edged hat in cashmerino dk (from my first knitters coffee swap) a vest with emerald malabrigo. If you are on Raverly have a look!

12. Favorite colors?
Tigerduck: strong colours (but not screaming ones...) Winter colours, if that says anything
Tournesol: Blue, Green, Red - don't know

13. Allergies?
Tigerduck: same as Tournesol
Tournesol: No allergies, but can't have sugar only the artificial one like Maltitol

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
Tigerduck: Nah.... so well balanced.... don't mention London's mayor or tube strikes and train delays, though...
Tournesol Not really fond of dark chocolate and I love mail so I'm absolutely annoyed with the postal strike we have at the moment - even more because I'm still waiting for two of my pay checks to arrive (BUH!).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Perfect Saturday

After having had a stressful Saturday morning - with NO breakfast! - it turned around and wasn't too bad. G. and I went to a very (very, very) late breakfast at Whole Foods in Kensington, did some other little errands and bought some yarn at Stash. Look at this colour of my Malabrigo yarn; I bought it for the tweedy vest I'm doing. Is that not simply gorgeous? So, why am I not knitting now you ask? Well, Ravelry is the answer. G.'s putting up her latest project and can't concentrate on the new audio book I I'm being nice and wait for her- but wait, there she is finished. Sorry have to knit now!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Singers NEED socks!

Thanks to our beloved Opera Chic we have a proof that Opera singers not only need socks for warm feet, but also to sing on stage.
This is OC's picture of Svetla Vassileva and her grey socks from act III of the new Traviata production in Parma. For OC's description of the evening and lots more of her fabulous pictures go to her blog.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Turning Pink for October

Five minutes before the beginning of the 9th of October we turned pink (talking about insomnia...). All of this started with the weekly email from IKnit whose webpage not only turned pink, but who also have a breast cancer fundraiser for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Last year we managed to organise a breast cancer fundraiser concert back home in Germany. This concert was not only a fundraiser but also a memorial concert for my friend Beate who died of breast cancer in November 2005. She was one of those lovely people you'll always miss. She was hugely active when we started the Charity that supports our vocal group. I think one would be right to say that without her, there wouldn't be a Charity at all. The concert was a huge success with the local radio station recording and broadcasting bits of it later. We tried to come up with a fun programme that Beate would have like herself. Her husband was in the audience and very proud to see that his wife did make a difference to the world. Yes she did! She made it more lovely. So we turned pink for October (we are no 548 on the Sites Going Pink) All illnesses suck, so let's unite and give them hell :-)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sheep Outing and Concert Prep

Not sure whether I love or hate the manic time before a recital.... Probably rather love than hate - lots of rehearsals, research and writing for the programme notes, practice (trying to fit it all in with the part time day job), some nerves.... Oh, and of course the obligatory COLD! I have been thinking back, and I can remember more concerts with colds than without, even one fairly legendary 'Lemsip Concert'. Do they pay commission if you display their cold and flu medication in the intermission?!
M. has also been under the weather, and we are praying and keeping all fingers and toes crossed that things will be well, come the recital on Wednesday. It's a really lovely programme (thank you, M, for choosing most of the arias / songs!) with Baroque and 20th/21st century repertoire.
While trying to rest enough, get rid of the cold, not spend whole nights on Ravelry, and enjoy some of the October sunshine, Miss Maple (who has now been joined by Mopple the Wale) went out for a little outing in front of the house...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Weeeeeeeeks on end I have been spying on Ravelry, thinking I'd be the last person who would get an invitation. Ok, ok I over-exaggerate - a lot actually - G.'s still waiting for her invitation.(imagine nasty laughing here) Despite the flu I got last week (probably sitting in the wind while the plumber knocked off half of the wall in the bathroom) I'm soooo excited. I really, really, really should take more pictures of my FOs. Ok, I'm off doing that and eating some soup. No recipe for this one, we just threw all the remaining veggies in the pot. Ok, this is not going to make you want to cook, but go to 101 cookbooks, I'm sure there is something in there for everyone. I have tried a few like the banana bread - hmm that's actually a very good idea I could put that in the oven while the soup's heating up. Have to go... Oh I forgot I'm Tournesol in Ravelry as well. See you there!

Monday, October 1, 2007

So much to blog, so little time

After the proverbial kick in the backside (by myself - quite a gymnastic feat, really), I continued my blocking and finishing spree.

Since I was visiting my mum in Germany, the jacket just had to be finished, and although a good part of my visit consisted of sitting on my parents' couch, sewing the pieces together, adding a crochet edge and sewing on the buttons, I DID IT! IT'S FINISHED!

What a wonderful excuse to buy more yarns and start new projects.... Yarn shops here I come (well, once I've saved up a little). And while my mum and I sat in the cosy living room (she is still nursing her knee after a surgery), my dad was on his yearly hiking trip through the rain...

I almost forgot - here are the details
Pattern: Filati Summertime, Galaprint Cardigan
Yarn: Lana Grossa quality "Gala Print", 48% silk, 24% viscose, 17% linen, 11% polyamide
Colour Way: 508 - 'Olive Mottled'

Lots of pictures of M's new black sheep, walks along the river Thames and such like are waiting to be blogged, but - alas - time to go to work now. So, here is one last picture of the finished jacket, modeled by my mum: