Natalie Dee
nataliedee.com

This made me laugh :o)

I’ve recently become addicted to a website called ‘Swap-bot’. It’s basically a website that hosts loads of different swaps. there are craft swaps, ATC swaps, surprise box swaps, mix cd swaps – basically if you can think of something to swap, you can do it. It is a little bit risky, because there are some not so good people out there who like to take advantage of this kind of site, and sign up for swaps fully intending never to send anything out, just to receive stuff. Luckily the site is well monitored by its creators, so once someone has been tagged as a ‘bad-swapper’, they ban them. Anyways, so far I’ve participated in 6 swaps, and they’ve been a lot of fun. Plus it means that I get something other than bills in the post. I’ve had fun doing penpal swaps, where we write a letter on a certain subject. My first one was on the type of books that I like to read. It was great receiving a letter from someone writing about their favourite books, and it lead me to discover books that I had never even thought of reading before. I’ve also participated in a ‘long-haul’ penpal swap, to find new people to write to for a long time. My new ‘friends’ are from all over the world, and that’s great, because I love finding out about how other people live and what other countries are like. I’ve also participated in a magazine swap, which was awesome because my lovely swap-partner sent me some American knitting magazines, which are totally different to English ones (they actually have patterns that I would want to wear in them!). Only problem now is, I really want to source them over here. I think there are some websites selling them, so I shall have to investigate. With most of the swaps, the sender includes a little something with the main swap-item, which means that my lovely partners have been sending some awesome Hello Kitty notepaper, and one even sent me some gorgeous handmade stitch markers. Its not very expensive to do, just the cost of postage usually, and it keeps me busy. I do think that the people at the post office think I’m a little strange though, because I’ve been sending things out quite regularly, and they tend to look a little something like this:

Swap-Bot letters

I like to make my envelopes look good, so I cover them in pretty pictures from magazines (unless they’re going somewhere strange like Malaysia, and then I keep them plain for the nice Customs people). My postman also gets to delivers letters like this to my home:

Swap-Bot letter received

Obviously there aren’t great big black rectangles on the envelope itself, but I’m not about to broadcast mine (or my partner’s) snail-mail addresses on the internet! So far, I’ve not had a bad swapper as a partner, so I’m going to keep swapping, because it is so damn addictive!

Please click on the Alan Johnston link on my toolbar (to your left!). Its important that as many people as possible know whats going on, so something can be done to secure his safe release. There hasn’t been much on the news about his disapperance, and thats not right. We need to keep talking about him, and putting pressure on the Palestinian government, so that whoever has him relises that what they’ve done is stupid and lets him go. Go pledge your support for him and his family, and sign the petition (follow the link on the BBC website to find it). Also please pray for him and his family. They need all the help that we can give them in this awful time. Thanks.

Right I better get back to work :o)

 – knitagirl

…but my computer is being a stinkyass and keeps losing my blog. Therefore you can have a picture of Simba to entertain you instead until I can get onto my dad’s pc.

Simba

Here he is doing what he loves best: watching out the lounge window for the paperboy to arrive, so he can scare the living daylights out of him by doing his best “big bad wolf-dog” impression.

– knitagirl

(Ok, so last night didn’t work out. My internet was stolen by those damn pesky pixies again, luckily WordPress kindly saved what I had written so I can finish my blog now. Well, that is if my work computer will let me, and my boss doesn’t walk in on me doing it.) 

I am seriously atrocious at this blogging lark. I keep meaning to blog, but I seem to get distracted so easily. Usually by a medium-sized, four-legged hairy creature with a snotty nose, or a small two-legged, non-hairy creature with a snotty nose (Simba/Neve). Talking of Simba, he managed to open the front door to the paper boy today. Ah well, I guess its better than his usual jumping up and attacking the paper as it comes through the letter box antics. Anyways, where was I? Ah yes, my severe lack of blogging skills. I really do mean to blog more than once a month, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Which is silly cos I’ve had a lot of fun over the past couple of weeks, which I could’ve written about. So that’s what I’ll do now, so here’s a catch-up on the life of knitagirl.

Well, I spent the last two weekends in March celebrating my 23rd birthday. I can’t believe I’m 23 already, where did my life go? It feels like only yesterday that I was in high school studying for my Alevels. So much has happened over the past five years, and yet it seems very little has changed. I’ve been to university, got a degree and now I’m working. Well, I say working, but its not a real job, just something to help me on my way to realising my dreams of travelling. I still feel like the same old person, I see all my friends maturing, moving away for a job and settling down with partners, and I wonder when its going to happen for me. Life doesn’t seem to be about having fun and enjoying it anymore, the conversations now revolve around applying for jobs, weddings or money. I just want to stand up and shout ‘who decided it was time for us to grow up?!’ Argh! I think I’m having a mid-twenties crisis (sort of like a mid-life crisis, but without the red sports car and affair with some one twenty years younger than me).

Anyways, celebrating my brithday was fun. I travelled to Derby for the first weekend to celebrate with uni friends. For some mad-capped reason, we decided it would be fun to try our hands at Bingo. Now let me tell you something right now, the adverts on Tv lie. Bingo halls up and down the country are not full of young fun-loving women drinking and having a laugh, while trying to win the jackpot. They are full of strange old women/men who are obsessed with the game and have ten cards on the go at a time. They shush you if you make even the smallest of noises, and frown when you laugh at something. Plus bingo is freakin’ confusing – we spent the first two games, wondering what the hell was going on and what card we were meant to be playing. Plus when someone does get a line/two-line/full-house/whatever, there’s some strange noises happening. ‘Her-ya’ is shouted across the room at the caller. It sounds like some bizarre mating call of the lesser-know spotted bingo-playerus. Anyways, two of the girls won some money which was good. And the £100,000 jackpot on the link-bingo makes it almost worth it to go back. ‘Almost’ being the operative word in that last sentence.

The next weekend was my actual birthday weekend, and for that I flew to Dublin for the weekend with an old school friend. It was the first time that I had ever flown, so it was definitely an experience. I have a problem with heights, so I wasn’t too sure about looking out the window, but I’m so glad that I did. The view was amazing. On the way there, we flew above cloud level, so it looked like we were just floating about giant marshmallow clouds. But ont he way back it was perfectly clear, so I got to watch as we left Ireland (that made me want to go back and visit the coastal area next time), across the sea (waving at the ferries crossing, although I have a strong feeling that they didn’t see us!), and then across into Manchester airport. Dublin itself is a strange city, full of contradictions. Ever street is a strange mix of brand new architectural buildings and run down Georgian buildings. Some of the Georgian buildings were so beautiful though, it was such a shame to see them falling into disrepair. We stayed in a hotel that directly overlooked the canal, and was just a five-minute walk into the city centre. It was great, although the loud music from the adjoining bar/nightclub did keep us up on the thursday night until 2am. But that didn’t matter. We just decided that if we couldn’t beat them (by stuffing pillows over our ears), we would join them and the next two nights, we went out to some of the many bars/pubs around the Temple Bar area of Dublin. I would really recommend visiting the city, there is so much to do, especially with the castle (but be warned that it doesn’t open until 10am), and the Guinness factory. Everyone told us it would be really expensive over there, but we found it to be not that bad. An average lunch cost us 8-12 Euros each, which is approx. £5-8 , which I don’t personally think is bad, especially considering the size of the portions. An evening meal, cost us about 25-30 Euros each (£17-20), which again, isn’t that expensive. So go do it. We found a good deal on LastMinute.com for £150 incl flights per person in a 3* hotel incl breakfast.

I had some great birthday presents, and now that I have wrestled my camera back off my niece, who at the age of 20 months, has decided to become a budding photographer (although all the photos seem to be of either her feet and the floor, or the sky), I can show off some of the things I received.

Fan-dabby-dozey Crafty Book

This book is so much fun, and I’ve already started making things out of it. There’s some great ideas for presents etc, so be warned – everything from now on will be handmade for you birthday/christmas :o)

Ceramic Cupcake Trinket Box

My damn macro function wouldn’t work properly when taking this picture, so you’ll have to excuse the poor quality of it. The cupcake is so much more beautiful in real-life, plus the top comes off to reveal a place to put all my earrings etc.

o)

And what birthday of mine would be complete without something Hello Kitty? This little bundle of goodies came from Neve, although I think she might have possibly had some help choosing it. OoooOo…and you see that big pen there, right in the middle, with a tag on it? Thats a fantastic pen, its one of those multi-colour pens, with lots of different nibs and even a propelling pencil bit. How amazingly cool is that?!? Ok, so I might possibly be the only one here who thinks that, but who cares?

Oh and I can’t forget what is possibly the best present anyone has ever got me. I havea  slight obession with all things Harry Potter, especially Ron. I can’t help it, the red hair just does it for me haha… So imagine how ecstatic I was, when I open an envelope from my brother and sister-in-law (Neve’s parents) and found this:

SIgned photo of Rupert Grint...woooop!

Can you see what it is? Its a signed photo of Rupert Grint a.k.a Ron Weasley. Haha…I think they just became my favourite relatives. The bright spot in the middle is from my flash which I had to use because with it turned off, the photo went all blurry and poo. Are you jealous? You should be, you know. *Weasley is my King!*

Well, I had better actually do some work, seeing as though that’s what they pay me to do. I’ll blog more over the weekend (if those pesky pixies don’t come back that is).

– knitagirl

I will post properly tonight. I promise. I’ll do it as soon as I get home. As long as the evil invisible cornish pixies haven’t stolen my internet like they did last night, I will post tonight. I have lots of photos, so it’ll be fun :o)

 – knitagirl (still jealous that Lucy made it to NYC before I did grrr…)

I, knitagirl, do solemnly promise to blog  asap after the weekend.

 If I can see the screen, because its the start of my birthday celebrations. So I’m going ‘…party like its my birthday. go shorty, its your birthday. I’m gonna party like its my birthday…’

Hahaha….

– knitagirl

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war … but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

Hermann Goering (1893 – 1946)
Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe,
President of the Reichstag,
Prime Minister of Prussia and Hitler’s designated successor –
The second in command of the Third Reich.

Sounds scarily familiar don’t you think?

– knitagirl

“Bah Humbug!”

i. want. this.

 – knitagirl.

While reading other blogs during my work day, I’ve noticed a recent trend for posting a favourite poem. So in order to keep people happy until I finally manage to blog about what I’ve been upto and my ‘alternative book review’, here’s one of mine (appropriate for this weather I think):

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
                                – Robert Frost.

– knitagirl.