Reflecting on my week #67

I hardly dare mention the B word here, but it’s been hard to ignore this past week. Whatever your political views, Brexit is as I’ve said at work this week the thing that will keep on giving. I’m sure we’re not through the dramatics and/or histrionics, depending on our viewpoint, yet, but it really isn’t good, for any of us. I’m not going to pass comment about what it should or shouldn’t be, or any of the options, but really, how did we get here - and more importantly how do we make sense of it all. I’m sure there must be an answer, but I’m also sure it won’t be pretty.

To combat the madness of the week, which has also had implications for my day job, I retreated to the study-cum-craft room. I really should have been doing my tax return but, with procrastination at its best I finally got around to tackling a project that’s been on my to do list for a while now. I’ve been collecting old t-shirts for a while now to use, and after some quick research set about creating my own t-shirt yarn.

T shirt yarn and the start of my first crochet basket

Creating the “yarn” was far easier than I thought it would be, but the t-shirts didn’t go as far as I thought they might. For the base I used two vest tops of mine (the navy and navy and white striped in these pictures) and a stone t-shirt of MOH’s. They all worked out really well, but especially MOH’s t-shirt as it was one I never really liked, but one that works well here.

I decided that I’d start big, as that would most likely be easiest and more forgiving. Once I’ve mastered big I might try something more refined - we’ll see. It’s harder on my thumbs than I thought it would be, but now I’ve worked out how to go up the sides it’s got a lot easier. I’m sure the novelty of creating the yarn and then crocheting it onto my basket creation will wear off but at the moment I’m taking this approach as creating the yarn balls in one go, seems very dull.

stripey yarn on my crochet basket

I’ve a way to go yet but I’ve finished the base, and have added a block of navy (one long sleeved top and a t-shirt) at the base of the sides before branching out into a strip of green (another long sleeved top). Next up is another stripey variety and I’ve some more white, and lime green t-shirts lined up. I’m not sure how many I’ll use, and I’ve already plans for a couple of red and pink versions.

And the reason for starting now, well it wasn’t entirely Brexit. I hit on the idea that I can use them effectively for storage in the spare bedroom wardrobe and with some more of that clearing out, I could free up a shelf for some more of my craft supplies. incentive, if ever I saw it, but it’s amazing what a little sprinkle of that can do.

This weekend also saw me catch up on all sort of post and parcels. All needed to be collected, some from the Post Office, some from my neighbour, who does a fantastic job of taking in parcels, some of which I’m not sure are even coming. Last week I said I hoped to get to the swimming pool at some point this month, and one of those parcels removed another of my excuses, and that’s subjecting my dyed hair to chlorine.

swimming cap - it's here

Hmmn. So now I have a new swimming costume, goggles and a swimming cap, the only thing that’s a barrier is working out the fees on the council’s website. Actually I think it’ll be simpler to go along and find out in person, so that could be happening soon. I think I’ll drag MOH along, though, just to be sure. And for the record, I’m not a swimmer, but I’m also not a runner and of the two the former appeals slightly more.

There was some blog post too, and I’m looking forward to trying out this new-approach cool bag. This is the lunch bag version and you freeze the whole bag overnight. It seems such a sensible idea, especially when it packs down small, that it takes up the space that the cool blocks would usually use. I’d like to test this out on a balmy summer’s day, but in the absence of those right now I’ll be giving this a go soon.

A new type of coolbag.jpg

The other items in my blog parcel was these plastic-free reusable storage bag by Stasher. AS you can see they packaging says they can be reused thousands of times and are a bag you can cook in - think sous vide - as well as store food in. They look intriguing and I’m looking forward to finding out more and putting these to the test too.

Stasher reusable plastic-free storage bag

On Friday evening I popped over to Canary Wharf and met up with MOH for dinner and a look at this year’s Winter Lights. There were some old favourites like the angel wings below, although there were a lot more of them than I remember from before, but that’s no bad thing as they were still a popular place to pose for photos.

Winter Lights Canary Wharf - Angel wings
Fluorescent floating recycled bottles

In Jubilee park these fluorescent recycled bottles were happily bobbing away on the water feature, looking very effective and while not completely natural, full of nature.  How vibrant are the colours?!  Further along we resisted the urge to have a bit of a hopscotch, quite different to the chalked versions I remembered…

hopscotch winter lights canary wharf

One of the more immersive pieces of art was this piece called Submergence in Montgomery Square. We arrived just as one cycle was finishing and waited, enjoying the anticipation for it to climax again. For straight rows of lights, it was pretty special - that isn’t meant to sound dismissive, it pulsed in time with the music, changing colour with the skyscraper office blocks in the background. However knowing what was coming, I was keen to see and experience that again, especially with the plummeting temperatures. But it’s definitely worth seeing, and if you experience only one, then make it this one.

an immersive experience at winter lights in canary wharf
in the winter lights at canary wharf

I’m finally getting my bearings in Canary Wharf - I know, but up until now I’ve found it a maze and confusing - but even so we finished our walking tour of the Winter Lights earlier than we thought. This year we’d planned ahead and booked somewhere for dinner (Chai Ki - and yes the loos were Loo Series-able) but had some time to kill. Hanging around outside wasn’t our preferred approach but the bars close by were busy. Then MOH had a brain wave and we clocked up a first, a glass of wine in the wine bar at Waitrose. Yeap, that’s right, a wine bar in the supermarket. It wasn’t empty but it wasn’t so busy that we couldn’t get served, or a seat either.

Who knew. Certainly not me, but I’m glad MOH did. With knowledge like this, he really is a keeper…