Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New Year, New Skills


I don't really make resolutions, as I can never keep them; but I have felt the need to learn some new skills, or polish up some old ones.

The need to polish up my parallel parking was driven home this morning when I completely failed to manage it in a tiny space at the Blood Donor centre at Addenbrooke's. It didn't help that I was being hassled by a taxi and that driving around the hospital at 9.30 on a weekday feels a lot like punishment. Anyway, I retreated to quiet residential roads to try to find a space, but quickly passed an old lady lying on the pavement. She'd been pulled over by her enormous wheelie bin, and had scraped her face and cut her hand and couldn't get up. I did what I could to help, and she insisted she was fine and absolutely didn't want me to call a doctor, and wandered back inside. Maybe I should be glad I can't park - if I'd been in there bleeding into a bag the poor woman would have been lying out in the sleet for I don't know how long. Sobering stuff.

But I have learned a new skill or two. The first one was relighting the above fire from the warm remains of last night's fire, banked up with ash at 10pm and reignited with some newspaper at 11 this morning. Yay! My piano teacher claims she kept a fire going without relighting for two weeks from Christmas Eve, though I doubt I'll be rivalling that.


The other skill was that for the first time, I successfully altered a pattern to fit me - this involved moving seamlines, repositioning bust darts and changing the neckline, and is all thanks to Julia's inspirational patterning posts. In celebration I bought enough fabric to make three more tunics - now I just need to learn how to get on and clear time and space to make them!

29 comments:

  1. Those fabrics look very exciting. Julia is a bit of a genius, isn't she?

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  2. Julia is definitely one inspiring lady. Love the fabrics in this post and really love that fire in the first pic. Off to sit by mine now xx

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  3. Very nice spriggy fabrics!

    I like giving blood. Call me odd, but I am convinced it gives you a natural high. Not sure if it's a chemical thing or just a rosy glow from knowing at least for one day, you did something good.

    Or two good things in your case today.

    Our bins have been collected once since Christmas - I can quite see how hers has gotten too heavy.

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  4. The gods were indeed smiling on you in the hospital car park this morning.

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  5. I can't parallel park... I don't even try!

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  6. What a heroine! Sometimes timings that seem so wrong are really right... and I can parrallelll park, just not spell the blooming word!

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  7. That is why you couldn't park today - you were needed elsewhere. I am very impressed with any sort of pattern altering or making - I just can't get my head round it!

    Pomona x

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  8. I am in awe of anyone who can make clothes. As much time as I spend at my sewing machine, I make a right pig's ear of anything that is to be worn!

    Your fire-lighting skills are very impressive too!

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  9. Good For You! I love messing around with patterns. Will we be seeing the fruits of your labors?

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  10. that's terrific--I wish I had the skill to alter patterns like that!

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  11. You're a superhero! Saving old ladies, altering patterns, keeping fires going...

    Any chance of seeing a finished tunic??

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  12. Did I hear you say "My Piano Teacher"?

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  13. Wow! I don't think you need any resolutions. I can't do any of those things! And I haven't rescued any little old ladies lately either....Sheesh. K x

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  14. It's a dream of mine to be one of the people asked ' do you weigh enough to give blood?' by the nurses - I was once lying next to a very slender girl when she was asked this. As if!!
    Good job the parking space was too small.

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  15. Good for you Val....improved sewing skills, firelighting, rescuing old ladies....seems pretty impressive to me! And Julia's sewing skills are inspiring, aren't they?

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  16. I can't parallel park either, but it just makes me cross, and late, I never find old ladies to rescue so I can feel better about my inablity to park.. ......
    love that fabric x

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  17. Ooh I'm very excited to see your tunics - especially one in that stained glass window-y middle one - that's gorgeous.

    I've been thinking of you and the old lady since we chatted yesterday. I'm hoping you're less shaken now and that she's OK. Was she very elderly?

    Ah, fire skills. They are like spidey sense.

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  18. so, do we get to see said altered garment?! And, parking is IMPOSSIBLE with anyone watching. I find it very intimidating and have been know to crash in such extreme circumstances!

    x

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  19. am looking forward to seeing said garment!!! who needs parallel parking?!!!


    xxx

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  20. Will we get to read about that other skill, the piano playing?

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  21. Very exciting, DottyCookie... Life is all about learning, never stop learning. :o) LOVE those fabrics! Do hope you'll show us a photo of one of your finished tunics. Happy Weekend to you all there ((HUGS))

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  22. So now you know, you were never meant to parallel park! You're my hero :)

    Your sewing sounds very exciting and I totally agree about Julia - she's a genius!

    xxx

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  23. Well I think rescuing old ladies is a far more useful and worthy skill than parallel parking! I seem to have done a fair bit of fallen-old-lady-rescuing in the last few weeks too which is sobering stuff indeed.

    I'm very impressed with your fire-relighting skills and extremely impressed with your dress-pattern-altering. I may try the former but haven't the patience or brain capacity for the latter these days!

    Locket xxx

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  24. Hello,

    Sorry I haven't commented on your blog for quite some time, I'm trying to better myself and begin to comment again instead of just reading!

    I think fate has a hand in many things like that. I bet that lady's glad you arrived there when you did.

    As you mentioned Addenbrookes that must mean you live in/ around Cambridge? Which is where we're about to move to (well, Mr. VP is already there, I am simply stuck up here waiting for the house to sell)!

    And on the point of keeping fires going, I too had to learn to do that when we first rented a house in the wilds of the North East - it was the icy-cold winter of 2004/2005. Our heating system for that house was awful (going to bed in 6 layers was a memorable event!) but it had an enormous inglenook fireplace and plenty of wood in the surrounding grounds. So I took to collecting pine cones and larch branches, building fires and keeping it going from dawn until dusk. Banking it up at night and moving the ashes to get it going again in the morning. I think my longest stretch was about a week before letting it go out.

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  25. I also need to brush up parking but I'm glad you rescued the old lady, those bloody wheelie bins are awkward for old people.
    I would love to see the tunic and I am determined to revive my garment making skills this year. I've noticed more and more people are starting to sew clothing lately. Your fabrics are lovely x

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  26. Wow!
    And I like the fabrics a lot.

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  27. Thank goodness for your poor parallel parking skills!I

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  28. I'm a lot better at parking than I used to be. I well remember an under-2-yr-old No.1 piping up from the back of the car, as I took her to toddler group "Rubbish parking, mummy". I had to laugh.

    So pleased you were there to help the old lady. I picked up an old chap when he fell at our local park last summer. He wouldn't have any kind of medical help, or even sit and have some of our food or drink. He just wandered off, though I watched, so make sure he made it out of the park.

    x

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