Favourite Quotes

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." - The Sound of Music

Saturday, 30 October 2010

November is nearly here...

Yes, that's right, in 2 days time it will be November and that means that it is very nearly time for National Novel Writing Month! Yippee! Welcome to 30 days of hectic, chaotic, finger achingly good fun as people from all around the world attempt the mammoth task of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month.

Last year I managed to complete the challenge, but didn't manage to finish the novel I was writing. So this year, just to prove that I am completely mad, I am going to try and write the whole sequel in November - which I estimate should come out at somewhere between 90 and 100 thousand words. That's 4,000 words a day, with a rest on Sundays.

I'm all set. I have my plans, my outlines, my character studies, my backgrounds, my laptop... and plenty of time (for once). Nothing can stop me now!

Why not join me? It's not too late to sign up and join in the novelling fun!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Fur-lined boots

About this time last year, I was on the hunt for a pair of warm boots. At the time, I was working in a job which required me to wear slippers all day, and what I wanted were some boots that would keep my feet warm when all the snow that people kept telling me was going to come came. However, due to the slipper factor and the fact that I invariably left it until almost the last minute to leave to catch the bus, I also wanted boots that I could slip on and off easily.

Well, eventually I found some. They were tall, black, with pretty embroidery around the tops, and lined with fur. Smart but comfortable, they were exactly what I was looking for. They were also horrendously expensive. Still, I reasoned, I'll wear them practically every day when it gets cold... and it is so hard to find nice shoes that fit my feet... So I bought the boots.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control I hardly wore the boots that winter. They didn't really go with the jogging bottoms I spent most of the winter in, and also I was in an environment where I did need to keep my shoes on. So they sat in the corner of my hospital room, and looked beautiful and shiny, but rather out of place.

The boots have passed the spring, summer and winter sitting at the bottom of my wardrobe, under my skirts, looking rather forlorn, and taking up a lot of space. Until today, when I decided the time was ripe (and the weather was cold), and got them out, dusted them off and put them on for a visit to Fontanivent.

I should have been put on my guard on the train, when I had to take my coat off, that something was wrong. But no, I ignored the warning signs and carried on. It was not until this afternoon, when my father took me and my boots on a hike to Blonay, that I realised my mistake: it is not yet cold enough to wear the boots.

Fur-lined boots, you see, when worn in unsuitably warm weather and taken on an energetic walk, have the effect of making one uncomfortably hot. I was regretting my decision to wear the boots by the time we reached the communal swimming pool. At Migros, I dived for the chiller cabinet and grabbed a bottle of water, which I proceeded to swig down outside the store. Our shopping done, there was the long, warm walk back...

So here I am, in October, walking around with bare feet (my mother has just discovered my damp socks sitting on the hall table and is not impressed), and mournfully contemplating the fact that I have no other shoes to wear to church tomorrow.

The boots, I am sad to say, will be relegated to the wardrobe once more on my return. Perhaps when it snows...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bijoux... or jewellery for the anglophones out there!

The last couple of months I have been very busy making bracelets and necklaces in ergothérapie ready for the Christmas markets. I am selling my wares in three markets this year: the one at Prangins hospital (which was where the idea of Christmas markets was first suggested to me), the local market at Préverenges, and the super big and very wonderful Christmas market at Montreux.

In the first two of these I will be a girl with a table, some creations, pretty business cards and a box of money (I hope). In Montreux me selling my jewellery is part of a bigger picture - we are opening up the Kiosque Biblique and hoping to reach out to all the people who come to the market at Christmas.

So what am I selling? Well most of my jewellery is based on plaiting, either with 3, 5, 8, or 12 strands. I plait with leather cord, velour thread, waxed cotton thread, strands of beads and even electric wire... basically anything I can get to hold in a plait! I think my favourites are the ones made with black velour and a single strand of small beads - the contrast is very effective and the velour is very soft. I have also used coiled wire to make bracelets that wrap around your wrist and hooped earrings to match. Finally, just this afternoon, I started to master the art of Indian braids for hair, which can also be used to make bracelets.

So in short I am making a diverse range of jewellery, out of a wide range of materials... which I will be selling in a variety of places on different dates in December!

As one of my mentors used to say when I was a student teacher: "I'm flexible." The difference is, I'm not saying it through gritted teeth!