Monday, 23 September 2013

University Life, Crab Apple Jelly, Crocheted Blankets and A Good Luck Moth

Quite a lot to fit into one post, so I won't drone on and on, largely because it's been Rather An Enormous Day and my brain is feeling taxed, despite the numbing effects of a couple of glasses of vino.

Arrived at Uni at 9.10 having got up at 6.30, made my lunch and L's, got L out of bed, washed my hair, dropped Ted off at ma's along with L's laptop and food for after school, dropped L off at school, stopped off at Waitrose for Emergency Deodorant Supplies, stopped off for petrol and picked up a newspaper to read in expectation of quiet times.

There were no quiet times.

Arrived in the room at Uni to a sea of approx 30 expectant faces of every age (well, not literally- the youngest was probably 18 but to me looked about 12, and the oldest 60 plus?), and settled myself down with three other women (of varying ages ie 18-45).

The day proceeded thusly: talks from lecturers, talks from Student Union Presidents ("you've got so much, like, that you can, like, do, like, if you, like, choose to, like, get involved, like, and it, like, looks really good on your CV, like") Official Enrollment (and Bill Presentation- shudder), photo taken for ID card (hideous- I am now forever more recorded at my New Learning Establishment as someone who looks like they've committed a heinous crime and then laughed in the faces of the policemen who caught her. Or, (as my husband put it) "you look like a young version of Angela Merkel"), welcome talk from the Principal in a stuffy beige room that did nothing to stop me wanting to go to sleep, welcome talk from head of HE (which it turns out stands for Higher Education - not Human Evolution, or Human Excellence, or indeed Human Endeavours, all of which ran through my head as I was trying to Puzzle It Out). The head of HE was at any rate a gifted public speaker and I enjoyed her talk and photos of the staff in various compromising positions during their university days (largely because this meant I didn't nod off during it which was probably a good thing).

Break for lunch in the car. 

This constituted ham sandwiches and fizzy water, a brief look at the Guardian followed by a few pages of Phillipa Gregory's "The Kingmaker's Daughter", a phone call and text to L (both of which were ignored until some three hours later, despite the fact he had texted me "my tum herts" only a second before I responded), a text in response to ma's "hope all is going well? Teddy has been Busy Staring At Pigeons in the garden and will therefore need a neck massage when you get back and Dougal has rolled in horse poo," all of which was carried out to a background of teenage girls Shrieking while teenage boys Revved Their Car Engines Noisily.

I am clearly Getting Old because it was hard to muster any Charitable Thoughts towards these Noisey Young People, or indeed to think anything other than "BE QUIET CAN'T YOU FOR PITY'S SAKE OR I WILL BE FORCED TO MURDER YOU!!!!"

Tomorrow I am resolved to leave campus and Eat Lunch Elsewhere so I can resume afternoon studies peacefully without Harbouring Murderous Thoughts towards Youthful Breakers Of The Peace. 

After lunch we toured the college and were enrolled into the IT thingy by a lady from Northern Ireland who spoke So Fast my brain decided it would be easier just not to hear her at all and accordingly shut off.

The sun decided to come out and Fry Us All (I was glad of the emergency deodorant) and the tutors seemed to think they'd Done A Good Job of showing us around when frankly more would have been achieved had we all been blindfolded and spun round on the spot three times and then pushed off in various Random Directions. It will make for an interesting Finding My Own Way Round Tomorrow  effort I am sure.

We finished at 2.30 (although by then it felt like midnight). Tomorrow we have a test on species ID, followed by an outing to a Nature Reserve of the Butterfly Sort (to a place I already know and like) later in the week.

My Verdict So Far?

It will be Excellent, once we get past Induction Week and start the Course Proper.

As an anti-dote to all this Frenetic Activity, here are some Crab Apples wot I made into Crab Apple Jelly at the weekend simmering gently in the jelly pan and steaming up the camera lens...



And here is my much feted Crochet Blanket In Progress. It is bigger than it looks (and indeed bigger than I remembered, as well as More Even, which leads me to suspect that the Elves have been Secretly Working on it for me). Ignore the tails- they will obviously be whisked away when the time comes to stitch the whole thing together. 
M (bless him) was so impressed by it he has volunteered to Look Forward To Sleeping Under It, which is unheard of because he suffers from Very Hot Feet at night and generally eschews blankets of any kinds (and that's the polite version of what he says whenever I try to sneak a blanket on to the bed). It must be Husbandly Loyalty I think. 
I'm thinking I was in a fairly Muted Mood when I began this blanket two years ago because all the wool is in muted colours. I appear to have Cheered Up not inconsiderably since then because I took one look at all the pieces laid out over the weekend and felt immediately it was too dull. I am now on the Look Out for some Orange wool to enliven the blanket. I'm also adding in some knitted squares, because that's what I feel like doing this winter.




 I'll leave you all with a moth who came to wish me Good Luck last night. She was sitting on the bathroom window and is another New Species for me- a beautiful Pink-Barred Sallow. I took her appearance as a Good Sign that the Uni course is the Right Path To Be On. If, through it, I can do something lasting to help all our wonderful wild creatures and places then it will prove to be a Job Well Done and worth the investment in time and money.


Wishing you all a contented evening.

CT :-)




17 comments:

  1. Test? How can you have a test when they haven't taught you anything yet?

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    1. I think they're breaking us in roughly....

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  2. I really don't know how you fit it all in CT. I struggle with two posts a week and one child and the idea of trying to study too sends my head into a spin. I take my hat off to you. I wish we had some sun that might produce the need for emergency deodorant. It's all fog here.

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    1. I'm thinking I might have over-done it this time Em and am going to see about swapping over to the part time course. One day a week should be much more manageable. I forget that I am not superwoman!
      Fog here this morning too, just about gone now and the air is hotting up again... :-)

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    2. I have a friend who is very similar in the Superwoman department!

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  3. Sounds a hectic first day but the course sounds great :)

    Love your blanket squares :) You've made a great start! I was thinking of doing lots of large squares (all of same size) to cut down on amount of sewing (I can't sew to save my life!!!!) but having seen yours I think I might consider squares of different sizes - less hassle and less measuring :) I need to get a move on - forgot to do any knitting when Downton Abbey was on!!!

    Lovely moth - never had a Sallow of any species!

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    1. My squares are all different sizes because I would be completely hopeless at reproducing identical ones. This way is much easier, and there is also a deal less crying involved when you finish a square and try to fit to the others :-)

      I'm wishing some sallows up your way, we've had a few here and they are really pretty :-)

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  4. Oh what a busy day for you. Yes very boring induction processes produce an uncontrollable urge to sleep! Glad Teddy is with your mum. Blanket looks good so far, I suppose at some point to finish off you will have to produce a few shapes to square it off? Orange and maybe yellow too would be a good bright choice to mix in. That's a pretty moth-you should catch it during Oct too.

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    1. I've just been out today and come back with three versions of orange that I've started knitting into squares. They should lift the colour of the blanket nicely. I'm not too bothered about an even line when it's finished- half the joy of homemade to me is wobbly lines :-)

      Re the moths there are a few species that belong to Autumn which can go right through to when the leaves drop off, all rather gorgeous autumnal colours, and one (merveille du jour) a stunning green which I would love to get as have never seen one before :-)

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  5. Do not even contemplate wasting charitable thoughts on horrid noisy teens - the sooner they understand how obnoxious they are, the better.

    Glad your first day went well, and I understand fully the draining effect of the education environment. Lunch in the car away from campus is an excellent idea.

    Now, I want you to know I rescued a moth person yesterday. It was a teeny tiny no bigger than half my fingernail pale gold coloured little thing and it was a-struggling in the cat fountain. So I fished it out, blew on it very gently, then put it on a spot of greenery to recovery. It had gone when I returned to check it. I hope it flew away and wasn't nobbled by a cat.
    I am mightily cheered by your blanket. It looks marvellously snuggly and wintery. Carry on crocheting. I look forward to admiring the end result! X

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    1. Oh Dear. One gets the feeling School is Pissing You Off at present?

      Your pale moth person sounds like a micro moth, which is short hand for Virtually Impossible to ID unless you are an expert. Did you get a pic by any chance?

      You are Very Sweet to say such nice things about the blanket, particularly given that I have seen your knitting which is excellent. Next to it mine is wobbly at best. :-) X

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  6. I don't know how you mange to get everything done and write a blog too! Hope the Induction week isn't too tedious.
    Sarah x

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    1. I rely on alcohol - it makes everything pass in a happy blur :-) X

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  7. My goodness, it does all sound really busy for you. I'd forgotten that before you get on to the interesting course you have to do all the induction stuff. And IT, too - the IT revolution happened just after I was a student, which makes me feel old.
    The blanket squares look great (please send your elves here; there is plenty for them to do!)
    Hope the weather is good for your trip to the nature reserve.

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    1. We didn't have the internet when I was last at Uni either, and we only just had computers for typing up essays. All completely different now, although I am (so far) still taking notes with pen and paper :-)

      I'll whisper your request to the Elves- they've done a marvellous job here! x

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  8. Wow busy busy indeed! I remember induction week and feeling a bit overwhelmed. You will settle in, in no time! Your blanket is looking fab! When I have finished my scarf I shall put a photo up! I have so many little projects that I want to do, but just no time to do them at the moment!

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    1. It will help enormously now that I've changed over to the part time course- 1-2 days a week instead of 3 make all the difference with family/ animals/ work etc etc to keep up with!

      Looking forward to seeing your scarf. I am humming and haaing about turning one of my squares into a scarf, I love the wool so I think I may do both :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x