An excellent post on Lavartus Prodeo, explaining the NZ electoral system - not the theory so much (although there's a link to that) as how it works in practice. It's a post that you'll enjoy if you are interested in what it means for a government to really struggle with the issues of consensus and minority government in a small country. It's almost impossible for a government in NZ to form a majority goverement - they almost always have to deal with at least one and sometimes several minor parties. The comments are worth following too.
Sandra has a lovely Peugot 307. It's less than three years old. Last Friday it began behaving oddly, and there was a weird error message on the little screen indicating a vague system malfunction. We managed to limp home, and a nice man came in a tow truck and took it away.
Today she received the diagnosis: The engine coolant had sprung a leak, and it had dripped onto the onboard computer, which is now completely wrecked. The new computer will have to be brought from France. This will take three weeks.
I thought it was hilarious when she once had to take the car in for a software upgrade, but this is much better.
You may not have realised that New Zealand is in the throes of an election campaign. Deborah is following this at Lavartus Prodeo (Aus sociology/political blog) and has written an excellent summary of the present government's record and the issues it's taking to the eletorate here.
I am humbled......beside this LOLcat. (LOLdog, LOLhockeymom, whatever.)
I find the terms hockey mom or soccer mom faintly insulting. They describe the woman in terms of her children's interests, rather than her own. I admire the way that Sarah Palin has turned that stereotype to her advantage, but I am amused by the press's contention that 'thousands of women' are 'flocking' to her. What are we? birds? sheep? Unless there's been an overnight disaster that I didn't notice, there are 150 million women in the US, and the Herald reported on Saturday that 10,000 of them have signed a petition disagreeing with Palin's nomination. Apparently we are flocking against her as well. Sheepfight, anyone?
(Edited to add a zero and delete a decimal point. Thanks Mel. I knew that! Doh!)
The House: there has been progress but it isn't very visually interesting. Also, the camera battery went flat when I tried to take some pictures. I should be able to get some tomorrow. It seems that we will be able to move there in six weeks.
Knitting (more exciting):
These are the fingerless gloves and hat I made for Roberto from the Artesano Alpaca, the yarn he choose at iknit when we were in London. The gloves are from the 4-ply and the hat is from the 8ply. I made up the hat pattern, just cast on enough to go round his head, worked in stocking stitch for 10 cm, then worked spiral decreases. He has a small head and wanted a small hat that didn't fold up. The edge rolled terribly, so I picked up and knitted a few rows of reverse stocking stitch to counter that. The gloves are from a free pattern I found in Ravelry. It's not a great pattern - the fingers all start at the same height above the wrist, which they don't do on the human hand. (Look at your palm and you'll see what I mean.) As a result there is a bit of a bulge on the outside edge of the gloves. But it shouldn't affect their warmth-giving abilities.
Sandra has also made Roberto a scarf in the 8ply using the Spectrum Scarf
pattern from Interweave. It has made a lovely scarf, very soft with with great drape. It's meshy, but not too lacey for a man. It's very squooshy kind of fabric - unblocked it's very thick and comforting.
For Mat I have made a pair of socks in a Regia Kaffe Fassett colourway that he picked at iknit. He has lost the last three hats I've sent to London, so I'm not inclined to send him any more.
And for Lizzie I have picked up Sarita again, which
I started about 18 months ago. At this rate I should have it finished sometime in the next five years. The stripe pattern is driving me demented, and I'm blocking thoughts of the running-in that is ahead of me, because the fabric is stunning. This is made entirely of stash stuff, and I'm holding thin yarns together to create an average of around 12-ply thickness a la Kaffe Fassett.
My bus knitting is a pair of socks for our mortgage broker, a young woman who has been a reliable stalwart thoughout the renovation process. Regia Kaffe Fassett again, one that she picked out of my stash. And I'm glad she did - I'd bought it for myself, but now that I'm knitting it I've decided it isn't really me.
Two and a half years ago I blogged about Alan Waddell, a man whose mission it was to walk every street in Sydney, and his sons who were recording his progress on a web site. Sadly, Alan died last week, aged 94. He walked right up until he was hospitallised with a hip replacement a couple of months ago, and the last web photo is of him walking in the rehab hospital.
The Sydney Morning Herald has run his obituary this morning. Goodbye Alan, and thank you. You gave entertainment and inspiration to many people.