29 December 2010


I first heard this song on BBC, a coverage of the Cambridge Folk Festival.
It has become my song of the year after it was constant repeat the last couple of days.

Roots - Show of Hands

Now it's been 25 years or more
I've roamed this land from shore to shore
From Tyne to Teign, or Severn to Thames
From moor to vale, from peak to fen

Played in cafes, pubs and bars
I've stood in the street with my own guitar
But I'd be richer than all the rest
If I had a pound for each request

For 'Duelling Banjos', 'American Pie'
It's enough to make you cry
'Rule Britannia', or 'Swing low...'
Are they the only songs we English know?

Seed, bark, flower, fruit
They're never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoot
They need roots

After the speeches, when the cake's been cut
The disco's over and the bar is shut
At christening, birthday, wedding or wake
What can we sing 'til the morning breaks

When the Indians, Asians, Afro-Celts
It's in their blood, below their belt
They're playing and dancing all night long
So what have they got right that we've got wrong?

Seed, bark, flower, fruit
They're never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoot
They need roots and

Haul away boys, let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
We've lost more than we'll ever know
'Round the rocky shores of England
We need roots

And a minister said his vision of hell
Is three folk singers in a pub near Wales
Well, I've got a vision of urban sprawl
There's pubs where no-one ever sings at all

And everyone stares at a great big screen
Overpaid soccer stars, prancing teens
Australian soap, American rap
Estuary English, baseball caps

And we oughta be ashamed of all we walk
Of the way we look, at the way we talk
Without our stories or our songs

How will we know where we come from?
I've lost St. George and the Union Jack
That's my flag too and I want it back

Seed, bark, flower, fruit
Never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoot
We need roots

Haul away boys, let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
We've lost more than we'll ever know
'Round the rocky shores of England
We need roots...

I'm living in a country which has no idea what its roots are.
I come from a country where everybody things that the roots are Dirndl and Lederhosen or a bunch of wanna-be sailors singing sea shanties.
It's part of it, but it's not all.
I have been fortunate to grow up with a lot of roots, but I see them disappear when I go and visit my home country, my home town.

But the worst I've experienced so far is The Netherlands. Language dying out and being replaced by US/Uk slang, denying roots and heritage, lying about history and no folk culture. Volendam is not roots.
No stories, no songs.

What are our roots?

27 December 2010

Rambling on

Christmas with the family has been survived.

Since both my parents and my sister live not here, but in the same small city in Germany it is up to hubby and me to do the travelling.
We set off on the 16th, which also happened to be my Dad's 70th birthday.
That was celebrated with nice company and food.

On the 17th we set of to Cologne, where we visited various Christmas markets.
The oneat the Dom - sucked. The nicest thing was the light and the Dom itself.

Cologne 2010

Mediaeval one - sucked. The band was nice and we had some fun with the soap lady and the coffee crew, though.

Cologne 2010

Cologne 2010

Old town one - decent!!!

Cologne 2010

Cologne 2010

We travelled to Siegburg, just to see the mediaeval christmas market there. Which did not suck at all, but was a lot of fun and entertainment.

Siegburg 2010

Siegburg 2010

Siegburg 2010

Siegburg 2010

Siegburg 2010

We also ventured to Duesseldorf and yes, the christmas market there sucked as well.
What is it with all the food and alcoholic beverages? Where is the art, the spirit, the craftiness?

Christmas saw us returning to the aforementioned little town and tons of snow. With ice underneath. Oh joy....

I didn't much like Christmas.
That is both usually and particularly.

I have to come up with something less alcoholic (my parents hardly drink and I drink maybe two beers during the evening and night, but the rest of the extended family drinks like there is no tomorrow. On every occasion. And there are lots of occasions. My sisters mother-in-law turns into an awful, violent and insulting hag. Really great! I somehow get that my Mom has some problems with that lady. She is more decent when sober, though.)
Something that involves less stress on our part.
I just don't know what yet.

We came home to something like this:

Winter 2010

Moist air, anybody?

I loved the present I got from my parents. A wooden train. With tracks. You can't understand this, but it used to be my favourite toy when I was a wee little pixie.
I will display it and I might even post pictures once I have it constructed the way I want it.
It's not the same train, but it's a wooden train. With tracks. My dolls will love it!

I also got myself a second-hand spinning wheel. Now I just have to get the hang of it. Which sounds easier than it is ;-)

Spinning Wheel with Roving

Spinning Wheel with Roving

I managed to knit the hubby a scarf (his request and he chose the yarn).
I also got 80% done on a shawl for dear little me.
I got some colourful yarn for a cowl for dear little me.

I got to see the rerun of the Doctor Who Christmas special. I cried.

I decided I need more mediaeval markets and events in my life. There is very little of that here in the Netherlands, so there will be some travelling involved.

Now we are enjoying the remainder of hubby's vacation. There will be a visit to the cinema. Some shopping. Lots of cat cuddling. Some spinning and knitting. Reading - oh, how I love reading. Food.

And to leave you on a fantasy dream -

Your fairy is
Hazel Elfwand
She is cheerful and friendly.
She lives in places hexed and tainted by black magic.
She is only seen when the seeker holds a four-leafed clover.
She wears black feathers and rose petals and has transparent green wings like a cicada.

21 November 2010

If anything is wrong

and disturbing and did I mention wrong it's this:
The United Nations has removed a plea for lesbians, gays and bisexuals not to be executed in a narrow vote.

And that on International Transgender Day of Remembrance, too.

Way to go, murderers!

20 November 2010

Plans for this weekend

On my playlist: Fish (as in "previous singer of Marillion") and possibly some folk.

On my reading list: The Child Thief

On my knitting list: second sleeve of Jacket Deconstructed in Noro Sock Yarn S520 on 5,5mm needles.

On the stove: fresh vegetable soup with brown rice, own recipe.

16 November 2010


I love reading.
Even if this means that according to research I should have problems recognizing faces.
Which I don't.
So maybe I don't read enough ;-)

I can't have enough books in my life.
My reading list is about a mile long already, with
I Shall Wear Midnight right at the top.
But I wait until I get the fan's jacket edition - because my face is on there somewhere as well.

I read through a lot of genres and this is more for me than for you, so skip if you don't want to see my wish list of books

Magick Charm
I love New Orleans and jazz, quirky is one of my middle names and this seems to be a nice "curl up with coffee or tea, cats and blanket" kind of book

Vicious Grace
I read the first two of the series, they are responsible for rekindling my love for jazzy New Orleans and its history. Yes, history. You have to understand the history!

Pale Demon
I love the series! By February I should have tackled some books on my wish list already, so yeah, more Hollows!

Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Viking embroidery
I have saxon and possibly viking blood in me. Yes, we have lots of redheads in the family and I was one of then when I was born. Unfortunately, it faded to a dark ash blonde the older I got. My Dad has a copper red beard and ash blonde hair. My last name is the old low German word for acorn. The Saxon tribe we descend from on my father's side are the Angrivarii
It's not that easy to find pre-Christian details...My favourite time is around the 5th century. The more intriguing pieces in Engand date from the 7th century.
Picky, much? :-) After Charlemagne it gets boring around the continental Saxons.

I haven't done much embroidery in my life, but lately got intrigued. Do I have to tell you that I actually ordered this book?

There is so far only one upcoming movie I plan seeing - The Burlesque with Cher and Christina Aguilera. I have a soft spot for cliche movies...and old-fashioned burlesque, cabaret and theatre. Think the legendary KitKat club as depicted in my all time favourite Cabaret.
Lately, I have been on an 80s brat pack trip. Would you believe I've never seen 16 candles? I just recently caught up on Some kind of wonderful.

I'm easily entertained ;-)

10 November 2010

Even more autumn and the wheel turned

My my, it's been a while again...

It's got really autumn-y here lately.



This was taken on the morning after Samhain and it couldn't have been a better reflection of the time of year in the wheel. A very thin veil indeed.
Perfect day to spend at the dentist...and have an old bridge removed :-(

Luckily I have the new one already and can chew and bite again!

On the knitting side I make progress - if I have the chance to.
I get occasionally blocked by a certain someone...

This is why I don't make progress

But I'm on the first sleeve of the cardigan and the back of the tunica is completely done with me currently at the last part of the front. Then again sleeves.

I participated in my first ever swap on Ravelry. I don't think you would be surprised if it was one organized by the Caffeine Addicts group, wouldn't you?

Ravelry Caffeine Addicts Swap

Aren't the socks just gorgeous? I have stopped knitting socks aeons ago...I can't stand them! On the needles, that is. On the feet it's an entirely different story :-)

What else has happened?
Oh, yes, October saw us having our 10th wedding anniversary. Still happy :-)
We got front row tickets for Cirque Du Soleil on Samhain and thoroughly enjoyed their show Totem. Words cannot describe the open mouth chin-meets-knee cap time we spent watching whirlwinds of acrobats beating the odds of gravity.

Shortly before that a dream turned into a personal nightmare. No further details, but I had to take a brave and frighting decision. Which I did - and it was and still is the best decision I could have taken for my sake. I'm letting this float through me, I have to accept what is coming and so far I'm actually blooming. I have gotten things done that were long overdue and it feels damn good. Needless to say that the hubby is happy as well and enjoys the benefits ;-)

A lot of "out with the old, in with the new". And now the wheel turned :-)

Talking about wheel - I am contemplating getting myself a spinning wheel. Now I just have to find one that is a. suitable for beginners and b. looks decent.
I looked at Louet wheels and I don't find them visually appealing. The Ashford Kiwi looks better, but still "too modern" for my liking. But it would make a good learning wheel.
I don't want to travel with the wheel, I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to my crafts. If I want to travel with my spinning I take one of my beloved tolls with me.

And now I'm going to return to my favourite past time - listening to Sherlock Holmes audiobooks and taking advantage of Silly sleeping in the chair, so sleeve, here I come

25 September 2010


It clearly is autumn!
The leaves have started to change into colour combination that are too wonderful to describe! The knitter in me wishes those colours would suit me, but alas, they don't. I still marvel at the work of Mother Nature :-)

It's autumn

The kitchen is almost done! I need one shelf for above the nuclear foodwarmer for my coffee and tea, but the wall paper is up and it really brightens the room up.
My kitchen is 5m long, but only 1,80m wide...


And some more impressions of our abode:

A very comfortable sofa! We also like to sleep on it, we both fit perfectly!


Books everywhere:

Living Room 1

My little sister made the game board, it was her wedding present to us. It comes with matching ghosts... :-)
Also featured: my hippo collection and a glimpse of my stash ;-)

Living Room 3

There is knitting everywhere in this house, even the Tontu are busy...


They get more knitting done than I have lately...too busy. Hardly a day where I'm home before 10:30pm. I cherish weekends...

Today is meeting up with sister and brother-in-law for a shopping spree in our local mall and a Spaghetti feast. Tomorrow is "do nothing or as little as possible day".
Monday I have a meeting with the boss, the supervisor, the project lead and a colleague...Tuesday I have to work on a secondary and personal project...more fun, but this time good fun.

There may be time for knitting somewhere, I just have to find it!

12 September 2010

Out with the old, in with the new


now that contract is signed I can reveal that I will start working for Lush!
I will be a store manager in their 7th store here in this country!
I'm excited and nervous and thrilled and did I mention nervous?!?!

I'm a very happy customer for six years, ever since Dublin became the first store we went into. I still remember that I discovered Karma there, a range I'm still hooked on today. Hippie much, hu?
The first shampoo was Daddy-O, I still have the bottle, emptied and refilled many times since then, it's on my sink for the times I have to quickly wash my "wuffle" and fringe.
We always joked that one day I would work for them - and that one day has now come!

Yes, I will have to work weekends, but will have other days off.
Yes, Christmas is going to be mad and I will experience it from both sides...I'm just glad my family is not much into the whole shopping and gift frenzy.


since I will be wearing black most of the time I wanted something bold.
What is bolder than red glasses?

New Glasses

Living room:
no pictures, but we have re-arranged the furniture in our living quarter! Nothing new was bought, we only cleaned up and pushed and pulled wooden bookshelves and drawers through the room.
It looks amazing.
Next week, the kitchen will get new wallpaper (after an unfortunate incident with an exploding calamaris it's a necessity), I will then show you my witchy kitchen ;-)

Wait, there is more:
My sister will also come to visit for a week. She hasn't been here since my wedding 10 years ago and has never seen this place.

My Mom is going to have surgery next Wednesday, she is the proud owner of a peripheral vascular disease. She has ignored it for a long time (she is a smoker, diagnosed a diabetic for more than a year, was obese before the diabetis and lost the weight because she didn't seek treatment at first when she started to loose weight rapidly and also suffers from high cholesterol ever since her gall bladder was removed many years ago). She will now have to undergo a dilatation surgery on both legs, otherwise will face amputation in the long run.
The surgery itself is risky enough - because, yes, you guessed it - her lungs aren't the best either anymore...
She is still in absolutel denial about the risks of smoking and gets angry when you mention it. With my Dad being a heart patient and also still a heavy smoker I settled in the angry realization that they both won't live long if they don't change into a more healthy pattern.
Folks - think twice before you light up the next one! As the only non-smoker in my family it's very frustrating to stand by and see family suffer in denial.
We will all die some day, but until then I would prefer to see them and be myself as fit and agile as possible.
Ok, rant over. I don't think I ever got so up, close and personal before, sigh.

Not to end on this rather sad note:
I'm participating in my first swap ever!
Ravelry Caffeine Addicts group organized an Autumn themed swap and I signed up.
So end of the month I will go yarn buying for my partner, a young lady in WI, USA. She has the most amazing birthday date!
I'm not going to say anything about the handmade item ;-)

Now I'm going to enjoy a cup of Summer Mint tea (mix from a local shop, delicious) and get some work done!

29 August 2010


So, I'm officially 40 now.
Doesn't feel different than 39 so far ;-) And as long as no one expects me to grow up I'm fine with that.

I don't really know if it related to this magical number (why is 40 so special? 18 was special, 21 was special, but 40?), but quite a few things have changed and are changing in my life.

I quit my job after seven years.

I will start a new job in a completely different environment. Until the contract is actually signed I will keep quiet about what it is and why I love it already ;-)

We celebrated the day itself by answering phone calls from all my loved ones!
We had a double appointment at my (or is it "our" now?) hair dresser for cut&colour for two (nothing wrong with a man colouring his hair!).
Before that we had coffee and cake (lime pie for him, nut cake for her) at the best cake and cookie place I know of: Koekela
You have to have cake on your birthday - and 11:30 am is a perfect time for that.
We also got an assortiment of brownies to go and share with the family.
We had a linner (too late for lunch, too early for dinner) at our favourite joint Kiem Foei

I got myself my first ever tattoo:
First Tattoo - Day 2

A Pictish crescent and v-rod as inspiration, design by yours truly.
I have a thing for many things Celtic, Pictish, Scottish, Viking, Saxon...and neolithic. I get bored with Roman and Greek, I love Mesopotamian finds, Egypt is so-so - but anything early medieaval or earlier, especially Northern Europe, makes my heart beat faster.
After having seen Pictish Stones in Edinburgh
Pictish Stone in Edinburgh and finds from Skara Brae Neolithic findings
I knew that my first ever tattoo would be something like this. Celtic spirals have been done to death and it's challenging up to difficult to find something unique.
I wanted clear lines, no shading - one of the things I like about these old designs is the simplicity.

I'm planning the next designs already. Small symbols to add to my crescent and a piece on my upper arm. I see more spirals in my future ;-)

I finished Raspberry Latte:
Raspberry Latte
Yarn: handspun on a top whorle drop spindle

Pattern Storm Cloud Shawlette on Ravelry

Needles: 8mm

I really like the pattern, it's easy to follow and due to the semi-circle it produces the ways of wearing it are endless. Here I'm wearing it like I would wear it underneath a coat.

I have crocheted a centipede:

That was fun! And it's gigantic and lives around my neck sometimes!

And I treated myself to more yarn:
2 hanks of supersoft and cuddly Royal Alpaca in curry They will become an Oscilloscope Shawl
3 balls of Mochi Plus They will become a modified version of Knitty's Tychus

Since I resigned, I find myself more inspired - I have my lust for knitting, reading and cooking back. And I'm actually getting stuff finished and done - even more long overdue Merino tunica is all oversudden growing and loved again.

40 - not bad at all.

01 August 2010

Still here...sometimes

I'm still spending far too much time working and too little time reading or knitting.

Though I managed to break in my hairpin lace loom and create a frilly colourful scarf out of a single ball I had floating around here. Pictures to follow. I call it Centipede...for obvious reasons ;-)

I have also managed to transform some pencil roving and merino batts into a ball of single-ply to knit a Kink

I started reading Emma Bull's "War for the Oaks" and am totally enthralled!
My train travel lecture is "And another think" by Eoin Colfer - for all you Douglas Adams fans out there, it's a great follow-up. Too little tea, though ;-)

I managed to get my hair cut and coloured and feel human again.


I managed to see my family to celebrate my Mom's 65th birthday! That was a great and hot and fun weekend!

I managed to find this little gem and get all dreamy and wanting....the colours are just wonderful!

For someone, who won't have any vacation this year this is a dream. I'd like to grab one of these above and go visit the Goblin Market, the Wall Market, the Floating Market and get inspiration.
Travelling by starlight, eating exotic food, reading scripts in ancient glyphs....

30 May 2010

Neat, huh?

I came across this little gem earlier today, thanks to tumblr.

And thanks to Nina Paley of course.

And it sums it up so nicely, there is nothing I could add ;-)
Well, apart from the negative comments that we ladies with buzzed or shaved hair get.
No, most of us are not Nazis, some of us might have an underlying illness, but yes, there are those who simply love this style.

05 May 2010

London Adventure

We went to London last weekend.
Camden - as crazy crowded as it gets, I love the creativity of the people visiting it. Most of the stuff in the stalls is tourist crap, with the occasional gem thrown in. I prefer second hand and vintage stalls, I always stroll through the various charity shops around London and I usually find interesting items.

I got my first ever fascinator and am in love with it! It works great even with my buzzed hair and I might feel an addiction coming up.


The actual reason we went there was to attend the first Folk against Fascism Village Fete at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London.
And that event turned out to be more fun than we bargained for!

Not only did I meet a fellow pagan knitter, also dressed in a waistcoat with buttons on - just what I was wearing, we found out that we like the same stuff, read Terry Pratchett, listen to similar music and really enjoyed our conversation - I got to meet two members of my favourite folk band. Ian Telfer, violin player of the Oysterband, still in a cast after his rock'n'roll accident and John Jones, singer of the same band, whom I got to thank for explanations he had previously provided to me on MySpace (yes, I know, it's evil, but great if you are a music lover. So sue me ;-)
I also made the bried aquaintance of Jude Abbott and Neil Ferguson, Chumbawamba. We weren't able to attend the concert in the evening, which I would have loved, but we had to leave at the end of the Oyster Ceilidh Band action - with a wave good-bye from John.
Me: one very starstruck girl!

Oyster Ceilidh Band

I'm looking forward to the concert in Hamburg in June! And I have to work on that star...let's see if I can pull it off.

No yarn shopping this time, through I seriously have to visit Loop next time I'm there! I did get some good knitting in, also thanks to my new knitting friend Tracey. She was working on squares for a blanket, I had my Cherry Tree Lane shawl with me and made it to the grey area. Still, I need more yarn to finish this thing, but it's getting lovelier and lovelier, even if I say so myself.

I've also started working on a semi-circle shawl out my handspun Vixen (now all spun up and wound into a ball):

SIP - Spinning in Progress and two new fountain pens

and a simple triangular shawl out of two balls of Sparkle Sock, one purple and one is called Naughty Girl and together they look like Northern Lights or those images from nebulae you see on astronomy sides.
Looking forward to finish them both :-) I finally feel some inspiration again!

24 April 2010

Still around

I haven't had the mind nad patience to sit down and blog for a while.
Work has kept and still is keeping me away from too much for my own liking. There is not much I can do about and will more than likely carry on until the end of this year.

I managed to get very little knitting or spinning done.
I just finished Denture, my slightly more punkish spring-version of the famous Baktus in a lovely purple, finished off with a handspun edge.


Pattern: Baktus
Yarn: Lana Grossa Secondo
Needles: 5,5mm
Border: some handspun yarn and nubs, 5,5mm crochet hook

Next weekend, we will run away. It's a national holiday, but I have to work. I will leave 30 minutes early, we will jump on a train and arrive in London later that night. Saturday will be spent in Camden and possibly some bookstores and drugstores, Sunday we will attend the Folk Against Fascism event. The Oysterband part is the main reason I'm making this trip. We will have to leave the event around 4pm and catch the train back an hour later from St. Pancras.
Monday will see me tired, but hopefully a lot happier.

Yesterday I got my hair coloured, out with the brown and grey and in with orange and dark orange.
I bought a red coat for cooler spring days.
I started watching the new season of Doctor Who and so far I like it. Last week's episode was the weakest so far. It's relaxation time, with hubby, cats and knitting.

I ordered and received a bunch of sock yarns from Fyberspates
Some Sparkle Sock in Rich Rainbow, hopefully enough for a nice cropped top or cardi
Some Dream Sock Fruity for another shawl, because you can never have enough shawls and I have just discovered this lovely pattern on Ravelry: Mitered Kerchief

This collar has captured me as well and I have two wonderful Fyberspates Sparklies that would be just perfect.

Now, I just need the time. I wish I could sneak some knitting in during those endless conference calls, but the open office space doesn't allow this. Argh! No, not even an "oh well..."

I planted herbs on my balcony, some flowers and veggies. So far, all seems to go well, just the tomatoes might not make it.

And now I'm going to do some more knitting. I frogged a jumper I had started a year ago, it was stiff as a 2x4, though knitted on the suggested needle size. I went up one complete size and now it flows just fine. New design and everything - something I really look forward to finish and wear.