I'll skip the grovelling abut how I haven't posted. The only valid excuse I have is that I am trying to stay away from the computer for physiological reasons: I have edema in my legs that gets so bad I can barely walk sometimes and sitting for long periods doesn't help. I have to do it at work, but I don't at home. And there are other tasks at hand that involve standing up. We went blackberrying in the mountains a couple of weeks ago and I therefore made blackberry jam. It is the season for zucchinis of blimp proportions and while my own plant hasn't produced any, I have another source. Thus I make zucchini pickle relish, which has some rather addicted fans. Lots of standing.
The photo at left is to demonstrate that both residents of the house are birdwatchers. There are a lot of baby birds around and The Imp appreciates large noisy birds on her front lawn.
The only news I have is that I have a date for my right knee replacement: March 24. So in a little over a month I'll be back in hospital for about 10 days and home for a month. The X-ray showed up a strange growth looking like a second knee cap above the real one. My surgeon said (obviously) that he couldn't tell what it was till he looked at it but now that I know it's there, I can feel it. Oh, and I fell on my right knee again, tripping over a garden hose. but it's mostly a scrape of the sort we got as children and has left no lingering aches.
We have had very unusual weather for Canberra. While I say this, I have been looking at all the photos of Washington in a blizzard, since I have several close friends there, one of who I talk to daily. I actually miss snow. I grew up in New York and remember lots of snowy days, wearing snowsuits to school and rubber boots, sledding down the modest hill near my house. Even 12 years in Ohio didn't dampen my enthusiasm, especially with a fireplace to make things toasty. I don't like driving in snow, especially when so few people know how to drive safely in it, and I don't like that feeling when you put your foot on the brake pedal and the car continues on its original course. Here, however, all we've had is rain. After so long without it, you forget what it's like to be damp. Last night it rained all night, and we had 40mm in the rain gauge this morning and now it's raining again. My tomatoes and pumpkins will certainly appreciate it. Too bad it's too late for the beans. We officially had one of the hottest Januaries on record.
I mentioned a few posts back about an attack of buying spinning fibre on Etsy and here are some of the results of that late night splurge. The batt to the left top is called "Cashmere Camping" from JAHtsemer.esty.com, the bottom pouf is alpaca from Alpaca meadows, the two spirals are Rambouillet from cjdelights, the purple hank is merino & tussah silk from Birds Nest Yarns and the far right is merino and Tencel from Woolgatherings. My fingers itch to spin. However, finances will not be tempted this way again. I will not succumb to insomniac shopping again even when the Aussie dollar is so strong. Besides, I have 2 bobbins of the long brown alpaca spun and I'm dieing to see what it looks like as yarn. In the meantime I am knitting my lime green cotton socks.
Book report: I finished Alistair Reynolds' The Prefect and really liked it. A very far future mystery and a real page turner. I've read most of his work and he is one of the best of the new breed of what seems to be called space opera, but I would just call hard science fiction. With so much of the sci-fi sections in bookstores taken over by fantasy, it's sometimes hard to find good stuff. Another advantage of letting Amazon suggest things, but I rarely buy a new author without being able to read the front and back matter. I'm not as bad as the Bear was, since he read the end of novel before the beginning. Heresy! I understand Reynolds has a new novel out but I will attempt to stay away from bookstores for a while. I've started Michael Connolly's latest Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. I expect to race through it like I do most of the series.