Sunday, 26 June 2011

La sedia è rifinita

The chair is finished, Gentle Readers, long live the chair.  Also, the semester is finished, my time off is finished, and it's all out, all change.

Here's how the chair ended up looking:

I think I'm happy with it.  It's for sale, if anybody wants it.  

In other news, I have accepted an invitation to take up a role as the manager of a team of lovely bodies out at the August Institution, starting on 11th July.  I was very flattered to be asked, especially as my last engagement with that August Body ended fairly badly (remember the mind-reading woman?  One day I will tell you a very funny story about how last week I had a nice petty-minded moment of revenge at her expense, but that story's not for today!)... Although I must add for the sake of probity, I did have to go through not one, not two, but three interviews, to get the job...

I have to say my feelings about going back to real work are very mixed... I've really enjoyed just pottering round at home, being chief cook and bottle-washer, making nice dinners (some days) and having time on the weekends just to spend with Mr Golightly, without the spectre of washing & housework hanging over us, but I have told Mr G that the cleaner, who has of course been coming along very quietly for the last 9 months, will be coming in full view now.  His only comment was "better put your good teapots away then".  What an easy victory that was!

And now, Gentle Readers, I am going to lie down in front of the fire with my copy of "Icefalcon's Quest", by one of my favourite authors, Barbara Hambly, and eat cheese.  What more could you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Reasons to be cheerful, part X

So, Gentle Readers, here we are less than two weeks away from my return to work, and by work I mean the paid kind, the unpaid kind not garnering any kind of recognition in the universe I inhabit... and I'm up at 4.44am.  Actually I woke up at 4.03am, but tried very hard to avoid getting up until something more closely resembling a decent hour, and failed.  Obviously.

So, is it linked?  Well, in the determinist view of the universe, probably not.  In some of the more esoteric views of the universe which are out there, probably.  I'm not really a fan of the 'everything happens for a reason' theory of life, because most of the time us poor saps never get to find out what the reason was, leaving us angry and frustrated.  That's why I can't do the whole 'organised religion' thingy, because the fundamental requirement of faith kind of leaves me cold.

Anyway, I have had two job interviews for my return to the August Institution, and on Wednesday, at the worst possible time, I have the final interview with the Head Kahuna herself.    Why is it the worst possible time, I hear you ask?  Well, Gentle Readers, I was planning on going to Upholstery School on Wednesday (which is not normally a day we attend) to finish the Slipper Chair.  I lost half a day yesterday to the Dentist (warning:  TMI Moment approaching:  acute periodontal infection), and I had planned to be there all day Wednesday to get the damn thing finished.  

Well.  The interview is from 3.30pm to 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoon, not in the conveniently located, only 10 minutes down the road, by car, Olympic Park.  Oh No.  The interview is In town.  So now I have to leave at 2.00pm, take a change of clothes, change, drive to the station carpark, get the train into town, walk up to the office, have the interview with probably the scariest woman on the planet after Angela Merkel, then do it all in reverse, wasting at least 3 hours of solid slipper-chair time.  

Let's hope I get the damn job after all that.  Do I really want it?  Well, no.  But it pays well, the hours shouldn't be too demanding, certainly not as demanding as the last time I worked there, and as I'm only going to be doing 4 days per week, how bad can it be? Hah. Famous last words.  I'll let you know.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Catching up with me, catching up with you...

My poor, loyal Gentle Readers.  I feel very bad that I've hardly posted at all in the past month, but the up- and downness of the internet has a lot to do with it.  It still isn't fixed, because we went to Perth for what was supposed to be five days, but ended up being six, as our fixation with volcanic ash flared up again, and stranded us.  And what has that to do with the router? Well, unless you keep on the case, the provider closes the ticket, and we have to start all over again.

I don't know whether to ramble on about being sick again, or the joys of dealing with Qantas - perhaps we'll start with the illness.  The sore throat turned into a chest infection, which I just left alone because, well, I'd already been to the doctor, hadn't I?  and I wasn't going to go again, because that would make me a hypochondriac, right?  Well, no.  I suffered on with great lumps of slime and a terrible cough that kept us both awake for about 10 days, nearly driving poor Mr Golightly to uxoricide.  Look it up, I had to!

Then, just when I was over it, we had to deal with linters, at upholstery school.  It's cotton fibre, not very far removed from the cotton boll, and so quite unrefined, and very dusty.  I started sneezing, and the next day I had a full blown sinus infection.  Co-incidence?  Maybe.  I don't attribute any significance to the chain of events, but rather, I'm blaming Miss Badhair, who has been really sick all term but insists on coming to class and giving it to us.

Anyway, the sinus infection (also unrelieved by a visit to the Doctor) came with me to Perth, home again, and is just fading into insignificance, thank the Ghoddess.  It made a significant contribution to my fading desire to blog, in that I was so tired I'd be falling into bed at 8.30pm, when normally I might spend an hour or so perusing my bloglist & composing endless witticisms to delight you all with.  Ahem.

Now, Qantas.  We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to catch our 12.20pm flight.  We checked in.  Mr Golightly printed his bag tag, I stood there looking slightly smug and superior, because I bought an electronic one some time ago with FFP*, (and so no more hard-to-apply bag tags for me), then we dumped our bags on the belt, whisked through check-in and sat down on the incredibly uncomfortable chairs they have in Perth airport, to wait.  At 12.40 (note the time...) they announced that our flight was cancelled due to the ash cloud.  Anyway, we had to retrieve our bags, see the staff and then go somewhere else.  We took a cab back to Mum's, and kept a close eye on the website, as instructed.

Well.  Let me just say that the Vatican gives out more info on how to commune with the Devil than Qantas gave out about what do do.  Not only did they say absolutely nothing about how we were going to get home, they didn't even offer up information about how to get our money back.

So, in order to get home, we ended up buying tickets early on Thursday morning at the very reasonable cost of $574.00 each (versus $189 to get there), and hopefully our insurance will cover the difference, after we get our money back.  Apparently we have to go to the Qantas website and beg, nicely, for that to happen.

Anyway, I missed another day of upholstery school, and so I now have to abandon my slipper chair to start on the Club chair, which we need to get to a certain stage before we go into Second year, to make sure we aren't too far behind the students who are already working on theirs.  

I'm going into school on Wednesday (all day and half of the night) to get the slipper chair finished, because there's not that much left to do... blah, blah blah.  You remember the list from the other week?  All that's gone from it is 'cover bottom of the seat with calico' (which I don't even think was on the list), 'put the border on' and 'attach the box and the chair'.  Still a way to go, but I should be able to finish it on Wednesday.  Hopefully.

And here for your delectation is a picture of Miss Caroline's finished chair - absolutely gorgeous, in my opinion.

And that, Gentle Readers, is where I was last week.  I promise more later, after I've crawled out of bed.  And yes, it is 11.43am.  I like to live it up, you know.

Monday, 13 June 2011

I'm still alive...

Here we are, Gentle Readers, in Perth, visiting my lovely Ma and Hank for the Queen's birthday long weekend. 

There's still no progress on having our router fixed, but Mr Golightly advises it has escalated to our national carrier, who are, theoretically, responsible for the provision of the copper wire upon which all our broadband signals are run.  I am so very sick of the whole issue, having bought & failed to successfully use not one but two mobile broadband sticks... the reception in the back of our house is terrible... and the router just keeps going up down up down up down up down...

Anyway, the chair continues apace:

And all that's left to do is:

Make a circle of the piping, fit it to the box, sew it to the skirt, put the skirt on, cover the bottom of the chair, attach the box to the chair, cover the box in calico and handstitch the back down.  Not much work, really.  

Miss Natalie has finished her chair already, partly as a response to the suggestion of the Head Teacher that she's too old to successfully continue next semester in the day class... me too, and also Miss Caro, who is 4 years younger than Miss Nat.  I'm 10 years older than Nat, and 14 years older than Miss Caro.  That makes us geriatrics, and unemployable, to boot, apparently. 

I think that the Head Teacher could have handled the situation a little differently - apparently the number of vacancies for the day-class was fewer than he thought he would have, and so he chose the youngest class members to continue in the day class.  It would have been nice if he'd checked with them first, but he didn't... to cut a long story short, after he'd gone round & checked with the rest of the class, he found out that he could actually fit us oldies in because the youngsters didn't actually want to do the day class.  Don't you love the methodology?

This is the back of the chair, waiting to be hand sewn...

I promise I'll be back after we return from Perth... and hopefully the line will be fixed by then... 


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

This is going to be the end of me...

Well, maybe not.  But it is doing my head in - we've had a new router, we've had some close attention from the ISP, I've now got two mobile broadband sticks, one of which only works in the front bedroom, the other of which is still waiting for the company to activate it - why does this process take 24 hours?  Somebody needs to explain this to me in words of one syllable...

The other news is that the new neighbours appear to have nicked our internet cable.  Their network now shows up on our router, so I suspect the previously mentioned dodgy-brothers contractor who installed their broadband didn't bother to investigate if it was already used.  Which it was.  At the time.  Hah.

Anyway, Friday was probably the worst day I've had at upholstery school.  Not only did I completely frack up the cutting out of the skirt for the slipper chair, I cut my last piece of fabric for the outside back too small & had to cut another one out of the piping fabric, which I also cut too small.  Then I sewed up the skirts & put the inserted piece on the wrong side, so I had to unpick it and restitch it... twice.  Then I cut out the calico for the skirt, and cut it too short.  Then I cut the missing piece.  Too short.  So then I had to cut another piece, and my calico now has three pieces, instead of one nice smooth piece.  And finally, I cut one of the corners for the box lining too short, and had to spend most of Monday trying to fix it, eventually throwing myself on the mercy of the Upholstery Munchkin...Hah.  Why did I think this was going to fun all the time?  Well, actually, it was, until Friday. 

I have no idea what was going on, but I'm going in on Wednesday to finish the chair seat - webbing, vinyl, white plastic trim round the edge, four layers of foam, linters, calico & fabric.  I'm also going to unpick the skirt, because, guess what?  I found the missing piece of the skirt, and I'm going to unpick the skirt & reinsert it so I don't have six pieces, just the regular four.  Then I'm going to fit the skirt, attach the piping, and then I'll be up to the same point as everybody else.  Well, nearly everybody.  Some of us are still putting stuff together on the chair, so I don't feel too too bad about my progress.  I have a photo for you, but my toolbox with the camera is in the car, waiting to zip off tomorrow morning.

Click on magnifying glass to enlarge image

I have injuries to relate, too, but that will have to wait.  It's 10.25pm, Gentle Readers, and I'm off to bed.  All this sitting, watching the router has exhausted me. 


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Quick, be quick

I've been so bad this week and it's not my fault, Gentle Readers, but the fault of either the weather, which has been rather wet, or the new neighbours, who moved in about the time the weather started, and who may or may not have, just saying', you know how it is, been given our broadband copper wire by some dodgy-brothers telephony contractor, because, our wireless router is up, it's down, it's up, it's down... It has more ups & downs than the roller coaster at Luna Park.  Roll on the National Broadband Network*.

Anyway, not only have I fallen waaaay behind on my blogging obligations, I've also fallen behind on the Facebook scrabble I play with my lovely Ma & MGF Kaz, correspondence with a number of other people, lurking on blogs, reading blogs, wasting time on the interweb, and of course, being amazed when I realise how much I've actually achieved by not wasting time on the interweb.

Upholstery school continues apace, I had a good day and a bad day today... mostly good, because I went in specially on Tuesday to finish the practice back of the Slipper chair - they make you do one in crap fabric before you slice your own, expensive fabric up - I'm doing some fairly complex pattern matching, and this is the mid-point of where I got up to:

It took me about an hour to get the positions of the outside pieces right.  I actually got them stitched on, and then did something so stupid I'm still kicking myself... All the staples for the outside edge of the inside back are supposed to go on the back of the chair (got that?), where they won't be seen when it's finished.  Miss Dummy here managed to staple on the side, putting big holes in the side fabric, where it will be seen.  Agggh.  Anyway, I had to pull the entire inside back all off, unpick the rhs piece, cut another one (thank the goddess I bought lots of the fabric) and then reposition it (remembering that it took me an hour to get the position right this morning!).  Sniff.  Whimper.  I'm now behind again, and will need to work like a navvy to get back up to the rest of them.  

Well, when I say the rest of them, I mean the three other people who've done more than this.  John, Dean & I are still wrestling with the sewing machine, and Jo is still trying to get the inside back webbing & hessian on her chair.  

Miss Sulky actually managed to have a conversation today with one of the four of us she doesn't normally acknowledge, which made the sky fall in (and I guess that might explain all the rain?), and I'm wondering if she's realised that treating people in a completely contemptuous way isn't the best idea if you've got to work as a team?  Anyway, I quite enjoy being in Upholstery-purdah, it certainly means I don't have to be polite to people I think need a good smack round the head...

I will take a photo tomorrow of the finished inside back so you can see the fruits of my labours - but here's a shot of how it might look, so you can have an idea of what I'm agonising over:

Curse you, Amy Butler.

More later.  Dinner calls, plus Spicks and Specks.  You gotta love that Alan Bro', eh?


*No, seriously!