For best results view blog in Firefox or Safari

All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them

Sunday, 30 October 2011

As bright as a bright thing

So a few days ago, I decided I was going to dye my hair!

It's all Zaz's fault really; she's a woman with long dreadlocks from a website called Dreadlock Truth. Her locks are waist length and - due to her fascination with mermaids - she recently dyed her hair green. It looks A-MAZ-ING!

I knew I didn't want mine all one colour though and on a recent shopping trip to Southampton with Alex; I found what I was looking for!

So I roped Vicky (Matt's girlfriend - she started a Hair & Beauty course in September) in to help and we started off by dumping a load of bleach in my hair.

I will admit; I was absolutely terrified! I've put a lot of work into my dreads - I love them, they are getting solid and feel more dreadlockish. What if my hair all fell out, or the dye looked really shit? What if the bleaching process made my locs break? What if it set my scalp psoriasis off?

We sat and we waited and waited. After half an hour, I went and rinsed. A lot of the hair was still quite dark, but seemed to have survived intact. We decided to apply another load of bleach and wait another half an hour.

When I rinsed, this is what I got!

I duly posted a pic on twitter - some loved it, Claire hated it LOL

The next bit was going to be a bit more tricky as I was going to be applying 2 different colours and couldn't just slap it on as I was used to.

We started off by applying the colour to the roots - almost immediately it became obvious that this colour wasn't going to go very far and I started to panic - I didn't want a whole load of blonde hair underneath.

Then I remembered some dye I bought years and years ago and had never gotten around to trying.

When colour number 1 ran out, we added colour number 2 to the ends of the locks that had been partially dyed with colour number 1.

Once colour number 2 ran out we blanket dyed the remaining locs with the ancient dye I'd stashed in my bedroom - we had just enough!

I sat around with all that foil on my head, too scared to move in case something broke and all my hair fell out.

Vicky was exhausted and went to bed and I was left to sit and worry on my own - well, the teen boys were there, but you know what they're like!!

I waited about 40 minutes then went next door to use Mum's shower - no, I still haven't had an electrician in to wire up my fancy bath so I can get the shower attached!

I didn't look in the mirror until after I got out, but from the amount of colour that ran down my body - I knew it was going to be bright.

I had decided to hop into the shower and do it that way as colour 1 was a lot lighter than the other colours and I didn't want any bleeding effect going on.

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for colour 3 to do what it did!

So, first off, let me show you my hair!

Bright, isn't it?

Personally, I love it!!

Unfortunately, Mum's shower has now been stained blue - I used loads of cleaner on it and still couldn't get it back to white.

Then I saw my back - it was blue too. I could've cried!

I called Alex in and we scrubbed at it until we got most of it off. I got the hairdryer on my locs (it was gone 1am by this point) and dried them off.

Then I went to bed.

When I got up the next morning, the first thing I noticed was that my neck was blue again!

I couldn't believe it! I scrubbed again, I tried toothpaste, eye make up remover, handwash, perfume and T-Gel - I ended up with little more than a sore blue neck :(

We've come to the conclusion that this stuff is just going to leech onto my skin until it settles down, unfortunately this means I can't actually wear my hair down to show off the dye!

The first two colours - Flamingo Pink and Indigo Violet by Directions - are absolutely fine and I have had no problems with them at all. It's the Blue Velvet by Special Effects (the really dark bits) that's causing all the problems!

I'm going to go and wash it again in a minute then give it a good rinse in cold water with a bit of vinegar in to see if that helps at all. works on fibre!

Monday, 17 October 2011


I bank with Lloyds TSB. I have banked with them for years! I have several accounts, the kids all have accounts and I have a credit card - all with Lloyds TSB.

Several years ago, Matt wanted to start using his account when he started college. Due to the fact it hadn't been used; the bank had registered it as dormant. All they required was us to attend the bank with some form of identification.

We went down, showed his passport, a button was pressed and Hey Presto! the account was working again.

Same thing with Alex a year or so later.

This year, Jess has started college and needs an active bank account. One Monday (about 3 weeks ago) I went into the main branch on the Island with Jess and her passport.

Naturally, we ended up dealing with the idiot who didn't seem to know what he was doing! He took a scan of J's passport and then spent ten minutes farting about on the computer and phone before telling us that the department he needed to speak to were busy. He said he would sort it and call us later that afternoon to let us know what her account number was for college.

He didn't ring.

I stormed back into the bank the following afternoon, he was chatting and laughing away with colleagues. I marched straight up to him and declared "You didn't phone!"

He had to go and find the paperwork and then spent another 35 minutes on the phone and computer (while dealing with other bank staff who kept dropping things off at his desk) before telling me that Jess needed to go back into the bank so that he could call the correct department! I stood and gaped at him for a bit before reminding him that she had been in the bank the day before and he'd told us he'd sort it!

But no, she had to go back in herself. She was told when she went in on the Friday that her account number, debit card and new PIN would be sent straight out and would be with her on the Tuesday.

Friday we went back in to get a print out of her account number and demand to know why her card hadn't turned up! He clicked a button then told me it was on it's way.

I was not at all impressed with this.

Today I received my credit card statement. My minimum required payment for last month was £159.54. I pay £50 a week and have done for years and years.

This month my last payment of £50 went in after the 'pay your money by this date'. So I was £9.54 short for two days.

They charged me £12!

I immediately called them and asked if it could be removed as it was last time the calender and my payments didn't match (about 2 years ago) only to be told "We don't do that."

"Oh yes you do!" says I and we argued for about ten minutes before he graciously, like he was doing me a fucking favour or something, removed the £12 charge - he said "We'd only do it once in a while though and we won't do it again for at least 6 months". I told him that it had been a damn sight longer than 6 months since this had last happened, he said that's why he'd removed the charge and that I must pay the minimum amount required each month.

I yelled at him and told him if he got a calculator out, he'd see that I've actually paid more most months (especially in a 5 week month) and maybe a big top bank like them should learn to be a little bit more flexible before hanging up.

I wonder if that £12 will show as refunded on next months statement......

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

As you may remember from previous posts; I sleep on the floor.

I started doing this after going camping in Scotland and sleeping really comfortably all week.

That was several years ago and I have slept on the floor ever since. From time to time, I'll sleep on the sofa - usually when my back aches.

I have a theory that my back adapts to whatever treatment it is currently receiving - be it physiotherapy or medication and the treatment stops working after a while.

My back has been aching loads lately, I've had to sleep more propped up to try and relieve the pain!

A short while ago, I stayed at Debs' house and slept on a sofa futon in her spare room. It was really comfortable! Due to the fact that things got very uncomfortable, I decided to buy myself one.

I had a voucher for Argos that gave me £20 off if I spent over £200, so I went in and ordered. The next day Argos tweeted that they were doing a 15% off all indoor furniture on top of all other offers. So I bitched and moaned on twitter and within four hours I received a phone call telling me that I would be receiving a cheque refuding me £54 - 15%! Very happy!

I had a week to do some rearranging to make room for this sofa/futon in the craft room.

I started with this. I just stood and looked at it at first, wondering where the hell I was going to put everything.

I started out by moving my armchair out of the room (this photo was taken after I'd done that) - that's gone next door to my mum. Then I moved Sherry The Cherry and the new Joy into the front room.

As I no longer need to pack all my bedding into a chest in my room (the sofa/futon has underbid storage!) I packed all my fleece into that. This freed up a large tub (the kind you use in the garden) which I dumped all my sock yarn into. I packed and rearranged and shifted stuff until I had made enough space.

Then I washed the floor!

I knew the table would also have to come out - that was also destined to go to my Mum's; I stole it from her in the first place LOL, but I left it deciding I would do it the following morning.

When I originally ordered, they told me delivery would be between 12pm and 6pm, then yesterday I received a text telling me between 1pm and 3pm.

This morning, at 8am, they called and asked if they could deliver between 9am and 10am! They had woken me so I was slightly fuzzy, but said that was fine.

Then realised I had to get up, get dressed, move the table out and resweep the floor (I always sweep again after washing). I managed to get all that done in time!

It not only fits, I've even made a space larger than was required! It's very easy to fold it down to a bed, is quite firm but comfortable.

I'm looking forward to sleeping on it tonight!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Socks! Socks! Socks!

I think I'm obsessed! I've thoroughly enjoyed knitting all these socks, even though I've knit nothing else and done hardly any spinning whatsoever! In fact, I've even knit extra socks!

So next year I'm setting myself a challenge and it's a totally bonkers one! I'm going to follow the theme of four different sock groups from Ravelry.

So, there's the 52 Pair Plunge - that's 52 pairs of socks knit in one year - one pair a week.
Then there's the UK Sock Knitters A-Z Challenge, the Sock Knitters Anonymous AND SolidSocks (I won't be actively participating in the 52 Pair Plunge as they start in July and signups are already closed, but I still aim to do 52 pairs in a year!)!

Now, the A-Z Socks cast on goes 'live' every other week, so either pair 1 or pair 2 would also have to begin with the letter A (the pattern, I mean).

As well as that at least one of the pairs I knit in January would also have to be Flora or Fauna Themed/Designed by Erica Lueder/January's Mystery Sock for SKA AND one of the pairs need to be Black/White/Grey or any mystery sock ever designed.

Luckily SolidSocks only change their designer every other month, but the colour does change every month.

So in theory the first pair of socks for January 2012 could be a pattern that begins with A, designed by Erica Lueder and knit in black! That way, all I would have to worry about is knitting that pair in the first week, so that I can get all other socks knit in time LOL

Clear as mud, right?

Anyway, the pic is a pic of the spreadsheet I've spent this afternoon designing for my sock challenge next year.

Yes, I know....I'm a sad muppet!

But I'll be a sad muppet with warm feet!!!