OK - I don't think the NZ diary is going to be completed any time soon - it probably would have been better to have kept it updated whilst we were going round! I will get stuff added, it might just take the next couple of years....
The run up to Christmas has been the usual round of busy activities, particularly with orchestral concerts and general Christmas parties; this year we've managed to avoid clashes in the main, which is good in that we've got to see everyone and not miss out, but it has also meant that free time has been at a minimum.
However, I have had the free time (even if a good chunk of it was when I should have been sleeping!) to learn how to sew. Not cross stitch, or threading a needle, but using a sewing machine, something which, as I never had Home Economics classes at school, has always been a mystery to me! So, last weekend, my best friend took me out to Fabricland, showed me how to pick a pattern (including the warning that pattern sizes are *not* the sizes given in shops...), how to find fabric (and I did end up choosing the one where the care information was "user guesses...") and all the little bits and pieces that go round (learning the new language - "Interfacing"??) making an item of clothing.
Then we went back to her flat, and she showed me how to cut out the fabric, and, more cruicially, how to understand patterns and the instructions ("Basting" = "Tacking", and I would never have even considered there being a right way and wrong way up for fabric, though it is pretty obvious!). Then, the fun (scary) part of putting the fabric together, learning how to use Interfacing (which did include gluing it to both the tea-towel and the ironing board!), and then actually stitching it all. It takes a bit more time than I'd thought - John came to pick me up at nearly 11, and I wasn't half done.
So, I took the sewing machine back with me, and ended up working till 1am on Monday night getting it complete (though my body insisted that it couldn't be much after 9, as time hadn't actually gone past!).
Wore the new top into work on Wednesday, and, even if I do say so myself, got a lot of compliments about it, including from a couple of people who asked where I'd bought it.
So - it's back to Fabricland tomorrow lunchtime to get some more fabric in order to do some more sewing over the Christmas break - I think I've got addicted!