Thursday, November 29, 2007

Krazy in Khartoum!

I just got home from the big football match! Very exciting! I've never been to a sporting event with such fervour and emotion. The game was two teams from Omdurman, Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh, playing each other for the championship cup. Al-Hilal won (which happens to have been the team I was cheering for, largely by association (the local colleague who took Eric and me is a fan)) for the fifth year in a row, so it was complete pandemonium. I hope to have actual pictures later! For now, I need to go get out of my smoky clothes and try to sleep through all of the horns honking outside.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I was feeling a little tired, so when I got home tonight, I decided to go to my room, listen to my iPod and knit for a bit before bed. Unfortunately, my iPod seemed to have frozen, so I had to go on-line to find out how to unfreeze. (For future reference, my model requires me to hold down the menu key and the centre button at the same time.)

Anyway, while it was plugged in, Apple had me connect to iTunes, and I'm currently looking at a list of the top 100 downloads today, and two things catch my attention. One, there's a lot of Christmas music, and I so don't feel like its Christmas time yet. Two, I don't know much about current music! There aren't that many songs that I recognize! So, while I'm here, I might end up buying a few new things just for kicks.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I missed my post yesterday, but I don't have much to add today either. I am pretty lazy when it comes to cooking. I'm good at it, but I have to be pretty motivated to actually do it, especially just for myself. Today, I went fruit and veg shopping (which involves going to two different stands! At least if you want the best stuff, as the produce at the 'grocery' stores tends to be pretty lame.) So, when I got home, I decided to prep everything I bought so it wouldn't go bad in the fridge (as tends to happen. Did I mention I'm lazy?)

First, I purified water. (I use Pristine, which doesn't taste like chlorine or iodine.) The tap water isn't potable, so this is generally to avoid further contaminating the produce. I know lots of people that don't do this step, but I also know at least one person who has caught amoebic dysentery, so I take the precautions when I'm going to be eating something raw or unpeeled.

Here's the parsley taking its bath.


Then, I washed and chopped tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and cheese to make a salad. Can you believe this stuff is all in season in November!


Finally, I washed a bunch of fruit for later eating. I have pears and mangoes, and a grapefruit. (The grapefruit was a gift from the vendor when he noticed I thought the price was too high but was too tired to bargain with him.)


The pears here are the best pears I've ever tasted! And I love fruit, so I eat a lot of pears. (I also finally pulled out my tripod to do some shots without the flash, which is much better. It starts getting dark 5-ish now, but there's light for a while longer.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

time flies

It's amazing how time flies! It's almost 4pm on Saturday, time to try and avoid thinking about work tomorrow. I have a difficult time living in the now and not always looking at what is coming next.

Today has been a good day, though. I was awake at 5am for no apparent reason, so I went for a walk along the Nile (and then went back to bed and slept in anyway!). Brunch at Ozone, and then just playing on the computer and watching the special features from Ugly Betty. I only have two episodes left, so I'm trying to stretch it out a bit. Dinner at a friend's house tonight, to celebrate the arrival of his shipment. Its always exciting here when you get pieces from home.

FYI, the site for the development where I bought a place is finally up, for anyone who hasn't seen. Squee!

Friday, November 23, 2007


There's a party tonight that I should be going to tonight, but I'm so without energy...

I had a really productive hour or so with reorganizing things earlier. I have gotten to the point in unpacking from my move where everything was 'good enough,' but not done. My roommate spurred me on for a bit, and my office and the front entry look way better. Still not done, but better. That's all I can do for now...

ETA I forgot that today was (is) Buy Nothing Day.

I bought bread already (and a friend bought me brunch at a cafe), so I guess I don't get to participate. However, I am working at decreasing my generally rampant consumerism, which living in Sudan is definitely helping (with the lack of credit cards and easily accessible stuff (shopping here is more like going to a thrift store than going to the mall.))

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I hear that Ottawa got its first big dump of snow today. This leaves me feeling surprisingly sad. Or, maybe its not so surprising.


(The temperature is still reaching the mid-30s every day, and it has cooled down a lot from when I arrived.)

This will be my first Christmas without snow, and the first time I don't go home to my family for the holidays. There will be lots of people here, and Christmas dinners, and even a party or two, so it will be fun.

But it won't be the same.

Yeah, I sound like a whiner. Anyway, since I'm far away, and would love to receive some mail at this festive time of year, I have a proposition to make. If you would like to receive mail from Sudan, and don't mind sending something to me in return (my mailing address is in Canada), email me (knitter_tara*at*yahoo*dot*ca) your address. I'll send you mine in return, and we can exchange holiday cards!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


So, I didn't post yesterday. I went home sick around noon. More of a mental health day than anything else, but everyone needs those too. I've spent my time sleeping and watching episodes of Ugly Betty. I am in love with that show, and I love the whole DVD thing! I know, I'm way behind the times, but this is the first series I'm watching this way. So much easier than trying to be home to catch episodes when they air! Especially here. The satellite package I have is from Saudi (as was the other option), and some of the channels play stuff like CSI and Grey's Anatomy. But, there's some sort of time shifting going on (the time on my screen is three hours different from the real time, even though the two countries are in the same time zone). So, its even harder to try to watch things regularly. DVDs are the way to go!

Monday, November 19, 2007


For Knittyknatty, and anyone who's never seen one of these, this is a tuk-tuk (or a ricksja).


Its a three-wheeled, motorized vehicle that is used as a taxi, generally for shorter trips. This one is pretty unadorned, but some drivers get them all blinged out, with mirrors, beads, stickers and anything else that stands out.

We took a team building trip with the Embassy staff this week, including a stop in Shendi for a fish breakfast. I have some amazing pictures, once I organise and reduce.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Well, I just missed the deadline for my 18/11 post by 5 minutes. Needless to say, its been a busy, full day. I've only been home for half an hour since just after six this morning. That's all I have to say for now, but look for pictures of the pyramids at Merowe soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Inspired by this post, I decided to resurrect my oldest(?) UFO:


This project was a lot of firsts for me. Up until this point, I had only ever purchased yarn at Lewiscraft or Walmart (I hadn't been knitting long, and had no idea where to find an LYS in Calgary), and had mostly knit scarves. Although they were very creative scarves for a newbie, including a vertically-striped, rainbow scarf for my sister before I had any idea what intarsia was (I'll have to see if I can get a picture of that, as it was also pre-blog).

Anyway, I went to Toronto (for the first time) for training for a new job, and walked from our hotel on Yonge St out to Romni Wools and saw yarn that wasn't Patons or Red Heart (for the first time). I bought two balls of Noro Kureyon, a Fleece Artist sock kit, and the skein of Fleece Artist Kid Mohair used for this 'scarf' (which is already 45" long, and 12" wide).

But, as you can see, I had never seen yarn in a skein before, so when I opened up the hank, I just started knitting as it was. The kid mohair is sticky enough that it hasn't dissolved into tangles, even after many years of being stored in this condition.


You don't want to know what happened when I tried the same thing with the hank of sock yarn! ;)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just another work day

So, the weekend here is Friday, and we take Saturday as well. But, I had to go to work today (although not as early as normal), and I'll end up working again tomorrow.

But when you're at the office on a day off, you can walk around with your ipod, so I got stuff done while listening to some good music. I finally got around to listening to the new Radiohead album that I downloaded while I was at home! I really like it, and think it was well worth the $5 I paid for it. I've been reading about all of the controversy about how many people paid to download it or didn't and how much. I think its an interesting idea, hope that other artists continue to experiment with different music delivery methods in the future. I'm much more likely to download something online (as evidenced by my music collection; I haven't bought a cd in years!)

I've noticed a few posts about cool music lately (like this and this). Do you have a favourite band I can check out on-line?

(Sorry, spending lots of time at work is bad for blog posts, as previously discussed. Its interesting to see that I am capable of posting every day, but I'm not necessarily impressed by what I'm writing. Oh well, I figure that, if i keep it up, it will at least serve as an interesting writing exercise.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday (sort-of) night

Its our version of Friday night, with nothing big planned. I, unfortunately, have to work tomorrow, so it won't be too late. Just hanging out at at friend's house.

I am in need of a weekend! Not that I'm going to get a very relaxing one for a while. I am planning on booking myself a massage tomorrow or Saturday (before I go back to work Saturday afternoon).

I did spin a large handful of fibre last night, just for fun. I've never felt the need to take classes (for knitting or spinning) before, but reading all of the blog posts about SOAR (yes, I'm a bit behind). Has changed that. I like to teach myself things, but its definitely becoming apparent to me that I can't teach myself everything. Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I knew this was going to be hard, but this is even harder than expected. I had a really unproductive day at work, but it didn't produce anything blog-worthy either. Its really tough to blog regularly when work takes up a significant part of your day, but is not bloggable. Not that no one else faces this issue, but I've never been a regular blogger before.

So, my day went a bit like this:
5:00am - alarm goes off. I'm trying to walk in the mornings, since I live in a hot country (the average daily high is still 39*C here, so its uncomfortable to exercise as soon as the sun comes up). I turned the alarm off today.
7:00am - alarm goes off again. Two snoozes, and up to make coffee, shower, get dressed pack up breakfast and lunch and run out the door.
8:15am - arrive at work. Driving here is not relaxing in the least. You never know what's going to happen. Thankfully, there were no random donkey carts or tuk-tuks this morning.
8:30am - log on to the computer. It takes several minutes, as the internet is not so fast. Normal day at work, with normal number of crises.
3:00pm - Head to several hours worth of meetings. Thankfully, it took place in an outdoor cafe, so there was good coffee at the very least.
6:00pm - Head for home. Catch up on the day with my colleague, Daniel (we live in the same building), over a drink.
7:00pm - yoga. 1/2 hour
8:00pm - dinner

As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to spin for a bit, and then its time for bed...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


So, for post number two... It was a long day (not in hours, just because), so forgive the mostly picture nature.

This is my airplane cosy in the morning sun of Khartoum. I have used 4 balls of Palermo by Ella Rae. I should be able to double this in size before I need to start adding the edging. It should keep me nice and warm when I'm traveling without adding weight.


And this is an airplane cosy with a cat!



Monday, November 12, 2007


Like random Wednesday, but not.

I just found out about NaBloPoMo. I'm a little late for the month of November, but I'm going to challenge myself to write a post a day for the next 30 days. Be prepared for randomness, since I don't knit that much these days.

An easy stitch marker tutorial. Not that I have any immediate plans to take this up (like I need another hobby with more stuff to acquire), but maybe one day.

Elijah is so cute! I want one, although I'm really trying to finish off some things on my needles first. And work on things I can actually use/wear.

Lots of these links have been stolen from one of my favourite designers: Ysolda

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rhinebeck stash

I have finally got the Internet set up! I can post from home, which theoretically means it could happen more often. Although I'm really tired, so I'm still going to upload photos without writing any captions right now. Words will follow. ETA: Words, such as they are, are here.


Some beautiful sock yarn, from Toni at The Fold


Also from The Fold, rayon laceweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Did you know that the 2008 Rockin' Sock Club opened on Nov 1, and all the international spots are already full? Fingers crossed for the waiting list.


Fun toys, including a set of felting needles, some stitch markers, an unfinished swift, a sweater stone, a chibi with curved needles and some roving, all from Stony Mountain Fibers.


Gorgeous superwash merino/bamboo/nylon sock yarn from Maple Creek Farm


This yarn, actually from Yarn Forward, is being used to make an airplane cosy. I wanted to knit something warm while I was in the feeling of fall, but progress has slowed significantly since I got home. Yarn is Palermo by Ella Rae.


I can't seem to find a card as to what booth I got this from, and I'm concerned. They had gorgeous fibers, both this one and a colour call Caramel Swirl, and I kind of wish I'd bought more.


And more fiber, from various sources, all from Little Barn. I started spinning with the New Zealand Romney the other day, and the fiber is great to work with, very nicely prepared. These are my practice items for another little purchase I made:


My new wheel! A Hitchhiker from The Merlin Tree. I had kind of decided I wanted a wheel months ago, so it was kind of inevitable. This is a really good option for me, since it easily fit in my suitcase to come back to Sudan. Although, I tried the Ashford Kiwi when I was at the booth, and if I actually spin more, I can see one of those in my future too. Dreams, dreams...