Saturday, December 29, 2007



Ok, so I think I finally have time to do this night justice, even though it happened so long ago.

As with most of the world outside North America, football is a really big deal in Sudan. When we heard that the championship cup was going to be played in Omdurman, the city right across the river from Khartoum, we decided we had to go. E, D (taking the photo) and I crossed over around 6pm, and had some really good pizza before we made our way to the stadium. We sat in the expensive area (tickets were $30USD) so we had actual seats, as opposed to the other areas with bench seating.

The stadium is divided in half, with each half reserved for supporters of one team (including separate entrances), with police enforcing the division. D is a lifelong Al-Hilal fan, so we were sitting in the blue and white section. As you can see, someone thought my shirt was a little too close to the Merrikh red, and insisted that I wear a hat.



The game was really interesting to watch, and so were the stands. The style of play was very exuberant, with similarities to a Latin American game more so than the more structured European game. Both teams were more likely to boot and chase than to use chains of passes to move the ball up the field.

As for the crowd, people really supported their teams! The Al-Hilal side had people (like 100) climbing the light standards to get a better view! (We were trading possible headlines upon the event of a collapse, but everyone lived to see another day.) Every goal involved confetti and burning newspaper (!) on the side of the scoring team. The crowd seemed almost alive with emotion, chanting for players, and against the opposing team and their coaches!


There were more police at this event than I've ever seen in one place before (this is only a small proportion, but I've obviously lived a quiet life as far as the law is concerned). We didn't stick around to see what happened next, but it was a great night!

Friday, December 28, 2007

So, apparently the knitting revolution hasn't hit Jordan yet...

Overheard at the Mecca Mall in Amman: "Heeyaka, wow!" (Literal translation: "Knitting, wow!") I was working on my neck warmer in Rowan Cocoon while drinking some exquisite drinking chocolate at the Cioconat Lounge before engaging in a little retail therapy. This was my last day in Jordan on a little break over the holidays.

There's actually not that much to report, as I didn't do a lot other than reading and sleeping. Very little knitting happened, along with some visiting, walking and that's about it.


Here I am, wearing a sweater! (Which, hasn't happened since I was in Canada in October, since Khartoum is still reaching 30 degrees most days.)


And here I am, on a very short day trip to Petra, wearing a sweater, jacket and scarf! (I'm sorry for the crazy contrast, but I couldn't figure out how to tone down my pasty white face. Yes, I am doing well with the hat and the sunscreen, why do you ask?)


And finally, the famous rose rock of Petra.

Good night!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'm supposed to be packing for my trip, so I can get to bed (since my flight leaves at a ridiculous time tomorrow morning), but instead I'm uploading photos, all because I finally pulled everything out from my Christmas box! Yay! There's something amazing about getting a package in the mail, especially when you're very far away, and knowing that your family loves you. Especially when you can then draw it out over a month by first opening the boxes (and eating the chocolate and biscotti before they melt/go bad). Then, a few weeks later, I took the box home from work. Now, I've unpacked everything (and I got the Tom Bihn bag I have loved ever since I saw Steph's at Rhinebeck. I'm saving all of the wrapped packages until Christmas, when I've had a few days of relaxing and can really enjoy it.

Anyway, I wish everyone a happy holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Brain Dump

OK, first things first, the cards are in the mail (if you sent me your address (I'm looking at you, Sarah! :)) I know they will be late for actual Christmas, but, you know, it happens.

While this may not be that exciting, I need to gather together all of the little links and ideas that I've got floating around.

- I like the idea of these little slippers. In the almost complete absence of wearing knit items in my life right now, these are one thing I might actually use! They would protect my feet from the incredible dust everywhere (and clean the floor for me at the same time.) I can't find the location of the mods for larger feet (should be somewhere here) but will edit this when I do.

- Very cute pattern (as I recall, since my internet is slow and I can't open the links right now)

- I love this! I can't believe I missed it before, but I'm sure I've earned a couple of badges (to be added to the blog on a day with a slightly faster internet connection, which is never Friday)

- Funniest thing I've seen in a while! I wonder if I can get a Canadian politician sometime soon? And I wonder what Mr. Harper's response would be?

- The new Knitty is out! My first favourites are dahlia, square cake & stardust, partly because they are two of the things I could get some use out of here. But there are definitely tonnes of nice accessories. Which I'll get right to making as soon as I have any conceivable need! ;)

- I saw a pattern for a large weekend back with black and white tapestry pattern, knit if wool and felted, but I forgot to write down the URL. This is my reminder to look for the pattern when I get a minute.

- Another very fun pattern!

- And a few interesting websites I wanted to keep handy!

I don't know how much of a chance I'll get to post over the next week or so. I'm cooking a turkey for 15 guests tonight, I'll have to go to work tomorrow to wrap up loose ends, and then I'm off for a change of scenery for a few days over Christmas. But, I have tonnes of pictures and random stuff, so if I find an internet connection, it could be good. Anyway, Happy Holidays to all, whatever you may celebrate!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm not dead

I've just been travelling. I'm have a number of posts I've been working on, so hopefully I can finish some of those up shortly. That might make this space slightly more interesting.

Anyway, Happy Holidays, and Eid Mubarak, if I don't see you sooner!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Friday is the general holiday in Northern Sudan, and in an effort to actually have a life outside of work, I try not to work today. It doesn't always work, and if I'm really lucky, I get Saturday too, but generally Fridays are my day to relax. I actually sleep in as long as I want (except when I get an emergency phone call from someone who's flying in on Monday and doesn't have their visa yet and wants to know if you can do something) and then laze around. I make a huge bowl of latte with my stovetop espresso maker and milk frother and read, watch movies or whatever.

This morning, I dumped out bin #1 of my stash
and photographed it (with excellent assistance from Ms. Spooky)
for ravelry. Now, as I sit in the living room uploading photos to flickr on wireless internet, I'm watching Fight Club on dvd and watching the planes land (the airport is right in the middle of the city, and my place is kind of loud because of it. But, its mine.)

Later today, I am apparently going on a bit of a tour around town. We'll see what they decide to show us. And tonight, there's a low-key do at a colleagues house. So, its pretty normal, except the traffic, the dust, the heat... I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


The drive to Meroë takes about two and a half hours from Khartoum, even though its only 100km. The road is only two lanes, and is in mild disrepair.

Wikipedia has more actual information, and might be a good start for anyone who's interested in learning more.


We actually started out at a nearby archaeological site, the Royal City, where a team led by a ROM archaeologist is excavating. We got a tour of the site and saw lots of rocks (which was actually pretty cool, although my pictures are not that exciting.) They haven't done any reconstruction, so it really is a ruin, and you have to imagine what it once was like.

There was lots of wildlife around, stone



and otherwise. Besides the floppy-eared goats, there were a variety of amazingly coloured birds that I didn't manage to photograph, donkeys, and even a camel! (The 'foreigners' had come, so by the time we were getting ready to leave, there were several people selling stuff and a man offering camel rides right beside our vehicles.)


After the Royal City, we drove across the desert to the pyramids. Although they're smaller than the pyramids at Giza (the other pyramids I've seen), they're also older (erected between 300BC and 300AD) and there are more of them, organised on three hills.


(We weren't supposed to be climbing on them... whoops!)


And the view from the top of the hill (not the top of the pyramid).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

And now its gone...

I have been knitting, and here's the proof:


I started working on a sock in some Lorna's Laces a while ago to deal with some long stretches in the car on a road trip (to the pyramids, which I still haven't posted about...) I love the colours in the ball, but the foot really wasn't working for me.


I don't know what it is, but I pretty much always have a striping effect when I'm using multicolour yarn. And I really don't like how it was working up.


The colour combination on the heel is much better.


So, I switched up the stitch pattern on the leg. (Its a simple, alternating slip stitch pattern.) Much better! Unfortunately, after ripping back once to lengthen the foot a bit, it is still too small. What I think they could really use is a slightly larger needle (I was using 2mm), but I didn't have one with me (since been found, and added to my Ravelry needle count). Frogging ensued, and I now have nothing more than a toe. Its not like I need them any time soon, so I will just keep working on them.

Monday, December 03, 2007


A few things I've noticed on-line (since I haven't gotten the football pics yet):

The Sunrise Circle Jacket: I didn't find it that flattering until I found this picture on Kate Gilbert's blog.

Also by Kate: I love these mitts! Don't ask me what I'd do with mitts here, but apparently Canada is expecting a harsh winter, and I will be coming home at some point.

I haven't listened to this yet, but it looks interesting.

Its not much, but I was in a conference for the past couple of days, so I haven't been on the internet much.