Wednesday, August 15, 2007

pass the password

How many numbers do you need to function in this weird world? I can just about remember my postcode, my three telephone numbers and my mobile number, but as to the rest? Pfffffff. Fergeddit.

Am I alone in having to reset my Paypal password every time I use the service? Or having bank guarantee cards spit themselves back out of cash machines, pin numbers come up wrong and even having my account 'locked' because I failed to come up with the correct answer to a security question which I'd chosen because it had such a non-ambiguous answer? And I'm not officially senior enough yet to have 'senior moments', so what's my excuse?

For the defence, I'd like the jury to note that I'm an illustrator and writer, not a paid up graduate of Bletchley Park. Despite being the daughter of a tax inspector, numbers are most emphatically not my thing - I can barely add up a column of figures with a calculator - which makes for some interesting times when I sit and do my own vat return every three months. Not to mention the complete mess I get myself into when I have to scale down a knitting pattern, or calculate something based on yarn length/weight in order to use a substitute yarn. Patterns that begin - cast on 187 stitches- bring me out in hives, especially when that instruction is followed by the words - in kidsilk haze. Which brings me to the shawl of shawls. Or at least, my first and only shawl to date.

It's finished. The knitting part, at least. Also the crocheted edge, which looks a lot nicer than it sounds. At the moment, it languishes in a plastic bag in the small lounge which is pretty heretical, given the many thousands of stitches and thoughts and woman-hours invested in its creation. I take it out of its bag and marvel at its resemblance to the summer seas of the northwest coast of Scotland. Not this year, you understand. Were I to make a shawl for this summer, it would be in silver and grey and deep oily blue. I stroke my shawl gently across my face, but I haven't worn it yet because until I dampen it, lay it out and pin it in place to reveal its hidden pattern, it's not really properly finished.

I'm not posting a picture just yet because I have to block it, and for that, I need a spare bed to pin it out on, and every bed in our house is taken. This is due to eldest daughter's thirteenth birthday celebrations which, apart from presents, are a group of three friends for a sleepover, due to arrive in a giggling, frothy tide in about three hours time. I picked up sleeping bags and brought them home, and all of them smelled floral. This, gentle reader, is the true difference between teenage girls and teenage boys. The girls' sleeping bags smell ilke lilies. Had it been a teen boy sleepover, the inside of my car would smell like a basil factory.

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