Socks and darning!

So here I am back in Scotland- my home country. Unfortunately, I live in an area where the Internet isn’t very reliable so it gets a bit frustrating to try and blog regularly, as often by the time I’m finished writing the connection goes and it seems impossible to get reconnected- hmmmm! Who knows if this will actually go later?!
Anyway, it’s lovely being at home and so far the weather has been great with lots of opportunity to be in the garden.
My sock presents are slowly being presented. First, was my father’s pair. He actually looked very happy to receive them- whether he ever wears them is another story!
Someone who might appreciate their socks a bit more is my sister-in-law. I have just sewn on some buttons down the side to add a little bit of a special feature. I actually recycled some buttons I got on a couple of clothes price labels from ‘white stuff’.

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The other socks that I’ve been working on are a wee bit different- I’ve just found out they were knitted by my maternal grandmother for my grandfather at least 55 years ago! I really don’t know how they came to be in my house but I started wearing them last time I was home and they became quite holey! Last night, I decided it was time to do something I hadn’t done in perhaps 30 years- darning! I remembered I used to used a darning loom thing, but having moved house 18months ago had no idea where it was. After a little bit of searching and rummaging through a few sewing repair type boxes I unearthed not one but 2 of the darning looms. I was back in darning business!

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Today I asked my mother about the darning loom as I remember it being in her house when I was a small child and I reckoned 5shillings in those days was quite expensive. She was pretty sure that it had only belonged to her and not my grandmother, but couldn’t remember how she got it etc.
So now the socks are darned I will carry on wearing them around the house for a long time to come.
I wonder if my newly knitted socks will still be worn in 55 years time by someone not born yet!

‘Masterchef’

Yesterday the school hosted a take on the t.v. Programme Masterchef. I have a horrible feeling that we breeched all sorts of copyright laws in using their logo on our trophies and certificates but I suppose we have all become very lax about this living in Saudi Arabia where the government has only recently started to issue warnings against pirated items- mainly DVDs, CD ‘s and computer software.

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The trophies and certificates.
The very large cups were for the children and the more ‘tasteful’ Perspex plaques were for the adult winners.
One of my pupils won the savoury section and was well impressed with his trophy. Being 6 years old it was nearly as big as him!!
At the end of each term the school runs some sort of parent and pupil ‘fun’ event, sometimes opening it to the whole community. This was the case with Masterchef and there were a few entries from members of the community not directly involved with the school.
The entrants had to enter a dish, prepared at home, to either the savoury or sweet category. There were some very tasty looking dishes.

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Part of the children’s savoury table. The sushi came 3rd- and I was interested to see many of the children tucking into it afterwards! How tastes have changed in the last 10 years or so. The entry in the tagine was aThai fish parcel dish and it was the winner in this section.

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The adult savoury table.

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The children’s sweet table before it became totally decimated by eager tasters!
The chef from one of the compound restaurants was given the difficult task of judging.

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Perhaps the best part came next- the tasting of the dishes:) half an hour later there wasn’t much left- so I think it’s safe to say- it was a very successful and enjoyable end of year event for the school.

Gecko

I’m not much of a gardener but I do like to try to grow a few things in our patch of garden. It’s been very rewarding recently to go out and pick a few salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes to add to the salad for our dinner, and know exactly how they’ve been grown and enjoy the lovely, fresh taste. A small area of the veg patch had got past it’s best and after some procrastinating it was time to take action. My husband kindly cleared the old tomato plants and I dug over the area, adding some of my homemade compost. After rummaging through my bag of seeds I thought I’d try some beet root. As I said, I’m not much of a gardener so apologies to any knowledgable gardeners reading this who might baulk at the idea of planting beet root in July in Saudi! Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and I will happily leave the results in ‘the lap of the gods’ or as they say locally- Inshallah.
When I went to get some shop bought potting compost to sprinkle over the seeds I was surprised to be met with this sight-

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2 tiny gecko eggs:)
I don’t mind these small lizards at all. In fact I think they’re quite sweet and am happy to have them live around our doorway as I’m sure they do their best to keep the mosquito population down. My husband likes them too, but has told me a few tales of Saudis at work killing them because they’re dangerous. Intrigued, I looked it up and found that it’s all tied in with Mohammed’s teachings. In Islam, the house gecko is regarded as a pest and like other pests a carrier of disease. Which, I suppose, equates to how mice, cockroaches, ants etc. are regarded in my culture. Here is the link for the info I found-
http://en.islamtoday.net/quesshow-152-607.htm
Have I changed my opinion of geckos? Although,yes, I can understand that geckos are possibly germ- carriers, I still think they’re cute and don’t really think that they should be killed so senselessly- but then I haven’t been brought up in the Islamic faith.