The wind is howling, the rain is lashing down, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for better weather as I get on a plane early tomorrow to fly to London on route to Budapest. I bought a lovely new suitcase today, with lots of room for goodies on the way back, and I’m really looking forward to a weekend at the Christmas Market!

Box lid

Still beading away, this time I’ve done a panel for a box lid using one of the patterns from earlier.



This gave me a giggle today…

Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systemic review of randomised controlled trials


Still beading like crazy. In particular I’ve been playing around, beading collars to traditional Saraguro designs.

Paralelos necklace
This is the first one I made, the design is called Paralelos. It’s worked in 3mm twisted bugles, and size 11/0 seed beads, both in a peacock/iris colour.

Hojas necklace
I then moved on to this one (aka The Necklace That Never Ends – it seemed to take forever to finish!). This is in pale blue and silver size 11/0 seed beads, and the design is called Hojas.

And the one I’m currently working on – Rombos. All size 11/0 seed beads again, in two shades of green and one of gold (although the photo isn’t great, so the colours aren’t that distinct).

I’ll get Dad to photograph them properly when I’m home so I can put decent images of them up on my website.


I’ve been beading like a fiend this weekend, making items for the Christmas exhibition at Patchings, and managed to completely forget that I’m giving a lecture to Masters students tomorrow morning! Thankfully I lectured on this topic last year, so I’ve just got to update and review my slides.

And I’ve been looking at the designs below, and I’ve realised the big problem with the bottom one is that the bench and table are floating in midair. I’d better tweak it a bit so they’re grounded.


I’ve been working on some designs for a box lid, trying to choose which one to do.

Spiral pattern

Knot pattern

Knot pattern

Knot pattern

Garden bench

People spotting

So Wilbeary and Mum might be exited about the people they see, but I had my own brush with fame yesterday when I went for lunch with a couple of workmates and Martin Sheen walked in. He’s currently taking some courses at NUI Galway, so he’s seen around campus quite a lot.

Short stories

Very short stories that is, with a limit of six words. I think my favourite is…

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
– Rockne S. O’Bannon

Visit here to see the rest.


I love lists. I really enjoy organising things into lists, putting them into categories, arranging them in order of importance. It’s why my books are in alphabetical (ish) order on my bookshelves (and divided by category), why I love boxes with lots of little compartments, why I’ve catalogued all my books on LibraryThing and it’s a great way of putting off any actual work. So I’ve spent most of this morning putting together a timeline for my last three months in this job (hasn’t it gone fast?) on the advice of my supervisor, and now everytime I look at it I get a lovely warm glow. I’ve listed the experiments I need to have done, marked whether they’re complete and how many times I’ve done them (I have to do everything at least 3 times to prove it’s not just a fluke that I got that result), and then laid out a timetable fitting in all the remaining work, with spare days and flexibility for When Things Go Wrong. It is a thing of beauty, and best of all it says that I can have 3 days off in December to go to Budapest.

Now I just have to do the actual work 😛

Various bits…

I flew back to Galway yesterday, via Leeds Bradford airport. I’m not sure what I think of it – it’s very convenient for me at the Galway end, but the Leeds end is not that easy to find or get to. Even having travelled the route on Friday, we still managed to go wrong again yesterday! It’s very compact, particularly at check-in where it was tricky to figure out who was queuing and who was just standing around due to the lack of space. On the other hand, the departure lounge is very comfortable, and has obviously recently been refitted.

It was good though to get back here mid-afternoon. It meant I had time to unpack and unwind a little before work on Monday – and I was back in plenty of time to catch Torchwood on BBC3! I’m undecided at the moment, it’s a bit keen on the fact that it’s after the watershed (rat jam anyone?). So far I’m not enjoying it as much as I do Doctor Who, but it’s good enough that I’ll keep watching and give it a few more episodes. It’s always difficult with a new programme, as they have to dump so much information on you! I do like the extra BBC channels though (BBC3, BBC4 and BBC7). I saw a great programme on Mrs Beeton last week, and there’s been some good stuff on the main BBC channels recently as well (Jane Eyre, Robin Hood, a new series of QI…).

I was very sorry to hear about the death of Paul Walters over the weekend. The morning radio just won’t be the same without him.

So it was back to work today, and meeting with my supervisor as we work out layout etc. for a paper we want to write. Exciting, and a bit scary as it’s not something I’ve done before! I’ve also realised today that I’ve used up an awful lot of holiday this year (I get 21 days), so I’m juggling things around trying to go to Budapest in December…

Mum, Dad and Wilbeary have moved on from New York to Denver (which looks a lot nicer than I expected – not sure what I was expecting though), where it’s apparently very cold, but they’re keeping warm by eating cheesecake.


The course went well, with both students getting the hang of all the chains I was teaching, and going home with several bracelets each. They also bought some finished chain maille and some rings to make more of their own, and I sold a necklace. So a good day to be in Patchings.

I was also able to pick up a kit to make a pair of earvines I’d ordered. They look lovely, I definitely recommend this kit.

Chain Maille course

I’m back in the UK, and preparing to teach my first course on chain maille tomorrow. Wish me luck!


Just to show that you can find anything on the internet – A great cake

Although I have to admit that I’ve always been a fan of unusual wedding cakes. There used to be a shop in Liverpool that made great cakes – Rapunzels tower with the groom climbing up the brides hair, a swimming pool with the bride and groom in swimming costumes lounging beside it, a helter skelter with the happy couple sliding down.

Not much happened today, I seem to have given my cold to at least three people round work, so we had a coffee session with much sneezing and sniffing today. I also popped by to say ‘hi’ to my supervisor to remind her that I still existed, and she reminded me that we’ve only got a month left to put together a grant for me to stay on here, and we really need the last two weeks to polish….

Chain maille

As well as the beading, I’ve been doing some chain maille. I recently got a shipment of rubber rings, so I’ve been playing with the possibilities with those, first by weaving some foxtail.

Foxtail bracelet

Then by playing at making stretchy bracelets using a Japanese 12-2 weave I’ve just learnt from a new book.

Stretchy bracelets

These look great on.

With the weaves I’ve been learning from my new book, I’ve also been making some necklaces with anodized niobium.

Niobium necklace

The picture isn’t great (the rings are shades of blue and green, and the beads are hematite), but the necklace is very pretty on.

Mum and Dad flew to New York today, so Wilbeary is posting again with as much of a bad attitude as ever!

I still know how to bead

It’s been quite busy here lately, including a trip to Rotterdam for a conference, but I’ve managed to fit in some beading and prove I still know how.

Beaded box

I’ve made this from size 11/0 seed beads, following a pattern from Julia Pretl’s ‘Little Boxes’ book.

Flood. Again.

Got a text late last night to let me know that the roof at work has leaked AGAIN, so I came in this morning to find all my stuff had been moved to various locations around the office to protect it from the minature rainstorm going on above my desk. So I’ve spent today so far grumbling while I sort through all my papers (it’s the nature of my job to have a lot of papers around the place, and I’m a kind of messy person), binning a lot of them and deciding what can be relagated to my locker. I do hope they get this sorted soon – it’s not just this room that’s being affected, and we’re at the beginning of autumn on the west coast of Ireland. It’s just possible that it might rain again…


You are The Cap’n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn’t eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you – but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones’ locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed – a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.






What’s Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Don’t forget Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th – Arrr!


So I’m trying my hand at adding a widget to the sidebar. I’ve managed (after a lot of trial and error) to add this one in (showing books), and I’m getting there. I can add it in ok, but I’m having fun figuring out how NOT to mess up the CSS. It’s not too bad at the moment, but I still need to play around with it a bit more.

Oh, and I’ve updated my website

And while I’m at it I’m finally finishing of half written posts, and putting pictures up. You can see the new blog posts here, here, here, and here.


When I arrived at work this morning it was to find we’d had a bit of a flood in our second floor office – well, more of a shower really. There are air conditioning vents in the ceiling, and everyone who sits under one of these (including me) found our desk dripping wet. Luckily, all of my computer is under cover except the keyboard, and that seems to have dried out ok, but a couple of people haven’t been so lucky with a broken monitor and a laptop that’s started acting dotty among the casualties so far. We’ve all had to go through our papers as well so our desks are festooned with bits of paper drying out. It’s lashing it down outside now so I’m hoping the repair guy gets it fixed soon!


So I’ve decided I don’t like my website. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the content (even if it is woefully out of date), and I definitely want a website (if only because the address is listed in my book), but I’m not happy with the look of the site. I designed it a couple of years ago, and I generally keep with the same look but update the colour scheme with the seasons (ish), but I’m getting bored with it now. That’s part of why there’s not been an update for ages – I have new content to add, but want to change from the winter theme first and can’t come up with anything I’m happy with. Any ideas anyone? Less fussy? Plain background? I like the menu, but maybe move it? Answers on a postcard, please.