Let me start by saying that I have never drunk a cup of Starbucks coffee. I "took agin" Starbucks at some point and I can't even remember why any more. I think I was offended at the price of their coffee and their vulgarly large mugs. In addition, I had a college friend who was convinced that Starbucks was secretly plotting to take over the world: they're not a hip and indie little company from Seattle, oh no - the profits from Starbucks go towards some mega-mogul's gold-plated yacht. In my head, this mysterious mogul calls himself Daddy Starbucks and he lies on a sun-lounger on the deck of his yacht smoking Cuban cigars, while silicone-implanted ladies in tiny bikinis do the Macarena on the bow of the ship. I don't know why I have this image, but it's hard to fork out fistfuls of euros for a cup of coffee that I can make in my own house (three minutes away) when Daddy Starbucks is cackling wildly in the back of my mind and making the bikini girls do the hokey cokey.
Anyway, while my brother John and Father Gingerbread see Steve Jobs of Apple as a Visionary of Our Time, Mr Jobs is my husband's Daddy Starbucks. I have not taken agin Mr Jobs - I don't feel threatened by a man in turtleneck sweaters - but Mr Gingerbread was unusually tight-lipped at my decision to line the coffers of the Apple Inc by buying an iPad. And let me add that I am possibly the only person in the world who has only bought the iPad for work: I've no interest in playing games on it and the only apps (see how I bandy the techno jargon about already!) I've downloaded (for free!) so far are e-readers to peruse the extensive and free collection of literary classics ... and a calculator.
Having said that, though, I must admit (whisper it) that I love it. I love it. Since I bought it four days ago, I've been going in and out to my husband telling him all the stuff it can do:
"... And then, see, there's this programme here, see, and you can take a picture of a leaf and then the iPad tells you what kind of tree it comes from. And look at this, look, this is the solar system. You can look at the stars and it'll tell you what you're looking at and, look - you're not looking! - this is an encyclopaedia of animals. Look, that's a muskrat. Cool, eh? And, look here's a - "
He steers me back to my desk: "That's nice, dear. Have fun."
"But, no, wait, look - here's a collection of historical maps of the world. Look, you can see Germany in 1752, look - "
So I decided to risk the Sweater Curse and make my iPad a jumper out of some of the tiny scraps of colourful sockyarn I had left over from my scrap yarn projects:
It is deceptively simple: it actually involved complex maths. (At least, I found them complex - but that's not saying a lot.) I also had to make a couple of odd little three-quarter squares in order to ensure a neat opening. In other words, a new pattern is brewing for a neat little pouch, purse, book-bag or cozy.
And even though today, Sunday, is supposed to be a day of rest, we put down new tiles on our balcony, finally making it a place to rest. Mother Pigeon was very distressed by all fuss and noise, but the little biddy didn't budge.
It's still quite bare and empty (and the posts for railings are missing), but it's only a matter of time before I add to my extensive collection of 5 (five) plants and build a little herb garden in the corner.