Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Re: Your Hat

My Dear Niece Tanya,

I finally finished knitting your hat, just as I'd promised I would! I thought you'd be happy about that, since you've been waiting and waiting. However, I haven't had a chance to send it yet. Your hat was ready to go....all nestled in pretty tissue paper in a priority mailing box, just waiting to actually be posted. The thing is - John and I were about to leave on a trip to Budapest when John checked the weather online. It was going to be ear-nippingly cold there and I, unfortunately, did not have a proper hat. Nothing to cover my ears at all, as a matter of fact!

I know you'll remember the hat I had at our last visit in January. That pretty cabled one? Well, Carli stole that one, or not really stole it, but just sort of claimed it, as daughter's are prone to do. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining though, because I was really glad that she loved the hat, it frankly looked better on her than on me, and it was pink.
Enough said.

So, there I was, without a hat and about to leave on a journey to a cold place where I'd be outdoors much of the time. I really didn't have a choice, sweetie. Your hat had to go along.

You'll be glad to know that your hat performed its' functions perfectly. As you can see, it perched on my head quite cheerily, looking cute and perky even under dreary skies. It kept me very warm and cozied up my ears quite nicely. It gets excellent ratings in both fashion and function.
Since it accompanied me on several educational outings, your hat knows some things about Budapest also, such as the proper way to pronounce Budapest. Bud-ah-pesht is the proper way. And how Hungarian goulash, (goo-Yash without the L if you can believe it), is actually a soup rather than a stew.

Interesting, right?

Speaking of goulash, I picked up some Hungarian paprika that I'll include in the package along with your hat, which I'll send out directly. Please tell your sister, Trisha that I've started working on her hat today.

Oh! One more thing:

You might want to warn her - we're experiencing a bit of cold snap right now, and I'm scheduled to travel to a nursing conference in Istanbul next week.

Her hat may just have to tag along.

Much Love,
Your Auntie Jul xxxooo

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Shouldn't I?

Remember I told you about my super cool, 3 month Secret Pal? Check out package numero dos:
Why yes! That is Madeline Tosh Sock in the Tart colorway. And yes, the box was filled with delicious chocolate Valentine's Candy. And yes, Dear Reader - that is a lovely, squishy, infinitely soft hand knit scarf. The note says, "Why shouldn't you have two Valentine's Days?"

Well! Why shouldn't I indeed?

And so, given that, I did.

The pattern is xeriscape. It brings out my inner Calamity Jane, don't you think?

Thank you Secret Pal for one - giving me a second Valentine's Day and two - making it so decadent and delicious.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

C A R N I V A L !

Easter is a major holiday here in Greece, something like our American Christmas. The hoopla leading up to Easter lasts about 6 weeks. Carnival is the last hurrah before the fasting of lent just before Easter. We spent the weekend before Clean Monday in Patras, Greece. The streets were crowded with people in festive gear - masks, feather boas, silly hats. Balloon vendors weilded giant colorful balloon bouquets. Street vendors lined the streets, as well as street performers and craft booths. The cobblestones were littered with scraps of confetti from the parties of the night before.
video
The atmosphere was festive and light and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a local Taverna. Our waitresses were costumed as Dashing Pirates and Glittery Dancing Girls. We spoke to a knowledgable local Greek citizen who told us that the Carnival here in Patras, though one of the best in Greece - didn't compare at all to those in Northern Brazil. Could be - but we were suitably impressed anyway.
Happy Carnival!