Most every day I go to the post office to drop off parcels. There are a few I go to, depending on what I am doing that day – one near the park if I’m off to walk deuce, or another nearer to me when I need to be home. I’ve been going to one pretty regularly now that they know me. Two blokes work there – one younger, one older. Yesterday, the younger guy was being a little crusty to me (he had a scarf on inside – maybe he was sick?), but then, out of the blue, he asks me if I believe in Jesus Christ. ?? or more precisely, wtf?
I didn’t want to get into a theological discussion with the dude behind the window (1. because I was not in a sparring mood, 2) because he is my local post office dude and 2. because he is behind a window and frankly who can have a decent conversation when it goes dude ‘blah blah’, me ‘sorry, can you repeat that?’, dude ‘blah blah’, me ‘oh, right, blahblah?’, dude, ‘sorry, can you repeat that?’, me ‘I’m sorry what did you say?’, dude…etc, with a line of people behind you casting you the evil eye for taking up their time.) so I just said yes. then he asked me if I went to church. Again I said yes. It isn’t a lie, I have been to many different churches both during service and out, United Chinese, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Swedish, German, Albertan, English, French, Spanish… as well as temples (both jewish buddhist and confucian, probably even taoist). Then he asked me what fellowship I belonged to. I remember thinking bugger, I was caught out… I stammered that I hadn’t been in this country (again true), that I had been in Canada… and they he whipped out a little pamphlet, and invited me to go to his church.
I read the pamphlet whilst madly trying to find a way out that would still enable me to use the post office and not insult the guy, whilst vaguely wondering whether everyone got this special treatment or only the regulars? Surely this cannot be good professional practice? Or maybe the post office encourages both saving money in their new bank service as well as saving souls in certain recommended Sunday services? The pamphlet directed: ‘The most IMPORTANT MESSAGE you will ever read! READ IT NOW”. The pamphlet even had a glossary with helpful translations of quotes – “God = the Creator and Sustainer of life”, “Whosoever=You”, “The World= You and everyone else”, “Perish= eternal punishment for those who refuse God’s plan of salvation.” Just in case I really had no idea about Christianity. Maybe he thought I was a heathen needing salvation? A sinning heathen no less if the pamphlet is anything to go by!
I managed to say that I’d think about it, hoping he’d drop it. No such luck. Dude continued to extol the virtues of his church, very friendly, i’d fit right in and all that. He even offered to have his friend come pick me up in his car and take me to his church. In PLAIDSTOW. Right on the other side of town. Um… very nice offer, but frankly, going anywhere in a car with this guy or his friend was not on the cards. I declined, and finally (stupid me for not saying before!) said that I was going to get married in two weeks and wouldn’t be back for 2 months so in any event wouldn’t be able to consider until then. He deflated a little at this, and turned away leaving the older dude to speak to me. He stopped asking me to his church!! Yay. But given the effect of those words – surely I can only conclude he was trying to pick me up? Someone should let him know telling a girl she is a sinner and in need of salvation is probably not the best way to get a girl on side.
I put my parcels in the Royal Mail bags, and ran out. I guess no “Everlasting life” ( as translated =with God in Heaven forever, in a state of supreme happiness and bliss) for me!
It’s okay. I can stay on Earth, with my stash and be in a pretty good state of happiness and bliss. On the knitting front have been busy! Finished my leaf lace socks (from Vogue Ultimate Socks) for a friend.
And I also finished one sock out of my first RSC kit – Serendipity in Dragon Dance STR yarn. Lovely quick knit, love the colours… the pattern looks like lizard/dinosaur skin…. neat but also slightly disturbing on the foot. Will finish the other soon and start on the Socktopus Club socks. I knit it 0.5 inches shorter than actual foot length, but because it already has about half an inch negative ease on the circumference, and because, on 2.25mm needles it is quite a tight fabric, I should have knit to actual foot length. Oh well, they aren’t uncomfortable and i’m sure they’ll have some more give.
I made the Odessa hat from Grumperina -out of hot pink Manos del Uruguay from iknit. Knit on 4.5mm and 5.5mm needles, I knit to 20 cm before i began decreasing, as I wanted a longer toque rather than fitted hat. Love it! Think will keep this one, though, to be honest, it was intended as gift. May knit another on smaller needles since… well it was a two evening knit, so could whip one up relatively quickly!
And finally, more bagels! Putting into practice things observed from the Nigella recipe, and a few tips from Cookwise, a sort of chemistry book on cooking, I tried the Bagel Oasis recipe again. They came out alright. Observations:
1) I did kill the yeast the first time. These guys really puffed up.
2) I punched down half the dough after the rising, and let it sit 15 minutes.
3) I punched down the other half, and knead it firmly afterwards for another few minutes, no 15 minute rest. These made bigger bagels (they grew more in the oven and on boiling than previous half).
4) I added half teaspoon cinnamon to the dough. Next time I’d add a bit more.
They turned out more bagel looking and a better size than the first batch, and more bagel like than Nigella’s version. Adding brown sugar to the boiling water does give them a nice brownish shine to the outside. These ones also got a 1 minute rest after boiling (to dry), were boiled for 2.5 minutes longer… and have a much much better crust than the soft Nigella bagels. I will find some malt syrup from a chemist and try with this instead of brown sugar, as trad bagels are made with it. Maybe that will bring it closer in flavour to the real thing. Still, am happy with these…. and scoffing them toasted with some butter is yummy!