Monday, 23 February 2009

An exciting weekend

phew! What a weekend that was! I missed the quidditch for the fact I was working on a presentation in one of today's classes (another story!). I can't believe that some of the information in quidditch was pertaining to me. Of course I'd miss it when it was something to do with me, typical!

Even though I missed quidditch, I did manage to get to Hogsmead for the fact that I had to write up a presentation about a government body. I would love to write about my father, but his job is so top secret I don't even think he knows what he does! So I settled for the post office.

Now the post office in Hogsmead is one of the biggest around for miles because it serves Hogswarts when the students owls would be overwhelmed at peak times such as Halloween or when owls take a rest (they too get holidays!), and the surrounding districts.

So Hogsmead PO has 438 owls ranging from your typical barn owl to the small elf owl. Each owl is placed in specific categories, not according to bird, but according to the parcel, the delivery method, and the weight. Now some parcels are really heavy which is where the PO staff come in by putting a charm on the parcel to make it smaller or lighter depending on the original parcel.

The owls are trained because you have to have stamps proving that the owl is government approved agent and the specifications that the bird can handle. Each bird is given courses in the best way to handle the parcel, best times for flying, best ways to deal with certain adverse weather and the like. Once the owl has taken all the required courses, the owl has to take a test both written (well use of pecking for the correct answer) and a trial flight with different parcels, situations, and customers.

Each category has a lead bird and he/she is in charge of making sure his/her group meets the targets set for the day, week, or month depending. When targets are met, each bird has the opportunity to move onto a better route within the PO district. Most birds develop a lovely relationship with the customers' on its route that most birds stick with the same route for their life within the PO. Each bird is only allowed to be employed for 5 yrs and enjoys a retirement courtesy of the government.

The birds are given strict diets in which to obtain the best flight and speed for each bird. These are athletes to the fullest and take their job seriously! As I said, each bird receives a holiday each year in which to relax and visit friends/family.

I was very fortunate to sit in on a training class, and a test flight. I also witnessed that size doesn't matter. Some of the smallest birds carried larger parcels than their larger co-workers, I was surprised at that.

So I had such a lovely time at Hogsmead PO that I decided to adopt a bird. With an adoption you help the bird by taking it for its holiday time if the bird doesn't have any family, friends close by, you can also donate food, and you can visit your owl on its day off. As well, you can help provide comfort when it becomes ill (which usually doesn't happen since it is on a great diet!).

So I adopted an elf owl because Ollie said that they usually eat moths, beetles, and crickets so he figured he would be pretty safe for being a spider if he came along. Ollie and Rollie (the owl) seemed to get along quite well in fact that Ollie convinced Rollie to get him some fruit.

Rollie soon figured out that giving Ollie fruit was the worse possible idea he had in a long time. Ollie was so out to lunch because of the fruit that he ended up spinning poor Rollie into a big mess. It took me ages to untangle the poor thing. Lesson learned by Rollie about Ollie's fruit habit.

So after saying good bye to Rollie with a promise to come back on our next Hogsmead trip, and an open invitation to visit Hogwarts at any time Ollie and I made our way to The three brooms so that I could have a butter beer after the unwrapping incident. By this time it was time to go back to Hogwarts, and do up my presentation using Magic point (which I'm horrible at!) all the while dealing with a severly annoying spider coming off fruit!

Friday, 20 February 2009


1. What momentous event was the reason that the members of the Order of the Phoenix felt it necessary to move Harry out of the Dursley’s house?
d. Harry’s upcoming birthday

2. Who revealed the actual date of Harry’s transfer to Voldemort, despite the misinformation the Order had been spreading around that the move would occur on the eve of his actual birthday?
b. Snape

3. With the use of Polyjuice Potion (and to confuse any possible attack by Death Eaters), six member of the Order were disguised as Harry and escorted out of Privet Drive, along with the real Harry. Which member of the order did not survive that night?
a. Mad-Eye Moody

4. Who informed Harry, Ron and Hermione of the bequests left to them in Dumbledore’s will?
d. Rufus Scimgeour

5. During the wedding celebration for Bill and Fleur, Kingley Shacklebolt sent a Patronus to tell the guests that the Ministry had fallen, Scrimgeour (the Minister) was dead and the wedding celebration was about to be attacked by Death Eaters. What form did the Patronus take?
a. A lynx

6. Escaping from the wedding to London, our three friends found themselves confronted by a pair of Death Eaters, disguised as workmen. This close brush impressed on them the need to find someplace to hide. Where did they decide to go?
b. Sirius Black’s house

7. Kreacher’s animosity towards Harry, Ron and especially Hermione (a Mudblood) was well documented in book five, “The Order of the Phoenix.” His initial interaction with them showed that his attitude had not changed. How did they win him over?
d. By giving him Regulus Black’s old locket

8. Who did they eventually find was in possession of the locket/Horcrux?
d. Dolores Umbridge

9. What did Harry find embedded in the door of Umbrdige’s office?
a. Moody’s magical eye

10. After retrieving the Horcrux, they tried to return to their safe place but they were pursued (actually Yaxley tagged along when they disapparated). This meant that the Death Eaters knew their hiding place and they had to go somewhere else. Where did Hermione take them?
d. To the site of the Quidditch World Cup

Scavenger pics

Monday, 16 February 2009


My homework for the trip is sooo late! But then again I wasn't able to go to Hogsmead for the fact I was at two archery competitions and just got back from school after a hard days work! I'm so not going to get any marks for this but I'll tell you my weekend anyways...........

So I found out that muggle archery isn't the same as Magic archery. Basically Muggle archery you have two types either: killing prey such as a deer or for sport by simply shooting at a target. Much more simple than Magic archery I must say. The only reason why I found out about this as one of the competitors is a Muggle and she explained it to me. I think I want to try this someday, not the killing part, but the target part.

Now magical archery is way more difficult and I was impressed that the Muggle did so well. Now the rules of magical archery are pretty much the same as Muggle archery, but it's like a horse jumping competition. You have to get your arrow around a course by shooting it like a normal arrow. Like I said much more difficult than normal archery.

So I came in third in my category at Sunday's competition, our team in my category came in third, and our seniors came in first! So it was a decent weekend I must say.

I also was able to charm a parking attendant into not giving us a parking ticket as our ride was parked in a non magic vehicle parking spot. So I saved us a heafty fine!

So that was what I was up to this weekend, sorry I missed Hogsmead that is always fun. I wonder if those guys I met the first time were there?

ETA: Hogsmead isn't until next week, how lucky! I can go! Totally need to get Ollie to start taking notes as I need someone to be my brain!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Second homework!

1. Do you knit or crochet? I knit, and am trying to teach myself to crochet (haven't managed a lot of time to that as of yet)
How long have you been at your craft? hmmm 3 yrs?
2. Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do? nope cause that could be another hobby that will take over my life
3. Are there any other crafts that you participate in? I do sugar flowers for cakes
4. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? anything natural, I usually buy wool
5. What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? acrylic I guess, as I wouldn't use it for items I would wear, would use it for toys not that I make much of those
6. Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance? nope, I'm happy with it all
7. What are you currently working on? a pair of fingerless gloves for a test knit, and that's it at the moment as I haven't gotten around to what to do next
8. Are their any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? nope, think I have most of the basic stuff down and
9. Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift? nope!
10. Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks? my mother's handmade needle roll
11. Do you like sweets? What are your favorites? oh yes, silly question! chocolates, hard sweets pretty much anything, no walnuts or white chocolate don't like them much! Yes I can honestly say I love pretty much all sweet things
12. Are you having a birthday during this swap? yes I am

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

First homework!

Goodness, I've barely had time to unpack my suitcase and we have homework!

I'm choosing to write about who taught me to knit!

I was about 5 yrs old and it was the summer. I spent my early years with my grandparents before I went to school. We were at the cottage and my grandmother was a fantastic knitter. I can't remember if I wanted to learn, or if she taught me. Something tells me it was me that wanted to learn as I like to try things out, and once I know I can do it, I give it up as what's the point if I can do it?

I remember having bright orange needles, and red yarn. I was taught how to simply knit and purl, and my grandmother used the most complicated, but fascinating way of casting on. It looked like she was using her finger as a knitting needle. I made a Barbie blanket and my grandmother casted it off for me. I made a few more of these squares for various small toys. Being 5 yrs old, and knowing I could knit sort of led me to put my knitting aside for years.

Every year for Christmas my father would say he wanted me to make him a scarf, and well I didn't until 10 yrs later when my grandmother thought it was high time to put my father out of his misery. So out again came the needles, and yarn. We choose a simple basket weave pattern, and off I went.

The amount of tears, frustration, and anger at the stupid scarf made me totally not enjoy working that project. I'd make a mistake and get upset, my grandmother would rip it out, and get me back to where I was, and she would add a bit more to make up for lost time! Finally the torturous thing was finished and my father still has it to this day (now 17 yrs later, and even after the incident of the drycleaners!). I told my grandmother that there was no way I was ever knitting again. She told me that when I got older I would want to learn. Suffice to say she was right, but she had passed away 3 yrs previously to me learning to knit.

I retaught myself to knit about 3 yrs ago, and I have cranked out tons of stuff. I wish my grandmother could see that yes I could knit and that I'm fairly decent at it. I even managed to teach myself that magic cast on method where your finger is the other needle. My mother tried numerous times to show me to no avail, but I managed it myself!

I even managed socks for the first time with a book from Emma Wigworthy who was my spoiler three terms ago, funny to say I now have her as my spoilee, and I have a lot to live up to! I also have found a passion for fingerless gloves, and the ever more complicated/fun----lace!

I hope somewhere that my grandmother can see that she started me off on something that is fun, and that I can do as I'm not the most crafty of people (unlike my mother who can do anything). So I owe my knitting to my grandmother, the fluorescent orange needles, and red yarn