And now into the present-list fray for Christmas 2016! Usual disclaimer applies (click back through the posts here if you don't know what that is). If you do choose something off the list, PLEASE TELL JOHN WHAT IT IS. If you don't have his email, get in touch with me and I'll let you know it. If you don't tell him, then you run the risk of someone else having kindly bought me the same thing and one of them needing to be returned and we all know how icky that is...
This has been a super-difficult list to compile this time. Partly because my usual list of books isn't needed because now I have access to All The Libraries - about 7 at current count and more available should I need them. As it's early days for the PhD, I don't yet know which texts are going to be crucial and constantly referred to because I haven't really worked out what I'm doing. Plus having shipped all our stuff from Australia earlier this year, we are now drowning in novels, cookbooks, cooking equipment, CDs and all the other things that make life lovely. We have run out of room and I'm not allowed to think about them (that said, if you've seen something you think I'll love and don't have, don't be put off!)
My big obsession and relaxation activity now is sewing. I've got far enough along that I know this is going to be an ongoing thing, and so there are a few tools that would be useful, and some things that would just be lovely to have.
Pressing tools: I really need a tailor's ham to be able to press curves once they're sewn for a clean finish. There's one here which is getting good reviews, although I'm not fussed about what particular brand. There is also a sleeve roll which would be useful but not as critical as the tailor's ham which as I venture into fitted tops is becoming a requirement! A tailor's clapper would also be nice but as this is basically just a smooth bit of wood to squish down on a seam, it seems a bit mad to buy one. Should anyone wish to spend a little time DIYing one, though, there are loads of pics on Google, and even some instructions. Just search for "tailor's clapper" :-)
A rotary cutter would be nice. This is a hard one for me to justify buying for myself as I have lovely Fiskars scissors, but it is supposed to be far more accurate than scissors and also makes cutting slippery fabric (such as the viscose jersey I seem to be using a lot lately but also things like silk and lining fabric for skirts or coats) much much easier and quicker. I already use an enormous self-healing mat when cutting out fabric so don't need a mat to go with it.
I would really like some merino wool jersey, if it's to be found anywhere. I've not found any wool jersey here at all and online it all seems to come from NZ. Some spandex content is fine (as is a blend with natural fibres or viscose/rayon), but no polyester, please, because it tends to make me itch. 1.3m would allow me to make a long-sleeved turtleneck top.
Palmer & Pletsch: Fit For Real People. From everything I've read, this is everyone's go-to guide to fitting things properly. I'm not entirely sure how often I might need to refer to it, but it covers everything.
Castle, Seasons 1-8. We still haven't seen all of this because while Amazon sometimes brings it back, they keep taking it away again before we've finished.
Battlestar Galactica (new series). I devoured this on Amazon last year - all three seasons in about a week and a half, it was so good. Definitely want to be seeing this again, and I suspect more than once and it's no longer on-demand on Amazon. So so good.
Angel, Seasons 1-5. This is the spin-off series from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (for those who are unfamiliar). I don't think I've ever seen this all the way to the end but there's certainly some great moments in there and it's no longer on-demand on Amazon. First-rate fare for those necessary study-procrastination rest and recovery days.
Star Trek: Into Darkness DVD - can't believe we don't own this one already. Benedict Cumberbatch as the bad guy :-)
Black Sails, Season 2 and Season 3 - I have season 1, and 2 and 3 were great but only on Amazon, which, as you'll be noticing by now I'm sure, cannot be relied on to have favourite TV shows at the ready when one is in need of them! This show is wonderful, though. Marvellous pirates.
There aren't many of these I need, really - given the whole household's worth of stuff still in boxes in the basement, but if you were so inclined, any pretty little things from Georg Jensen would of course be well received :-)
A bit of a weird one, but my CD player stopped working pretty much as soon as we got it home from Aus, so that needs to go for repairs. I don't know where or how much it'll cost yet, but any contribution would be well received
There are a couple of PhD-related supplies that would be useful:
Gorillapod flexible tripod. For videoing in strange locations
Light diffusion kit. For videoing at home and photographing artworks without strange light-bouncing effects happening
A new scanner would help me to not scream obscenities through the house every week when I go to scan my PhD notes and the Epson continually throws errors at me/won't work if anything is plugged into any other USB port/seems to conform to no logic at all.
Usual gift-vouchers to Amazon.co.uk or Cass Art (note that the vouchers at the Cass website can only be used online but half the joy is going to the shop and poking around all the little bits, so unfortunately this one would require somebody to actually go to a Cass shop to get a real-world gift voucher. I don't know why this system is so archaic and weird.)
and there's one book which sounds like it might be useful and interesting and which none of the libraries currently have (although I should be able to request that Bath Spa buys it in for me, so don't feel you have to - it's rather pricey!) - Composing Under the Skin: The Music-Making Body at the Composer's Desk by Paul Craenen
Crazy expensive stuff that I don't anticipate anyone has the funds for
A new iPad - 9.7" iPad Pro, WiFi + 4G, 64Gb+ - MacRumors reckons there'll be a new one out soon (probably around March/April going by the average time between releases) so I've been waiting for that to see if it's worth getting. There's a fair chance that it won't be though, given that Apple have removed the headphone jack from the latest iPhone, so if you win EuroMillions, just go for it :-) If you want to contribute to this one, either contact John to go forth and get an Apple gift voucher (note: it needs to be an Apple UK one, not Apple Australia or iTunes anywhere) or the dull option of just money would be welcome.
A new Wii / Wii U console - because the one we have seems to be dead. This would need to be bought from a UK retailer as Wiis are region-encoded. There is a cheaper option, though, but you'd need to talk to John - this is to buy a used Wii that lacks cables, sensor bar etc (because ours all work and it's only the main unit that's ceased to proceed) which is about £20-30 (instead of the about £250 for the new model)