Tuesday, 4 November 2008


To Janet at Twisted Knitter, for the gift of some gorgeous sock yarn and a mix CD. It is on its way from Texas and I am very excited. I love the generosity of knitting bloggers. There are often give aways, and I have learned so much as a beginning knitter reading about other people's projects.

To my Grandma for inspiring me to enter the wonderful world of knitting; (pictures of my first cowl to follow soon).

For good friends. One of my closest friends flew in from Ohio yesterday, and we had a wonderful dinner full of good food good wine, and most importantly good talk, and lots of laughs. Being with good friends feels so easy, they know all the stories, it takes minutes to catch up after months apart, and there is always new experiences and old memories to share.

I feel a bit like I do after eating breakfast in bed, or taking off my shoes after a long day walking in the countryside, or perhaps how a cat feels after a saucer of cream.

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Weather is Changing

The sky is an awesome and threatening lilac grey. The rain is coming. It will be the first proper autumn rain this year. We have had some beautiful crisp sunny days over the last few weeks, but I am ready for tiny cold raindrops prickling my face as the wind blows the towards me, and the relief of getting home, shaking off, cooking a hearty meal, reading, and knitting.

As the weather changes, so does so much else. Bean & I began packing this weekend, many of our things being sealed up, to be opened in 9 months time by different people. Well, actually the same people, but with an additional set of experiences, and stripped of so many of the things we identify ourselves with - job, home, even my bicycle!

Changing weather, changing leaves, changing seasons.

Friday, 17 October 2008


It's been a little while since I have posted, somehow life seemed to get in the way, and in the meanwhile autumn has begun. Walking home from work last night I was struck by the cool colours in the sky as the short evening came to an end. Almost clear of clouds, the icy blue sky formed the perfect background for the rich warm variety of colours found in the leaves of the trees on Wandsworth Common. As the sun set the cool blues mixed with a vibrant pink, so different from the rich golden sunsets of summertime.

The crisp air has allowed me the luxury of knitwear, scarves, mittens, and hats, not to mention my long knee socks. My enthusiasm for woolly hats and scarves has developed this year, into an expensive and time consuming knitting habit. I am working on my second scarf, fingerless mittens have been completed, and I am setting my sights on lace. There is great satisfaction to be found in making something, seeing it develop in front of your eyes, and I am very much enjoying it. I look forward to many cozy evenings curled up on the sofa, knitting away and drinking hot chocolate.

Monday, 22 September 2008

A Whole New London

Every now and then, I discover something new about London. I have lived here about 5 years now, and it still surprises me every now and then. This weekend I went to Greenwich for the first time. I had been to the dome when it opened, but never really knew there was much more to the area. Well, how silly I was. Greenwich is beautiful, and full of market stalls selling everything from second hand books, to handmade jewelry to Bonsai trees. The streets meander in a refreshing tangle of pavement, and then, bang, you're in a beautiful big green park, with a hillside stretching up in front of you, crowned by the Royal Observatory. The lovely neoclassical buildings of the Naval museum draw straight, lines on the green landscape at the foot of the hill and certainly add to the grandeur of the place.

Bean and I enjoyed a picnic in the park, followed by a wander around the arts & crafts market, topping it off watching sunset from the top of the hill. A glorious day, the long almost-autumn shadows drawn on the green grass made for some lovely photos, but more on that tomorrow!

Friday, 19 September 2008

A Lovely Read

A Lovely Sunny Friday today in London, always makes it slightly more difficult to sit at a desk from 9-5 though. To help the afternoon slip by I am listening to Radio 4's Book at Bedtime. The featured book is Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance. I read the book a week or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed Whipple's wit, and her concise writing perfectly balanced with small and beautiful details that slowly and subtly build the characters and the setting. It is a lovely edition published by Persephone, and I truly enjoyed the typeface, the good quality paper, and the beautiful cover.

The audio adaptation is far from un-enjoyable, but it lacks the beauty of the words on the page, and even more significantly, it doesn't grasp my attention in the same way as a book. Reading takes a degree of concentration, you must sit in a position so that you can hold the book, must direct your gaze towards the page, and in doing so outside distractions fall away, but when listening too many other things can be accomplished, and this leads the reader astray from the beauty of the words, and sometimes even from the plot. In addition there is the abridgement, that necessarily removes phrases and nuances that I feel are a large part of the strength of Whipple's book, of any good book.

I don't mean to belittle the medium, it brings books in small manageable packages to busy people daily, and a good book- abridged and on audio or not, is a wonderful thing. Rather I realise just how precious the written word can be, and how much beauty there can be in a new book, an old well-read and slightly crumpled book, a paperback, a hardback, a long-awaited book, and all those ones that crop up seemingly out of nowhere - often the best of all.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Breathing Underwater

I am reading Julie Orringer's How to Breathe Underwater at the moment, and loving it! The book is a collection of short stories, a genre I tend to distance myself from, only because I like the neat package of a novel contained within the covers. I have often feared a disparate collection of stories, or, even worse, a book of stories so similar as to be repetitions of their counterparts.

Orringer banished my (apparently unfounded) fears by the end of the second story. The stories do have multiple common themes, water being the obvious one, but also youth, loss, and illness. That said, it is not a dark book, but more a compulsive and addictive set of stories, set in various parts of the US. It is a quick read, with vivid imagery and honest narrators, and I will be saddened later today when I finish the last story. I may even have to turn right back to page one and start again!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Beautiful Things

This post is an attempt to slow down reading. Too many people (myself included) read so quickly, especially on the Internet. This is not a blog to be browsed but to be actively participated in. Below are a collection of simple images for you to elaborate on in your own minds. Enjoy!

The first lick of paint on a clean white canvas

The last piece of birthday cake

Shiny new acorns

Thick green asparagus spears

A butter yellow full moon glowing through a thin veil of cloud

Smoke curling above a freshly lit stick on incense

Stacks of unread books, just waiting to be opened

Cows munching on fresh green grass

Galloping horses