Category Archives: All things books

But wait, there’s more….

The 2nd of the ‘big boy’ jumpers is finished.
And the 3rd in the trio is begun.
Another Sirdar pattern from the same era so I’ve just used the same measurements and adjusted the side panel stitches.
They should (hopefully) all be very similar in size


As simple as it looks
it took a little while to get the cable sequences right
and there were a few choice words spoken
and rows unpicked at one stage
so I might just chicken out
and do a plain back as well as plain sleeves


When all three are finished and finally on their way to Knit one Give one aka KOGO the time will have come to concentrate on something different- something close to my heart – something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

It’s two years to the day since Patsy my blond curly haired little sister died
Tribute – Sleep well my little one.

Next sister – Me – Little sister Patsy – Baby brother 1998

Take a look at this delightful photo (which I might have shown before) of Patsy (aged about 3)…….maybe just maybe, there might be some woolies coming up featuring little bunny rabbits. And as an aside it’ll be 20yrs on Saturday since my mum (she who knit Patsy’s rabbit jumper) died. These anniversaries are so hard on the heart.


I’m thinking my ‘2023 word to work with’ is going to be consider so I’ll have to think carefully about this one.
Cardigan or Jumpers (sweaters).
Size….can’t be too small or it will be dwarfed by the motif.
Colour……practical for children in unknown circumstances or ‘soft and pretty’ because that’s what she was.
I know there are graphs somewhere in amongst my patterns so guess what I’ll be doing today……if I don’t get sidetracked by my latest read .

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont is a very short book to begin a shorter than usual month. Hopefully this will rekindle enthusiasm after my short reading lull during the last month.

Apart from the two mentioned early last month there was just one more book finished during January.
The Commandant – Jessica Anderson.
Historical Fiction about Moreton Bay Penal Colony (later to become Brisbane), involving the strange combination of its real life controversial commander Patrick Logan plus his wife’s (fictional) sister Frances.
I didn’t make it to book club because covid had come visiting so after a reasonable pause this (January’s) book was delivered to my door. It would’ve been rude of me not to start it…….actually it turned out to be a very good read

Wednesday is the day Kat hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday 
Today is also the first Wednesday in February so I’m sharing my post – pop over and discover what others are knitting, reading and talking about

#loveispatient

Et voilà…

And there you go…..from flat to that – just like that!
Something that always amazes me
(And sometimes baffles and on one occasion definitely confused me)

Crossover Jacket link.
Tiny Trauma Teddy link
~ ~ ~

Slippers – no link. Obtained online years ago

I sometimes wonder what it is that intrigues me about these ‘all in one ‘ garments, they’re like those ‘one pot wonders’ the meals you can cook using only one pot
Take these ingredients, add your pot and see what emerges at the end.
Have needles- add yarn – a little twist here and there – no seperate pieces to mislay
And voilà – one item ready to wear.
~ ~ ~ ~
Back in November when I had a break between the back and front of the blue cable jumper this is what was keeping me amused. All in one knitted gloves – garter stitch, made on 2 needles.
Something I’ve been itching to make since coming across the pattern years ago

A group request for bright hats and gloves was all I needed
After discovering how easy they were to make I was off and running
one pair down …..and look, now there’s more!
(I used size 10/3.25 mm needles with 8ply/DK yarn)

There’s no rush ….winter’s a while away yet
It doesn’t seem that long left and I’m sure it’ll be back again😊
~ ~ ~ ~









As for the reading – over the past few weeks it’s been a bit hit and miss….more miss than hit if the truth be told!


At the moment I’m making my way through
The Dust that falls from Dreams – Louis de Bernières
******
And listening to
The Spare Room – Helen Garner.

I must say (for me) listening to a previously read book is strange….the story is familiar but it ‘reads’ differently. A little like watching an adaptation, there are scenes that just don’t seem right.
Does anyone else have thoughts on that?

**********

Being Wednesday you’ll find Kat and others over at ‘Unraveled Wednesday 
which is where you’ll find lots of knitting and reading and talking going on


👇Vintage glove Pattern, making instructions + other bits of interest can be found here. Three blog entries in order👇

#keeplifesimple

Unraveled Wednesday


It’s Wednesday again
the first Wednesday in a new month
The first Wednesday in December 2022
Which means it is the first
Wednesday in Summer in Australia.

 Also being Wednesday it’s the day Kat  hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday 
which is where you’ll find lots of knitting and reading and talking going on

After finishing the Royal Blue jumper
– which turned out to be not as ‘cabled’ as I envisioned it would be –

Yes I see the ‘wrong’ stitch


I decided that knitting that larger size wasn’t so bad after all so using the same measurements have begun a similar one (patterned front and back with plain sleeves) in Fawn

The charity is closed now until February so even if I lose interest there’s plenty of time to finish it – and other bits and pieces I might fancy making along the way

~ ~ ~ ~

Reading has been really slow over the past couple of weeks
(The Golfer having Covid definitely hasn’t helped)
After finishing the book club choice I mentioned last time – Tourmaline – Randolph Stow I felt the need for something short and fairly light so
84 Charing Cross Road, (the ‘book of letters’ between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel…. a ‘buyer’ at a bookshop at that address) came home with me from the library.
Definitely what I needed!

And one just started The Dressmaker’s Secret – Rosalie Ham

It is 1953 and Melbourne society is looking forward to coronation season, the grand balls and celebrations for the young queen-to-be. Tilly Dunnage is, however, working for a pittance in a second-rate Collins Street salon. Her talents go unappreciated, and the madame is a bully and a cheat, but Tilly has a past she is desperate to escape and good reason to prefer anonymity.


However reading the first chapter and thinking about those recently unearthed photographs has brought back more forgotten memories
~ ~ ~ ~
First a little story…..
Singapore 1964
I had not long delivered a baby girl so ‘nothing fit properly’.
Feeling tired and weary, wondering how I was going to cope with two other little ones (even with the help of our live in amah) when The Golfer was away on an upcoming short detachment to service/‘fix’ some aircraft engines on Gan in the Indian Ocean
As in all Southeast Asian countries there were local dressmakers who would run you up something almost overnight but The Golfer, with all the panache of a man with his mind on other things, suggested I make one. “You’ve got a machine sitting there doing nothing, use it”.
I know I’ve mentioned before I inherited the knitting gene, not the dressmaking one, so as you can guess things didn’t go quite to plan – and The Golfer playing with his camera, thinking he was being clever, recorded my despair/misery in black and white on the afternoon I was finishing it off.

Here’s a few little quotes from The Dressmaker’s Secret, chapter 1…..

“ ….The new girl adjusted the tweed jacket over her knees. It was impossible to do really good work without her table, but every table was stacked with second rate fabrics…….

Our table was probably covered with children’s toys same as the floor behind me.
~ ~ ~ ~.
“ ….Deftly, she pinned and draped the material around the thick form, letting it fall, shaping it around the bulky curves…..”

There was nothing deft about my movements, I’d pinned then sewn it together in a clumsy way and in my mind there was no way it was going to fit properly.
~ ~ ~ ~.
“ I know that customer………she’s forty-four, forty-five, forty-four…..”

And seeing my reflection I remember thinking how ‘large’ I looked
and wondering was I ever going to lose that ‘baby weight’

The dress did actually get worn – just not by me.
It was ‘unpicked’ by our amah who ‘turned it into’ a dress for her oldest daughter.

~ ~ ~ ~

Our little girl (3mths) with Aho
our amah who helped me in so many ways during the time she was with us

Unraveled Wednesday ‘ hosted by Kat

It’s only words….

Words that jumped out at me from a recent read 📘

~ ~ ~ ~

Tourmaline by Randolph Stow

“…the carpet, originally green, but worn bare in many places, resembled a drought stricken lawn…”

Memories of the crisp brown ground we had in the back garden during those 10 long years of drought with no outside watering of any sort allowed

December 2006

Backyard cricket at Grandma’s in the early 2000s meant keeping something on your feet because the ‘lawn’ was hard and you never knew what you might tread on!

And yes, over the back fence was out….because nobody was game enough to go and ask for the ball back….because our ‘delightful neighbour’ would just tell them to get lost!

~ ~ ~ ~ .
Green now after a recent ‘southern wet’….but who knows what this summer will bring

#enjoyeverymoment

Done it again…

It would appear I’m still as daft as ever.
Remember that old saying – measure twice cut once. Meaning double check before you do anything.
Spotlight had wool on special.
The brand I use for charity knits has a standard range of colours so I just pick up the colours I know I can work with and am happy to knit.
Many balls of Royal Blue went into my basket

After finishing the back of the cable jumper I had the plain sleeves done in no time at all……then took a break, working on something else instead.

On to the front with a new ball…..initially thinking the yarn didn’t feel the same but it had come out of the same bag and was the same colour so carried on knitting.
After several pattern repeats (4 x 8 rows x 94 stitches!) I looked at the ball band…….oops, it was a different dye lot number.
When there are sales, supplies are topped up continuously and a few from a different dye lot must have still been in the bin
In my haste I obviously hadn’t checked each one properly before going to the cash register.

So……. I have looked and looked in various lights and can’t see any visible difference, but just in case, have decided that as the back and front are the same up up to the armholes, what I’m knitting now will be the back, where it’ll be less obvious.
The already finished ‘back’ has been unraveled down to armholes and I’ll knit it up as the front.

And ‘why don’t you leave it as it is’ remarked a friend, ‘who’s going to know’
Me, I replied!

Another ‘done it again’ moment a few weeks ago saw me agreeing to ‘make up the numbers’ and join another book club. It wasn’t until later and some info arrived I realised this wasn’t going to be as casual as my other one. No ‘tell us what you read’ chat over a cup of coffee…..this one is ‘we all read the same book the library provides then discuss it’ coffee comes afterwards. Too late to back out – this month’s book is Tourmaline by Australian author Randolph Stow published 1963.

Tourmaline is an isolated Western Australian mining town – a place of heat and dust, as allegorical as it is real. Out of the desert staggers a young diviner, Michael Random, offering salvation to this parched town. The once comatose community is indeed stirred to life, by hate as much as by love, and its people find salvation neither in water nor gold.

It’s turning out not to be a read and devour hour after hour book. It’s a bit of a slog more like. After noting all the characters and working out how they relate to each other I’m having to take it a few pages at a time to actually get the gist of the storyline…breaks/changes of scene written into the quite shortish chapters make it a bit easier …. You know, they say nothing ventured nothing gained, try something new and different- this book is certainly something new and different – surprisingly I’m actually enjoying it. Hopefully when the time comes I’ll remember what it was all about😊

~ ~ ~ ~

it’s Wednesday – the day Kat  hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday ‘ …….that’s where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

And Wednesday is also the day to look out for Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  you’ll find much to interest you there

It would seem….

See a book recommendation – see if the library have it in stock

Yes, it’s there – but see what they said



Previously borrowed- my first thought was…..but when?
Seems it was April last year but I don’t remember a thing about it 😯

~ ~ ~ ~
So curiosity piqued I ordered it again.
set to with the front of my latest knit.
yes, one of the ‘cabley’ ones I spoke about last time

and began the Robert Harris waiting in the wings
Front finished – a little wobbly in places but not too bad.
Second Sleep’ on the go

My first read by this author. ‘Oh, historical fiction’ is what I thought when I picked it off the library shelf. Then at the end of ch.1 that thought changed to ‘Oh, sci – fi or maybe even something else’. I’m up to ch.9 and to me it’s moving quite slowly but we all know that with some books that could change quickly!

Library reservations must be working overtime – my book arrived sooner than expected. Not just The Sea Gate but 5 others as well!
That’s me sorted for November I think 😊

…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits……
is on again!.
Why don’t you pop over and see who’s visiting this week

Style…..

Style – a form of appearance, design or production. source


Most of my knitting these days is for the baby & toddler programme of a local charity but recently they’ve been asking for larger sizes – so I’m looking through this pattern book and this caught my eye.

It’s one I’ve made a couple of times previously in a 2yr size – described as ‘a child’s jumper with yoke patterning front and back’

I found it a ‘relatively easy knit’, the shape reminded me of a fisherman’s Gansey. Patterned yoke, drop sleeves, straight up and down.

And the instructions are available in sizes up to 8yrs 😊


(Use of the word jumper (or other options such as “pullover” and “jersey“) is largely determined by the regional version of English used.[1] In the case of Ireland, Britain and Australia, “jumper” is the standard word, “jersey” is used in South Africa whereas “sweater” is mainly found in tourist shops and in North America. The word used in Irish is geansaí (“guernsey”). Source)

There’s just one problem – one that probably only I see – my plain stocking stitch knitting is becoming very uneven. And there’d be an awful lot of it to be seen on a four/six year old sized jumper 🙁

Sometimes I’ve used other stitches or cables to ‘cover part of the ground’ but that doesn’t always work. Remember how uneven the fronts of those little shirts were…..

I’m not sure why, it was the same brand yarn I’ve used before. Of course it’s possible my hands are losing their grip/strength and I’m getting sloppy in the way I hold the needles so that’s something I’ll have to work on.

However…..

I think I might have found the answer to my dilemma

Do what I’ve done before

Knit Aran style or similar

No (or very little) stocking stitch to worry about

Here’s a couple from my collection – vintage now, fashionable when I bought them!

Last week’s book was set aside when a friend loaned me this
The Night Tiger – Yangsze Choo

A captivating and magical story set in 1930s Malaysia about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy who are brought together by a series of unexplained deaths and an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.”

Much writing about customs superstition expats life in Malaya  Brought back memories of life as expats during the 1960s when we lived in that part of the world.

Oh and I have a rather nice Royal Blue waiting in the wings
That’d be the big boxes in the garage 😊
I’ll keep you posted
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse ….. Denyse Whelan Blogs.
is on again

…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits……
is also on again!

Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

http://www.ganseys.com/ganseys/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aran_jumper

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aran_knitting_patterns
~ ~ ~

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_knitting

I’ll get there some day…..

A gentle reminder from an ‘acquaintance’ (just someone I see at a group) that I’d promised – one I have no recollection of – to knit some clothes for her granddaughter’s doll had me scrabbling through the garage looking for a long forgotten Tiny Tears. One of those things left behind years ago but ‘please don’t give it away Mum’ so it lingers out there along with various other bits that really should have been given away….guess when Mum’s gone those 60yr old children will finally make that decision they should have made years ago.

The 16” dolly clothes will have to wait a bit (Christmas is a while away yet) – Mum has been making decisions of her own since she returned home and discovered an awful lot more yarn in the garage than she remembered – several of those interesting 400gm ‘sealed so you have no idea what the ply is’ mill end bags suddenly appeared (tucked away in a box below another box – no idea when they were bought) so it’s use it or lose it. ‘Mill ends’ are the surplus yardage of yarn produced by mills every time a production run ends. source

Meaning I’ve some planning to do…….decide what to make and if I’m capable of offloading/donating/giving some of it away.

This little sweater/cardigan is so easy to knit it’s become a favourite of mine ( see the very well used, bit tattered and torn pattern…..priced @ 6d! One I bought for my first born – 1962😯)

~ ~ ~ ~

And it turns out this particular ‘mystery yarn’ knits up like a dream. Soft and comfortable to work with, smooth on the needles and using 10/3.25mm with 8/4mm needles is sizing to the pattern measurements.
I’m sure it could be used in the same way as an 8ply……Watch this space 😊

My latest library book turned up a couple of days after we got home…..I definitely timed the putting on hold process just right
It’s a new to me author so I must have seen it recommended somewhere
The sea, the sea by Iris Murdoch

As they say…in for a penny, In for a pound. If I don’t get on with it, it can go back😊

Remember Violeta – I mentioned her back at the end of August and again in September.
After a few false starts I finally made it to the end of over 300 pages.
Different – Interesting – Readable – no plot as such, more a letter to her grandson.
it did seem to go on and on at times so I had to stop for a breather now and again
Having said that I enjoyed it but sometime or another I’ll try another, with a ‘storyline’, to get a better feel of the author

~ ~ ~ ~

…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits……
is on again!

Others are sharing their knitting (and reading) – pop over if you’re interested.
Maybe join in – they’re very welcoming.

Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

I’m not just a pretty face….

There’s more to me than a pair of knitting needles!

That was an expression used by a friend I had in England many years ago.
I met her at a ‘mum’s and babes’ group and marvelled at the knitting she produced.
However it seemed in a previous life before she married she had been a plain clothes policewoman, now dissatisfied with her present life (…..”reduced to nursing a baby and clicking knitting needles”….) she certainly let everyone know where she’d been and what she’d done.

So to prove that I can do more than knit I’ve managed to read several books in the last couple of weeks😊
My aim for these last few weeks we’re here has been at least a book a week, meaning I had to finish the ‘backlog of 3 by the bed’ before I could start the two new library ones

David Baldacci introduces a new character in Zero Day (the first in a now 10+yr old series of 5 books) John Puller, who could be called an army special agent investigator, sent to rural Virginia to look into ‘an unusual death’ he meets up with Samantha Cole a local police detective and the story unfolds from there.  This was an impulse ‘pick off the shelf’ from the library. I enjoyed it – a pick it up – put it down – and pick it up again – to get to the end as soon as possible sort of book.  A great way to pass a couple of wet windy days.


Linda Fairstein hadn’t been on my reading list before – this was a find on the ‘drop & swap’ shelf in the laundry.   Final Jeopardy is her first novel about Alexandra Cooper, a sex crimes prosecutor (there’s about 20 in the series now) so I got in on the ground floor as the saying goes.  Friend is killed, she becomes involved and then is a target as well.  I’m not a picky reader (will read anything and everything) but to me this seemed a bit humdrum.  I might see if I can find others and try again.
Other readers love her so maybe I should have another go.


David Mark’s Dark Winter was also another I plucked from the libary shelf.  Some days I go there with nothing in mind and just take something for the heck of it – not sure if I should be more organised or not.  Anyway this is his first novel about Aector McAvoy (10 in total now) – a policeman living in Hull, not the most glamorous city in Yorkshire but one that had a serial killer on the loose.  I became really engrossed in the story as it unfolded just before Christmas (Christmas in the book not real life Christmas lol) – 3 deaths that seemed unrelated till right at the very end.  And yes I did guess the killer but not the way he was involved.  He had vaguely crossed my mind sometime or another and it was only when it became apparent who it was I remembered my thought about that character lol

~ ~ ~ ~

Did I knit over the past couple of weeks – well, sort of 😊

I got fed up with the fawn shirt, then remembered I brought some half finished items with me – aiming to finish at least one. These rather crumpled looking pieces of green (which when finished will be a matinee coat looking like the pink top left corner) will be going home looking very much like they did on the way up. I reworked one of the sleeves then put the pieces back on the big stitch holder…..guess who forgot the very long needles to use for the yoke 😟

A very old pattern book from my very large collection

SO…..if you aren’t just pretty face and there’s more to you than meets the eye would you like to tell me what you’ve been up to ???? 

~ ~ ~ ~

I’m linking to Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse – you’ll find many interesting blogs there. Perhaps you’d like to join in as well.

Oh, and why don’t you pop over to see Kat…….She’s hosting Unraveled Wednesday
a great place where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading)

Winter Day90

How strange that the first day of our Winter (June 1) was a Wednesday and here we are at the last day (August 31) and it’s also a Wednesday!

Day1 at home in Victoria was the day we went for a drive in the rain (https://cranethie.com/2022/06/02/winter-day-1/) – I’m not sure how today will pan out but yesterday (Day90) here outside my little cabin in Queensland it was also wet!


Unlike Day1 when he didn’t play – on Day90 The Golfer decided maybe it wouldn’t be that bad…..it was the Veterans afternoon and ‘we can’t let the side down’ so just after lunch, waterproofs and brolly at the ready he headed out.

By early afternoon it was coming down in bucket loads

And had turned cool – well much cooler than it had been😌

But certainly nothing like it was at home!


Me – well I gathered up my blanket (to keep my toes warm) new library books
latest knitting project, parked myself on the bed and settled down
to enjoy an afternoon doing as I like on my own

He was home just after 4pm……a little wet and a bit subdued. Still doesn’t enjoy playing in the rain so didn’t stop for a drink in the club house…..something he usually enjoys
(reliving the game with all and sundry😊)

Me – well I was comfy so suggested he might like pop down and get pizza for dinner!.
Thanks for your suggestions
I’ll think about doing something with those egg plants another day !
~ ~ ~ ~

On the needles
The makings of another shirt similar to last week. I’ll do the ‘grandad neck’ on this one

Library books.
Violeta by Isabel Allende. ~ Her new release but my first read of any of hers
Cooktown by Andreas Heger. ~ A debut novel by a new to me Australian author

~ ~ ~ ~

As it is Wednesday why not visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  where there’s lots more knitting (and reading) to admire and think about

Linking to Wednesdays Words & Pictures …….Hosted by Denyse

#enjoyeverymoment

Two finishes….

it’s Wednesday – the day Kat from As Kat Knits hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday ‘ …….that’s where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

I finally finished a couple of little shirts for the charity box – actually following the pattern this time by knitting and placing a collar.
Something I’ve avoided instead preferring to work these ‘grandad necklines’
I’ll add buttons and fix the button band when we get home – and remind myself not to knit anymore rib patterns as my stitches never came even after frogging and reknitting 😟

My reading this past week has been – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

One of those novels I’m sure many of you have read – one I’ve said to myself ‘you should’ but never have.
Classed as a classic by the library in Bowen and that’s where I saw it (in the display I mentioned the other day).

I’m having the same ‘problem’ here as at home earlier in the year – pick a book, oh that looks interesting, two chapters – two pages in some cases, nope not for me. So I thought why not try something different- something unknown. So it came home with me.

A smallish book that had words (language, situations, ideas) I had to think about. I enjoyed it – and at the moment that’s all that matters.

I also found myself so engrossed I realised I was ‘acting out’ some of the things I was reading.

  • I looked at Miss Baker…..I enjoyed looking at her. 
    She was a slender small breasted girl with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body back at the shoulders like a young cadet

Straightening my spine and pulling my shoulders back – not recommended if you are non slender and large breasted😊

  • I glanced at ….and at Jordan who had begun to balance an invisible but absorbing object on the tip of her nose 

Lifting my chin and looking down my nose wondering what I had balanced there – not recommended….makes you go cross eyed 😊

… … … … …

A book and two woolies…..that’s me finished.
Do pop over to Kat’s to see what she and other ‘unravelers’ have been up to

They’re not all the same…

Libraries that is….

The branches I use back in Melbourne are part of a large group that come under the banner of Eastern Regional Libraries.
The one I use up here in Bowen is part of a much much smaller group under Whitsunday Regional Council Libraries

Here in Bowen the library might be smaller in size with not so many copies of each book but there are little touches I appreciate that don’t seem to be available at home….or if they are I’ve not noticed them😊

This whirly roundabout shelving has books from ‘series’ – not just the latest publication but all others from a popular series, and look (you might have to enlarge to see)……the library actually numbers them in the order they’re published
You can see at a glance if the elusive one you’re hunting for is available.

And if you look at the top right hand square you’ll see another doodad holding books labelled as ‘Classics’….we might only have one copy I got told, they tend to get get lost – almost swamped in the main collection so they’re better off here where they can be found.

… … … …

Now for something different but just as pleasing.
I know most of us are familiar with the little pictorial genre identifiers – those little coloured stickers on the spine.
Seeing the red kangaroo makes me smile, my ‘local’ doesn’t use them, so when I see them on the shelves it means I can identify Aussie authors and books about/set in Australia without actually having one in mind.
Big discoveries made this way!

Last month red kangaroos introduced me to novels by two more ‘new to me’ Australian authors.
Both books covering two young Australian’s experiences during recent world wars
Both enjoyable in their own special way.

The Stars in the Night – Clare Rhoden.
(Historical Fiction)

Book blurb:-.
Harry Fletcher is a confident young man.
Harry’s sure that he will marry Nora MacTiernan, no matter what their families say. He’s certain that he will always be there to protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide
.
Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans
From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.

The Codebreakers – Alli Sinclair.
(Historical Fiction)

Book blurb:-.
1943, Brisbane: The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. For Ellie O’Sullivan, helping the war effort means utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies to armed forces overseas. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of the Central Bureau-an intelligence organisation working with England’s Bletchley Park codebreakers.
But joining the Central Bureau means signing a lifetime secrecy contract. Breaking it is treason.

… … … …
And then there’s this one I picked up the other day – Flames – Robbie Arnott.
(Magical Realism Fantasy)
Let’s just say it’s proving to be interesting’ 😊

  • Book blurb:- A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte—who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

What’s been on your book shelf recently- anything interesting?

Taking the easy way out…

Do you see the date…..July 27th already! And I haven’t got round to taking part in the challenge – yet!

As I was leaving my book club back in June all I said was ’I’ll try’.
Some of the others were in favour of joining in with Jane Austen July info……a challenge to read/watch/appreciate Jane Austen whatever way you can – I didn’t feel so committed.

Anyway knowing I had lost the urge to read and thinking it might put me back on track my battered copy of P&P (which even after various attempts over the years I’ve never finished….last one in 2009 ) came along….and has sat here on the bedside locker, ignored while I’ve been doing other things. I did briefly wonder about looking for an online production but that’s as far as it got.
( Internet – signal – online – words spoken here with rolled back eyes…..it seems (as with other years) park wifi reception is usually good BUT there can be/ often is problems/issues with the dreaded NBN. My phone (5g plus plan with our national carrier) is a bit hit and miss and using it as a hotspot for my iPad isn’t much better.)

Now you know how the libraries often have ‘just returned’ books on a trolley – hoping another reader picks them so saving the staff from having to shelve them….well look at this – The Usborne Complete Jane Austen – a (quite hefty) but really beautiful, printed on glossy paper, children’s book with abridged versions of all her novels – was sitting there just waiting for me to find it yesterday morning. How timely was that 😊

What I’m wondering is…do you think I’d be taking the easy way out, almost cheating, by reading (and most likely finishing) from this book rather than my Penguin edition with it’s over 400 pages of tiny print???
And look what else is included – before each of the novels there’s a whole double spread of who’s who and how they relate to each other. A pictorial cast list!

Honestly….it would appear

The older I get – The dafter I get!

I knit the back plain, in stocking stitch …then decided to do the front in broken rib

But couldn’t fathom out why my stitches were so ragged and out of shape

Look at the needles – I’ve been using two entirely different sizes😟

(I think there might be a bit of unravelling and some new beginnings coming up )

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s taken a while but I’m happy to say I’ve begun reading again.

Two new to me authors plus two entirely different genres
One down and one on the go!

The Things We Keep ~ Sally Hepworth

’Realistic Fiction’ – an interesting read, full of different emotions, one I really enjoyed about Anna, a well educated young woman in her 30s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease. Set in an aged care facility where she meets and strikes up a friendship with a young man with the same diagnoses.

Confronting for many with no experience of the disease in younger people it follows their intermingled times (good and bad) together, along with another character plus daughter trying to sort out their own lives

The Goldminer’s Sister ~ Alison Stuart

Australian Historical Fiction – set in an 1870s Victorian gold mining town.
Just begun – what I think will be an easy read about a young English woman arriving in the goldfields discovering all is not how she expected it to be. Her brother has died mysteriously…her uncle now has ownership of the brother’s mine….

(Even though it’s not marked as part of a series and can be read as a standalone seemingly it follows on from an earlier book ’The Postmistress’ set in the same small town so I might try to find that one)

Yes – sometimes it’s the little things in life on these winter days that make me happy 😊😊

As it is Wednesday why not visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  where there’s lots more knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

I feel better now….

So for fun the idea was to ’show & tell’ a child’s garment that took less than 100gm to make. By using a budget (but perfectly serviceable) acrylic these two sleeveless vests squeezed in at 96gms each!

(The fawn neck does sit straight and the body doesn’t bunch up like that at all.)
Blame the cameraman for not adjusting it!

They’re both adaptations of the smallest size of this very old pattern from a vintage book. Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned in what I think suits boys but to me cables in all forms do have a boyish look…..and yes I know Aran – with all its cables and other stitches (think moss, blackberry, honeycomb) is worn by all – male female adult child

With just a back and a front plus neck and arm bands – after adjusting stitch numbers it’s easy to make different versions of the same vest. I’ve knit the suggested stitch several times….but you know me…if I can make something different I’ll have a go 😊

This is the stitch in the pattern book photo

~ ~ ~ ~

I also took along the baby jacket made back in May…the one I had terrible problems with and wasn’t happy with the result. https://cranethie.com/2022/05/06/new-ways-different-ways/ There was lots of talk about how some pattern makers expect other knitters to be as skilled as they are and sometimes more words are better than less. Ravelry link

May 2022

After writing out the pattern in some semblance of order I had managed to make another for my granddaughter’s friend but the original still sat in the charity box waiting to be packed.

And after seeing other crafters handling it, turning it inside out trying to straighten those uneven rows, I did what I should have done earlier……unpicked the blasted thing and reknit it.

Oh yes, I definitely feel better now!

~ ~ ~

And if you’d like to find out a little more of what other people have been up to – you really must visit…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits.  

There’s lots of knitting there of a far higher standard than my Nana Knits plus reading as well. This year my reading has been painfully low, no idea why – just cant get into anything . Hopefully that will change soon

Carte Blanche or do as I please….

”Complete freedom to do whatever” source

The day I talked about the blue agapanthus EC mentioned white ones – which reminded me there was a clump of white ones growing near the garage, right next to the dark pink double Oleander, which is near where I park my car.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the ’heavy’ days we’ve been having but this year the contrast in the colours has been quite striking. The composition of the flower heads is exactly the same yet there’s always something special about the white that definitely isn’t there in the blue

12 January 2022

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this is how they looked. Very tired and weary and bedraggled. The heat had certainly got to them. It was time to give them a haircut.

OK, so I was keeping that thought somewhere in my mind for an opportune moment, trying to remember if the green bin had enough room for more clippings (those seed heads are enormous) and looking round the deck wondering where all the stuff on the benches came from, when I thought I saw the blue handles of the clippers ….(that would be secateurs for posh people 😊) in one of the tubs over there.

The sun was shining….there was just a hint of a breeze….it’s a five minute job….’cept I was planning on doing something else. So I made an executive decision- I gave myself carte blanche to do as I wanted – which (as anyone who knows me) turned out to be an hours sit down with a cold drink and a new rather thick (600 pages) library book!

#keeplifesimple

A fun ’did you know’ for you….

Because (in my mind) the year ’proper’ hasn’t begun yet

There’s Tennis on the telly – Australia Day is yet to come – the kids haven’t gone back to school yet…..some of us continue to eat and drink like it’s going out of style 😊

Here’s some fun bits of interest for you

  • We’re still in the first month of 2022 so here’s a little something to figure out….

If you take the last 2 digits of the year you were born…then add them to the age you will be this year…

It will equal ….122

  • Australia is wider than the moon. The moon sits at 3400km in diameter,  while  Australia’s diameter from east to west is almost 4000km. source 1source 2
  • Australia has more than 60 wine growing regions The majority of which are in Victoria and New South Wales source
  • Lemons float but Limes sink. Safe link below 👇 if you’re interested in why.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks, laying low, staying close to home, enjoying the summer weather, watching the beginning of the Australian Open and the ending of The Ashes. Lots of hopes and expectations dashed in both – but then that’s sport for you…….nothing is ever ‘a sure thing’ where that’s concerned.

Never one to just sit ‘watching tv’ I surprised myself by finishing two green adult beanies and reading two books on my ’to be read’ A-Z list of authors.

Both set in post war periods (WW1 & WW2) with main characters who have ’served’ – both storylines involve murders – both with secondary storylines dealing with the result of war service. I’d’met Elly Griffiths’ Brighton Mysteries characters before but this was my first time reading about Inspector Ian Routledge and I’ll certainly be on the look out for more of this series.

And here’s something else I’m looking forward to seeing again….next summer.
But first…..Development of the level crossing in Mooroolbark meant I I have been using the library in Montrose – and seeing their landscaping with new eyes. I’d been used to just driving by on my way elsewhere, now I walk by on my way to the front entrance

Just look at this magnificent small flowering gum…..not too tall with the most stunning orangey red flowers. Corymbia Ficifolia (Baby Orange)


* Flowering gums are grafted eucalyptus trees. By grafting plants onto specially selected rootstock you get trees that will grow happily in a wide range of soil types and have greater resistance against disease. It also means no surprises when it comes to flower colour and smaller sized trees*
source:- https://www.flowerpower.com.au/garden-advice/gardening/flowering-gum-trees/

All through the summer season you can see long flower buds forming, then bursting open into these huge clumps of bright blossoms that slowly fade in colour before dropping off and leaving the little nut casing – all this going on simultaneously in different parts of the tree.

Those little nut shells left after the petals drop grow into these enormous ’gum nuts’.
A bit like me in that as I shed my youthful me and grew older, the more gnarled and bigger in the beam I became 😊


Linking to Life this Week. 

Pop over and see who’s visiting Denyse today – it’s always worth a visit.

#keeplifesimple

It all adds up…..

I had a friend once who needed to save some ’spending money’ for a holiday she was planning. She decided to give up buying all those glossy monthly magazines she loved.
So after opening an account at the library, she then opened an account at a different bank to the one she normally used.

When the library received it’s copies of those same magazines she’d borrow them, then magazine in hand go into the bank and deposit the cost price into the savings account.

She said it was a win – win situation for her. She didn’t miss out on something she enjoyed and little by little (by paying herself the price of the magazine) her spending money grew.

~ ~ ~ ~

I gave up buying books a long time ago, they were going up in price and after retiring my attitude to some things changed. I began to resent all that money just sitting there on the book shelves so my library card very quickly became my book credit card.

But it wasn’t until a few months ago I began to wonder just how much I was actually saving. I didn’t (like my friend did) go the whole hog and physically save the cash…mine was saved virtually.

I’d seen an idea on another blog where the blogger wondered if…..using library books only ….she could ’save’ an amount equal to her yearly council rates.
My curiosity didn’t stretch that far – I just wondered how much all these books I was reading….wherever they came from…..would have cost in the real world.
Like her I used an Australian online bookshop Booktopia to ’price’ my books and to make it easy any price ending over 50¢ was rounded up, anything under 50¢ went down and anything at 50¢ stayed as is.

Well, as the title says….it all adds up….I worked out that the cost of those 52 books I read to achieve my Goodreads challenge would have been in the region of ….

1240AUD – 676GBP – 909USD

So it’s a good job I I gave up buying because I’d never be able to afford it if I did!
How about you – do you have a money tree dedicated to books growing in your back garden?