Tag Archives: All things books

Yarn Along (October)

So what have I made this month past……..a bit like the month before, not a lot!

I seem to have spent an awful lot of time trying to solve this ‘problem’ of not being able to read let alone comment on some Blogspot/Blogger blogs.
Safari….which is default for iPads lets me in but those blogs didn’t seem to ’recognise’ me….any comments just went off into outer space.
So …following the recommendation of another blogger….I downloaded Opera and all seemed well.
Well blow me down if Blogger has now come out and told me it doesn’t support Opera!
So… I’ve downloaded Firefox in the hope that will do the job……but if you haven’t seen or heard from me in a little while and it continues that way…there’s your answer.
Fngers crossed that’s the end of it….though I’m wondering if the New Blogger people are talking about is possibly part of the problem

Anyway, after having brought it out of hiding I actually tackled some more of The Golfer’s sampler but did very little knitting- well little compared to what I’ve done in previous months.
These newborn hats and bootees were finished and I was all prepared to do more but…..

After checking Marianna’s babbbity pattern decided I had enough of both colours to do some mix and match.
Decision made, I set to and came up with a couple of very easy to knit newborn jackets in different colour ways to put together with the hat and bootees. On reflection they do look a bit dark so I’ll leave it up to the charity to decide what will go with what….they may have some things in paler colours to team with them and soften the look.


I’m getting towards the end of my reading challenge, polishing off 5 during September, (obviously that’s the reason for less knitting last month) and now have these two waiting in line. A very old 1946 copy of Kipps (H.G.Wells) found on the book table at Probus in February…….lol someone was obviously having a clear out 😊

The other one is Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson, an unknown to me author) chosen by title only…..letter Q titles are few and far between so it was ‘ ooh that’ll do’ when I saw it on a Goodreads list. Very historical, historical fiction. My face sort of dropped when it arrived In the box from the library….it’s huge – over 900 pages (with tiny print). Then I realised it was all three volumes of the trilogy! Phew!

I’m not sure which I’ll tackle read first.
Maybe read them in tandem- one century here….one century there.😊

It’s the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s ‘Show and Tell’ time better known as Yarn Along over at Ginny’s. Do pop over to small things to see what others have worked on this past month.

It was a cold and frosty morn….

This is ‘our big girl’ – born in Norwich (Norfolk England) early February 1963
a bitter day in the middle of what has been called The Big Freeze of 1963. 

And this is ‘our little girl’ who came along later the next year whilst we were living in Singapore.  The hot humid climate suited us all much better lol 

Anyway Our Big Girl won’t be happy if she found out I told you how old she was – but what her birthdate also means is that that like most babies born at that time (and previously) in England she was born at home.

Yes, after The Golfer rang her from the phone box at the corner of the street a midwife (very precariously because of the icy roads) came round on her bicycle and delivered our big girl right there in the comfort of our bedroom..

We laugh about it now, but because the bedroom wasn’t exactly the warmest room in the house (slight understatement) she slept in a huge drawer taken from the bottom of a big wardrobe similar to this one.


It was laid on a couple of chairs beside our bed, with the high sides protecting her, she was cosy and warm and out of any draughts – and there certainly were plenty of those in that old house.

How we survived that winter is still a mystery to me. Snow on the ground…two little ones……tiny coal fires (definitely no central heating). The house In Clarence Road was up behind the station, The Golfer was stationed at Coltishall so needed the car, which meant for me it was a walk into town for groceries and back up the hill with a pram loaded with babes and food. Certainly no taxis for us in those days!

Recently I’ve been rewatching the BBC series Call the Midwife – and even though the series was set in a place very different (both in location as well as the mix of people) to where we lived, it certainly brought back some memories of the system used ….like weighing newborns this way ….in a nappy on a hanging scale


I know it was a huge hit in UK as well as here (shown on ABC) and I believe it’s shown on PBS in the USA.  Does anyone else keep watching it?









I thought I still had a copy of Jennifer Worth’s book Call the Midwife (first book in her memoir trilogy) on the shelf but it’s nowhere to be found. Shame as I was going to reread it, probably moved it on in one of my ‘clearing out frenzies’.

I’m not sure about you but I find it hard to know whether to read a book first and then see what is offered as an adaptation on the screen (tv or cinema) or do it the other way round. See the adaptation and then read to find out what the original ‘idea’ was all about.  Often description in books never seems to get onto the screen and yet sometimes the visuals can turn out much better than the written word.

There are good points whichever way – how do others feel, which way do you prefer?

X Marks the spot

Rustling around in the box of books out in the garage and discovered this old one. No idea when or why it came into the house but look….it’ll be ideal for that challenge. You know the single word one I got myself into at the beginning of the year. There was I thinking X was going to be a hard one to find and it was sitting there right under my nose all the time!
Not sure about the genre though…..sci fi isn’t the norm here….but we’ll give it a go!


Thinking about the letter X – the third most rarely used letter in the English language- I found this online:-
X is typically a sign for the compound consonants [ks]; or sometimes when followed by an accented syllable beginning with a vowel, or when followed by silent h and an accented vowel [ɡz] (e.g. exhaust, exam); usually [z] at the beginnings of words (e.g. xylophone, Xenon), and in some compounds keeps the [z] sound, as in (e.g. meta-xylene). It also makes the sound [kʃ] in words ending in -xion (typically used only in British-based spellings of the language; American spellings tend to use -ction).
It can also represent the sounds [ɡʒ] or [kʃ], for example, in the words luxury and sexual, respectively. Final x is always [ks] (e.g. ax/axe) except in loan words such as faux (see French, below).
In abbreviations, it can represent “trans-” (e.g. XMIT for transmit, XFER for transfer), “cross-” (e.g. X-ing for crossing; XREF for cross-reference), “Christ” (e.g. Xmas for Christmas; Xian for Christian), the “Crys” in Crystal (XTAL), or various words starting with “ex” (e.g. XL for extra large; XOR for exclusive-or).
There are very few English words that start with X – the least amount of any letter. Many of the words that do start with X are either standardized trademarks (XEROX) or acronyms (XC).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X

Once you’ve read that you will realise X is an unusual letter to say the least….

Many people over 18 here in Australia would know of this though

XXXX (pronounced fourex) is a brand of Australian beer brewed in Milton, Brisbane by Queensland brewers, Castlemaine Perkins. It enjoys wide popularity in the state of Queensland and is commonly found on-tap in most Queensland pubs and bars.

Then theres that saying 
X marks the spot

Supposedly from British army officers pinning a piece of paper 
with X on it to the chest of someone about to be executed

But could also come from 
a myriad of places …..a game show

something the Hubble Telescope saw
or 
even a spot on a map
(like a pirates’s treasure map)

but the our family is really interested in is this recently discovered one
The one The Golfer’s Great Grandmother Julia made
when she registered his Grandfather’s birth in 1878

These days we take reading and writing as a norm
but evidently from what we see on this copy of the birth certificate
Dh’s ancestor was unable to write her name
so made her mark (signature) with an X

I certainly hope she would be pleased with the standard of education available for all children these days whether they live in the city or country village as she did.


Have you made any new discoveries recently? Are you surprised to learn about lack of education in your family?

It’s Wednesday

Yes it’s Wednesday again, the first Wednesday in a new month,
The first Wednesday in September 2020.
Which means it is the first Wednesday in Spring

A wonderful Wednesday 😊

It also means it’s been a whole month since I last spoke of any knitting I’d done. Truth be told there’s not a lot actually been done. I finished off the teddies and the fingerless mittens and that was it for a couple of weeks. These little crossover cardigans are always welcome for the mothers’ and babies packs so I set to and finished the pink one in a couple of days…..and it shows. I know it was acrylic yarn I’d had for a while but I’m definitely not happy with how it looks. It might look neater after a very light blocking…..that remains to be seen. Hopefully the blue has knit up more evenly.

An ‘old style’ crossover cardigan for newborns very similar to the one my ‘firstborn son’ wore many (many) years ago.


This is the book it came from….just another from my stack of favourite tried and true pattern books. Look at the way the mother has been portrayed….I wonder how many of us sat around in a floating nylon negligee cooing over a baby in a cradle. Some might of…..I was too ‘busy’ trying to catch up on precious sleep or taking advantage of a sleeping baby by pegging washing on the line 😊

And for some reason my reading slowed down.
I’m waiting for a new ‘delivery’ of library books so rummaged through a pile out in the garage discovering an old 1993 Anita Shreve….Where or When....like Rebecca last month its ‘time in the sun’ has arrived lol.
It’s been a very long time since I read her….hopefully I won’t be disappointed.

Of course being the first Wednesday of the month means it’s ‘Show and Tell’ time better known as Yarn Along over at Ginny’s. Do pop over to small things to see what others have worked on this past month.

What’s on the table….

The table beside your chair that is.  The one with the books on😊

Three newish releases picked in the frantic rush at the library the day before lockdown2…….plus one that’s been on a shelf here at home for quite a few years.


Two I’ve just finished:-
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier.
Rebecca was delightful, a real surprise. A love story with a mystery attached. Old fashioned writing when compared to modern day styles……maybe that’s why I enjoyed it. Wordy, so it had to be read slowly…..to be absorbed chapter by chapter.

Book blurb:- …….our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives
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Transcription – Kate Atkinson
This was another surprise…..set during WW2, described as an espionage thriller I expected something a bit deep and maybe gruesome at times. It was light and easy to read yet if you are of a certain age filled with recognisable truths of how things were. It takes a young ‘naive’ girl, gives her a position as a typist eventually turning her a spy. Filled with humour (droll witty asides) almost farcical at times (I know the author didn’t intend it that way but I could see it set on the stage) follows the main character’s life through the ‘40s & ‘50s …..then to the twist that comes at the end. This I would definitely recommend.

Book blurb:- …….Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

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There’s the one I’m reading at the moment:-
Good Girl Bad Girl – Michael Robotham
I’ve only just started this – so far so good. Easy to read, lots of dialogue, it does jump from ‘case to case’ but not annoyingly so. Which is to be expected because they are running side by side not now and in the distant past. Chapters devoted to one of the characters giving her side of the story are written in italics.

Book blurb:- ……forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure…….Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home……Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. 

And the one I’ll follow up with:- Which I should just be able to finish by the end of the month.
Nine Elms – Robert Bryndza

Book blurb:- Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So there we have my sum total of reading for August……down from the usual amount read any other August spent in the winter sunshine. Two I can tick off my yearly challenge…….one word titles – two were ‘grab & go’ picks off the shelf…..but fairly new releases, as luck would have it first books in new serIes.

What have you been reading during August
I’d be interested to hear if you’ve read any of these and what your thoughts were.

Chooseday….A day in the life…


It’s TUESDAY! Chooseday!
Today I Choose to Smile. Choose to be Happy. Choose to Love. 

It was a late breakfast for me after a late night spent ‘talking’ to o/seas sisters on fb. Birthday smiles for blond haired one along with thoughts about how life was on her 7th birthday in 1954. We spent it at the pool, one of our baby brother’s first outings since his birth in the July. Living on an airforce camp in Germany at that time was certainly different to life in the UK. And even though the sun was shining we were freezing – those were brave smiles in the water !


A little look at morning tv, general pottering (bed made, dishes done, tidy up) then I chose to have a lovely long daytime bath with Rebecca. Definitely a happy choice! Which took us up to the morning briefing…..I know, I know, I said no more facts & figures…..The Golfer had it on and had made coffee so I couldn’t be rude and walk away. Another 331 new cases plus 19 deaths here in Victoria! So much better (well 0 would be a far better number)than the recent 500/600/700 confirmed cases per day but worse on the death.

He made lunch as well! Gotta love a man who’s willing to feed me! Eaten out the back where it had turned ‘warmish’ enough to sit and knit, though the sun kept playing peekaboo and of course when it was behind clouds it went chilly, so now and again I left the knitting and turned to my cosy chair inside and had more time with Rebecca – which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I’ve discovered ‘the crime’ so there’s not much more to read.

All is not lost tho’ because there’s a Kate Atkinson plus the first in series by both Michael Robotham and Robert Bryndza waiting in the wings……part of the big stash I brought from the library way back in early July. Plus quite a few others I’ve been meaning to read, just sitting on the shelf waiting patiently for their turn.

In amongst the knitting and reading I managed a few weight exercises but my heart wasn’t in it….call me lazy 😊 – yesterday I had a long walk round trundling round the local park several times with some photo stops along the way so will take my allocated 1hr again tomorrow weather permitting (90% chance of rain). I also managed to get tomorrow’s main meal prepared…..plain ol’ savoury mince….now cooking away in the crockpot. Might be topped with mash as Shepherds Pie or maybe just served as is with veg.


It’s late afternoon now, nearly time for one of those quiz shows, then the early news followed by dinner which will also be courtesy of The Golfer – crumbed fish served with steamed veg.. Plain and simple….yes frozen prepared fish but something he can do if I’m not able…..or not here for one reason or another.

After the ‘proper’ ABC news at 7pm – what then? Who knows….
So how was your Tuesday? Did you make the right choices?


Now for something different……

Wouldn’t it be great to say I’d done something different – unfortunately here in Victoria it’s still the same ol’ same ol’…….well that’s not quite true but it’s too involved to try and explain 😒

We have to look on the bright side though and I’m sure that in a few months time we’ll be able to do something different……again.

Mind you, over the last couple of weeks I did find something to do that I hadn’t done for a while – I put the ‘big boys’ knitting to one side and had a go at these…..again

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trawling through some older parts of the blog turned up this post from 2018 which along with this one from 2012 reminded me that giving should be fun……not just knitting from one end of the row to the other.

A couple of little Teds, and what look like squares which (if you follow the instructions in the 2012 post) will turn into basic fingerless mittens, are keeping me occupied at the moment.

I’m still feeling the disappointment of my last read so decided that it was time for one of those ‘I really should read this sometime’ books ……one that after being rescued from an op shop has been lying neglected on a shelf here at home for years.

So far so good, after a ‘strange’ courtship Maxim and his new wife have just arrived at Manderley. Small (tiny) print means it’s daytime reading, I have to concentrate so it’ll be read (and savoured) in small doses. Decisions Decisions – oh what to do….. read or knit. I suppose finishing Ted’s faces would definitely be a start 🙂

Ginny from Small Things hosts a monthly meme called Yarn Along  Sort of a ‘show and tell’ featuring the knitting and reading you’ve been doing recently. Do pop over and see what others have been up to.

Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t……

Have you ever wanted something to happen but the more you keep hoping the less it seems to be happening.

I’m always looking for book recommendations, open to suggestions like ‘this is a good read or even a great read’, sometimes I react the same way as the person who gave it, sometimes I don’t.  Recently  I couldn’t get the actual novel recommended and because lockdown restrictions meant I couldn’t come and go as I wanted I plumped for another by the same author (an enjoyable read according to the blogger)…….now I wish I’d waited until the original choice became available at the library.

The Holiday – T. M. Logan

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday – a group of families enjoying a week together in the sun. Four women who have been best friends for as long as they can remember making the most of a luxurious villa in the south of France.

But Kate has a secret: her husband is having an affair. And a week away might just be the perfect opportunity to get the proof she needs – to catch him in the act once and for all. Because she suspects the other woman is one of her two best friends.

Oh dear, such a slow tedious start, too many characters each with their own back stories, too confusing, too many revelations and secrets in each and every chapter.                          Strange ending.

This was one that I didn’t enjoy – Lets just leave it at that 😊

 

Just in time

I passed some of my recent ‘want to be alone’ time finishing off and packing up woollies from my donation box. Knitting all the pieces is the easy part, piecing together and finishing off is what takes the time…….and effort in some cases…..like picking up round the armholes and neck of these sleeveless vests.

The box had been emptied back in May when the charity started operating again, gosh there was so much in there it was full to overflowing but that was because of the original ‘lockdown’ when everything came to a standstill. So because I didn’t want them to build up again and just be sitting here at home rather than be available for distribution I decided to ‘move them on’ when I had half a dozen ready to go.

Once the ‘Big Boys’ Guernsey (mentioned in this post) was finished it joined a few others plus the vests and they were off and on their way. Just in time as we went back into hibernation lockdown a week later……unfortunately they’re going to be sitting around somewhere else waiting for the time the charity can reopen and begin sorting and filling orders again 😊

So now it’s on to other things – back to baby size or carry on with the 2yr old?
Now I’m feeling more myself I do have one thing on the go
Hey Linda – look at the new project!
Yes Teddy is in the making 😊

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I’m trying out the newish editor – yes WordPress is going the way of Blogger!
It uses blocks and seems to have a very flat regimented look to it. Flown by the seat of my pants this time, I’m going to have to do some reading & learning I think.
Also I can’t find a way to vary the size of the photos – so big it is !

Who said that…..

It seems strange that the next book I picked up from my TBR pile is this one by Geraldine Brooks.

“An historical novel and love story set during a time of catastrophe, on the front lines of the American Civil War.  March, an idealistic abolitionist,has gone as chaplain to serve the Union cause. But the war tests his faith not only in the Union—which is also capable of barbarism and racism—but in himself. As he recovers from a near-fatal illness, March must reassemble and reconnect with his family, who have no idea of what he has endured.

Considering all the recent and ongoing problems in the world (discounting the virus) this is almost topical.  Relating to a time when it seems men were men and women were women  (and not all were equal) it covers history I’m not too familiar with.

We learn’t a small amount at school but didn’t go into depth – ask me about kings, queens and relevant battles of the British Isles and I probably would have the answer, unfortunately the whys and wherefores of American history are a  mystery.

Yes I know it is about a fictional character …..the absent father from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women…….taking that aside maybe I’ll ‘learn a little’ from reading it.

It’s been a while since I actually read Little Women although I’ve seen big and little screen versions which maybe glamorised the whole period but I loved the thought of sisters banding together helping their mother, worrying about their father, tolerating the rich aunt, doing good deeds, falling in love, accepting sickness.and gaining a little bit of independence.

So when I found this quiz online …..me,  usually wary of this sort of stuff, had a go; I didn’t get all the answers correct but then as I said it’s been a while and my memory isn’t quite what it used to be 🙂

Little Women – Which March sister said it

Why don’t you have a go and see if you remember the dialogue from the ‘well loved book’

Oh, and lovers of Mr Darcy and The Bennet sisters might be interested in this

Pride and Prejudice – Which Bennet said it

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Today is Friday – so lets have some Friday Fun with a Fun Quiz just right for the day we set aside to forget all the worries of the week

Don’t forget to tell me how you went!

Time for the Big Boys….Yarn Along

Meet one of my ‘go to’ pattern books for 2 yr + knits.  The teddy on the front page (pattern 6) and I are old friends although it’s been a while since I last finished one – also this dark blue ‘Guernsey’ (pattern 4) is another easy one I’ve knit several times.  You can see my versions HERE and HERE

I’ve been giving my fingers a little break since my charity box of baby goods finally went on it’s way…..a long enough break to think about what to do next……..which really wasn’t a hard choice……….wanting/needing something fairly straightforward……….something I was comfortable with…………in the end I decided to move on to bigger stuff – 2 yr old boys!    You might think the yoke of the blue Guernsey looks complicated – if you can count and cable (move one set of stitches over another) it definitely isn’t.  Most of the pieces are plain stocking stitch so it hasn’t taken long to finish the back and work my way up to the yoke on the front.

My reading came to a standstill for a little while as well – however our library (which I’m sure like every other library in the country….possibly the world) has been  closed, now has begun a delivery service.  Weeks ago when I was going through books like they were going out of fashion J0 Nesbø’s first book  (The Bat) took my fancy so I ordered his second one (Cockroaches) which arrived on the doorstep the other day.  So far it hasn’t grabbed me in the same way but I’m sure there’s time for that to happen before the end.

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Ginny from Small Things hosts a monthly meme called Yarn Along which I used to take part in. Sort of a ‘show and tell’ featuring the knitting and reading you’ve been doing recently. Do pop over and see what others have been up to.

This month….June…. I’m Back – and I’m showing and I’m telling 🙂

What ya reading Wednesday….

I saw this little ‘poster’ online somewhere and felt it summed up the past few weeks.

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As well as spending a good bit of my time recently with needles in my hand and chasing up long lost ancestors …..I ‘discovered’ another sister of one of my GT Grandmothers…..there has always a book close at hand for quiet moments when I wanted to retreat from all the ongoing madness.

Two that I read were written by new to me authors  – well not new in that I had never heard of them – just new in that I’d never read any of their works before.  And just by chance both books were the authors’ first novels and also the first in a series.

Jo Nesbø -The Bat

Book Blurb:-  Detective Harry Hole Is meant to keep out of trouble.  A young Norwegian girl on a gap year in Sydney has been murdered and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can…..when the team unearths a string of unsolved murders nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth.

Such an easy read, Harry Hole sent to observe but becomes involved.   It starts slowly but moves along dramatically/ violently/ humourously even at times- twisting and turning to a very surprising end.  Introduces the reader to Harry’s past which influences his present.  The other characters (the police he is working with) were very Australian, their language full of local expressions,  not quite what he was used to and the more he learns about the first death the more he unearths about previous killings giving him reasons to become more involved in finding the killer.

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Michael Robotham – Suspect/The Suspect

Book Blurb:- Joseph O’Loughlin appears to have the perfect life- a beautiful wife, a loving daughter and a successful career as a clinical psychologist.  But nothing can be taken for granted.  Even the most flawless existence is only a loose thread away from unravelling.  All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled patient and the biggest lie of his life. 

If I’d known I’d be reading the same story twice I might have thought twice about actually reading this book.  The thing is it was what made the book what it was.

A really good read!

The first chapter certainly draws you in – meeting the main character on a window ledge trying to talk someone out of jumping!  Later he becomes involved in what appeares to be the murder of a prostitute but is actually someone he knew a few years previously.  Add that to the fact he’s recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and the book is off and running.  It follows his daily life seeing patients- one in particular is marked in his mind as the killer but after a conversation with the investigating police officer it’s he who becomes the suspect.  Cue part two!

After his arrest the ‘story’ is rewritten – same people places with different dialogue, thoughts, reasoning and explanations.  Of course Joe O’Loughlin is innocent, he proves the one he suspected is guilty in a very surprising ending.

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Have any of you read either of these books?  I’m hoping the library reopens soon as I’d like to order more of these authors works/series.

Until then I’m plodding through the large pile here at home.  Next in line are two from my ‘give the girls a go‘ idea.

The Hunters Wife – Kathleen Scholes

Daughters of Australia – Harmony Verna

 

What ya reading Wednesday….

Unlike some of my coffee drinking friends, my very good friend the librarian didn’t think I was strange when she heard about my reading challenges for this year. ‘Are you up for another one?’ she asked, ‘do you mind what genre the books are?.  If not I’ll keep my eye  open for some you might be interested in’

I had two recommendations for an A and a B one word title sent in an email- put them on hold please I replied.

The first one Alice by Christine Henry  is described as:- A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll

Book Blurb :-  In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

So then it was on to the second one Bliss by Peter Carey

Book Blurb:- This novel, by the author of Oscar and Lucinda, tells the story of a man who, recovering from death, is convinced that he is in hell. For the first time in his life, Harry Joy sees the world as it really is, and takes up a notebook to explore and notate the true nature of the Underworld.

i saw one classed as Horror/Fantasy – the other as Satire/Black Humour in the form of literature.

Both arrived the other day but I haven’t picked them up yet,  I’m trying to finish off my February female first 😊

How about you.  Are you reading anything out of the ordinary ?

Giving the girls a go….

Each January for the past few years (just for the fun of it) I’ve been giving myself little reading challenges. Not an original idea I know but things like A to Z of author’s surnames or A to Z of book titles (sometimes known as the Alphabet Soup Challenge)  Among other things,  last year was about trying to finish more books from series I’d begun…..finally getting to the last of the Ann Cleeves Shetland series was one.  If you’d like to see what I’ve read over the past few years I’ve gathered all the previous ‘books read pages’ together and placed them in a seperate page which you can find up there under the header picture.

And this is last years in a different format – https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2019

This year I’ve decided it’s all about the titles!

Trying to find books with one word titles corresponding to letters of the alphabet is going to be fun – following on and extending that theme I thought The *plus* titles would also be fun.  Just by luck I found two in the ship’s library that fit the bill – Devotion (Louisa Young) and The Disappeared (M.R. Hall) both quick reads which meant that where ‘that’ challenge is concerned I’m off and running at a good rate of knots 😊

But what I’m really excited about is Giving the Girls a Go!

Reading books with a description of a female status in the title!  There seem to be more and more of them in the library catalogue so I’m aiming for one a month…12 in all.

I read The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter ( Hazel Gaynor) last week so that’s January taken care of 😊

A tale of two women and their involvement with lighthouses about a century apart.  Two stories with lots of twists and turns linking each to the other.  Lots of social statements on female roles and current (at the relevant time) attitudes to ‘the way things were’  Good read!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter (Kate Morton) has been sitting on a shelf here at home for a few months now. It’s another of the Historical Fiction genre I enjoy, I’ve set it aside for February and as it’s a fairly thick book it might take me most of the month to finish.l

 

I know there are lots of books about Mothers, Sisters, Nieces, Wives and Widows out there  so there’s  bound to be one for each month of the year!

Do you plan your reading or do you just go with the ‘pick a book any book’ method?

It’s time…

Time has passed quite quickly recently…..here we are in the third week of December…….not much left of 2019 to get through.

Get through being the optimal words as my ‘invisible ailment’  (lumbar spinal stenosis )   is making itself known again.  After a fair while of no symptoms, now when I need to be on my feet and mobile the dreaded heavy hot numb then tingling legs and feet have returned…..thankfully not the sharp, make you jump and screech, don’t know when it’s coming, electric shock down your leg pains when the sciatic nerve is involved.  All of which unfortunately limits my walking (which makes it worse) so consequently I’ve not done half the things I’d planned.  I have however read a couple of good books plus knit two baby cardigans…..and watched a fair bit of cricket.

The GP agreed with me that part of the problem really is because I haven’t been doing any regular exercise since we came back from Bowen  I cancelled my gym membership before we left (not a contract one) meaning to reinstate it and my latest swimmimg pass had been used up, both of which I’ve just haven’t got round to renewing.  I have been doing some  physio recommended ‘simple’ exercises at home as well as using some light weight  dumbbells but they obviously aren’t enough.  What’s needed is a more structured method- one where I can’t stop and make a cup of tea when the going gets tough – well, I can stop, for a while – but it’s a bit awkward going to the attached cafes for a cup of tea when you’re all sweaty or dripping wet – and then making your way back to start all over again.  Best get it over and done with, then enjoy the tea when I get home 😊

Do you remember my dear friend who died recently ‘gifted’ her stash of wool to her friends and family.   Well the yarn knit up beautifully but was such a non descript, rather plain bland colour I had to put a pattern on each of them so they didn’t look flat and uninteresting.  You’ll find the previous two towards the end of this post, so all done now  and these two along with anymore I knit in the meantime will go off to the charity later in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course I read more than two books….these were the two from a pile of random library picks that stood out from the rest 😊

Sorry fot the dead – Nicola Upson.  Josephine Tey #8

In the summer of 1915, the sudden death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house–now much changed–and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War. As past and present collide, with murders decades apart, Josephine is forced to face the possibility that the scandal which threatened to destroy those women’s lives hid a much darker secret”

A cast of almost all female characters, set in various ‘times’ with the murder as the central focus of the book.   It covered attitudes toward women and their roles, very early women’s lib, developing female ‘friendships’ –  both open and covert – and how they were seen by society.  Lots of twists and turns with a surprise last chapter that tied in with the first one.  The only flaw for me was the jumping from decade to decade (sections set in different times) which I lost track of with having the same characters turning up each time.  Having to turn back to the front page of each ‘part’ to remember which year I was in was a bit of a nuisance.

Last seen alive – Claire Douglas

Libby and James Hall can’t believe their luck when the leaflet comes through the door. Swapping their tiny city flat for a beautiful house by the sea? Who would say no? But once they arrive at The Hideaway Libby starts to get jittery and increasingly paranoid. She is sure that someone is watching them. Something here isn’t right. And when she suspects their lives to be in danger they swiftly decide to return to Bath. But they can’t pick up their old life so easily. Because this isn’t just a casual house swap. This is something much, much more sinister.”

This one started out quite slowly (almost like the holiday it was supposed to be) then it changed.  Very subtly it became more of a mystery (touted as a psychological thriller) with a murder thrown in for good luck  Twists and turns as the story moves on – secrets are revealed- previous lives and deeds come into play    You never know what’s going to happen with each page turn.   Definitely recommended.

🎄 🍦 🎄 🍷🎄 ⛱ 🎄

I’ve really enjoyed your company (and comments) this past year but I’m feeling a bit tired and weary so think now is the right time to push the seasonal pause button

My love to you all – I’ll be back again in the middle of January

Merry Christmas and a very Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year

Next in line – Yarn Along…

What happens when a friend is clearing out her knitting patterns, offers a stack to look through and this happy looking lad jumps out at you.  And knowing you have just the right thing tucked away in your very slowly decreasing but thankfully not increasing (at the moment) stash of 8ply – well the only thing that could happen is that you spring into action 🙂

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With luck Winter has been and gone – I sent my final box of knitted goodies off last week – that means the charity will have things on their shelves ready to distribute when they begin their work in earnest next April – so that also means I’m looking at new ideas/styles to keep me occupied over the next few months.  This is a fairly easy four row pattern to knit, similar to a Fishermans Rib. The sleeves knit up very quickly so I’m on to the back now. More stitches means more time consuming but I’m thinking  if the neckline is easy to fit I may end up doing some more of these cozy shawl neck sweaters.

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I was ‘between books’ for a while, then several turned up.  I have Johanna Nicholls – ‘The Lace Balcony’ – available but because it is rather lengthy think I’ll leave it for the long hot days of summer (when they actually arrive).  These two arrived from the library on the same day.  Kate Morton’s ‘The Lake House‘ and Kate Grenville’s ‘The Lieutenant“‘ so it looks like I’m spoilt for choice now 🙂

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Ginny’s Yarn Along takes place each Wednesday  You’ll find other knitters and readers over there  Why don’t you pop over and have a look – and maybe join in one week

Yes! I did it…. Yarn Along…..

What happens when a pattern catches your eye but needs to be reworked to take a change in ply and a slight change of various components into consideration?

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Take some pretty pink 8ply I found in my stash – try to reproduce a pretty 4ply pattern along with some minor alterations – and what do you get?  Why you have the (almost) great disaster of last week?

Which you can read about HERE

 

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Patience returned and along with encouragement persuaded me to persevere and sort it out 🙂  Of course they were aided and abetted by desire – the desire to start a new book when I finished. lol

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Ginny from Small Things has a weekly meme called Yarn Along which I used to take part in.  Sort of a ‘show and tell’ featuring the knitting and reading you’ve been doing recently.  Do pop over and see what others have been up to.

This week – I’m Back – and I’m showing and I’m telling 🙂

As you can see I did ‘sort out’ the pretty pink baby cardigan/jacket – and my reading for the rest of this week is In Cold Daylight by a ‘new to me’ author Pauline Trowson.  Which is very apt considering how cold it still is first thing in the morning.

Big things in disguise…….

It’s been a very small effort on my part in the knitting department this week – small in size and small in number.  Certainly not small in intention tho’.  These little (minature sized) cardigans and other like sized items are destined for special gift packs given by grief counsellors assisting mothers (and their families) in the aftermath of losing a babe pre-term.  These tiny ones are part of a program designed to help those who have a loss in the first trimester. Knit in baby 3ply on size 14/2.25mm needles they measure approx. 3ins from neck to waist and 3ins across the chest and are small enough to be held in the palm of your hand. A gentle reminder of the life that was lost.

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After finishing Soldier of Fortune I’m thinking about starting another ‘old’ book.  This one is really old, written in 1815 by Sir Walter Scott, the little blue book is an old copy of Guy Mannering (aka The Astrologer) complete with thin tissue like pages covered in tiny print and looking really interesting – but then on the other hand after I took the photo this morning I had a call from the library to say my ordered copied of this little beauty had arrived at the library so it looks like the 100 year old man will be my reading matter for the next week.

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And as there was no way I’d let Kiera (who is still moulting her fine brown fur in preparation for a glossy winter coat) anywhere near my white knitting the little figurene of two Burmese cats got into the in the picture instead.

See what others are knitting and reading by joining in the fun of Yarn Along
hosted by Ginny at Small Things

A Granny knits a Granny Knit…..d

Granny knits – a disparaging  term I’ve heard some younger modern knitters call the plain and simple garments often fashioned in older styles, knit in plain and simple maybe cheaper acrylic yarns.

This week I’ve been trying to do just that – finish a waistcoat for a friend’s 2 year old grandson.  Not ‘made of money’ she provided me with a couple of balls of Spotlight’s Marvel, yes an acrylic yarn.  Ooh, when I saw the colour, my first thought was, ‘not very boyish’ but then she showed me the clothes she was sending and it seemed the obvious choice.  A cable design made it a little bit more boyish.  Just have to knit the armbands and attach the buttons and it’s ready to go.

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imageSo what’s the little red book on the couch that this little Granny is reading.  An old 1956 copy of Soldier of Fortune by Ernest Gann.  I’m partial to books set in the Far East and this one is a mystery/ thriller that takes place in Hong Kong during the colonial times of the 1950s.  I’ve only managed one chapter so far so am still getting to know the characters.

Soldier of Fortune

Soldier of Fortune by Ernest K Gann

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/990078.Soldier_of_Fortune

See what others are knitting and reading this week by visiting Yarn Along
Hosted by Ginny of Small Things

And yes I’m late for this important date
I should have posted this yesterday on Wednesday
But then it’s still Wednesday at Ginny’s so maybe I’m forgiven 🙂

One plus one plus two more……..

One plus One plus One plus another = contentment

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One plus one could mean a sunny day and the chance to read
Or maybe it could be knitting with company?

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Put all four together and thats what I enjoyed one day last week.

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A beautiful sunny morning with nothing planned meant I was able to sit out on the deck, read, knit and enjoy the sight of Kiera slumbering her day away.

Enjoying some of the late Autumn sunshine made warmer by the outside blinds – definitely welcomed by both myself and Kiera.

Knitting cotton dishcloths – special requests from several poolside acquaintances.  Means I can use up thinner ply by using two strands together and reduce my ‘stash’.   (I found mention of the Waffle pattern on one of Rhonda’s posts way back in 2008 but you can find it here.  I’m making these ones slightly larger)

Rereading ‘Chocolat by Joanne Harris’ – made easy by propping the page open with a coaster. :).  Life in a small French village changed by the arrival of a young mother who opens a chocolat shop right across the road from the local church.  It tells of her relationship with the priest and the villagers as well as their relationships with each other.

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A good day indeed!

Linking to Yarn Along where bloggers share details of what

they are knitting and reading – hosted by Ginny at Small Things