Monday 30 November 2009

Never again!

I am NEVER taking time off work again! Came home today and I could hardly stand up, and hardly sit down either, every bit of me ached. It goes to show how much this job really does keep me fit. I have done nothing ... and I mean nothing ... for nearly four weeks. I didn't even clean the house, which is saying something 'cos I hate to sit around if I think the place looks filthy. It's like my muscles have atrophied, they have completely forgotten how to work. So you could say it was a bit of a shock to the system.
On the up side I didn't waste my last day off yesterday. The lovely Sadie, eldest daughter of my dear friend Julie, went off to uni in September. I promised her a new duvet cover at the time and then totally failed to live up to the promise. The whole family are coming down to spend the weekend, partly to see us but also so they can go and spend the day with Sadie, so I thought I would make one for her now. It is done in mainly royal blue and bottle green satin with some bits of velvet thrown in for good measure. As an experiment I appliqued some of the leaf designs into the centre since I had only used a relatively small amount of the embroidered satin. It was nearly a big mistake as the machine decided to try and chew up the fabric, but I just managed to rescue it and fix what was going wrong. I am very pleased with the outcome, the overall effect is lovely, just don't look too close as the stitching on the applique.
The original laptop is now sporting a nifty little antenna, as you can see in this photo of Tish. We were getting very annoying 'kernel panic' crashes (you really don't want to know, unless you are a computer geek, in which case you already know) which Dunk sorted by getting an external pickup for the wireless internet. I managed to take this photo and she didn't even notice, you can see her new hair cut, which is quite a transformation if you look back at the old one. She had worn her hair long her entire life ... kind of like me only I am too big a chicken to risk the change.

Saturday 28 November 2009


Any Human Heart by William Boyd was lent to me by my dear friend Al, and you can't have better friends than ones who take the trouble to share good books with you. I started this quite some weeks ago and it has been on hold in favour of a couple of library books. I got back into the swing of the story in the last few days and I found I liked Logan more and more as the story went along.
I confess that after the first couple of chapters I had to go and look the book up on Wikipedia because I was not sure if Logan Mountstuart was a real person or an invented character. This was almost my favourite aspect of the book. It is subtitled inside as 'The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart' and is written as if it is the collected journals and diaries of Logan (all in the first person of course), with brief explanatory notes in places to fill in extraneous details and explain the gaps in the story (written by an anonymous editor). He is referred to in these notes, and the footnotes as LMS, even though he insists to the SPK (Socialist Patients' Kollective) that it is not a double-barreled name.
The tale follows Logan through his life, from the age of 6 when he lives in Uruguay to his death in France aged 85. And it is a real roller-coaster of a ride. He comes from a relatively wealthy and privileged background, attending a public school and going on automatically to Oxford University. The reader gets an inside view of the way the world works for the upper classes and the importance of social connections. The two friends he makes at school, Ben and Peter, remain lifelong, though increasingly distant, friendships. His first marriage is to Lottie, an Earl's daughter, with whom he has a son, Lionel, but his literary aspirations seem to put him at odds with his in-laws and he finds their world somewhat stifling. He uses his writing and journalism as an excuse to escape and he travels widely in Europe, meeting many significant literary and artistic figures along the way. He begins a relationship with Freya, falling in love at first sight with her at the consulate in Lisbon. This continues for some years, with Logan establishing a second home in London with her and leading a double life. Their discovery precipitates the first of Logan's downward plunges. He has a tendency to take money for granted and the loss of his wife's income comes as a bit of a shock. His widowed mother had entrusted the family finances to an American investor and Wall Street Crash reduces the carefully built up family fortune to nothing, so not only does she have to resort to renting out rooms in the family home but Logan not longer has any inheritance to fall back on. Logan and Freya marry and have a daughter, Stella, but then the war intervenes in their lives.
He spends the war working for Naval Intelligence; entrusted with 'keeping an eye on' the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after they are moved to the Bahamas, and then being sent on a secret mission that goes terribly wrong. He ends up spending two years in a Swiss prison, only being released some months after the war ends. He returns to London to discover he had been presumed dead, Freya had married again and then she and Stella had both been killed by a bomb. Logan is devastated and this dominates the next few years of his life until he attempts suicide in 1949.
He is discovered by a girlfriend and the crisis forces him to get some help. His friend Ben, who has become an art dealer in Paris offers him the chance to help run a gallery in New York, so he moves there and starts a new phase of his life. He enters the art world and comes to love american life. He marries again, to Alannah, though still struggles with his grief for his former family. A relatively uneventful part of life, lived in comfort and newfound domesticity. The marriage ends acrimoniously, with both parties having affairs and Logan is then cut off from his two step-daughters. The younger of the two, Gail, he is particularly fond of because she reminds him of Stella, and they manage to sustain an intermittent relationship through the book in spite of her mother's animosity. His son Lionel reenters his life after many years absence, tragic events overtake them and the 'New York Phase' has an abrupt and undignified end.
I am not quite sure why he goes to Africa next. It was the one part of the book that felt a little contrived, to put him in a new environment and open up new journalistic possibilities for him with the proximity of the Biafra War. I like the way that Logan is so adaptable. He goes to new places and seems to find it very easy to acclimatise, and in no time at all is dismissing his former life as dull and unsatisfying. He works as a lecturer in English literature but also writes articles about the political situation, something he has some experience of, having also been to report on the Spanish Civil War. This period also ends abruptly with his enforced retirement.
I suddenly realised I am writing far more about the plot than I usually do so I think I may leave you in the lurch now and hope that I can tempt you to read it yourself. As I said above I found myself liking Logan more as time went on and he turns into a wonderfully cantankerous old bloke, with his strong self reliance and flexibility ensuring that he copes with all the crap that life proceeds to dump on him. His friends and other acquaintances resurface from time to time, sometimes to offer something, sometimes needing something from him.
What I love most about the book (as I also said above) is the way it is so real. William Boyd has integrated his character and his character's life within the real world and real historical events. I love the fact that the world Logan inhabits is authentic. He becomes part of the literary world and comes into contact with a wide range of influential writers and artists. Boyd doesn't try and make him a major figure himself, he is just a minor player on a big stage, but he sees everything and comments on it, and in some cases his actions even impact on real events. You feel as if you looked hard enough you might find his name somewhere in a history book. A fascinating tour through modern history from an unusual perspective. Logan lives a most full and varied life. When he is thrown out of a society party at the request of the Duke of Windsor the hostess exclaims, "What a funny old life you've led, Logan." (p.361) However he sums up his own life right at the end of the book. He is watching a group of young people on the seafront in the south of France, "Play on, boys and girls, I say, smoke and flirt, work on your tans, figure out your evening's entertainment. I wonder if any of you will live as well as I have done." (p.484) I knew how the story would end but that didn't stop me feeling sad. A thoroughly thoroughly engaging book.

a bit of spinning

Having mooched around for a couple of days I am trying not to waste the last bit of sick leave so I dug out some roving yesterday to try out a little experiment I had been thinking of. It is distinctly amateurish, broken in places, fuzzy in places, lumpy in places and very uneven, but I kind of like it. It is spun (still on the drop spindle) mainly in a very dark blue merino with little scraps of leftover colour added randomly in by hand. Some are little tiny and some quite long, some one colour at a time and some have two or three twisted in together. It's not very long, maybe 50g, (I'm not sure if some of the 100g I started with had been used for something else) and measured by my "approximately 1 metre each wrap round the table" method it is about 75 metres, so we are probably talking a skinny scarf-let.
p.s that's Holly, the anti-social cat.

Thursday 26 November 2009

old favourites

Now I have a copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas sitting round the living room for a reason. It was one of those divorce things ... he ended up with a big chunk of the children's book collection ... so I have been intermittently rebuilding it. There are certain books that I think children should not grow up without, and a substantial collection of Dr Seuss comes high on the list. I found a copy of Grinch in a charity shop, a lovely hardback in immaculate condition for 75p, but then it got pushed onto the small bookcase behind the living room door and forgotten.
M and I were just sitting yesterday morning, I was on the computer and she picked the book up and started reading it aloud to me for fun. Half way through I picked up the rhythm of the story and started reciting it from memory along with her. It was a lovely nostalgia moment for me because I must have read the book hundreds of times when the children were younger, and not just around Christmas. Now I am not sentimental about Christmas, in fact with the lack of little people around now I resist joining in with the enforced jollity, but this is a nice little story essentially about the importance of belonging.
The Grinch looks down on the Whos , all happily preparing for Christmas, and decides to steal it from them. So he sneaks into all their houses and steals all their present and decorations and food. Then of course, when he pauses to look back and enjoy their misery he finds that Christmas still arrives, without all the trimmings. The Whos still celebrate, and of course forgive him and welcome him back when he has a miraculous change of heart and returns all the stolen goodies.

The one that was really part of the Christmas preparations when the children were growing up was 'Mole and Troll Trim the Tree'. We did read this only at Christmas. Two friends decide to share a tree one Christmas but end have a huge row about how to decorate their tree. They throw things, and then one of them storms out, Troll I think, taking all his decorations with him. But they make up, and in the end decide to put everything in the world on their tree, so much so that there was hardly any tree showing by the time they finish. This appealed to us because we were an 'everything in the world on your tree' kind of family.
It is funny how traditions come about, and I suppose that when your life experiences such upheaval as ours did you find you need to make new ones. I look back fondly on things I did with my kids when they were growing up ... and I look forward now to new things we will do, the potential for new traditions in the future. So I buy children's books that I have loved, hopefully to share with my grandchildren one day.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Christmas is upon us:-(

So we know Christmas is on it's way in our house when my first card arrives. This comes the last week of November every year from the Chairman of Royal Mail with a couple of sheets of first class stamps (a small Christmas perk) and then I have to give in to the fact that we are in for a busy few weeks. Add to that I caught M on Sunday morning watching Christmas pop music on the telly, so I gave in and sat with her for a while to watch a few old favourites.
I am finally pretty much ready to go back to work. Having been off for three weeks now I reflected that this is has been the longest stretch in which I have sat about and done nothing since I was pregnant with Lewis 22 years ago. It has been nice to spend some time with my girls, but it is very easy to get used to the free time and the nice lie in, not a good habit for a postlady.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Strange titles

Rape a love story by Joyce Carol Oates
It seems somehow wrong to put the words 'rape' and 'love' together in a book title. It is almost as if doing so undermines the horror with which which rape should be viewed. It is a testament to Joyce Carol Oates that she can do this, and when you read the book you know why.
This is a short novel. I started it before dinner and sat reading until the middle of the night because I did not want to put it down. In common with other stories that concern rape it is really about the aftermath, and the long term impact that it has on all parties.
The opening description of the rape itself is shocking and frightening. The violence leaves physical damage, but it is the fear that ensues that leaves the real lasting mark. I think maybe that Joyce was not sure which line to pursue. You get the court room scene where the defense lawyer turns the case on it's head by claiming that the drunken and scantily clad victim had agreed to 'sex for money' and the suspects were not guilty and had played no part in the beating that nearly killed her. The whole 'she was asking for it' defense that causes so much anger then becomes more of a subplot to the daughter's experiences.
The book is mostly written as if the author were talking quietly, almost confidentially, to the daughter and it is her experience and her relationship with Drumoor (the policeman) that dominates much of the story. Maybe 'relationship' is the wrong word. He is the first person on the scene when Bethie crawls from her hiding place and goes for help, and they are somehow bound together by the shared events of that night. He sends flowers to the hospital and then she sees him again in court. It is not until she observes him from her bedroom window bringing her mother home one night that she realises who he is and his promise of help 'any hour of the day or night' comes to be accepted at face value. As hers and her mother's lives become swamped by the fear they cannot escape it is Drumoor who knows what needs to be done, and has the means to follow through. They don't exchange a word and he does not need any acknowledgement for his help. In fact everything that happens is merely implied, the reader is left to assume that it is his actions that save them.
You also get brief insights into the thoughts of the perpetrators, seeing their reaction to the consequences of their actions. Their continued justification of their actions and lack of remorse is evident. You do come to feel a modicum of pity as they start to fully grasp these consequences, their friends avoid them and girls don't want to have anything to do with them, but the pity is never going to move in the direction of forgiveness.
But it is not a book about a man saving a woman. It is about rape taking away power from the victim and how it takes a person who really understands to help them regain control of life. It is also a commentary on the fact that the justice system still lets down rape victims, still blames rape victim for the crime, and that the victim must seek some resolution to their fear by other means.
I was disconcerted by the fact that the main character is called Martine. I don't see my own name in print very often and it made me feel more intimately connected with the story. I guess people with more common names don't necessarily experience this, but I often feel very proprietorial about my name.

Innocents abroad

Pedals and Petticoats: on the road in post-war Europe by Mary Elsy
This is my first book in the Women Unbound reading challenge. I picked it out because I like books that are historical but with what you might call 'human interest'. It is also about the history of women's experience. You hear quite a lot about how the two world wars changed the lives of women, but how after their heroic contribution to the war effort they were expected to return to their former lives, though I am thinking this was less so after WW2. This group of young women however would have been teenagers during the war and it is 1951 when they decide to embark on an epic journey around Europe by bicycle. What they did was quite remarkable at the time, there was still very little tourism and for young women to travel like this was most unconventional. Their journey feels somewhat symbolic of the post-war optimism, that anything now was possible and there was a bright new future. It was interesting to read that in spite of the widespread poverty that they encountered there was real warmth in the welcome they received wherever they went, and although, through a kind of bizarre naivety, they were very trusting and got themselves into some potentially dangerous situations, there were never any real threats to their safety. I describe them as 'innocents' because it seems that they launched into the journey with a youthful enthusiasm, with very little idea of what they would encounter and how they would communicate with the locals. They are frequently rescued from difficulties by gallant english speaking gentlemen who sort out their problems with a flourish, find them places to stay and entertain them with amusing anecdotes.
The writing has a little of the 'Enid Blyton' about it, feeling quite dated, though the book was only published in 2005. It is merely a description of where they went, who they met, what they ate and places they stayed. I was hoping for a little more about the lives of the people they encountered, but really the focus of the story is their journey, with far too much about bike problems and how it was difficult to find somewhere to wash their clothes. It was interesting reading in terms of understanding their expectations and attitudes to their experiences. 'Stoic' would be an appropriate word. They put up with not inconsiderable discomfort and inconvenience at times without much complaint. On their own they were a pretty resourceful bunch, but the moment a helpful man appears on the scene they defer totally to his decisions and seem incapable of asserting themselves. I tried not to be irritated by this but it was a recurring pattern throughout the story.
Mary writes a brief epilogue describing what each of them did afterwards. I noticed straight away that only one of the four got married, and mused on whether it was some reflection of their adventurous spirit, that they were not the marrying kind, was this my 'feminist slant' that marked them out as career women ... and then I thought that this was the case for many women after the war, that there were fewer men around to marry.
Post Script 24th November: I realised that this is a slightly dismissive review and I didn't want people to think I did not admire the achievement of these women, it was quite an astounding journey. It was just the book I didn't like.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Gilmore Girls and all that

We reached the end of our Gilmore Girls marathon yesterday and it felt kind of sad. 153 episodes, many many hours of watching, often late into the evening, with far too much tea being drunk (on my part) and far too much time spent on Happy Aquarium (by the girls). It is one of those stories where you can really allow yourself to get attached to the characters and it has been a source of much heated debate over the last two weeks. The whole Dean/Jess/Logan problem is unlikely ever to be resolved.

Anyway I have realised that I am way behind on my '52 books in 52 weeks' reading challenge, I may have to resort to something very brief over Christmas to make up the numbers. So, ignoring that, or rather alongside that, I came across another challenge on the Women Unbound blog which I decided to participate in. I have added one of their nice buttons to my sidebar.
The basic idea is to read books by or about women, but with a feminist slant, so not just any old book by a woman. With this in mind I have made a tentative selection:
  • Pedals and Petticoats by Mary Elsy. I am currently reading this. I bought it from the library and although written more recently it is the story (biographical I am assuming) of a group of girls cycling around Europe in the post-war period.
  • Spinsters Abroad by Dea Birkett. Also bought in the library and is about Victorian lady explorers, taken from writings and diaries of women travelling as women alone.
  • The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer. Feminist tome. This has been on the list as 'currently reading' for some time now, so this is an excuse to get it back out and read the rest.
  • Rape by Joyce Carol Oates. Bought in a charity shop on the spur of the moment as I had read some of her short stories. Subtitled, A love story.
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This has been on my 'to read' list for many a year, since my mum recommended it when she read it, I think I may have been in sixth form. It is the story of the mad woman in the attic, Mrs Rochester, from Jane Eyre. It seems like a good choice for this challenge.
I may add more depending on enthusiasm or interest. the challenge includes what is called a 'meme'. Now these things seem to abound in blogland so it seems to be a compulsory part of participating in and linking to such challenges, so here goes:

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?

I think it is a way of looking critically at the world and society and not allowing yourself to be limited or controlled by your gender. I guess for me it has been symbolised by using the title 'Ms' which i have done consistently since the age of about 16, since historically a woman's marital status has been such a significant defining feature of her life, and this title was a means to reject such labels.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

Yes. Because entrenched attitudes take far longer than you might think to change.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?

To stop the word 'feminist' having such negative connotations. And other women who think that they owe nothing to feminism or that it has nothing more to offer them. I also think women forgetting their history is an obstacle to the future. I talk to my daughters about the way life used to be for women, and how the things they take for granted were hard won.

Friday 20 November 2009

Olive Kitteridge

I am not sure why this edition has a picture of a young woman in a party dress on it, it gives totally the wrong impression. The other images I found were of a dried leaf which seems much better. Not that Olive Kitteridge should be compared to a dried leaf, in fact she is a woman of much suppressed emotion. I quite like the Wikipedia page (linked above) as it very helpfully lists all the characters appearing in each of the stories and how they are linked. I was thrown initially because the first story is not about Olive at all, but her husband Henry. And then the second story wasn't about her either, and I started to wonder if this was just a collection of short stories and I had misunderstood the title. But as I read on it became clear that Olive, as well are being an integral character to the stories, acts as a kind of glue that holds it all together.
She is most definitely a fearsome woman. This has to be her defining characteristic and the abiding impression that the other members of her community have of her. A former elementary school teacher she appears in several stories simply as that: a fleeting mention of the memory of a fearsome character from the childhood of whoever the story happens to concern. Olive is already old, in her early seventies, and the only thing you know of her earlier life is that she inspired fear; not respect or affection or admiration, but fear.
The front cover asks the question, "What will you make of her?" I am not sure I have an answer to that. She is quite the most impenetrable character I have ever read about. You see her relationship with her husband, and with her son and with some of the people in her community, not necessarily friends, just people she knows, but you learn far more about them than you do about Olive. I have just one quote that I felt, as soon as I read it, sums her up. Her husband Henry brings her some flowers and hugs her, and then "She stood, waiting for the hug to end." (story entitled Tulips, p.146) I could actually see her, stood there, not stiff and resisting, just polite and uncomprehending, as if she was not quite sure what a hug was. To put it bluntly this woman gives very little away, especially affection. I think that what you most notice about good writing is that you don't notice it. You don't trip over clumsy phrases or get irritated by boring or, alternatively, pretentious vocabulary. It just flows off the page without having to struggle or finding yourself picking fault with the way things are said. So you don't get the impression with this book that it is some kind of clumsy device that Olive appears (even most passingly) in all of these stories, and although it doesn't read quite like a novel it also doesn't read like a collection of discrete stories either. I like the book mostly because I like 'small town america' type fiction. I went through a bit of an Anne Tyler phase a couple of years ago and what they have in common is the very ordinariness of the people and their lives.
I would definitely highly recommend this book. It is about, as much as anything else, old age, and the process of reflection. In fact now I think back many of the characters are looking back on what was and what might have been, and what is and how it got that way. Possibly not one to go with if you are already feeling a bit melancholy but one to provoke much thought. The book apparently won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The list of somewhat longer than the Orange Prize list so I am not planning to try and tackle it, but there are certainly a few more suggestions there that I will come back to in the future.

We call 'em dungarees

If you pop over to the Bibfessor you can read all about International Overalls Day, which is today. Now I have been a long term fan of dungarees, as we call them here in the UK. I got my first (grown up) pair at Browns of Chester when I was about 11, I think. I remember them well as I sewed a particularly fetching 'I love you' heart shaped patch on the back pocket and they were my favourite piece of clothing for some years. Then in my teenage years I had a cream coloured pair (I hope is it not blasphemous to have non denim ones) which I proceeded to dye pink. Since then I went on and off wearing them. My current collection consists of some lovely stripy multicoloured ones made in Nepal, some patchwork pink/purple ones from Bishopston Trading Company (both pretty old and well worn now) and this pair that came from ebay. I think they appeal to the ageing hippy in me who has a tendency to resist looking 'smart'.

Monday 16 November 2009

Work progressed

So if I decide to sit around the bedroom and wear my shawl I will be beautifully co-ordinated with the paintwork. It has been a long knit and am very pleased with the outcome. I decided not to block it as I like the lovely textured crinkly effect. It is soft as butter and I am so going to enjoy wearing it. Feeling distinctly un-photogenic with a cold sore coming on so have tried to capture the look without me.

Saturday 14 November 2009


So we had a mad dash around the charity shops today after M decided that she wasn't well read enough to get into Yale. Her reading list now includes:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (labelled as a first edition but we have established it is not)
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
War and Peace by Leon Tolstoy (that's the cool dude in the photo) (she started Anna Karenina last week, nobody tell me she doesn't set herself challenges)
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (the whole trilogy)
(total spend about £17)

Plus a video of Sense and Sensibility, though I had to tell her we were not adding to the Disney collection with either Lion King 2 or Lady and the Tramp 2.

I got a couple of things for myself:
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (lovely hardback for £1.49). I just loved Cold Mountain so thought this one would be a good read too.
The Inheritors by William Golding
The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker, subtitled 'Language as a window into human nature'. I read The Language Instinct some years ago and found his writing to be very intelligent and challenging but also readable for a non scientist.

Tish bought new boots and The Clangers on video, but then she has enough to be going on with as I acquired a pile of academic ecology journals from someone on Freecycle. I think Oryx and The Journal of Ecology are going to keep her occupied, in between writing her personal statement for the UCAS application.

Sunday 8 November 2009

more cute baby and all that

The cutest baby enjoying the benefits of the most lovely
And the strangest bunch of kids. I keep wondering why mine didn't turn out at cute as Julie's. Tish in her very goth stage, Lewis when he still wore a bandana (which he did constantly, and I mean constantly, for several years), Jacob without the hair, and M hasn't changed much, except height-wise, she still hates having her photo taken.
Dad sent me this photo yesterday though it is several years old.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Work in progress

Am stranded at home due to minor medical incident (the baby socks were knitted during extended wait in hospital) and since it may be at least another week I thought I would start something more substantial. This fabulous lace weight merino/silk blend was a birthday gift from Julie and I confess the thought of knitting with something so fine was a little daunting, however I did find this lovely simple pattern on Ravelry that I used to make a birthday scarf for my sister from my home-spun and decided to use it again. Lots of knitting bloggers seem to add 'work in progress' pictures so I thought it might encourage me to keep going if I admitted to having started it, then I would feel duty bound to post again and prove it has been finished. We are having a Gilmore Girls marathon to accompany the knitting, though M is going to make a start on her Italian, having returned from holiday there with a new-found enthusiasm for languages.

Friday 6 November 2009

Indoor bonfire

We decided to stay indoors for Bonfire Night but we still wanted to play with fire ... so I came up with the idea of a Bonfire Cake. The 'Guy' is made from ready-roll icing and then we just had lots of candles for flame, with mini sparklers for added effect (they were a bit disappointing however lasting mere seconds before burning out), then we toasted mini marshmallows on cocktail sticks over the candles. We probably have to wait for Saturday for the fireworks though, the Fire College always runs a big display that we can watch from the bedroom window.

Thursday 5 November 2009

what have we been up to recently

In celebration of her freedom to do so M finally got round to dyeing her hair pink. She was waiting until after the Youth Musical Theatre group did their performance so that she didn't look too outrageous on stage. She doesn't relish being photographed but luckily for me she does still relish the occasional cuddle. It's only semi-permanent and she's thinking of turquoise next.
Having had a lull for nearly a year now on the knitting of socks (I did a pair for each member of my family for last Christmas and regretted the decision as the weeks flashed by and the last posting day arrived leaving me mere hours to get them in the post!) so I finally got out the last ball that Julie bought me as a Christmas present, just fabulous colours from Violet Green, and here they are. There was this little ball remaining so now baby has a pair to match too.
They look a funny shape there as I made the leg tightly ribbed so they grip properly, and they fit just perfect.