Listening: to Radio 3. Again. And the rain. Again.
Reading: I’ve just finished ‘Death and the Maiden’ by Gladys Mitchell. I bought it because it’s set in Winchester in the post war period: it has quite detailed descriptions of the city, which I found interesting. However the story is quite odd and, in the end, unsatisfying. 

Watching: Lucy Worsley’s ‘History’s Biggest Fibs’. We judge documentaries on whether we learn something new, and Ms Worsley seldom fails. Whether we remember what we’ve learned is a different matter, but that’s not her fault.

Making: I’m feeling more inspired by ‘1 year of stitches’ than by my knitting at the moment, so I’m cracking on with the former. The more I add, the more I like them. I’m still knitting, but it’s a pair of using-up-leftovers slipper socks, rather than an SKO. Well, they are SKO’s, but not in the artistic sense.

Feeling: tired, after this week’s couple of sleepovers. The kids were great, but I don’t have the energy I used to have. Still, we had a very enjoyable morning at the ‘little trains’, despite the rain.

Anticipating: a more relaxed week next week.




Listening: to Radio 3. Tanita Tikaram on ‘Private Passions’. Having lost interest in pop music in the 70s, I’d never heard of her, but I like her choice of music. 
Reading: ‘Nightingale Wood’ by Stella Gibbons. I’d only ever read ‘Cold Comfort Farm’, but someone on a book blog I read recommended her other work, and this is excellent. It’s a retelling of Cinderella, but with some interesting twists. It’s very feminist, although the reader does have to tolerate the casual racism which occurs in so many books of the period.

Watching: looking forward to the new Andrew Graham-Dixon series starting next week.

Making: still knitting, still embroidering. I’ve used up 3.5 of the 4 balls I bought from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The wool is great and shrinks well, but it’s reinforced my feeling that I primarily want to work in natural cream wool, and not  colours, natural or not.

Feeling: physically better, psychologically down. Trump and May (Theresa, not James) are an even more scary duo than Reagan and Thatcher. But a visit to Walford Mill to see the brilliant exhibition of glass by Ruth Dresman did cheer me up for a while – it’s well worth a visit. Her work is exquisite, and if anyone has a few £££££ to spare, I have a birthday coming up and there’s a small dish with gooseberries on it  I really loved. Or the bowl with leaves that was like looking into a pool. Or any of the fish. Or …

Anticipating: a couple of sleepovers next week – the children are spending time with us while their parents gallivant work. Very envious of their daddy going to Scandinavia, even if it is for work, and travelling over ‘The Bridge’. Just hope he comes back in one piece. 



Listening: to silence again. 

Still reading: ‘The House by the Thames’ by Gillian Tindall. I haven’t managed to get going with it, but that may be because I’ve had a heavy cold all week and no energy for anything except sneezing.

Watching: still James May. What will we do when it finishes?

Making: still knitting, still embroidering. Last week’s knitted samples, despite looking and feeling like wool, took three trips through the washing machine to felt, and even then only slightly. Plus the colour of one of the contrast yarns (I suspect the black string) ran, so the samples are miscoloured. I wasn’t thinking of using the wool for a finished piece anyway, as it’s 4 ply, and would take forever, but although it’s frustrating at least I’ve learned not to use string…

Feeling: grotty. The cold has got to the bunged up and coughing stage, which is better than the sneezing and dribbling stage, but I’ve spent much of the day asleep. Just hope I sleep tonight.

Anticipating: just feeling better, hopefully by Monday.



Listening: for a change, to Amazon music via my phone, as the tuner from our ancient hifi has died.

Reading: ‘The House by the Thames’ by Gillian Tindall. I read a very good review of it, but I’ve only just started it, so I’m reserving judgement.

Watching: we – and the VHC – have been enjoying James May reassembling things. After this week, the VHC is under very strict instructions not to touch the Kenwood.

Making: still knitting, still embroidering. I took some atmospheric photos of the finished SKO’s, and some less atmospheric ones of two samples. Contrary to appearances, I am not proposing to yarnbomb a drainpipe, I used it to tension the sample while I added some embroidery. And the year of stitches is such fun I started a second one.

Feeling: glad to be back to our normal routine, for at least a week or two, we hope – except for…

Anticipating: unusually for us, a Sunday outing. There’s a good show on at Southampton Art Gallery (British Art Show 8) which is conveniently close to Richer Sounds, source, we hope, of a replacement tuner. Since I dislike driving into Southampton, even to go to the excellent gallery (I did it too often when I was working) combining two trips seemed a good idea.

How to spend a Bank Holiday evening. Not.

My favourite knitting needles are my Knitpro Symphony interchangeables, but the 4mm ends have gone walkabout. So, as I was knitting flat, I fished out an old pair of (Aero?) single points, which happened to be handy. And realised that my arthritis has got to the stage where long cold metal single points are uncomfortable to knit with. So I needed to find a 4mm circular needle.
I keep all the ‘other’ needles in my mother’s old work box which is wedged between the sofa, the wall, the desk and a ‘pillar’ – i.e. bit of wall – which holds the upstairs up. (With the assistance of another bit of wall and a joist, obviously.) Lest you think we live in some sort of mansion, about 60 years ago the previous owners built an extension which necessitated knocking down part of a load bearing wall, hence the need to provide an alternative means of bearing the load.

But I digress.

The work box has a sliding top, which is good because its sides are unreachable. It’s not so good because if I want to get into it, I have to kneel on the sofa, take everything off the top of the work box, slide open the two parts of the top, lift out the internal tray which I never use, and grovel inside. Sounds simple but what’s on top of it is the sound dock and its zapper. They have to be moved carefully, so the sound dock doesn’t get damaged, the phone doesn’t fall out, and the zapper doesn’t get lost. 

Fortunately the circulars were on top, so I found the 4-4.5mm bag, found my needle gauge (a miracle in itself) and found a suitable needle. I put it on the coffee table, retrieved the needle I’d dropped, and forced them all back into the bag. Then I had a quick fossick in the depths of the work box because I thought I had some more Knitpros. (If I do, they’re not in there. Possibly.) 

In the process I knocked the internal tray onto the floor behind the sofa, which meant leaning over the back of the sofa to reach the floor. This is not as easy as it used to be, and in the middle of the process, I got cramp.

In due course, I picked up the tray, only to knock one of the top pieces onto the floor. I picked it up, replaced it, and put the sound dock back on top, while pulling the power lead out. Twice.

Finally I got the dock in position, moved to sit down again and realised I hadn’t put the tray back.

Removed the sound dock, slid open the top, replaced the tray, closed the lid, replaced the sound dock, sat down.

Realised I’d left the bag of needles out.

Removed the sound dock, slid open the top, removed the tray, replaced the needles, replaced the tray, closed the lid, replaced the sound dock, sat down.

At this point Wensleydale, without knowing about my trauma,  appeared with a glass of wine.

I knew there was a good reason I married that man. And he’s just got me a refill.