Listening: to Radio 3, as usual.
Reading: Death comes to Pemberly, by P.D. James. I avoid Austen follow-up novels because in my experience they are usually bad, so I ignored this when it first came out. But I was caught out by an unexpected wait with nothing to read and found it in a nearby charity shop. The reviews on the cover were good, so I bought it.
I think the reviewers must have been reading a different novel. I feel James’ writing lacks Austen’s humour and lightness of touch. There are far too many speeches in which one character explains to another, pedantically and at great length, what the other person would have known anyway – in fact far too much exposition of all sorts. Austen knew what she was doing, limiting the number of characters, and restricting descriptions to her characters’ thoughts rather than their hairstyles or means of transport.
Watching: Alice Robert’s programme on Winchester, which in contrast, was much better than I expected. So many documentaries these days jump from one topic to another, and then back again, in a desperate, and in my case, often unsuccessful, attempt to stop the viewer turning off. In this case we got a straightforward, accessible, chronological account, which told me things I didn’t know already, which is why I watch documentaries.
Making: as you can see, the fingerless gloves I started have morphed into a different pair of fingerless gloves. The other pattern turned out to be too big, but the thumb hole was too small, and I decided I didn’t have enough wool. I think these may be too small, but I can probably find some willing victim to give them to.
The sampler has had a rude word added, and a lot of whipped running stitch. The current instalment of Beyond TAST is layering stitches. I’m not sure if what I’ve done counts as layering, but I took the opportunity to try out ‘imitation tablet weaving’ from Jan Messent’s book ‘Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery’. I.e. closely packed rows of whipped running stitch.
Feeling: sniffly. I seem, after seven decades without it, to have hay fever. I’ve had a slight sensitivity to house dust for years, but that’s not like this continuous sneezing, and nose dribbling. And it’s not a cold, because the symptoms don’t change, and they get worse if I go outside. Wensleydale is the hay fever expert around here, and he confirms my self diagnosis. It’s a bit better today – I think the 3 thunderstorms we had last night may have helped – but I’d be happier without it.
Anticipating: we may, just possibly, provided nothing goes wrong, have a ‘normal’ week next week. Apart from taking the VHC to the dentist. I have grandchildren who regard going to the dentist as a big treat, which is, of course down to the dentist, who is very good with them.