Friday, 8 August 2008

Evening Plans

Even better than stumbling on a book that you expect to enjoy, and then discover that you adore it, is to come across a book that you fully expect to dislike, but find it utterly captivating instead. I was so uninterested in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, that I left it until last night to pick up, when I really need to have it read for Book Club on Friday. Of course, this is the wonderful thing about being in a Book Club, you do read things that otherwise you might never have touched. And yet, I wonder, how many other little gems are there out there, undiscovered, because the author took a gamble with the title? I cannot help but feel that book titles can be a lot like marmite, a love or hate thing. I can see that a title like ‘A Short History of Tractors In Ukranian’ is meant to intrigue you and make you snatch the book off the shelf, but it left me cold. Again, it was a Book Club choice, and again, I loved it, giggled my way through it and was so glad I had read it.

When I get home from work tonight, I am going to cook some dinner, and then settle down with my book for a while. I am really looking forward to cooking dinner tonight. I love trying new recipes, and tonight I am going to be making Corner Shop Curry, which is taken from Jo Pratt’s In The Mood For Food, a book which leapt off of the library shelves at me the other day. It is, in essence, a vegetable and chick pea curry which I plan to serve with basmati rice, or if I find some extra energy, home made naan breads. On rainy evenings like this, I love cosy eat-out-of-a-bowl food which is healthy and tasty- food I have heard described as ‘soulsome’ which I think is a beautiful word.

If there is time after all of that, I want to have a little play. The idea for my blanket is still percolating away, and I have got as far as choosing my pattern and which brand of wool to use – Rowan Pure Wool Double Knit. Now I need to choose which colours to use; I am toying with the idea of five, six, or even seven, and am torn between the idea of using a random stripe generator to choose my pattern, or to do it by eye, lay out the first ten or so stripes and then see what looks pleasing next. But, I get ahead of myself. Before I can have my stripes, I must choose my colours, and really, how can I choose between these? The colours are beautiful on their own, and to top it all, they have enticing names as well. Who wouldn’t want to sit and crochet with Dahlia, Honey, Hyacinth or Hydrangea?

I started to try and choose by copying and pasting all the little blocks of colour into a word document, and then deleting the ones I don’t like, and grouping the ones I do like together. I found it a bit unsatisfying though, so I am going to print them out, cut them up and shuffle them around. There are several variations of each colour available, for example the blues range from Clay, Shale, Anthracite, Glacier and Pier to Cypress, Marine, Ultramarine and Indigo. Together they would make a lovely blanket, but I want to do something a little more varied. So then I think of taking say Clay, Shale and Pier, adding a green in, perhaps Avacado, adding in a dusky pink such as Tea Rose, but then can’t decide if I should lift the whole thing with Honey or the lipstick bright Dahlia. Then I put them all together and don’t like the way they sit at all. I am enjoying playing with colour combinations though, so although it is a problem, it is a bit like a game of Sudoku- a pleasurable puzzle, where the satisfaction comes from the solving as much as the solution.

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