Saturday, 18 February 2012

Crafting and Reading Plans

It has been delightful to see the mornings become lighter, and to find the evenings are longer too. Today, however, it has been a rainy afternoon, and the light seemed to vanish quickly. I had been planning to start a new craft project this afternoon, but I have been thwarted! Back in December, Mum made a few really pretty little felt holly brooches, and gave one of them to me. I was reading Popular Crafts magazine, and came across a pattern for a felt daffodil brooch, and thought it would be nice to make some ready for Easter gifts. My plan was to walk into town on my way home from work to buy some felt in the requisite colours, but as it was gloomy and rainy I thought I would take a chance on having some in my craft box. Alas, as I have just discovered, having gone through all four of them, I have not a scrap in the right colour, and I can't buy any more till Tuesday!

Still, as I read on a blog today, a pleasure anticipated is a blessing, so I will try and see it like that rather than being vexed at having to wait!

I have just started, and nearly finished, a slim little novel from the library called The Lost Garden. I came across it whilst looking for something else, and it is not the book I thought it would be, but is really delightful. It is about a group of Land Girls digging for victory during the Second World War down in Devon. Having read Nella Last's War recently, I was expecting more of the same, but it is in fact a hauntingly beautiful story of love and loss and longing. Although the war and the land army are the setting for the story, it isn't really about that at all. The writing style is lyrical and beautiful, almost poetical in fact. It reminds me slightly of the style of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, or Sophie Dahl's writing. I was looking for some reviews of it online earlier, and came across the most wonderful website. It is called Book Drum and is a kind of online companion to novels. Say in the story a piece of music is mentioned; on Book Drum if there is a listing for that novel, there will be a link to a recording of that piece of music, or a recipe for a dish mentioned, or a photograph of the setting. It is really, really fabulous. Here is a link to the pages for The Lost Garden:

In the kitchen, I have a bowl that is filling the room with the most wonderful scent. It is slightly sour and sweet at the same time....last week I was given some Friendship cake batter. I haven't seen Friendship Cake since I was at Primary School, when I remember sticky jam jars of batter in school bags and stirring in cups of sugar on the appropriate days. I am so looking forward to baking it and tasting it again.

Tomorrow we are going to London to see Carl's sisters. Now that they have all moved out of home, they don't get to see each other as often as they would like, so last year we started a 'sibling club' where we take it in turns to host lunch or dinner at a weekend, every month or other month. It is lovely as it gives everyone a chance to catch up without it being a birthday or Christmas. The plan is for a nice walk by the Thames, perhaps a glass of wine, and then back to his sister's for Sunday lunch.

I am starting to think about my forthcoming birthday. I have decided that to celebrate I would like to have a pot luck tea party, where guests are asked to bring something with them, perhaps a batch of scones or their favourite cupcakes. I will of course do a lot of baking myself, and there will be pots and pots of tea, and bunting everywhere. The only problem so far is that the village hall I was hoping to rent is already booked...sigh!

Oh, and the other evening after my burlesque class we went to a local bar to see the end of an actual burlesque show. The performances were amazing, I can't remember seeing quite so much glitter in one place, but there was also a two piece band, one on a guitar and the other a double bass, singing lots of fifties songs. It was really, really good. I was so shocked to discover that the singer was only 20...which made me feel quite old!

Work has been up and down again lately. I was just starting to feel really settled into my temp job, and was all set to apply for it permanently, but due to some really quite vexing complications it doesn't look as though that is going to be possible. It has really set me back to feeling how I was just after I was made redundant. I know one thing, and that is when I do get a permanent job again, I am never going to stop being thankful for it. I just hope that it does happen...

The room is filled with the scent of hyacinths this evening. They are so heady they are bordering on being too much, but I could not resist them. I was in Marks and Spencer the other evening, and a bunch of roses, tulips and hyacinths were reduced to £1.50 and I couldn't leave them behind! The roses and tulips are deep red, and the hyacinths are purple. So beautiful.

We watched the first episode of Grimm, a new series which is a 'cop drama with a twist' the twist being that it is set in modern day Portland Oregon, but as well as it being inhabited by 'normal' people it is also inhabited by dark fairy tale creatures inspired by the stories by the Brothers Grimm. The episode we saw was inspired by Red Riding Hood. It was really quirky, but I liked it. It reminded me a bit of Eastwick and Pushing Daisies.

I was sharing a pot of tea with a friend who happens to be vegan, so rather than bring a milk jug through, I just brought through the teapot and our teacups. It seemed silly bringing through a whole jug of milk just for me, so I had planned to splash some milk into my cup, but didn't get round to it. It was really just laziness, but I am glad I was, becuase I discovered that black ceylon tea is really rather lovely. I think for every day I would still drink my tea white, but I found it really refreshing to have it black, so I will definitely be doing it again.

I should really think about getting to bed soon, but while Carl is watching a tv programme that I don't enjoy so much, I am writing here and listening to old music through my headphones, and I feel like I could sit up for hours. So far I have had Glenn Miller, Elvis Presley and Michael Ball...wherever you are, I hope you are having a peaceful evening.



Dinahsoar said...

I've seen some felt broaches online and they are nice. I like the crocheted ones too...have made a few myself for my daughter.

Book Drum--what an awesome idea. Must check it out!!...I read the Little House on the Prairie series years ago and when I found the companion cookbook in the library I was delighted. These days I have the Mitford Cookbook by Jan Karon, goes with the Mitford series, which I've read and loved.

Years and years ago I had the Friendship cake starter. Some here called it 'Herman' cake. Have no idea why. It was some good tasting stuff straight from the jar though-- and made good cake too. We'd eat it from the jar on ice cream as well.

Sibling club--such a nice thing to do/have...I live too far away from my siblings to do such, but would if possible.

Pot luck tea party--LOVE LOVE!! clever and how much fun would that be...I recall an episode of 'As Time Goes By' where Jean, Lionell, the girls and Alistar host a tea party in a reception hall for some old folks, they made fairy cakes and finger sandwiches, pots and pots of tea, played games and such and it was so delightful. It's a shame the village hall you desired is already booked.

My birthday is coming soon and I want an outing that includes some mountain sights, a picnic and a quaint mountain town with cute shops..hoping that husband, myself, daughter and sil can go as that is all the family that is close will have to be vegetarian and gluten free for my daughter though but it will be fun and there will be fairy cakes for dessert.

Your job situation does sound vexing...surely in time things will smooth out. In the meantime try not to fret too much. I know you are doing your best to deal with what is on your plate. I find just taking it a day at a time is all I can handle some days.

I love red and purple of my favorite combinations...and heady flowers are nice, though I find I am more sensitive to strong scent these days and desirous of subtle ones.

We watched the first episode of Grimm and it was o.k but we didn't watch it again...when it reruns we will...often I find that shows I didn't like become some of my favorites Poirot...there was a time when I refused to watch it...but I'd only seen one episode..but years later I watched it and now I adore Poirot. We've been following Once Upon A Time, set in present day and back in the day... follows the lines of the different fairy tales-- like Snow White. In present day the wicked witch that gave Snow the poison apple is the mayor of Storybrook, the town where all the characters from the fairy tales are trapped as none of them can leave Storybrook, under the spell of the witch. It's very entertaining.

I prefer most hot tea with milk, but herbal teas, mint teas, jasmine, I like minus milk.

I may have mentioned this before, but do you follow Susan Branch's blog? I think you might enjoy it, she has a lot of music links for you to listen to as you read--oldies--and she is such a hope filled and lovely person, it is uplifting to read...and she lives on Martha's Vineyard, often post pics and short videos of it...she is a wonderful artist too and delightful person.

Another fun read, maybe you read it, is the blog Life After Money about an older gal--62-living on very little money in the U.K....her austere life style is quite interesting. I read it often.

Popular Crafts said...

Looking forward to seeing the daffodil brooches : )

Popular Crafts said...

Hello, we just popped by to say we've linked to your lovely blog on the Popular Crafts website
Thank you for mentioning us.
Cheerio, Katharine