Homefront (3)

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Reading and knitting news.

Some days at the library or the book shop are like harvest festival, with an abundance of fruitful finds and too many volumes I would love to read. Other visits are like the dead of winter, a shortest day of the year kind of visit where the only books worth reading are the ones I have already read and I come home empty handed.

Happily I’ve plenty to read just now and a pile by my bed that is knee high and threatening to topple any day. I’m currently in the last 100 pages of city saga, Norman Collins, London Belongs to Me. I’d not heard of the author but I picked it up in a charity shop to make up the numbers on a 3 paperbacks for a pound offer.

Norman Collins was a writer and television executive who published several novels in the 30s and 40s before pioneering the first British commercial TV channel, ITV. On checking reviews it would seem that this novel is well loved for its portrayal of a city and the people who live and work there, but I love it most for its portrayal of 1930s Britain and quickly grew nostalgic for a time now past.

London Belongs to Me, is neatly crafted around the residents of 10 Dulcimer Street, a London house owned by the widow Mrs Vizzard who rents rooms to paying guests. A series of their connected stories successfully represent life in London on the eve of the war. There is Percy Boon caught up in a terrible crime, Connie an ageing and light fingered actress, Mr Puddy the night watchman, Mr Squales a failed psychic with ambitions beyond his talent and the rather wonderful Jossers who long for a cottage in the country.

At over 700 pages long, its been a great read as the nights get colder and darker. Thoroughly recommended.

In knitting news I press on with gloves and make slow process on the lace. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to undo the lace scarf but I am quite determined to finish this project at some point.

The lace scarf pattern is 22 Leaves by Lankakomero at Ravelry. I am knitting it in Eden Cottage Yarns Theseus lace, which I purchased using a recent trip to Loop of London.

I’m linking up with Ginny Sheller at Yarn Along today. This is a great place for those of us who love our yarn craft and our reading. Visit her blog for restful thoughts a couple of times a week and the most beautiful homesteading photos.

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On the homefront

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Did anyone else listen to Garrison Keiller’s, Tales from Lake Wobegon, in the nineties?

Well it has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, AKA home.

Most things here are determined by homeschooling and a pattern of Andy leaving for work on Sunday afternoon and not coming home until Thursday night. It makes for a very short weekend but I’m learning to cherish the feeling of sadness I have when he leaves as a token of love rather than loss. We are making the most of every minute of the shortened weekend as you may have noticed from my social media activity. Nothing fancy, just good home cooked meals, a little baking, a little cinema, trips out to favourite places not far from home and church.

If anyone reading this also suffers from being apart from loved ones, I hope you find some practices that make it a little easier for yourselves.

We like to share Compline*, by phone, several times a week. Andy reads and by the time he arrives at …

“As the night watch looks for the morning, so do we look for you, O Christ.

Come with the dawning of the day and make yourself known in the breaking of the bread.”

… we’re ready for a restful goodnight and some well earned sleep.

In further news, I am knitting mittens and gloves (endlessly). These in the picture are for Lucy. Knitted up in Debbie Bliss merino wool (Rialto) from a sweet vintage pattern I found inside my Grandma’s war time knitting book, I’m really happy with the colours and the stitch definition.

I’m linking up with Ginny Sheller at Yarn Along today. This is a great place for those of us who love our yarn craft and our reading. Visit her blog for restful thoughts a couple of times a week and the most beautiful homesteading photos.

In terms of reading, I might just treat myself to a Garrison Keiller short story. Sadly most of his early books are now out of print but you can still get hold of second hand copies and wonderful recordings of him reading the stories of small town American life for the radio.

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*Compline is a service of evening prayers from  the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, traditionally said (or chanted) before retiring for the night. we use the Anglican order and you can find it here.