Monday, December 31, 2012
Saturday, December 29, 2012
The block is called 'Square Target' and comes from this wonderful book by the lovely and talented Jan Eaton. The book has wonderful suggestions of colour and design, a great 'how to' section and really easy to follow clear instructions. It is a book that I go back to time and time again and is a worthwhile addition to any yarn crafters library.
I'm sure that my initial enthusiasm will wane and it is my intention that this will be a long term 'pick up and put down' project but at the moment I am loving it.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Here's a bit of traditional Christmas lyric for you. Enjoy!
The boar’s head in hand bring I,
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary.
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
The boar's head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
Our steward hath provided this
In honor of the King of Bliss;
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Old Mrs Brown had a Christmas tree of sorts. It was small, a little bent and a little bald on one side and the tinsel that its boughs were made of was less silver and more yellowed through age. She had found it on one of her rummages at the back of a local charity shop and had bartered with the lady, a robust W.I type behind the counter, down to a price of 75p. Which was a bit of a bargain.
She placed the tree on her small occasional table which stood before the bay fronted window of her little house. It leaned slightly to the left and had a drooping appearance but it was a tree and she felt that they had a lot in common. She was past her prime, had become stooped with age and her hair was now more silver than the gold it had once been.
She felt quite tired out after her excursion into the busy high street so settled down in her favourite chair with a nice reviving cup of tea, and as she sat there, she looked at her little tree and sighed. Once her Christmas Eves’ had been filled with family and bustle. The comings and goings of groceries being delivered, the last minute baking of mince pies and sausage rolls. Ferreting around in all the nooks and crannies of their little over crowded family home, trying to remember where all the carefully hoarded presents were hidden. The twins had been devils for finding them and as money had always been tight, it had meant buying little bits throughout the year when she had some extra pennies. Gifts often were so well hidden they didn’t get found until Easter. Even the twins failed to find one present that to this day had eluded detection. Still, she thought, it was easier to buy for one, and although the high street had been busy today, she had managed to stretch this weeks money to include a nice breast of chicken and a packet of cranberry and chestnut stuffing, which would do her a meal with a Christmassy feel. A small individual Christmas pudding she could microwave would round it off nicely. She sighed again, drank the last of her tea, and with a little effort and a groan got to her feet. She wanted her tree, battered as it was, to have at least a few lights and some decorations before the evening was out.
The box with the her few remaining decorations was like a trip down memory lane. There were the paper bells that folded out, the colours now faded and dusty but she remembered the twins being fascinated by them throughout their childhood. The glass baubles with their names written on them, one for her, one for Fred and one each for the twins. Her Mother had bought them the year they were born. Each carefully tissue wrapped parcel uncovered another memory. She found the small string of lights at the bottom of the box, small plain white ones. After checking they still worked, which amazingly they did, she slowly wrapped them around the tree which bent even further under their added weight. Next, on went the tinsel, she only had one piece of faded red and silver but it looked very pretty against the lights. A few baubles and a rather dilapidated fairy who only had one wing and the tree was done. Poor fairy, she thought, another Christmas relic who had seen better days. Still, that fairy had been bought over 40 years ago.
Mrs Brown stepped back and admired her handy work. She smiled with a childlike joy brightening a face that normally looked tired and aged. It was Christmas Eve and she had a Christmas tree of sorts. This was the first time she’d bothered with Christmas since her Fred had died 7 years ago, and she didn’t know why she had suddenly felt the urge to have a tree this year, but it felt like the right thing to do.
Her stomach rumbled and she checked the parlour clock. Goodness it was way past tea time and she had been too tired to bother with lunch. Time to get something to eat and then maybe to watch a little TV before bed. She picked up the last thing to make the tree look perfect, a small brightly wrapped gift that had come in the post that morning. Sent from so far away, it was a little battered in one corner, but it had a ribbon and matching ribbon curls and the label that swung from it read “To our Mum, Happy Christmas, love from ‘The Terrible Two’ xxxx” Christmas tree and a present - perfect.
They didn’t find Mrs Brown, until after the New Year. She hadn’t been missed by anyone over the holidays and as she didn’t have a phone she couldn’t have called for help if she needed to. The notes made on her post mortem stated that she died of natural causes and that she looked at peace.
Copyright P Lainchbury (2012).
Please remember to keep an eye open for your elderly neighbours this winter. xxxxxx
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I just don't get why people have this overwhelming need to be nice and smiley and friendly and jolly now. What difference does one day make? (The above statement does not apply to those moments of trolley wars and check out queues on Christmas Eve.) If you have the ability, and not all of us do, to be that nice and pleasant why not attempt it all year round? I am sure it would make the world a better place, unless you stumble across people like me, it would just make me want to punch you.
As Christmas and New Year approach, I find it harder and harder not to say 'Fuck off' to every wish of a Happy Christmas/Happy New Year that I get when I am out and about. And don't even get me started on the fake kissy-kissy hugness of New Years Eve (I need to carry a bucket with me on that day.) I don't mind a hug and a 'mwah' from people I know and quite like but from turds on legs, slightly pissed full of fake bonhomie, it is just a massive mistake if they to try and get close to me. M reckons I pull a face like a frozen fart and that scares them off a twenty paces, I should hope so, I've been perfecting it for about 40+ years.
I just hate the assumption that jolly becomes the norm at this time of year. I'd much rather people were just themselves all year round or that they could be that 'nice' at other times not just because it is seen as the right thing to do. Buck the trend, go against the flow, join with me and yell that resounding 'Fuck off!' You will feel better for it.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars and The Chronicles of Avonlea - by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Format 3 - Audio Books/ 1 Kindle
I love these stories. They are lyrical, funny and wonderful. They make me feel good as I read them because they lift my spirits but don't tax my poor brain. I can drift off to a different time and land and just relax.
Loki by Mike Vasich
Format - Kindle
I will admit to struggling to get into this book. I did put it down and walk away a couple of times. But I am glad I went back and gave it another go. It was worth it and is quite an epic read. I love any mythology and have dabbled in a couple of other books that use Norse mythology as a theme but this was the best by far.
The Lady of the Rivers by Philipa Gregory
Format - Book
I have mixed feelings about this author. Some of her stuff I have loved and devoured, others have left me cold. I didn't realise this was part way through a series but it worked OK as a stand alone read. I really enjoyed it, liked the setting, found it really interesting and will read the others in the series.
Kiss of Midnight, Kiss of Crimson, Midnight Awakening and Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
Format - Kindle
Very similar to the Black Dagger series. OK reads. More vampire tough guys seducing human women - very good sex scenes (if a little samey). Quick to read, non taxing in any way. I think these type of books are like breakfast cereal - they do a quick fix hunger fill but an hour later you start to feel empty again. For what they are they are good but they do not sustain. Sometimes that is all you need and I use these type of books as a de-stress tool but they do always leave me wanting something with a bit more substance.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
My plain sock pattern, knitted in Opal Van Gogh yarn - the colourway is Bedroom in Arles.
They are so pretty.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
I bought this from Tangled Yarn who I have to say have some truly glorious yarn and knitty stuff on sale - their service is pretty spiffing too!
I have stashed these until I get something else off the needles.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
I am very pleased with my days work -now I think I might have to make mittens or gloves to match.
"Dissolution' and 'Dark Fire' by C. J Sansom
Format - Kindle
Total departure from my normal reading choices and I love them. I have the third book downloaded to read. It is so refreshing to find a thriller style of story that makes me think. The first book took until around 75% to work out who the baddie was, the second one had me guessing almost to the very end. Very clever, well written and set in my favourite time period...Tudor. Winner on all levels.
'Anne of Green Gables' and 'Anne of Avonlea' by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Format - Audio book
These books are food for my soul. They are lyrical and feel good and I return to them time and time again. The gift of a new Ipod Touch from M was the perfect excuse to listen to them again. My love for them never lessens.
'Anno Dracula' by Kim Newman
Format - Kindle
One of the best books I've read this year. OMG it ticked every single box. Dracula, Dr Jekyll, Moriarty and Mycroft Holmes to name just a few of the wonderful characters this book weaves into its storyline. If you've not read it and you like a bit of a more meaty, serious vampire story - no twinkling - then have a read of this. Can't wait to read the next one!
Right that is it - since 01/01/12 I have read double of the challenge of '52 books in a year'. I have enjoyed it and am as yet undecided as to whether I do it again next year....watch this space.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Still plugging on with my reading challenge I am on book 103.
Got stuff on the needles - three shawls and a pair of socks (TV knitting).
Got a mountain of alpaca to spin for a friend - now this is long term and really slow going as I am hand carding as I go because my drum carder doesn't like pure alpaca much. I also have a big bag of black alpaca to spin for me but that will not see the wheel for quite a while.
I also have two projects on my drop spindles - another slow go as I have periods where I love this way of spinning and then I put it in a box and forget it for a while.
The looms are empty right now. As I want to finish up some of my knitting projects before I weave again.
That's about it for blog fodder stuff. Dogs, cat, hubby, kid and spiders are all thriving and life is fairly jolly.
Monday, November 05, 2012
I am busy, there is loads going on, but none of it is important really or exciting.
Somedays there are so many 'busy nothings' I feel like my brain will explode but when you try and explain what it is all about to someone else it is almost impossible. It is more a sense of having too much to think about, achieve and control. My stomach feels like it is on a permanent roller coaster.
I fear I shall continue in ever decreasing circles until I finally disappear up my own backside. So if the blog goes quiet for a while, or I'm not on FB, Twitter or Rav, don't panic or send out a search party. I am safe, up my own arse, wibbling in a rectal corner, trying to make sense of it all and get a better handle on coping with all the 'busy nothings' in my world.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Her first impression was of a bright warm light that pulsed in the same way as the sound, she blinked and noticed that this room was longer than the others and that there was something almost hidden within the light right at the back of the room. Her breathing felt tired and tight but she needed to see what was there before she took a rest. She walked forward.
As she approached the back of the room, the image revealed itself to her. It was not a drawing or a photograph but was an actual physical presence in the room. A white tombstone, surrounded by red and white marble chips and vases of white flowers. She dropped to her knees in front of it. The beat and her heart shuddered and stuttered as one as she tried to catch her breath, it drew in, rattling in her chest. Everything she had felt and seen while lost in the maze of corridors and rooms started to flash in front of her eyes. Every physical sensation repeated itself, but they all felt stronger, as if they were battering against her body. She could feel the remaining strength leeching out of her. What could this mean? She was too young, only 63, she had years yet. The beat faltered again, getting weaker and weaker. Her heart fluttered in her chest, it made her think of a butterfly trapped within a spider’s web. It was getting harder to breath, to think, to live. She felt herself start to slump, her vision seemed to blur, on her last breath she struggled to read the inscription on the stone again ‘ Alice Carroll - died October 31st 2012, aged 63 . She got lost in rabbit holes’.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
She forced herself to step into the room, the rat carpet parted and made a path for her, but she could feel them moving around her feet. Pictures of all her nightmares and terrors, some real and some imaginary, stared out at her, starkly black and white in blood red frames. The image she had remembered on the beach was there, the cupboard her Mother used to lock her in as punishment full of dark corners and rustling noises was there as well. The image of the cliff edge where Lewis had jumped to his death over 20 years ago stark and grainy in its splendour, she had made herself go there and stand on the very edge after his funeral. She had wobbled and almost thrown herself over it, only her fear of heights had stopped her. As the horror of the images sank into her brain it felt like her skin was being stretched too tight over her face and that her eyes were starting to bulge like all the air was being sucked out of her, and the room was becoming like a vacuum. She had to get out of there. She felt like the suffocation of her mind was unhinging her further than she was already. She charged out of the room, her limbs totally uncoordinated, kicking rats as she went. She almost threw herself out of the doorway. One more door awaited her………
She stood in the red room, bent over, her hands on knees, breathing hard. She could hear her pulse in her ears, it was beating along with the rhythmic beat that been dogging her journey, she had thought it was drums, but now it appeared closer it did sound more like a heartbeat. She caught her breath and stood straight, the last door awaited her.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Monday, October 29, 2012
She stood in the doorway feeling uneasy. It was a red room lined with 4 doors, she could see three doors clearly and each of these had a word on it, like the ones in the red corridor that had flashed into view earlier, and each was covered in numbers all written in different styles and fonts. The first door was labelled ‘Sorrow’. There must have been at least 20 numbers, maybe more on it. She opened it and went in.
It was like being in a very small gallery. The walls were filled with images, all neatly framed in black. She leaned forward and looked carefully at the first one. It was a picture of a funeral and she was in the picture. The coffin was in the foreground, it had a floral arrangement on the lid made into the word ‘Mum’ in white flowers, and she and a few other mourners stood slightly hazy in the background. She moved onto the next one. This showed a picture of a mound of earth with a childish cross made out of wooden lolly sticks stuck in it, there was a name in black crayon written on it ‘Dinah’. Moving swiftly on she looked at picture after picture, she knew what to expect now, each one portrayed a sorrow of her life from deaths to disappointments. She retraced her steps, left the room and stood in front of the next door. The next door was labelled ‘Joy’. There were less numbers on this door but still enough to peak her curiosity. She tried the handle, again it opened, again she entered.
This room was light and bright, there were more pictures but this time framed in silver and gold. She stood before the first picture and stared at it. There she was, 18, beautiful in her bridal gown, surrounded by friends and family and there was Lewis smiling down at her, she had been radiant at that moment. She took a second or two to drink in the image, it had been many years since she had seen it, then she moved on. Every image in that room was a moment of pleasure, reflecting through her entire life, from childhood tea parties to her sons graduation from University. She didn’t want to leave these moments ever again. But there were two more rooms and she was known for her curious nature, so she closed the door and stood in front of the next one.
This door had a pitted and warped appearance and was labelled ‘Fear’. From behind the door she could still hear that pattering noise but it sounded louder than before. There were less numbers here but they were painted onto the wood in dark red slashes. She felt intense trepidation but she opened the door anyway.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Sunday, October 28, 2012
She landed painfully on her knees, breathing hard, she looked up, more sand? No more like shingle…..she was kneeling on beach, close to the shoreline looking out to sea.
The hammering of waves onto the shingle, soothed her, her breathing eased back to normal, she unfolded her legs to sit in a more comfortable position and waited to see what would be thrown at her next. The gulls wheeled overhead screeching out their calls to each other, the surf came and went with a rhythm all its own, the shingle and pebbles rolled back and forward, and for the first time in what seemed like hours, she felt normal. She looked around, white cliffs rose up to the back of her, wooden groynes jutted out into the sea on either side of the beach she sat on, it all appeared so familiar. She was in Sussex, the memories flooded her mind. What was the number on the door again? 56 - were the numbers linked to years of her life? If so then in 1956 she would have been seven and when she was seven she, her Mum and her Mum’s latest boyfriend had gone on a holiday to the seaside, in Sussex near Climping. Her fear of water and swimming came from that holiday because she had nearly drowned. She had had to be rescued and given the kiss of life. She could perfectly recall the sensation of drowning, the terror of the water rising up over her eyes, cutting off the sight of the beach and safety. The remembrance of trying to feel the pebbly bottom with her feet and there just being more water. She had broken to the surface, arms flailing, trying to call out for help and her mouth had filled with seawater as she had sunk under the waves again and again. Just as she was coming close to exhaustion, she became aware of being hauled up and out of the water and being carried, it seemed such a long journey back to shore but that was allowing for a child’s idea of distance. They had laid her down and she must have passed out because her next and last recollection of the event was of coughing and spluttering and bright sunshine burning her eyes through their lids.
Taking a moment from her recollections, she felt the salt sting of the sea air in her nostrils. So many memories today. Things that had laid lost or dormant for years had come back to haunt her.
Unsteadily she got to her feet, real or imaginary, pebbles were difficult to walk on. She had a feeling she wouldn’t have much longer here, the clouds were scudding by at an unnatural speed as if time was on fast forward. She started to head down to the water, it felt as if she were moving slower than everything else, the scenery was reminiscent one of those time lapse nature programmes on the T.V. She reached the sea and her toes felt the cold sting of water though her torn stockings. Where were her shoes now? She watched the waves lap her feet, they’d never come back to the seaside. The infrequent childhood trips had all been inland after that little adventure. She felt she had missed out by not making the effort in her adult life to come to the very edge of the land, she felt a twinge of regret. As if by a flick of switch or by that last thought, the world dipped and swirled again and she felt the dislocation of movement, with her next breath she was back in the corridor. All signs of the water had gone and nothing else was new other than her shoes stood neatly together right in front of her.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Saturday, October 27, 2012
It's just a basic granny stitch, edged with doubles.....simples.
Slowly she stood up. The lights seemed to be flickering constantly now, as if all the bulbs were about to blow at once. Her mind was fighting itself, one second resigned, the next angry, the following bewildered and afraid. She had no choice it seemed, no-one had found her, there was still no sign of an exit, so she had to keep moving forward…..or…… what about back the way she’d come? She’d entered the hallway through a door - an entrance which most likely was also an exit! She turned on her heel and walked briskly back the way she’d come. The first door she’d really noticed had been number 78, all she had to do was go back there and surely just on from that would be where she’d entered. She increased her pace, feeling more energised, she couldn’t run but she wanted out of here as quickly as she could damn well manage it.
The numbers were still in an odd order - but where was 78? She been walking for quite a few minutes at a good pace she should have reached it by now, for that matter she hadn’t yet seen the door numbered 64 either. She stopped, put her hands on her hips and spun round to the look the way she’d come, over her shoulder the door was numbered 52, it was as if she hadn’t moved at all. The most ridiculous thought she’d ever had entered her mind and she mentally scoffed at her self for being so stupid as she thought it “it is as if the corridor would not let her move in any direction but forward”. She shook her head again, mentally chastising herself for thinking such things.
Well if she couldn’t move back then forward it was then.
She wondered just how long she’d been here. She wasn’t wearing a watch and she had no idea of the time of day. If she didn’t remember even coming here or where here was then there was no way at all to measure how long she’d been walking in this corridor. The flickering of the lights had started to hurt her eyes and she could feel the beginnings of a headache in her temples. She looked to her left and to her surprise there was another door that was ajar but this one had no number on it at all.
“Oh well’ she thought “in for a penny, in for a pound.” She didn’t bother calling out, she just pushed the door open and stepped through. Another blinding flash of light, the same dizzying dip and swirl and then………
She was in a room about 8ft by 8ft, it felt warm and claustrophobic. There was a damp musty smell and apart from a pile of rags in the corner it was empty. The pile of rags shifted slightly, a coughing sound emerged from them followed by a face. A male face, gaunt and painfully thin, the skin looked liked paper, the eyes were red and rheumy, the whites yellowed the pupils were the smallest of pinpricks. The hacking cough continued for a while then stopped suddenly. The eyes focused straight on her, a grimy veined hand with blackened nails was drawn out from the rags and reached out toward her….he spoke with a voice that sounded cracked as if he had not spoken for years “Ay it’s our Alice, sure it is, after all this time, you found yer old Dad.” She stepped back in alarm. “Nay lass don’t be a feared, you don’t recognise me then? But you was not much more than a bairn when I left were you?” She moved again, her back was against the wall, she had nowhere else to go, for the life of her she couldn’t seem to see the door, she felt trapped.
The ragged figured tried to rise and managed to make it to his knees, his face implored her to reach out to him, his hand stretch further forward, she shrank back almost willing the wall the absorb her. This could not be, she would not allow it to be, her Father would have been dead for years by now. “Oh Alice’ he almost croaked more than spoke, “But what are doing here? Did you not grow up to be a good girl? You shouldn’t be here, at least not now.” She looked more closely at him, almost peering through gloom, he seemed shadowy to her eyes, almost as if he was fading in and out. “My girl” he muttered “My wee girl. You must get out of here. You must flee as if the hounds of hell were on your heels cos if you don’t they may well be so.” He lowered his hand, and almost shrank back into the rags, his eyes closing. She started forward, reaching out, but the pile of rags started to shrink before her eyes and then to smoulder. The stench was acrid and her eyes started to water. Everything shifted, she almost vomited into her mouth, she couldn’t breath at all, then with a shudder a door appeared open before her and she felt herself being violently sucked towards it.
The room had spat her out back into the corridor, still with that strange beat and the pattering noises, which now sounded as if they were all around her. The lights still flickered and the doors stretched away on the either side of her. She felt stunned by what she had experienced, was that real? Could the grimy pile of human rags really have been her Father? Tears were not far away, she felt overwrought and very emotional. Why was this happening to her?
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Friday, October 26, 2012
She looked up the length of the garden to see if there was a house in the distance or an adult. It all looked hazy, as if there were a fog she couldn’t see past, the child appeared to not have noticed her or anything else surrounding it as it methodically got on with the task in hand……
Suddenly, the child jerked its head up as if hearing something, its face was totally expressionless and its eyes were empty and black……
She jerked back almost in synchronicity with the child’s reaction, she knew that face, her breath caught in her throat……………
The little girl jumped up, brushing the loose sand from her skirt she started forward towards her, hopping over the edge of the sandpit and breaking into a run…..running now, running at her……………………………
Through her and………………………..gone.
The lights flickered again, the room appeared to swirl around her, she felt as if she was being pushed back, back out of the room and into the corridor…..she cried out “Nooooo” her voice sounded anguished. She staggered and tried to catch her balance, she was falling……………..
She opened her eyes. She was in the corridor, still outside room 52 but the door was shut tight now…there was no handle…she looked left and right, none of the doors had handles. Nothing had changed. The noises were still there but they had lessened almost as if they were now on the edge of her hearing. Why had she seen that? In 1952 she was three years old with little understanding of life and the world she inhabited. All she knew was that it was the year her Father had left them, the last time she’d seen him, called in from the garden to watch him walk down the front path carrying a suitcase….he never came back.
She lent back against the wall and slowly slid down it to sit on the floor, drawing in her knees as close as she could toward her body and wrapping her arms around them. Her head drooped forward onto her knees, her breath shuddered and she struggled to swallow the lump in her throat. She’d not thought of that day for years but now the memories came flooding back. Banished to the garden whilst her parents fought, she’d spent many hours out there in the sandpit, cold and alone, trying to build a castle with her scanty supply of sand. Her Mother would eventually call her in for tea, red eyed and flustered, her Father absent, there was always an echo of slammed doors and often she had seen newspaper wrapped broken china in the kitchen bin when she had thrown away the remains of her tea.
Why had she seen, or maybe remembered, this now? Her mind was obviously playing tricks on her. She must be having some kind of a nervous breakdown, that could be the only explanation for what was happening to her. She was hallucinating. Someone must have put her here, and here was probably a mental hospital and she was lost in the building. They’d find her soon. Someone must come and help her soon.
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Format - Kindle
My SIL recommended this book to me as she knows how much I love Austen, I was not disappointed. The book is a collection of essays which brings facets of Austen's stories to life which you may not have noticed before, some are interesting and some will change the way you read the text. It has inspired to reread them again soon. If you love Austen this will give some of the story lines and characters a new slant. It is well worth reading.
The Return of Sherlock Homes and The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Formats - Audio Book and Paperback.
Continuing with my rereading of Holmes in order - managed to finish these two last week. They never get old. Brilliant.
As The Last Petal Falls by Jessica Woodward
Format - Kindle.
Light and frothy retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a new twist and perspective. I enjoyed it but it wasn't a challenging read and I'm not in a hurry to read others in this series but it did make a nice bit of light relief.
The Devil's Grin (Kronberg Crimes) by Annelie Wendeberg
This I loved. Clever, different, twisty and with the added bonus of Holmes. What more could I ask for? Looking forward to the next one.
Five books to go until I double the 52!
Taking a couple of deep calming breaths and repeating the mantra “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”, she straightened her spine as much as she was able and opened the door. It should have creaked eerily, but it didn’t, it opened smoothly as if the hinges had been recently oiled. The thick carpet in the corridor muffled any noise from her shoes as she took a step forward. The length of the hallway seemed endless, she knew in reality that it wasn’t, but her mind was playing tricks on her and making suggestions that were pretty ridiculous. She’s never been bothered by these kind of feelings and thoughts on Halloween before, she really must pull herself together.
As she walked along the corridor she noticed that all the doors that opened onto it were numbered but they were not sequential, in fact they did not appear to form any kind of pattern at all, not prime or odd or anything she could think of, just random. The number that caught her attention was 78, that was a good number. She’d met James in 1978 and they had spent a wonderful year in love and a good part of it in bed, her one and only affair. She moved slowly on looking at each door…..three along from 78 was 64, the year she left school, left home, left the old life behind. The lights suddenly flickered and went off, she was in total darkness. Did she really breath that loudly?
She put her hands out in front of her and turned slightly so she could feel the wall and the doors as she slowly moved onwards along the hall. She thought she could hear a distant noise, like a…..like a drumbeat….perhaps someone was starting their Halloween celebrations….a party maybe? Well she was too old for parties now and once she found the exit she could head for home. Wait a minute. Home? Where was home? In fact why wasn’t she at home now? She didn’t remember going out and she wasn’t wearing a coat - what on earth was she doing here and how did she get here? Even worse - where was here?
She started to tremble and breath harder.
What was that? A noise. She held her breath and tried to still herself and stretch her ears to identify the sound. A pattering like rain maybe…was she close to the roof? There were no windows as there was no source of natural light. The lights flickered on and off, then on again briefly….the doors where still there but they had changed colour, she was sure they had all been white but now they were red and instead of numbers there were words printed on them……’Sorrow, Joy, Lust, Wishes’ what was going on? She pinched herself on her forearm as hard as she could and shut her eyes tight for a few seconds. When she opened them again, she was still in the corridor but the doors were back to being white and numbered. The pattering noise seemed louder and closer and so did the musical drum beat but she hadn’t moved for minutes and she couldn’t see anything other than the corridor and the doors…….
She rubbed her face in a tired and resigned way. There was only one thing to do, carry on along the corridor. The next door along was numbered 52 and it was just slightly ajar. Swallowing convulsively, as if it would give her courage, she pushed against the door lightly and called out “Hello”. The door swung open, bright light flashed, she felt sick and dizzy and as if she had been on a merry-go-round - her head was spinning. Her vision cleared, she had somehow moved into the room and the doorway was now just behind her. She gasped, the whole room was like being in a cinema. A scene opened up before her………..
(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
This week has been funny, busy and kind of weird - M had a couple of days off which was nice and we had a bit of a social down in Hastings with some dog owning buddies - good conversation and good cakes! Been out walking quite a bit when the weather has permitted, got some reading done but apart from that life is puttering along quite nicely thank you.
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
When we were in Bath last September I purchased enough yarn to make this garment, when we got home I knitted the tension swatch, got gauge....this is important...my gauge was totally spot on. I looked at the schematic for my size and decided to knit two sizes bigger as I wanted a loose fit and I had the yarn to do it. I cast on. I know garment knitting with me is always a long haul, my early enthusiasm wanes very quickly as the rows get longer and the work gets heavier and bulkier, and this one also had the downside of moss stitch which I love the look of but hate knitting.
I worked on this fairly regularly, it was a slog as it is bottom up and knit in one piece (back and fronts all at once) but I slowly inched my way up the rib, the boring stocking stitch to the moss stitch and the cables. I divided it at the armholes and finished the back. I took it to my knitting group where one of my friends, who is a highly respected and experienced knitter, told she had had a bad experience with this pattern coming out very small! I worried. I laid it out on another cardi knitted from the same designer, in a size smaller, I worried a bit more. I put it down and walked away.
Every now and then I'd pick it up, knit a bit, look at it and sigh and debate froggin it...but it was such a lot of work. So I carried onward and upward. Then it got abandoned completely with a back, 2 fronts and a sleeve....I knew it was too small.
A couple of weeks back, I hauled it out of the norty corner...tried it on, sighed, debated and thought 'Fuck it, I'll finish it and see.' So I started sleeve two. I also was niggling now at the colour, it's a mauve/rose with grey/green flecks. I had wanted to make it in green or grey but the shop didn't have the yardage in stock in many colours and out of the ones they had Mike reckoned this colour was more 'me'. But colour preferences change or mine do...and now I was regretting my choice.
I slogged on. I moaned - to friends and family in real life and online. I finished the sleeve and the edging bands. I got my Mum to try it on....it fitted her! She is a size 12 up top at most I am an ample 16 and I was making a 48 which should be looooooooooooooose on me. I had forgone buttons (I never button up a cardi) and altered it a little to make it edge to edge but it was too small. Mum joked it could be her Xmas present,which was an option, but I would have been grumpy if she'd ever worn it, cos I had worked so hard and it had fucked up plus she can't wear wool (it makes her itch) and this was knit in pure wool which also made it a fairly pricey fuck up too.
Finally I knit the collar. That was it all the knitting finished. I was seriously downcast. I rarely make garments as, for me, they are such a commitment. I decided to wash and block it.
A wash , two rinses and a roll in a towel later and I was ready to lay it out.....it had grown. I was pessimistic it would shrink as it dried and it still wasn't ever going to be a loose fitting 48...but it did look bigger. It has taken two and half days to dry. This morning I tried it on. It is not the loose baggy cardi of my dreams but it does fit and fit nicely (I knit the sleeves long as I like them down my hands) even the sleeves are OK, actually they are too big really around the top but that is better than the original sausage like fit.
This stroke of wonder is not down to patterns author, it is down to the yarn (which is different to what the author used) but as I got gauge...perfect, spot on gauge, the yarn sub should not make a difference. I dread to ponder whether this miracle would have occurred if the proper yarn was used and I wonder if anyone else (other than my friend) has suffered the disappointment of so much effort and a badly fitting result. Of the other garments I have made where the patterns are by this author I have had no issues with sizing. Just this one - I looked at the picture of the uber skinny models in their baggy loose fit Flyingdale Cardigans and realised that to get that fit.....I better diet for the next two years!
P.S. Still not sure I like the colour though!
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Format - Audio Book and Book
Two of my favourites - 'Memoirs' is a collection of short stories which I love and have read so many times it was quite nice to listen to them for a change. And as for 'Hound of the Baskervilles' it is a long time favourite, even more so having stayed right below Hound Tor on Dartmoor where legend has it the idea of the hound came from. I love Dartmoor and the first time I read this book was when we were staying there so I recalled many good holiday memories as I re-read this book.
The next three books are in one vol but are classed as three separate novels. They are;
'Village School','Village Diary' and 'Storm in the Village' by Miss Read (Chronicles of Fairacre)
Format - Book
I discovered Miss Read's books when J was a toddler and I wanted something light but safe. I had heard of the author but not read any of her works so took the plunge and this edition of three novels was the first book of hers I bought. I loved them. I then purchased loads of the 'Thrush Green' series (which if I'm honest I prefer) but I decided it was time to revisit these for bedtime light reading. They still delight me with their charm and ease of reading. I re-read the 'Thrush Green' books many, many times but this is the first time (I think) that I have reread these - they did not disappoint.
Ten books to go until I have read double the 52 in the year - I have until midnight on 31st December.....wonder if I can do it?
By Sara Teasdale 1884–1933 Sara Teasdale
I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.
But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.
From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.
Monday, October 01, 2012
I managed to complete three hats in my week of hat knitting - quite pleased with that.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Originally uploaded by loobles2002
Hat number two for my week of knitting hats. Pattern is by Amy M Swenson and is free on Knitty. The yarn is 100% Ronaldsay Wool (dk) from the Orkney's which was a lovely gift from a friend who lives there.
It's a great pattern, easy to knit and lovely to wear.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The post below this one shows how many books I've managed in my '52 Book Challenge' and these photos show what is off the needles and wheel in the last few days.
Above is the wonderful Camden Cap by Woolly Wormhead - I love it. But the brim is a bugger! I used milk bottle plastic but it was a pig to put together. I need more hats this winter so already have another one under constructions- this week is 'Hat' week.
Below is one third of some spinning - merino/angora blend which I call 'Frosted Winter Berries' - I have a plan for this if the yardage works out OK.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Format - Audio Book.
Continuing with my plan to read/listen to the whole of Sherlock Holmes. Am loving every second of it and it is helping me through an awful lot of knitting and spinning.
'Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London)' by Ben Aaronovitch
Format - Kindle
Third book in the is series so far and I loved it. I had read reviews that felt it was more of the same but I actually thought this book was different in some ways because all the characters and the backdrop had been set in place in the first two and this one allowed more of the actual plot to run its course and tell the story without so many explanations - it also carried on the much bigger underlying plot line that was started in the previous books. I look forward to the next one.
'Monday to Friday Man' by Alice Peterson
Format - Kindle.
An OK light read bit predictable for my taste - one good point there was a Scottie called Trouble in it!
'Email from a Vampire' by Nigel Cooper
Format - Kindle
I came across whilst looking at another book in a similar vein, the author had written a review on the other book and had the cheek to basically say - that his book was much better and people would be better off reading his - so I took him at his word. As I didn't read the other book he may be right, his book may be better, but if that is the case, than the other book must have been pretty dire. It was predictable and what could have been a pastiche on 'The Vampire Lestat' became a weak sub story line that seemed rushed and weak. The main plot didn't really bring anything new to the whole vampire genre and none of the main characters had that much depth. It was OK and a light read but I have read far better many times.
'The Girl who Fed them Bones' by Tim Roux
Meh! Unusual to read a book that leaves me completely cold - but this one did. All the characters seemed weak and self centred and the whole thing was as appetising as a bowl of cold tapioca pudding! *shudders*
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
I know I shouldn't (in a way) but I love theses books. They tick all the boxes for me, though reading six on the trot did mean I struggled to finish number six and had to read something completely different and then go back to book six, they have violence, the undead, vampires, sex (good sex) and a bit of intrigue too. I will read the others - think there are 11or 12 and then read her angel series as well, but need a respite before I go on.
'Ayala's Angel' by Anthony Trollope
Format - Book
My all time favourite Trollope. I have a lovely little 2nd hand copy with wafer thin pages which is a joy to hold and to revisit this book was just a total pleasure (it was my something completely different from above). I love all the characters in this book and how their troubles, romances and lives intermingle. I love the names and the social settings, I love the anti-hero Tom Tringle Jr, I love the hero Col Jonathan Stubbs, I just love this book.
'Mansfield Park' by Jane Austen
Format - Audio Book
This used to be one of my least favourite Austen's - the only one I liked less was 'Northanger Abbey' but I have had a true change of heart about this book and it now is up there with 'P & P' and 'Persuasion'. I have a thing for Henry Crawford and his designs on Fanny, I love Aunt Norris - she is evil and I find the whole blindness of Edmund wonderful. I can immerse myself completely in the story time and time again.
'A Study in Scarlet' by Arthur Conan Doyle
Format - Audio Book
Well I haven't read any Holmes this year (as far as I can remember) so I decided to go back to the beginning and to start my way through them again. I've missed having Holmes in my life this year. Have loved listening to this.
'Wallis - Secret Lives of the Duchess of Windsor' by Charles Higham
Format - Book
It has taken me ages to finish this and I have struggled with it - not because it isn't interesting or well written but because within the first few chapters I really came to dislike her. She comes across as an unpleasant character who was vain, egotistical and selfish. I kept putting the book down in disgust.The author writes well and it is easy reading but this one will be passed on to the charity shop as I never want to read about her again.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Would you even know me?
Could you see the child that I was?
Or would you hear my inner voice that calls to you?
Would we stand like strangers without words?
Would the silence all about us start to grow?
Could we find some common ground
Or just feel awkward with each other and then go?
The time that’s passed has changed me beyond measure,
Life has etched it passage on my face,
Trials have warped and bent and wounded me
But the love I held for you never lessens.
I wish that we could have just a moment
Just one, to reach out across the void.
I wish that we had taken time to say the things
That needed to be said that other time.
My anger has lessened now and is faded
That you left me when I still had need of you
Wishing for the past will never change this
But I am still the person that you knew.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I don't mind knitting to order, I do it quite a lot. I have quite a few in a queue at the moment as well as a request to spin some alpaca fibre for a friend - enough with my own projects to keep my fingers busy.
The only downside to this is cost/price. Nine times out of ten I do it for the cost it takes to make, as how can I possibly price my time....per stitch, per hour, per inch? And no-one in their right mind would pay what it costs me in time to make these things. Sometimes I just gift my knitting cos I can and I feel it is good karma to do a random act of kindness now and then, I always hope the recipient will pass the karma on.
I have no problem with this conundrum - how can anyone who does not craft or knit even begin to understand the time a project takes that each and every little 'V' is one hand crafted stitch? They can't and if they could (by being a knitter themselves) then they wouldn't need me.
I have decided though to take on less knitting for others from next year as I want to have the time for my own knitting/crafting and I have some stuff that I want to work on to diversify my crafting.
I love the sock I have finished for my friend and number two is already on the needles. I hope they keep her feet cosy and warm through winter and it is a lovely feeling that my labour has given her something she likes and really seems to appreciate. My love of sock knitting never seems to abate.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Format - Kindle
This is a re-read of a favourite book. I had to get a download though, which peed me off, as the book was not in the book case with all the others by this author, I had lent it to Ma who thought I didn't want it back and donated it to the WI! Still love this book and I never tire of it. It has great imagery and detail and you can almost believe you are there.
Charlotte - Pride and Prejudice Continues - by Karen Aminadra
Format - Kindle
The story of Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins after P & P ends. It is clever, entertaining and witty. It doesn't detract from P & P at all and answers questions that I had often pondered (I know P&P& Zombies kind of did too - but this is better). I really enjoyed this and read it in an afternoon because it was light, easy and flowed really well.
Chemical Flowers - by Suzanne Reeves and Ian Woodhead
Format - Kindle
This was offered for one weekend as a free download and came up via a connection on FB. This book is a total departure from my normal reading fair being more of a horroresque novel - but a change is as good as a rest they say. I used to read loads of horror as a teen but haven't ever really re found my love of it. This book, I think, is clever and entertaining and not over grisly - it has a good mix of gore and sex with some well written characters who are never really endearing in anyway but seem real - which I liked. It hasn't drawn me back to the genre but it is worth a read for certain and made a nice change for me.
At Long Odds and Keeping the Peace - both by Hannah Hooton
Downloaded one free and paid for the other - loved them. Bit of intrigue, bit of humour, bit of romance and horse racing - total winners in my book. Odds on favourites in fact. Nothing to tax the brain but easy as sipping a perfectly chilled glass of white wine. Nice summer evening reading.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Need to get my head around some stuff - blog will take a back seat until I either finish something (unlikely) or re find my missing ooomph!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Format - Kindle
Interesting story concept but (sadly there is a but) they story jumps about too much, instead of following an idea through it charges off at a tangent - as does the heroine - this gives a disjointed feeling. That said though, it is a good book and I would happily read its sequel. Perhaps the author was trying to give a headlong, breathless, youthful feel to her narrative to reflect the youth of the heroine but I feel I may be being kind here.
Sexy in Stilettoes - by Nana Malone
Format - Kindle
This book does what 50 Shades of Yawn attempts to do - but with less effort and with a better story. Very sexual but without leaving you feeling as if it is trying to shock more than thrill. It is quite well written too. Again it isn't a book that really leaves me with a sense of 'Oh wow, must read more' but it was good enough and fairly enjoyable and the sex scenes were much hotter (imho) and less Zzzzzz inducing. Would read another by this author but probably not for a while.
Hunter (A Custodaie Novel) - by C.W. Nash
Format - Kindle
Now this I liked. The author does take a while to set the plot of his story (maybe a bit too long - you keep waiting for the axe to fall) but that doesn't take anything away from the idea behind the story or the plot. It keeps a good pace and although the illness suffered by the hero is a very emotive one for me it worked within the storyline and gave the whole vampire/villain idea a new twist. Look forward to its follow up.
Minerva and The Taming of Annabelle (The Six Sisters) - by M C Beaton
Format - Kindle
Everything that you expect from this author. Better than the last book I read by her (Emily goes to Exeter). Although these books have less substance than the froth on your coffee I quite enjoyed them, that could be because I love the Regency period of history or it could because that are a light, historical romp with a dash of naughty, a smidge of romance, a ice cube of fashion and twizzle stick of tongue in cheek. Don't know if I'd read all six (wouldn't at full price - these two were daily deals at 99p each) but if they came my way at a discount then I'd wouldn't turn them down.
Great holiday reading - quick too - read both in a couple of afternoons.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Perfect use for odds of sock yarn and pretty too.