You know for someone who was an avid reader as a child I just do not read anymore. It's not because I don't want to but because I just don't seem to be able to fit it into my day. Up until Christmas I'd be crafting all my spare hours - day and evening and reading was kept for holidays. So it's with pleasure that I'm devoting all my spare time to catching up on my books. I love buying books - it's one of my weaknesses. One day I'll take some pics of all the bookcases in our house that are crammed with books. I buy them, flick through them, maybe one will grab me enough to cause me to stay up too late of an evening. I think reading has gone on the back burner since I've been madly crafting and blogging. Did I tell you that I'm just getting into the hang of reading in the day without feeling guilty? Isn't that weird? When do you read?
Anyway, I am making up for it now though. I've just finished the most amazing book:
I was so moved by this one that I got Tom to read it straight after me and he stayed up till 1.30 in the morning to finish it off! The Homemaker was written in 1924 and is the story of Eva and Lester Knapp and their three children. Eva stays at home and drudges (sorry not a word but it sounds nice) and Lester has a job that he hates. Both are unhappy and this has a deep effect on their children. Then Lester has an accident and has to stay at home (in a wheelchair) and Eva goes out to work. This role reversal re-awakens their innermost being and it's so lovely read how Lester is with the children, Tom said he cried at this bit, and to see how fulfilled Eva is. However, at the end there is the prospect of Lester getting better and both he and Eva returning to their former roles - a prospect that they are both horrified at......will they be brave enough to go against convention and do what they really want to do?
I don't know why we were so touched by this book. I really felt for them both and I sympathised with Eva for being subsumed with her role. I can see bits of myself in her I suppose. Anyway, please read this book and tell me what you think. (I bought it off Amazon - infact Tom wrote a little review for it on Amazon UK). There's a whole strand going though the book too about the new consumerism - another thing that makes Eva unhappy because Lester doesn't earn enough.
I've got two books on the go today. One is called 'Akenfield' and is the history of an English village in Suffolk in 1969. The author interviewed a number of the inhabitants and it makes fascinating reading because a lot of the people are in their 60's and 70's. They talk of the grinding poverty, the harsh life working on farms from the age of 12 and even then the loss of community because of television. At that time the village had a blacksmith, thatcher, saddler, the 'big house'. What will be even more fascinating is a book called 'Return to Akenfield' which was written by someone else in 2004. This chap interviews the original author and goes back to find some of the people in the first book. In 1969 most of the people in the village were born there and I imagine in 2004 there would be lots of newcomers for one. I don't imagine any of those trades have continued either. I'll keep you posted on these books. The other book I've just started is called 'The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets' which Amber is desperate for me to read as it's one of her favourite books.
Aside from reading I thought I ought to do something with all that handspun wool so I started a hat for Raj. Now I've never knit with home handspun wool so I did the wrapping-round-the-ruler bit and decided to knit with 3.75mm needles. Sadly, I cast on too many stitches cos it's too blooming big:
I cast on 88 stitches. Does anyone know how many I should do for a child's head? I guess I'll be unravelling all this later. Still, the colours go well together don't they - there's madder, goldenrod and walnut. If you remember I dyed blue faced leicester fleece and a neighbour spun it for me.
I'll just leave you with something that Amber concocted over the weekend. She decided that she wanted a crocheted bikini so she grabbed some of that dishcloth cotton I had (Peaches and Creme) and just went for it. Who needs a pattern for triangles Mum (well, me actually Amber). It's turned out really well but is a bit skimpy and she's worried that it'll sag in the water. She's abandoned doing the bottoms as she's convinced they would be around her ankles when she came out of the water. So this will just go with a sarong or something. I'll wear it on that quiet beach in Wales she said - not many people there.