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Archive Entries for May 2010

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Monday May 31, 2010

Books in May

I have been catching up on a lot of podcasts this month - very ancient "Front Row" highlights from Radio 4. However, the copious quantities of knitting have led to the consumption of a couple of "old favourites" - reading to match my vintage knitting I think.

  • Over the Gate by Miss Read [read by Gwen Watford] OvertheGate.jpg
    While idling through one of Lucy Mangan's regular articles in the Guardian earlier this year, I was caught by her reference to the "Miss Read" stories. I was aware of Miss Read from my teenage years, but spurned her books as cosy and trivial (once I had discovered they were not about crime). However - I find myself drawn to Lucy and her opinions - and she seems very keen on these books - so I figured it must be "OK" to read them...
    As she puts it they tell "the (very small) adventures of fine English folk in a variety of fine English villages" and admittedly she has more of an excuse to read them than I do - in her case being a "palate-cleanser between meatier courses" whereas in my case I suspect they are undoubtedly the main course - in fact the only course.
    They are of course charming (you have to use that word) and I enjoyed this reading by Gwen Watford giving the perfect voice to the school mistress.

  • Queen Lucia by E F Benson [read by Geraldine McEwan] QueenLucia.jpg
    E F Benson seems to have a cult following akin to that of G&S or the Goons. Despite my enthusiasm for Lucia - I was a bit surprised to discover this (when I visited Rye and found there was an E F Benson tourist walk). I suppose I first came upon the books through a non-purist route of seeing Geradine McEwan capture Lucia on the television - and after listening to the audiobooks, those TV adaptations seem to me to have achieved a perfect depiction.
    I listened to several of the books in the 1980s read by McEwan and Prunella Scales (Miss Mapp on the TV), and I thought they were worth revisiting - and again I was surprised that although the audiobooks are available, the versions read by these two actresses are hard to obtain. Anyway - this was the first - and just as much fun as ever.

Posted on May 31, 2010 at 3:03 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday May 15, 2010

Buttonhole Books

This month's workshop was about making little books. Somehow cutting up little pieces of paper brings out the small child lurking within.


It was not quite a rigorous as the previous workshop on book binding - this one used simpler techniques and materials, and the books were sewn with little glue involved. The accuracy (or otherwise) of our cutting was left very much up to us.



Viva was a great tutor for our group - she chose books where she felt we might use other craft work that we do (for example felting or braiding) in making the covers. These are my books - my actual "buttonhole book" was not ready for the group photo - I had to complete it once I got home.


Posted on May 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM. Category: Crafts.

Sunday May 9, 2010


Today was spinning at Cowpie - in Betchworth this year. We had our own area and were demonstrating spinning and braiding etc.



On the adjacent stand was a chap selling walking sticks. Somehow I managed to exclude him from my photos. However I bought one of the sticks for George. ( Not sure he wants or needs one but I have been keen to get him one for some time - they are wonderful works of art made from hazel, with carved antler and horn pommels from Jacobs, Portlands, Buffalo etc).

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 8:50 PM. Category: Days Out.

Saturday May 1, 2010

The First of May

Hooray, Hooray, the First of May. You can cast your clouts today....
(well what were you expecting to do?!).

So for once I was up bright and early to greet the dawn with the Morris Men on Box Hill. There were 3 sides today - Off Spring Morris, Ragged Rooster, and Ewell St Mary.

What a gang they made.....

I was a bit cold - seemed mild enough to not wear a coat when I got out of the car, but to stay warm you had to be dancing!

It was all rounded off nicely, though, with a warming cup of tea and a cooked breakfast.

They know what's important in life those Morris (Wo)Men.

Posted on May 1, 2010 at 7:27 AM. Category: Days Out.