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Archive Entries for October 2014

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Friday October 31, 2014

Books in October

  • Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs [read by Barbara Rosenblat ] BOM-CrossBones.jpg
    I certainly enjoy these books though some more than others - sometimes they focus a bit too much on Tempe as a champion for some campaigning issue or historical injustice.

    However, this book hit lots of my own personal buttons and I absolutely loved it. Broadly it covered archaeological evidence found in the Middle East at the time of Christ, (matters not how much was fiction as no assertions were made) and it was a pretty good thriller to boot.
    And before you ask, no, I am not a closet fan of Dan Brown.

  • The Seventh Trumpet by Peter Tremayne [read by Caroline Lennon] BOM-TheSeventhTrumpet.jpg
    I was glad to stumble over another Sister Fidelma story - I have read only one other and that was simply years ago.
    I am sufficiently ignorant that I didn't really take on board that they were set in Ireland - I thought "Celtic Britain" - and it may be that I read the first one which is not in Ireland - I cannot remember.
    This one is AD 670 - a murder of course - and a good mystery. But more than that I loved the reader. I am not always fond of heavy regional accents in narrators - even lilting Irish ones - but this was lovely and only added to my enjoyment of the text.

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Thursday October 23, 2014

Gaudy handspun

I finally got round to spinning the hand-dyed fleece I bought in Lewes almost exactly a year ago. It was slightly matted, as is hard to avoid when hand dying delicate fibres, so I teased it out a bit, and spun it using the Herring wheel (for the first time really in anger). It worked out pretty well and I chain plied it to keep the colour sequence, making a 3 ply - which seems to be a DK of sorts.
This has since turned into a tiny but very striking capelet or neck scarf.


Back in July, I also spun the purple roving I bought at Woolfest (on my Wee Peggy) and by August had knitted another "Stellaria". This was all a bit of a blur and I find it hard to remember that I did it all this summer - I was a bit preoccupied with other stuff - but here's the evidence:


Posted on October 23, 2014 at 9:50 AM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Tuesday October 14, 2014



So we were treated to an outing to the Guiness Factory while attending a conference in Dublin. I think we all had a great evening - part of which was learning to pour the perfect pint. Here a colleague concentrates on the task at hand. I also duly tried my hand and received the certificate to prove it.


Posted on October 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM. Category: Days Out.

Tuesday October 7, 2014

Traveller's Notes

Not sure how this started but during the summer I became very interested in the idea of Midori Travellers Notebooks and watched lots of You tube explanations of how you can make similar booklets yourself.
I then found "Ray" and My Life In One Place... and never looked back.
Ray really has his roots in project/time management - he has published a couple of helpful books on journalling etc which are well worth the small investment. However he has a stack of information and free downloads on his site for making your own inserts for a host of different booklet formats (much of it Filofax as well as Midori and Field Notebooks). His latest Midori inserts are for knitting and music.

I made small format booklets for everyone this year - no idea if they will be useful but it was a fun project. Above is the rather pleasing version for Deborah, and below is Helen's - George had one in black, Rob in grey, Alison in dark olive.


The pieces of leather were from a great supplier ("Steve") on the south coast - great in terms of customer service, product quality, and reasonable prices all for small quantities of leather (around 2mm thick) such as I needed. He is also obviously clear on the requirement for potential Midori and notebook makers and has "kits" precut to the various size formats. You can see his wares on eBay (leather4craft) or at his website.

I did try to monogram each of them with a leather punch - a steep learning curve and by no means mastered yet. "It's harder than it seems". Luckily some of the recipients realise this. I think having your items monogrammed is very "smart" but having them monogrammed in wobbly letters is something else entirely.

Of course, I made my own small format notebook (similar to Helen's) and was initially cautious in my enthusiasm wondering if or when the novelty would wear off - but I have found it extremely useful and am keeping up with it quite well. I have implemented the monthly planner system (basically - a diary... but it's the way you use it that counts!). I do find the same observations still apply as when we all did the Time Manager courses in the 1980s (forerunner to the hand-held organiser ...) - fundamentally it works best when you are not too busy - when you get busy you do not have time to organise - always a mistake of course but nonetheless true. So it does not give you extra time back but it does help you use what you have more effectively.

It is Ray himself that has won me over though - his enthusiasm and love of the subject is totally charming whether he is managing time or working with leather, and his generosity in sharing his work and knowledge is much appreciated by his followers.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM. Category: Crafts.

Thursday October 2, 2014

Dangerous Corner


I am very keen on Priestley and I like the idea of this one which has the device of two possibilities for a plot. I read a review of a production from 2000 where they were critical of it being updated to the hedonistic 1980s resulting in the audience tittering at the dramatic revelations. Well - apparently keeping it as a period piece did not help either - tittering abounded. The leading actors were great, but some others were quite weak which did not help.

Rob accompanied me and reminisced over the stage direction technique (difficult to light...) as the play was directed by Michael Attenborough with whom he worked in the 1980s.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 11:30 PM. Category: Art and Culture.