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Tuesday June 6, 2017

Gone to a place where there's a lot of cheese

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Posted on June 6, 2017 at 5:56 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Friday June 2, 2017

A heavy heart

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Since the announcement about Sir Roger the "heavy heart" has been much used. For all that, I use it here as it exactly describes how I feel - not devastated or truly affected, as I did not know the man personally, but... well... sad.
By all accounts he was a lovely unaffected man and that is just what we would like to believe of our icons.

I always knew of his modelling career and as this is a "knitting" site I am marking it here. I am only sorry that he was made to feel uncomfortable about it in the 1960s; I cannot quite convey how deeply unfashionable knitting was in the 1960s - especially among the hip and groovy fraternity. But he lived with it - and now it takes on much less significance when compared with his subsequent achievements.

He was always sartorially elegant - in The Saint his wardrobe is credited as being Mr Moore's own, and in The Persuaders, Brett Sinclair's wardrobe designed by Roger Moore. This idea appeals to me - see this fun blog.

As a final note - what strikes me about these early photo shoots - with RM in his early twenties - is how much fun they seem to be having. I am not being naive here - I know that modelling is not as glamorous as the pictures - especially in that less technological era - it would have been hard work and you spent long hours stuck in implausible poses and inclement weather (windy by the looks of it!) trying to look comfortable and natural. But somehow they seem overall to be having a laugh and the joy of it shines through. A fitting memorial alongside the rest of the man who went on to become so very famous, and who dedicated himself in his later years to working so hard for good causes.

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Posted on June 2, 2017 at 8:06 AM. Category: Knitting. | Comments (0)

Saturday March 11, 2017

Charming

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Each year at the Guild, we collect a charm. So I made them into a bracelet.

Posted on March 11, 2017 at 7:29 AM. Category: Crafts. | Comments (0)

Friday March 10, 2017

Coven

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Another outing with Rob to St John's Church Bethnal Green. Two of the three acts feature on Rob's choice collection for 2016. They were excellent - the audience was .... eclectic.... I am now quoting from their flyer:

Coven is a collection of three of the British folk scene's finest, most formidable and forthright female acts, taking to the stage to celebrate International Women's Day on a tour of unforgettable concerts. The exquisitely harmonic songwriting duo and BBC 6 Music favourites O'Hooley & Tidow will be joined by the enchanting BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Finalists Lady Maisery and the irrepressible Leicester songwriter, activist and performer Grace Petrie. A rare opportunity to experience these thought provoking, heartfelt, entertaining and enthralling women performing individually and collectively on one stage.

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 3:20 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Tuesday February 28, 2017

Books in Febuary

  • Past reason Hated and Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson
    [read by James Langton]
    Mini-break over - the next two books in the series which I found as audio books to borrow from the library. A story of sexual jealousy (leading to murder), and a child's abduction (leading to murder).
    BOM-PastReasonHated.jpg BOM-WednesdaysChild.jpg

  • Annika Stranded - Series 3
    AnnikaStranded3.jpg I have to say I love these stories, excellently - I would say narrated but in truth they are very much a part-acted one man show - by Nicola Walker. I think any woman can empathise with a very realistic portrayal of her working life balance and her resulting social life.
    1. False Signals: A plane crash from 1972 seems to have a bearing on a murder inquiry.
    2. Forty Words: In Bergen, Annika investigates a strange case involving a submarine.
    3. Traffic: Annika wakes up after some serious partying to find herself in the boot of a car.
    4. Vertigo: Annika witnesses someone being pushed from the top of a rock face.

  • The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries:
    JeremyClyde.jpg Jeremy Clyde (isn't he lovely?) stars as Chief Inspector Alleyn in these BBC Radio dramatisations of two of Ngaio Marsh's much-loved mysteries.
    A Man Lay Dead
    A Man Lay Dead A game of 'murders' at Sir Hubert Handesley's country house party becomes far too realistic for anyone's liking. First a guest arrives with a dangerously lethal dagger and then, when the gong sounds to announce the start of the game, the victim plays dead in a very convincing manner.
    I recently watched the TV adaptation of this story starring Patrick Malahide - and (like many of Agatha Christie's plots), it's all credit to them that they managed the logistics to enact the sequence of events as described!
    A Surfeit of Lampreys
    Like all good aristocrats, the Lampreys are charming but penniless - so a visit from the wealthy head of their family is greatly anticipated. However, their Uncle Gabriel isn't persuaded to part with his money and a row ensues. When a body is found in the lift leading to the Lampreys' flat, Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn finds a family immersed in hidden secrets and intrigue.

    A comment from another listener "Dated, implausible and formulaic".
    A comment from me: "... and utterly charming."

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 9:28 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Wednesday February 22, 2017

The Miser

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Once again off to the Richmond Theatre to see Gryff Rhys Jones in the Molière role - lots of fun.

Posted on February 22, 2017 at 11:02 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday February 19, 2017

Unravel 2017

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As we had the class on yesterday, I went to Unravel on today, and took Kate and Jill with me. Neither of them had been before so it was quite fun to be a (small) group. I was inspired by the sock designs from Coop Knits, and could not resist more fluff from John Arbon

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Posted on February 19, 2017 at 6:06 PM. Category: Knitting. | Comments (0)

Saturday February 18, 2017

Another year another sock blank

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This is meant to show everyone happily at work on their blanks - but it has turned out rather like forgetting to take a picture of the celebration dinner until after the food is is all eaten up! Below we have all the blanks drying in the sunshine - just to prove there really was a class.

SockBlanks2-Feb2017.jpg

Posted on February 18, 2017 at 5:04 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving. | Comments (0)

Friday February 10, 2017

Dydd Miwsig Cymru: 9Bach at Kings Place

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A suitable way to celebrate Welsh Language Music Day - an evening's entertainment entirely in Welsh.... with lots of translations for us non-Welsh speakers though. Learnt a new word, which turns out to be the title of 9Bach's album: Anian.

Posted on February 10, 2017 at 11:50 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday February 5, 2017

It's all in the preparation....

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As I have not touched the dyes since we did the last class - which turns out to be 5 years ago (!) - I dyed two blanks at home, using steaming to fix instead of a microwave. Last time we used pure merino, and so I also wanted to check out the 25% nylon blend. I used the dyes I had already mixed up from back then and astonishingly it all worked fine; some of the solutions had gone a little granular. [Nevertheless, I shall be mixing fresh dye for the class].

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I took both blanks and knitted the start of a sample sock for demonstration purposes. What interested me mostly was that I thought I liked the blue blank the best. I thought I was getting tired once I got to do the red one and rather rushed it. However, for the resulting sock, I think the red one is much nicer. I think it is the very bright blue, and the way it interacts with the white that is the mistake in the colour combination.

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Posted on February 5, 2017 at 6:53 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving. | Comments (0)

Wednesday February 1, 2017

Soane Museum

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My sister suggested another 'birthday treat' and we visited Sir John Soane's House - now a museum. He was one of those interesting eccentrics who collected wonderful items - some exceedingly rare - such that after his death his property was retained, restored and expanded to make the museum.
It was most famous to me for housing the Rakes Progress - but it seems you have to be on a guided tour in order to be allowed to see it - and the timing or even existence of the tours seemed to be akin to the description of the eponymous Three Men (not yet in the boat) trying to find the right train out of Waterloo - so we did not... (see it), though the 4 paintings of the Humours of an Election were on display. Several items seemed to be absent from the collection at the time we visited - but then entry is free so one can hardly complain.

We then went for lunch in China Town, which was great, although sadly the restaurant we had planned to visit had disappeared from the area in the 20 years since we last went there (!).

Posted on February 1, 2017 at 10:58 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Tuesday January 31, 2017

Books in January

  • The China Thrillers by Peter May [read by Simon Vance]
    There was a change of narrator for the next (and final) three books.
    There are many comments on line from readers constantly asking Peter May to write more books about Margaret and Li Yan, and I can see why. Since he was not expecting to end the series after 6 books, the characters remain with a story still to be told.
    He writes about how the books came about here, and in the comments he points out that these books were written over 10 years ago and summarises the situation:
    All these years later I have no appetite for going back to China and updating myself on the changes that have taken place since the series concluded. I was witness to an intense period of change in which the old and new Chinas were still doing battle with each other. I think the new China has won that particular scrap, and much that made the old China fascinating has gone. Like the country itself, I have moved on.
    For all that, a short story The Ghost Marriage written for a French magazine has recently been published in English, and follows the characters later on in their history.

    BOM-Snakehead.jpg BOM-TheRunner.jpg BOM-ChineseWhispers.jpg



  • Dr Finlay's Casebook by A J Cronin BOM-DrFinlaysCasebook.jpg
    A collection of the famous stories set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Levenford and village of Tannochbrae during the inter-war years. The stories are heart-warming, funny and touching, albeit obviously rather dated and non-PC.
    Dr Finlay's Casebook is an omnibus including Adventures of a Black Bag and Dr Finlay of Tannochbrae.
    One thing that I did notice was that some of the stories did not seem to be self-consistent, especially with respect to Finlay's love life. That may just be as it is (like Sherlock Holmes stories) or it may be that being collections of short stories they are not presented in the right chronological order.

  • Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery by Francis Durbridge BOM-SulivanMystery.jpg
    A thrilling case that takes Paul and Steve to exotic Egypt,
    This is a "new" (2006) eight-part BBC recording of a lost archive Paul Temple mystery, starring Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson.

    They inhabit a sophisticated, well-dressed world of chilled cocktails and fast cars, where the women are chic and the men still wear cravats. And where Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard always needs Paul’s help with a tricky case. [By Timothy!].

Posted on January 31, 2017 at 9:27 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Saturday January 28, 2017

Macrame

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So this was a treat I booked for myself - an afternoon of craft learning macrame - which I have longed to try ever since 1976. It's actually much simpler than I thought - in so far as, like knitting, you only have to learn 2 stitches and you know the whole thing (in theory!).
The class was very friendly - run by the London Craft Club in a space provided at the Museum of London - and this was the result (a small thing but mine own.... YES it is supposed to look like that...):

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This was the 1970s magazine article that inspired me all those years ago, but sadly I had very little imagination at that time so failed to just go ahead and "do it".

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I finished my excellent day by going out with a team of 5 fellow quizzers to a fish and chip supper and charity quiz run by the Tadworth Children's Trust.
We did not win... :o(

Posted on January 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM. Category: Red Letter Days. | Comments (0)

Sunday January 22, 2017

Wetlands

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It seems I am set fair for a week of birthday treats - and this is the first.

Rob has joined the Wetlands Trust and had such a great time he thought I needed to go too - I thought this was a trip to the Docklands area but in fact it is quite local in Barnes. One key thing was to go "while the Lego birds were still on display" which resulted in some photos that look at first glance to be very pixelated until you remember what they are.

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I saw several life birds - and after being shown a Jack Snipe through a spotting scope from one hide, I proudly managed to find one (or "the same one") myself through my own glasses from another. We saw a couple of standard Snipe, which I have to admit is also a life bird. There were 2 bitterns but photos are of the "take my word for it that's a bittern" variety.

The Wetlands also boast a pair of otters from Asia which are a great attraction at feeding time (and being from warmer climes, really did not like putting their paws in the water!).

We had to co-ordinate the day out with the weather, and we were lucky to have a really fine day - cold but very sunny and most importantly without the bitter wind.

We rounded the day out by eating pasta at Jamie's in Richmond.

Posted on January 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)