19 April 2010

17 April 2010

small moments

The Alice Project #2
The Alice Project, #2. 7.15 am, Friday 16th April

::

The city centre, yesterday :: I am walking in front of three young German tourists. As we near the Arts Centre, I stop to let an elderly man finish taking a photo of his beautifully dressed partner (they were obviously tourists too, I think Italian from their accents?). The Germans almost collide with me, then see why I've stopped and they wait also. The elderly man, behind his camera, doesn't see that we are there but his wife does. The camera clicks and we continue walking, but the young German boy skips into place next to the elderly Italian woman and adopts a gallant pose beside her. The German girls giggle and scold and the smile stays on my face all the way to my car.

::

At the hairdresser, this morning :: The hairdresser asks me how I would like my tea and I tell her. We are catching up while the tea brews. I haven't seen her for six months; she's been away from her salon having treatment for breast cancer and has only just returned - very part time. She talks of the huge importance of having women friends around her at this time, supporting and nurturing her. I take a sip of my tea and realise she has forgotten the sugar. She's still talking, and I can't bring myself to interrupt. The moment passes. I drink the tea.

::

My car, this evening :: I have four 14 year old boys in my car. I am driving them to a party far far away, listening to them talk about friends, teachers, parents; boasting and bluffing, affectionately giving each other a hard time as teenage boys do. At one point we crest a hill and laid out before us is an enormous low-hanging golden sliver of a new moon. I exclaim and point it out, and one of the boys says Wow, nature is just perfect sometimes. When we arrive at the party, (down a very rough dirt lane off a dirt road in the pitch darkness) and they tumble out of the car before I've even cut the engine, the boy whose voice has been the loudest, whose swagger exceeds the others' combined, turns to me and says with impeccable manners Thank you for driving us Susan. Please drive safely on the way home, it's such a long way. Thanks again! I walk them to the door to hand them over to the host's mum despite my son's embarrassment, and the boy thanks me again politely before disappearing into the bedlam with the others.

::

Some of my regular flock
Feeding my babies, this afternoon

15 April 2010

That muse, she has not yet returned.

In a rather indulgent flash of momentary madness, I recently cast on two separate silk shawls.

seasilk nightsongs

That's the infamous Gail/Nightsongs shawl (I'm not sure why it has two names, it just does) that causes people over on Ravelry to tear their hair out both angst over and rave about. I'm knitting it in Handmaiden Seasilk, a delicious concoction of silk and seaweed (true! I'm knitting with seaweed) in the 'Mahogany' colourway. That inelegant football-shaped ball of yarn cunningly blurred out in the background was my first attempt at using my new nostepinne to wind a skein of yarn into a ball. I plan to improve over time.

silk lusciousness

This creamy lusciousness is a pure silk shawl knitted in a pattern known as 198 yards of Heaven. I intend to amend my own project's name to reflect both the metric system in use in Australia and the final meterage of yarn used, upon completion.

It will be a gift for a friend whose birthday deadline it will surely miss due to the sheer amount of stuff going on in the rest of my life (ie. the [shock!] 23 hours of each day not devoted to knitting) at present. I also plan to dye it green, ensuring its final completion date is delayed yet further. *Heavy sigh* ...

I cleaned the study

In other news, I cleaned the study and lo, it was good.

6 April 2010

Obligatory Easter Post

I seem to have lost the knack of writing here. Posts lie about my head unwritten, dustbunnies lurk in the corner, ennui prevails.

There has been plenty going on though, true enough. Shall we do this in bullet points?

• a fun swap with the talented Tania led to the most lovely parcel arriving in the letterbox ...

swapsies, with the gorgeous Tania

• in fact I've been thoroughly spoilt lately with more tea towels ...

auntie cookie tea towel
Eye chart tea towel from the fabulous Auntie Cookie, just because.

and gifts ...

i have the bestest friends
Exquisite birthday gifts from a dear friend

and winnings ...

paper crane pattern and linen yarn
Habu linen yarn and a Paper Crane pattern, from Kirsten at assemblage

and more winnings ...

knitting needle case & addi turbos
Knitting needle case, chocolate (long gone) and two pairs of Addi Turbos from Lesley at Chapter III

uhh, where was I? Oh yes, the bullet points.

• an essay was wrung out of me composed and the SEND UPLOAD button pressed [phew] at three minutes to midnight

• lime pudding was constructed and consumed. Thank you for all your lime suggestions! The British remained true to type and mostly recommended marmalade, while the Americans all suggested something called Key Lime Pie, which I googled and discovered is a dish native to Florida, made with special Key Limes which are, according to wikipedia, round and yellow and quite unlike the Tahitian Limes we have here. It looks quite like lemon meringue pie though. (I didn't make it, sorry).

• an Easter egg hunt for six children, aged 3 to 16, took place in the wilds of the tea tree scrub on the Mornington Peninsula, followed by a glorious day at the beach. Throughout the day we took turns at exclaiming how amazing it was to be swimming at a beach at Easter. This is the first Easter in some years that we haven't been camping in the mountains. (Same boy-heavy families though, it's Easter tradition).

easter 2010

• Sons #1 and 2's indoor soccer team made it to the grand final and won, for the second year running! Nail-biting stuff.

• several books have been read and/or listened to. The History Boys by Alan Bennett, marvellously adapted to become a BBC radio play; Salley Vickers' Dancing Backwards which was up to her usual wonderfully high standard; Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which held my interest mostly but the writing was pretty ordinary (it featured one of Pavlov's Cat's pet hates - the 'slither of light', amongst other corkers), and now The Darling Buds of May as a little light relief before I crack the spine of Wolf Hall. I loved Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts - I even went to our local library to hear her speak and spent an outrageous amount of money buying not only the book (I had already read a library copy) but the accompanying cd, and asking Ms Dunant to sign them. She was very entertaining and utterly charming, I am pleased to report. And by god she can talk for hours without pause.

(I totally sucked up by telling her that a lecturer on Renaissance Italy had recommended her books to me as being 'a bit racy but the research is spot on', to which she positively squealed. A bit).

• lastly, there was a truly fabulous extended Craft Camp at Sewjourn that Jenny and StomperGirl organised and kindly invited me to. My spinning wheel didn't even make it out of the car but my sewing machine (and knitting) made up for it and I now have a couple of pairs of new pants and one and a half new skirts to show for it. Interestingly my camera didn't get touched once so I have nothing to show you, but it was a refreshing change to be in the moment itself rather than thinking about recording the moment. Anyway, Stomper's report says it all beautifully so I'll just point you in that direction rather than try and repeat it here. Suffice to say it were grand. Thanks for the invitation Jen and Stomper - it's very nice to be wanted.