Saturday, 24 February 2007

Friday on my mind

San Diego: Friday, February 23, 2007

Will and his mates have just gone out for the usual Friday night party, Dave's working late at Bondi (dinner with people from LA), so here I am with time on my hands and - yay! - a brand-new blog. What larks!

This week, in between the boring stuff (trying to run the house, look after the dogs, feed us all and keep us hale and hearty), I'm knitting, sewing, quilting, reading, walking, watching telly and calling in at Bondi for the occasional meal.
I've also been out to a couple of quilt stores, had the car serviced, and spent the morning with some of the mothers from Will's school.

Knitting: I'm attempting my first pair of socks, in pretty German wool which is dyed so the socks come out stripy and patterned. You get a pair out of one ball. The first pattern I used - downloaded from the internet at the store where I bought the wool - was incomprehensible when it came time to 'turn the heel'. So I ditched that, unravelled that half-sock and am starting again with a pattern I found in a knitting magazine at Barnes & Noble, complete with diagrams. I'm working with bamboo needles that are not much bigger than cocktail sticks, pointed at each end. They make me feel like a very, very serious and competent knitter - until I get to 'turning the heel'. So we'll see how we go.
I quite fancy some knitted cushion covers, and a big comfy cardie ... but I'm so s-l-o-w ...

Sewing: I just made pillowslips for a pair of big European-style square pillows. The slips aren't easy to find, and the last pair I looked at, in Macy's, cost $80. Ridiculous. Made them in gorgeous stripy red Indian cotton, like a Kaffe Fasset fabric. The pair probably cost $12.

Quilting: I finally have enough fabric to start the quilt I promised Lily when she started college, up there in chilly, frosty Olympia, in Washington. Greens and white. Bought a new cutting mat and rotary cutter, so I'm all set.

Reading: The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd; Things I Didn't Know - a Memoir by Robert Hughes; California's Spanish Place Names (what they mean and the history they reveal) by Barbara and Rudy Marinacci; and I've subscribed to The Oldie which is a superb British mag edited and founded by Richard Ingrams, of Private Eye fame).

TV: I've set our very amazing hi-tech digital telly to record the whole series of Grey's Anatomy, because so many people say such great things about it and I'm curious; then there's House, because I just cannot get over seeing Hugh Laurie play an American doctor; and, of course, A-MERRRR-ican Idol, which has just started again for the year - and I'm hooked already.

Though it's been chilly here in San Diego, we haven't had what anyone could call a serious winter. But in the local supermarket there is cheerful evidence of spring's imminent arrival - pots of hyacinths, daffodils, primroses and (pictured at the top of the page) even this glorious snake's-head fritillary, $4.95, which I had to bring home, and which Will photographed so beautifully last night. This is the first living one I've ever seen. It's a flower I've known of and loved from afar since discovering Charles Rennie Mackintosh's wonderful watercolour of it.

I'm off to Chicago next week for a few days - excited not just about being in that fab city, but also at the thought of seeing snow for the first time since 1974, when I was in Paris and sick with longing for Oz.

This'll do for my first post!

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