Monday, 26 September 2011

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Catching up

For the past month I've been working full time and a bit - and for two weekend during that time, we had the grandkiddies staying over, from Friday night to Monday morning, so tempus has well and truly fugited.
For a week, I'll be back doing my regular job, then there's a stint as Sir (which I'll be sharing with my new fellow sub - yay!), and after that a month as arts editor ... and before you know it, we'll be revving up and hurtling towards Christmas, with huge issues.
Here's what else has been happening.
:: Reading ... I'm loving and chortling my way through Rupert Everett's autobiography, Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins, lent to me by my best friend Dace. What a naughty, wicked boy he is! I'm not usually an autobiography or biography fan, but it's a fabulous read, and so cleverly written.
On my Kindle, I'm reading Mildred Pierce, after watching the excellent mini-series on TV, starring Kate Winslet and our very own Guy Pearce. They both recently won Emmys for it, so it will probably get on free-to-air telly soon.
I haven't read any James M. Cain before, and love that early 20th century Los Angeles setting. I'm wondering if the book, written in the 1940s, will be as out-and-out sexy as the TV mini-series. Click here to see the trailer on YouTube.
Our book club has just done The Help (enjoyed that movie, too), and our next book is Larry's Party, by Carol Shields, one of my all-time favourite reads.
:: TV ... My regulars (apart from re-runs of Nigella shows and all the Grand Designs), are Crownies and At Home with Julia - love them both. On Friday night, Scott & Bailey, the new British cop show started well. So great that in these British shows the women are so flawed and look so ordinary - not like the US shows where they are stick-thin and always perfectly made-up, or the apparent 13-year-old legal types in Crownies, who are all utterly beautiful and have outrageous sex lives and the wardrobes to go with them (I still like it, though!).
On Friday, the ABC was touting the start of The Jonathon Ross Show from the UK, with guests Hugh Jackman and Stephen Fry. They said it was the hottest thing on TV in the UK, and he was UK telly's biggest and most popular and beloved interviewer, blah blah. Envisioning the new Michael Parkinson, I watched it - yuck! Inane interviews, no leading the subjects into conversations, just naff, idiotic questions. And he was so obsequious and gibbering about Stephen Fry that it was embarrassing to watch.
:: Sewing ... I haven't yet made a start on the English-language version of the Japanese pattern book, but will very soon. I've also got the fabric for a new bag, and will be making Harper some wee little flowery dresses.
:: Knitting ... Lily has requested a cardie for her birthday, and as she sent me the wool for it from Japan, I have started.
My best friend Shelley also gave me some amazing Noro silk-blend that I'm looking forward to getting on my needles.
:: Crochet ...
My best friend Caroline has been waiting for ages for me to finish this granny square cushion - it is on its way, promise!
:: Breaking in ... New Birkenstocks. They feel so strange ...

Monday, 12 September 2011

A parcel from Japan

And it's full of handspun wool, organic cotton, some extremely lightweight modelling clay, probably paper, and a set of four fabulous and fine brushes with ergonomic grips.And, very excitingly (for stationery junkies like me), a very fine, black version of those amazing pens that can be erased with friction, which means heat - and therefore can be used on fabric and erased with a swipe of a hot iron. They are incredibly useful when you're dressmaking and need to mark where pockets or buttons or pleats or darts go. Brilliant - thanks Lily!Now I'll need to test the gauge of the yarns and work out what to knit. Lily wants a cardie for her birthday in November, so I'll need to get cracking.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Knock, knock ...

Since my last confession, winter has been and gone, and the most beautiful spring is here, with warm sunny days and nights that are still cold enough to snuggle into sleep.(I dream of a climate mild enough to create and enjoy a colourful, shady alfresco spot like this ... right down to the fireplace, cushions and rug. Love it. From Desire to Inspire, which is one of my now daily reads. )

Will is back from California and Lily is in Japan with Nick. My elder son is in Spain.

For just one day, we were all home here together and it was magic, like heaven on a stick!This was taken on that day - Will, jet-lagged, SoCal-tanned and just off the plane, Lily about to get on hers the next day.
For a brief few weeks, while Will was away and before Lily returned from Melbourne en route to Osaka, David and I had no kids at home, and while we prefer to the house to be full of young people, we did actually enjoy ourselves.
Since my last confession, work has moved up a gear or two, so it takes a good chunk out of my week, and apart from the loss of time to droob about and be otherwise creative, it has been fantastic.
But since my last confession, I have been doing plenty of other stuff. Lily and I made her three or four shirts from one of those lovely Japanese pattern books, and I have made a couple of things for Harper. I've made a couple of small quilts, painted, drawn, crocheted and knitted, and done lots of cooking.
I'm still loving my kindle, and playing words with friends on my iPod (give me a game - I'm Lesleyzed).
I've started digging over the front garden and planted a few bits and bobs, with a few cuttings gleaned from here and there: frangipani branches from a verge pick-up, now a year old and thriving; fuchsia-pink geraniums from my best friend Laura's husband's garden two years ago and thriving; new daisy cuttings from my best friend Shelley's garden, already showing minuscule green shoots; pelargoniums, scented-leaf geraniums, a few herbs, cosmos, violas. I have missed gardening a little bit. In California we had nothing in the back garden but a pool, and the small front yard was looked after every fortnight by a team of hard-working Mexicans sent by the landlord with mower, trimmer and blower, so there was nothing to do.
So this year, I'm getting into it again.
The backyard here is way too big to contemplate doing too much to, but I've borrowed Simon's whipper-snipper while he's away and I may start the battle with a tiny bit of it soon.
There are three kaffir lime trees and a regular one along the side fence that I really feel I ought to be nurturing as the hostility of a Perth summer approaches.
I'm off now to trace a pattern for a shirt from this book, another of the wonderful Japanese pattern books but this time, praise be, it's a translation, and with Australian sizing. Hooray!