What I read in November (Part 2)

The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers

When I borrowed this book from the library I hadn’t realised it is a book of short stories, which takes its name from perhaps the most haunting one. I may have mentioned previously that I prefer novels to short stories. Starting to read a short story is as much work as starting to read a novel. Then a few pages later it comes to an end. I don’t always manage to work out what the whole story has been about! There was at least one story in this collection, which left me guessing. (I like all the ends tied in and no room for doubt in a story!)

However, Salley Vickers writes extremely well and remains on my list of authors to look out for in the library. A review of another of her books appears in a previous post.

Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel

I am cheating by including this library book here as I had not finished it by the end of November. It is a book I have been savouring. Each month of a particular year has a chapter to itself. The author describes life on his farm in Herefordshire near to the Welsh border. The history of the area, traditions, literature and patient observation of creatures and plants go to make this book rather special. While the author is very knowledgeable, he manages to communicate his knowledge in a way that is interesting to those with different levels of knowledge of the natural world.

It is the kind of subject, where the more you know, the more you learn. I found the prose particularly enjoyable, with a very gentle sense of humour being apparent. As in many of my favourite books, a map is included at the beginning. This one is of the farm. There are also lists of species observed, a list of nature books in the author’s possession and a list of music.

The Flower Show 2016

There is a summer flower show here every August. I usually find something to enter. In spite of torrential rain I ventured out and entered some photos and a child’s knitted garment. Most of the photos I entered had appeared on my blog, Sue’s words and pictures or on Twitter.  My photos were printed off at home on 6”x4” photographic paper.  One of them won a second prize in a category, which turned out not to be popular.  There were only two entries!

I am posting a photo of the cardigan and the photos with the name of the category in which they were entered. The lambs were in the category Animal offspring, but the caption is from an earlier post on this blog.

Cardigan

Cardigan

The cardigan was knitted using Robin Bonny Babe 4 ply yarn.  The pattern was from Lister-Lee and had two pattern repeats.  I decided that a boy’s garment would be better with only one.  This modification was time-saving.  I bought loose buttons from a local shop, where the assistant was very helpful.

The show was very well organised.  There was a friendly atmosphere with local people and holidaymakers attending.  Exhibitors ranged in age from 2 years to over 80.  I enjoyed tea with a group of friends.

Click on a photo to begin a slide show. Esc to exit. Which photo do you think won a prize?  Which is the best photo?

2

Did you miss me?

I forgot to write a post for this blog last week.  Today (Wednesday) I thought I needed one for Saturday and then realised it would be for tomorrow.  The subject of my post today on Sue’s words and pictures as well as the amount of reading I have been doing recently may have contributed to time getting away from me.

There has been a lot going on.  Wasps have built themselves a nest in a sheltered spot in our garden.  The flying ants flew from at least two nests at the front.  A raptor flew past one morning at breakfast time carrying a mouse.  The following morning it flew past at about the same time with empty talons.  It was probably a kestrel.

The sea was calm (the day) before the storm.  The temperature soared from about 17°C to about 35°C in the space of 24 hours.  After a walk in the morning I stayed indoors reading for most of the day.  A distant storm caused red flashes in the clouds.  Thunderstorms moved across bringing torrential rain and reports of a frog in our garden. (I did not see it.)  Before one wave of thunder and lightning the rooks took to the air – storm crows warning.

Dog-walking takes time too. People stop to talk.  In summer it is not unpleasant, but I should not like to have to go out up to four times a day in all weathers including winter.  It is a good thing that the animal is only on holiday and has not moved in permanently.  Housework takes longer with dog-hairs to clean up.

The garden needs a lot of time spent on it too.  After doing the housework and walking the dog, I had no enthusiasm for gardening on the day with the most suitable weather.  Then it was too hot and now it is too wet, although the rain is not falling at the moment.

Then there were things happening which involved me.  I took part in a concert of choral singing and readings last week.  I have been attending my usual activities, many of which now stop for the summer holidays and restart in September.

So I forgot to blog last week.  What of it?  Did you miss me?