Saturday, 5 December 2009

Part of my large library pile. I must be the library's best customer. Whenever I see a new "must read" book in the shops I make a mental note of the title and reserve it. It costs me all of 25p each time. Two calls from the library told me I had reservations to collect. So included in the books by my bed now are

Cath Kidston's "Sew". I've been wondering whether to buy this so I look forward to taking some time to browse it thoroughly. Will I make anything from it or will it sit on a shelf alongside several other such books which seemed like a good idea when I bought them?

Julie Myerson's "The Lost Child". Julie was in the year below me at school (although I don't remember her being there). I've read all of her books and enjoy every one. Culture vultures amongst you will have seen her on many late night culture shows on TV. Her books are always thought provoking and this one in particular caused a stir when published this spring. It's a heart rending story of motherhood and Jeremy Paxman called it "the most controversial book of the year". If you haven't tried her yet I can strongly recommend her. (Its a little weird though for me sometimes as while I'm blithely reading she drops something in from her youth which immediately transports me back to mine - today there was a reference to her being called into see the head at school. I could immediately picture the scene - I'd lived it too, right down to the description of her looking like "the Queen, with her little black dog". I haven't thought about the dog for years but remember him being called James and how everyone wanted to walk him at lunch time. (Actually it was more about having the chance to get out into the Arboretum where the boys from the school across the road hung out rather than any desire to spend time with the dog with 4 inch legs!) (Apologies to all dog lovers - I wasn't James's biggest fan!)

Her book "Not a Games Person" was full of similar references: to wooden horses (which always provoked something akin to a panic attack in me!), the cellars in which we changed for gym - "smelling of rubber and feet" - I can smell it now! She remembers the Miners Strike when there was no heating at school and certainly no games as it was too cold to get undressed for anything, and Mr Jones,the caretaker with the purple nose - I'd forgotten him and his nose until I read this book! Isn't it funny how somebody else's memories can bring back images that were buried so long ago?

This book about trademarks is a fascinating read giving the stories behind many of our famous trade marks.

I thought I'd found the secret behind the gentleman on my darning thread card but then realised that mine is a different man from the man in the book - Cardinal Wolsey: the man whose name became synonymous with unshrinkable woollens and socks!

Thrifty Chic seen on many a blog keeps coming home with me - I have it out for a few weeks, return it and pick it up again a month later. I love the ideas in here and am filled with inspiration every time I browse the pages.

I think I'm in denial. I know how much there is to do before Christmas but keep procrastinating. I have had to accept it's well and truly on its way and spent more time than I would have liked finding the old Advent calendar - made of small brown envelopes and pegged to a string. It's past its best and something of an embarrassment as it was hastily put together some time back. But Gorgeous Girl is something of a traditionalist, (and to her a tradition can become such after only a very short time) so it has had to go up! It was speedily assembled a few nights ago and I was in deep trouble on Thursday when the third envelope was found to be empty! I'm severely lacking in the Festive department and although GG is nearly 17 she's still a little girl at heart. Recently I found a note atop a carrier bag on the stairs which said "If you leave my presents on the stairs I will find them!" When I told her I had found her note to Santa she told me it was to me, not Santa, as he wouldn't be so stupid! She has a point -if a little rudely made!

So now I have to make a concerted effort to find all those vintage baubles I've picked up for pennies at car boots etc over the last few months and do something lovely with them.

Hope you're having a good weekend,



  1. I'm just back from the Library, I looked for the KC book but no luck. We have to pay 80p to order a book, you are lucky to that you can order one for 25p. Enjoy all your books they look good.

  2. I'm just intrigued by what happens to the bag-making materials included with 'Sew' when it's a library book. Are they still there or does the first borrower get to make the bag and keep it?

  3. Mise - I wondered that too! I was the second person to borrow the book and the fabric had been removed (whether by the library or the first user I don't know). The pattern was still there though - but am I allowed to use it?

  4. Great post hun!! Love looking at all those books! I'm terrible for returning library books :~S
    My fave 2 are the brands and the thrifty chic!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    Annie x

  5. Hi Wend, I've ben far too busy to comment on blogs today, but I had a quick browse in a quiet moment and enjoyed this post so much that I decided to pop back now things have calmed down! Is your mystery man on the thread a 'typical Scot' to show the wool's geniuine Scottish origins? I love mysteries like that.

  6. Hi Wend,thanks for the tips about the books, I love a good read. I know how you feel about the advent calendar. I had forgotten about it this year and got in to big trouble with my lovely girl. At 15, I assumed she would have grown out of it, how wrong I was ! I had to go out on the 2nd Dec and buy chocolates to fill all of the little pockets.
    Ann x

  7. I must confess I am struggling a little with Julie Myerson's 'Home'.
    It's a very heady mix of fact, faction and fiction. I find myself skipping to the factual bits. Maybe I'll have to read it again for the fiction and a third time for the personal family bits.
    PS The baubles look lovely in your bowl.

  8. I wish i'd gone to your school , an Arboretum full of boys!!!!
    looking forward to seeing what you make

  9. I ought to make more use of our library, but being in the town centre all the problems of getting into town apply - only a few months till I get my bus pass so perhaps I'll be tempted then.

  10. Hope you enjoy your books. I am lucky enought to have a library that doesn't charge to reserve books and it can all be done online.They still get plenty of money from me in late fines though!

  11. I am a great library user - they don't have the CK book yet, though. I expect some lucky librarian gets the fabric!

    Pomona x

  12. What a wonderful post! I would wait for ever if I ordered the CK book..........

  13. Our local library NEVER has the books I go in for. If I'm lucky, they're somewhere in Hertfordshire and I can order them, otherwise, no. I'm glad you have a great service. I love the look of 'Thrifty Chic'. I wonder if I'll be lucky at the library this time?
    Kids are so unexpectedly nostalgic, aren't they? I found my 11 year old cuddling a 25 year old papier mache snowman and watching 'Friends'. xx

  14. Great books, I must confess i am a good customer of Amazon because if i like the books so much i can't bear to give them back!!! As with Thrifty Chic, i love that. I love the look of your vintage baubles, fabulous x x x

  15. he he i like the bag question! that would have been so good! fliss xx

  16. My library is so small it is useless. I love those vintage baubles. xx

  17. Thanks for your earlier comment. I'll let you into a secret - I wasn't sure what they looked like either to begin with!!

    I've got the CK Sew book on my xmas list. Finger's crossed.

    B :)

  18. that must be bizarre reading those books & evoking so many memories.

    Not feeling festive at all ( chronic neck pain - a real pain in the neck literally ! Osteopath tomorrow ) DD's 17th tomorrow too !