Hello from rainy London. Because people have been asking: luckily, we haven’t been affected by the terrible weather and flooding in the southwest of England. It has been rainy (so much rain) and windy, though, but nothing near as bad as what’s happening there. Hopefully the rain will let up soon so that Somerset and Devon can catch their breath and start repairs.
We’ve taken it easy, tourism-wise, lately. Just short trips around the city for museums and monuments. My favourite was Lesnes Abbey (decommissioned by Cardinal Wolsey during Henry VIII’s reign, so that he (the Cardinal) could siphon the money from selling off the land into his new college at Oxford. Which is topical, because I’m finally getting around to watching the fourth season of The Tudors, which, of course, required me to re-watch the first three seasons again.)
I’m in a concert this weekend, so it’ll be a good week of singing (Women of the Blackheath Choir, with the Lambeth Symphony Orchestra. We’re doing Debussy’s Sirènes and Berlioz’ La mort d’Ophélie, if you want to come.) Speaking of singing, the choir I’m in has a workshop day every year on a Saturday in February. There are two singing workshops in the afternoon, followed by a potluck dinner and ‘party pieces’. The point is to branch out a little from the usual classical oratorio stuff. One workshop was by the leader of a pop choir, which was ok, but the other was by a man who’s been studying and performing Balinese gamelan music for years. It was basically a couple of hours of this (well, a lot slower…). So much fun! The evening was good too – several choristers performed short pieces, and, probably coincidentally, none of that was classical either. And I learned that it’s not only in schools that custard is used as a dessert gravy – just another reason to love this country!
I finished knitting a sweater
That’s the Striper Cardigan, by Amy Herzog, and the yarn is Rowan Pure Wool DK and Felted Tweed. I added bust darts, as usual. I’ll block it someday.
I’ve been doodling. Well, knitting doodling. I’ve accumulated a lot of leftovers, so I decided to make a Sabbatical Leftovers Souvenir Blanket (to replace the Leftovers Afghan of Love that I gave Mr. Thingo years (and year) ago when he left for Seattle to become Dr. Thingo that is very much looking its age). I figure knitted up yarn packs up better than a zillion little balls. I made a template square in garter stitch, and I’ve been doodling while watching the aforementioned Tudors. Garter stitch is good for this because two rows equals one stitch, so it’s easy to get all geometrical.
And I spun some. This is some two-ply, undyed BFL, woolen-ish spun. I think it’ll become a small-ish this.
Things sound ramp up, tourism-wise, in the spring. Craig’s been asked to give a talk in Granada in May, so we’re all tagging along. He’s giving another one in Bath at some point, so we’ll tag along for that too. He’s also been asked to give one in Germany, but I think we’ll have to miss out on that one, unfortunately. We’re swapping houses in May with the Orchard family, so we’ll see some Bristol/Cardiff goodness. I’d like to head down to Dover and Brighton at some point (my Country Walks book has a great 20 km walk that includes a dip in the ocean that the kids are psyched about!). And we should head up to Salisbury too. And Cambridge! And it’s already time to start thinking about getting back home! I’ve registered the kids for school (at least, I think I have – I need to call the schools today to make sure the packages made it). I’ve updated my resume after more than a decade of not doing so (hire me!). I’m looking at my pantry in dismay (time for Eat Down the Pantry 2014!).
Remember to comment on my previous post by March 1 to win the cross-stitched message of your choice!