Thursday, 22 March 2012

Books 2012, #7-10

Clicking on the pics will take you to the relevant Amazon page.

#7 Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

This is a *brilliant* book. It's hard to put it into a genre though. It is clearly non-fiction but it's not science, not exactly psychology and definitely not self-help. Sociology maybe? Its basis is that we all make split second decisions based on social norms, past experiences, recent experiences and any number of other things. You know that feeling when you know someone is lying but rely on what they've said? Or when you've cast on and know it's going to be too big/small but carry on anyway? Trust that instinct! The author explains where these instincts come from and gives case studies from professional sports, orchestras, policemen, psychologists and more to illustrate his points. I found it riveting. If you have enjoyed anything like Oliver Sacks or Freakonomics you will enjoy this too. Also if you are interested in people this will definitely keep your attention.

#8 Murder on the Prowl by Rita Mae Brown

Yay! Mrs Murphy is back! The cat with a plan. The moggie who has a foggy (as in "doesn't have the foggiest" - possibly an english expression...or possibly just my mother). This one is actually quite hard hitting with a teenage pregnancy and various other activities but it's a good read and keeps you guessing until the end. If you like murder mysteries solved by cats then you've got to love this. 

#9 Death at Bishop's Keep by Robin Paige

Somewhat out of order I finally read the first of this series. Really charming! I wish now I was reading them in order. Very well observed characters portraying women and men at all levels of society during the period. An interesting crime. Interesting but not too overwhelming domestic dramas and a nice bit of scandal and romantic intrigue. A very satisfying mystery without being in the least bit a "woman's" book. Although it probably is. 

#10 Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby
I am aware that I have arrived very late to this particular party but I found a copy at the library last week and picking it up for an idle flick found myself quickly engrossed. I hadn't realised how much interesting text there was about shapes and designing. I don't do much lace but this was highly inspiring. Yes, some of the things do look like tablecloths but others are really divine. Even if you don't do lace I'd recommend splurging a pound or whatever yours charges for a library reservation. Definitely worth a look. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

SkipNorth 2012

I've been trying to find a picture that sums up this year's SkipNorth. I think this might be it.
The intensity in Kate's regard as she works out if the yarn is skinny enough (technical term) for her needs is evident. Then there is a hint of elbowing about to break out on the left as the British Breeds display came to general attention. This is Coldspring which is just one of the many places we visited. It was, in my humble opinion, a very good SkipNorth.

There were new experiences, such as the amazing County Alpaca Farm.
Meeting the Female Alpaca
This was quite amazingly informative and fascinating and they were so kind to us.

Then there were the more familiar sights, such as Winghams.
Wingham Woolworks
Wingham Woolworks

Nic and I even fitted a sneaky visit to Bonds as well before the main holiday began...
Cards of Buttons
Haberdashery Shopping
A rare treat!

This is all surrounded by beautiful Bronte countryside.

And my haul? Modest, by the standards of previous years. A few skeins and balls of wool, already logged on Ravelry. Some lovely fabrics...
stash 014
The blue and the art deco ones are destined to be skirts. Both came from the amazing Bombay Stores along with some other notions and sparkly delights.

One or two cards of buttons and some patchwork packs from Bonds.
Cards of buttons

A mere 20g of amazing handspun from Winghams which my photography skills have succeeded in robbing of all its glory.
stash 007
Don't ask me what I'll do with it. Just *adore* it I suppose.

Those of you with more time than sense will find all my photos here. I'm tempted to just go on posting them endlessly but I'll restrain myself.

Nic and I have taken the rare step of looking into dates for 2013 already and will be rejigging the format as this will be our EIGHTH SkipNorth - amazing to think we've been going that long and also a lovely reminder of how long Nickerjac and I have been friends. We've both seen quite a few changes during that time but SkipNorth remains a delightful constant (at least when I forget the organisation that needs to take place before we get there to make sure everything opens and arrives and happens when it should, that no one goes into anaphylactic shock and that everyone has access to volumes of tea, coffee and cake that would make Kirsty Allsop weak at the knees.

One more photo - she was my favourite.

So cute!
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