Swabbing the decks…


Sorry that my posts haven’t been happening for a while. You know how blogging is – it waxes and wanes like life, and life became very busy there for a while. However, I think that we’re back on track now (or at least moving that way), and so I thought I’d take a second or two to catch things up with you on the old reading and other fronts.

Reading-wise: I have been reading, but it’s been slower than usual. I had some (more) facial nerve surgery the other day and that seems to have affected my vision, hearing, speech and facial muscles which was not expected and not supposed to happen at all. However, Mother Nature is a tough chick and I am an impatient patient so I’m hoping that things will slot themselves back into their normal places in one way or another very soon. In the meantime, it’s meant that I’ve been stymied with my usual lifestyle which has meant less reading and all that kind of thing. (Vision is important. :-))

It’s been an interesting experience that has affected everything else that I do, so it’s a bit of an adjustment for me (and we all know how flexible I can be with unpredictable and unexpected change). I think it will end up fine, but I’m just wanting it fine right now so it’s frustrating to have to wait and see. I may end up with a new normal of sorts, but it’s not something that we can predict with any certainty right now so it’s the waiting game for all involved. Grumble grumble grumble.

Happily, we had a lovely trip to Mexico sitting on the beach, reading and snoozing and messing around doing not much at all, and so that holiday (combined with the medical stuff) has slowed things down considerably. I did finish up an ILL on vacation which was good. (I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to take someone else’s hard cover 500-page book with me on hols, but there you go.)

“It’s the patriotic duty of every woman to knit – not only for men in the service but for those at home as well….”

book375Called “No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting” by Anne L. Macdonald (1988), this was a fairly straight-forward recall of a somewhat rather specialized recounting of domestic history in the U.S. of, you’ve guessed it, knitting. I had read this a few years ago and had wanted to reread it and it arrived just in time for me to lug, I mean carry, across the many miles between here and Playa Mujeres.

It’s always a bit of a risk when you do a reread, isn’t it, and this gamble was not bad/not good. Just rather neutral and I think that’s part and parcel of reflecting how you change and evolve over the years and experiences. Last time I had read it, I was new to fiber art and to domestic history and so thought this was the complete Bee’s Knees.

This time, I didn’t think it was bad at all but it didn’t quite strike the tone of Happy that I was hoping for and I take complete responsibility for that interpretation. The book contents haven’t changed so it must have been me who has, and I think I’m just a more experienced reader in the world of social and domestic history. Plus – the world of knitting (rather specialized even on a good day) was not really jibing with the view of the tropical beach that was right in front of me. I have no idea why I didn’t put the huge brick down and pick up another title more appropriate to the time and place, but there you go. Who says that humans are logical and rational?

book374 (2)So, the read was fine – not bad at all, but perhaps not suited for the occasion. Additionally, I was petrified that the ILL volume would get damaged in some manner from either the beach or a drink mishap and so the whole thing was rather fraught. I’m glad that I’ve finished it, I’m glad that I read it, but I think that now I can safely cross this list off my TBR/Reread records for the rest of my days (or at least until I get senile in which case it might be a whole new read…)

And now I’m bobbing around thinking about what to read next. After such a mammoth (page length wise) read, I’m know that I’m going to choose a shorter read. My track history of reading and finishing Scary Big Books  has been littered with failure so at least it wasn’t that and honestly, it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the read or anything. I did. I think it was just a timing situation that fell afoul of things more so.

Taking a bigger picture look, I’m glad that I can still read and do fun things, and now, as I rub my hands with glee, I get to choose a whole other book for me to dive into. As a fellow book nerd, I think that you can probably relate to this squee experience and so I’m looking forward to trawling through my shelves and seeing what flings its little way into my hands. I honestly have no idea which title it will be so I’m rather excited at this prospect. I’ll let you know as I know it’s going to be hard for you to sleep and concentrate in your own lives until this decision has been sorted out. 🙂

book376I also happened to find a copy of the coffee book Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” (here is its blog) and I stayed up rather late last night reading this. Humans can be so very interesting and I adored reading this book. 🙂

And had a quick read of Z. Z. Packer’s short story collection, “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”, which I loved. Short story collections can be a patchy thing for me at times, but I enjoyed this whole collection so go Z. Z. and thanks for that.

You know another good thing? It’s been pouring with rain the last few days (a notable occasion in this semi-arid city) and so the garden is looking happy and green. It’s quite strange to me just how surprised I get each and every summer when the garden suddenly springs to life before the endless hot summer months arrive, and I love it. (Speaking of plants, we checked with a Plant Expert Friend of ours who recommended repotting the failing ficus tree. This has been done and now we wait to see if things improve. (Updates as warranted.)

I’m off to choose a book!

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