Listening to: The Rest – The Pines

Oh, the downside for all of you is that I have nothing better to do than blog about my days during half-term.

I’m quite into this whole walking thing, and after faffing around for most of the day I took myself off to Sheen this afternoon (I did not see Daniel Craig or Rob Brydon – I did see someone who looked a lot like Richard Ashcroft from the Verve in my street the other day, though), which is another one of my neighbouring suburbs by the river. It has the best op shops! They’re cheap but stocked with the spoils of the quite wealthy, which is a rare thing in London charity shops. (The Octavia Foundation one in Barnes is full of boring designer rubbish and will charge you twenty pounds* for a pilly jacket.) I scored a long blue A-line corduroy skirt (with pockets!) for four pounds, which was pleasing (one of those pristine, perfectly pressed vintage finds), and will be back to think about a bunch of Japanese stoneware plates.

I also discovered Mortlake Cemetery, which almost made me get lost because it spans both sides of the street and I was halfway to Kew before I realised that was not where I meant to be. I was going to say it was a bit dull (or a bit too new, anyway), but maybe I was in the wrong spot – apparently, Charles Dickens’s son is buried there, along with a bunch of other “notable” people.

It snowed for a minute, which is still thrilling. (Oh, but I wish it would settle! I haven’t yet built a snowperson.)

This evening I will be watching episode 4 of Battlestar Galactica (“Act of Contrition”). It’s kind of growing on me.

*I changed my keyboard settings back to Australian (otherwise the ” would be above the 2 and the hash key would be where the \ is…madness, I tell you) and it’s a bugger doing the whole £ thing.


Listening to: Shop For America– Bratmobile

Apart from working (56 hours this fortnight, including two last-minute call-ins!), I have spent the last few days quite productively. I’ve made lots of food: pesto, oven-dried tomatoes (I borrowed a book on bread-making the other day [oh, I love working in a public library!], and I plan to make garlicky tomato bread tomorrow), the mangoes, chocolate mousse, cupcakes (which were a bit of a disaster, actually), a carrot-parsnip-spinach-sweet potato curry. I’ve finished two more afghan squares (19 down, 117 to go!). I’ve made three fucking bonnets in my quest to devise a decent pattern, but haven’t quite got it right yet (I really want Angry Chicken‘s Mail Order pattern [see Mail Order #2], but it’s not available anymore. I’ve been modifying this pattern [scroll down] based on Flickr photos of Angry Chicken bonnets, and I’m getting closer but I’m not there yet. Still, it’s been good crafty skill-building practice). Now that I work in a different end of town, I have new op shops to explore, and I’ve picked up a whole pile of nicely-patterned vintage sheets (to cut up and sew into new things), a plate (I have a thing for that ’70s Japanese stoneware) and these:

I cycled over to the market today (in 41-degree heat!), hence the pesto (cheap basil), and on Thursday I did some Christmas shopping. I went back and forth for ages on this – I’ve bought T the first of the His Dark Materials books, because I think (hope) she’ll really like it, but the only available cover is awful:

It has a Point publishing logo splashed across the title page, as if to put it on par with those dreadful pulp horror novels we read in, like, Year 6.

(Ha! As you can see, I also did a big load of washing and changed my sheets today.) Compare the copies I read, which I can’t give her because I left the first one in England:

They look much classier in person, anyway.

So my plan is this:

It's a cloth book cover.

I’ll be finishing it while I watch Trust! I saw the second half of it years ago in the middle of the night on the ABC, and it kick-started the Hal Hartley obsession of my youth. Luke got it for me from somewhere, and I’m pretty excited to see it again.

Speaking of films, did anyone watch The Mother on SBS last night? I was quite enjoying it until – well, I don’t want to spoil it in case your answer was “no”, but at a certain point I realised that I didn’t really like any of the characters anymore. It so often happens, and while I understand that in reality people don’t always behave appealingly (and that, for actors, it’s fun to play the bad guy), it’s such an annoying device in fiction. I mean, at a certain point, if everyone in your story is an arsehole, why would anyone want to watch it? But like I said, I did enjoy some of it, especially its depiction of London and the way May explored it.

And speaking of SBS – ads! Mid-programme! It must stop.