As May draws to a close here are my favourite thing from the past month.
Favourite read This is easy, sadly, as I’ve only managed to read one book during the month. In the days before I found craft I would read maybe two or three books a month. Now it’s taking me a good couple of months to get through one, and that’s assuming I actually get to the end. However the book I’m currently reading (and it seems I’m a little late to the party on this one judging from all the references I found on Instagram about the book) has possibly sparked an interest again. That book is The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton, and it’s such an absorbing tale. Set in 17th century Amsterdam it tells the story of Nella, who marries a man she has never met, and her relationships with the occupants of her husband’s house. Nella discovers a dark secret (they are always dark in books aren’t they) that brings danger to the household. I have still to finish the book, I’ve about 20 pages left, and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends for Nella and the others. Jessie Burton’s writing is engaging and her characters beguiling; I particularly liked Marin, the seemingly cold, unwelcoming sister of Nella’s new husband. Comparisons have been made with Girl With A Pearl Earring, which I read many years ago and loved that too, although I remember little of it. I’m trying to work out what to read next; it’s either going to be The Girl on the Train, The Rosie Effect, Elizabeth is Missing or The Children’s Act. I’ll let you know next month where I end up.
Favourite find While my favourite read was easy, this one is not so straight forward. It’s a toss up between a new shop find and a crafty find. The shop I found yesterday on a shopping trip to Kingston. It’s T2 – a fabulous shop stocked floor to ceiling with tea! Yes! They stock sooooo many different types of teas – black teas, white teas, green teas, fruit teas, herbal teas – and they have a lot of them available for tasting in store. I tried a Strawberries and Cream and an Apple Crumble, and walked out of the shop with a box of the former. Can’t wait to go back to Kingston to pick up some more.
My crafty find was a new set of needles – Knit Pro Karbonz (I know – why that spelling???). I really wanted to knit some socks and have tried a few times in the past but just didn’t enjoy the experience. I have put this down to the wrong choice of needles and the wrong choice of yarn. So I decided to fix both of these and, having watched a lot of the Little Bobbins podcasts recently and heard Dani talking about them, I bought myself a set of the DPNs (double pointed needles for those not in the know!). At the same time I picked up a skein of Tough Love Sock yarn from Sweet Georgia in the Tumbled Stone colourway. The needles are perfect; the yarn glides off them but yet are sticky enough for it not to slip off unexpectedly. And they have a lovely feel to them unlike the cheap needles I have tried before. Karbonz are definitely the way forward for socks. The yarn too is lovely; a tonal yarn that is quite understated – just what I like. I see lots of people kntting with very vivid multi-coloured yarn and while of course that’s fine, it’s just not for me. But while the yarn is absolutely fab, I think really it’s the needles that are the light bulb moment in my sock knitting story.
Favourite family time This has to be my trip up north, to North Yorkshire, to visit my parents over the late May bank holiday weekend. As we live over 200 miles apart I don’t get to see my lovely mum and dad very often, so when we do go and visit it is very special. We spent four days with them and although we didn’t get up to a huge amount it was just lovely spending time with them at their house. This was made even more lovely because the weather was gorgeous and we were able to spend time out in the garden enjoying the warmth of the sun, the colours of the flowers coming into bloom, and the sound of the birds. Where they live is such a contrast to where we live down south. We live on a very busy main road, with the shops and local facilities on our doorstep. It’s always noisy and to be honest that doesn’t bother me one jot. My parents however live in a very quiet street, in a small village, in the middle of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. There are no shops in the village, just two pubs. So it’s all very different and a real contrast to where we usually are. However, one thing I noticed is that, despite the remoteness of their house, it is sooooo noisy there; but from birds rather than the usual hubbub we have at home! It was lovely, and as my family know, I do love a bit of birding action, so I was really in my element. Sadly the weekend was over all too quickly and I know that it will be a good few months before I get to see mum and dad again.
Favourite watch Anyone seen The Affair yet? It’s on Sky Atlantic. I have just started watching episode 1 and am already hooked. It could be my new Poldark!!! I absolutely love Ruth Wilson; she was brilliant as Alice in Luther, a brilliant female character in one of the TV shows ever.
And finally… Pineapples. There are pineapple motifs everywhere at the momtent. Just in the last few days I’ve seen them on clothes, stationery, soft furnishing and prints. What fun! Must be a thing this summer. I wonder if I can get hold of some pineapple fabric and join in the fun!
That’s all for today. Let’s hope June brings some sunshine, warmth and happy days. We have a very musical few weeks coming up which I’ll no doubt tell you all about another day. Until then, thanks for reading.