Monday, July 26, 2010

Madeline Got Very Old...

I have no explanation, but this took me months to finish! Literally. I must have really thought it was one I would love as I found two copies of it on two different book shelves in my house!
But I didn't. I have decided I really do not enjoy stories that span the lifetime of any of the characters even if it is a fitting ending.

Green Eyed Overdrive

I very seldom get cranky when I don't get what I want. But this my friends this is sending me into overdrive. And frankly it is not so much who is going to be there, but where they will be. Oh yeah, and the fact that Judith will be there - because I believe she is a goddess. Really.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Tale of Friendship

I truly enjoy the work of Ms. Chevalier and this one was one of her better pieces. Remarkable Creatures chronicles the lives of two unlikely friends joined by a common interest: fossils. Set in the early 1800's in Lyme Regis, this story shows the hardships of class, sexism, science and religion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Passion of Youth

And how I wish I could find it!

My son just got his driver's license and he is obsessed with fitting out the car with a proper sound system. My niece has a job in a law firm that has inspired her to go to law school. A woman in Chicago was "living Oprah" for a full year. My daughters fill their days with activities that focused on their personal goals.

Me? I got nothin'. Absolutely nothin'! And I miss that. I miss waking up in the morning itching to start the day. I miss the excitement that comes from each of those little milestones along the way. And really I need something to focus on...

...because one of my newest friends is moving away and I am feeling the loss. The last month has been filled with "lasts": the last time we will travel with 'our' group, the last time we get together for tea group, the last time we go to dinner and the movies...

I am trying to be positive. I know there are many 'firsts' to come when we meet again, but I am sad because it will not be the same. The girl who loved change is now the woman who is not willing to accept it in her personal relationships.

So, I am looking for an obsession to fill the void and am open for suggestions:)

Monday, July 19, 2010


A 'vanilla' summer tank. Catania cotton, the photo is a pretty good match to the actual color. It is outside drying...if I do not LOVE it when I try it on, it shall go to my sister who shall appreciate it more than I.
New things for this garment: hemmed on the needles and an I cord edge.

Three Bags Full

Watership Down it ain't. Sorry, but this one truly failed to catch my interest. I kept slogging through thinking that something was going to happen -like I would finally get the point, but I did not. I just felt incredibly stupid!
George is murdered and the sheep want to know how. I think all the fodder talk and cloud sheep just sent me in the wrong direction.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What I Love About Summer

I feel a need to do a top no particular order:
  1. Long sunny days
  2. Watermelon
  3. Rainy days after too many hot days
  4. Reading for hours under the tree
  5. Drinking a cold beer on the deck every day at 5:00
  6. Knitting for hours under the tree
  7. Napping in between the reading and knitting under the tree
  8. Walking the dog
  9. Uncle G's for ice cream with my brother
  10. Being home for hours on end

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Barcelona, Park Guell

Hard to believe that just one week ago I was still in Barcelona! We arrived in the city via train from Paris. What a wonderful city! Clean, civilized, polite, beautiful, historic...a truly refreshing break from the heat, filth, and attitude of Paris.
As soon as we arrived we met our tour guide and enjoyed the city introduction. The only problem was that I was so tired from the previous evening, I kept nodding off! After a few pix at the top of city, we moved on to Park Guell designed by Antonio Gaudi. Amazing! This was truly a place where one could get lost. I only wish I had the words to describe the magic of this setting!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kid Stuff

Know any reluctant teen readers? This is for them and those who just love a good story. I only wish I could share Arnold's tale, but the mom's would have a fit if they found out how much time the average teen narrator talks about naughty-bating!
Anyhoo, read the review - and the book - because this is a coming of age story with a very unique slant.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paris, Le Musee du Louvre et Le Chateau Versailles

Our first full day in Paris was spent on a three hour bus tour of the city. After a great lunch: the obligatory croque monsier, we took the train to Versailles. Once we hit the gates our group split apart. Pam and I zipped through with the help of an audio guide. And I must there was a significant difference in the number of tourists this year - I could actually spend as much time as I wanted in a room without being rushed! But the gardens were really at the top of our list.
After spending an extra 8 euro, we had close to three hours to spend looking at the fountains, walk through the maze, and make it to the lake! That seriously made up for the horrid subway and the dinner we were about to eat...
The following day five of us went to le Musee d'Orsay while the bulk of the group went to l'Louvre. I cannot even begin to say what I enjoyed more - the building or the art work. And the art deco was truly inspirational.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And a Book or Two for Good Measure

We all know I love Maisie. And it was quite fitting that I read a novel set in London while there. Always a light read, this was my least favorite so far so I am hoping the Ms. Winspear spices up Miss Dobbs life a bit in the next one.
Pompeii was a wonderful read! Based on the discoveries of the aquarian, Attilus, the reader is taken through the politics of ancient Rome and the engineering of the aqueducts. All this set two days before the eruption. I think this will be my next book club pick.

Paris, L'Arc de Triomphe un Tour Eiffel!

We left London around 10:00 for Paris. Believe it or not, I actually preferred the ferry from Dover. The train was lovely and fast, but I missed seeing the country side from the bus ride to and from the coast. But I must admit, I enjoyed the nap!

Our hotel - insanely small, no air conditioning - was clean and had a friendly staff. However, the location was horrid! Although only a 20 minute cab ride from the city centre, it was about an 1 1/2 hours from anywhere on the subway. And who can abide the Paris subway? Filthy. HOT. Crowded beyond belief. EF Tours: SHAME on you! Add to the fact that I caught a pickpocket with her hand on my wallet while still in my purse, you can imagine my new found love of the city's finer points.

Anyhoo, after my birthday dinner - great quiche - we hoofed it over to the L' Arc de Triomphe. And I am so glad. Last year I had the opportunity to see it from the window of the tour bus; it is so impressive in person. Seeing it as the sun set throuh the arches was beautiful.

The Eiffel Tower shot was from the following evening after the day at Versailles.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

London, Hampton Court

How does one choose what to do with such limited time in London? On July 1 we opted to go outside the city - as we had no boat to cruise the Thames, we took the train from Waterloo out to Hampton Court. The palace is a short walk from the station, just over the bridge and to the right.

Cardinal Wolsey certainly was one arrogant man to think he could syphon off such sums from the church, build a grand estate and not garner the attention of the king. We were greeted by a guard who wanted to know our business at court on the King's wedding day and then forced into servitude for an hour. Cute idea really. We had wonderful audio guide after our lunch of pasties and tea.

After leaving the cool of the country, we went back to the city where we spent an hour at Harrods and then found a pub in Kensington for an awesome dinner and a pint or so to end the day.

My only London regret? No time for the V&A and Cath Kidston. Next time.

Friday, July 09, 2010

London, The East End

The East End of London has never been a glamorous place. Too close to the docks and too far from the City Centre, it is usually ignored. But when London hosts the Olympics in 2012, many will see its charms.

While my tour group visited the Tower of London, three of us headed north. After a great working class lunch we set off on the grand adventure. Armed with a map and no particular place to go we found Spitalfields Market. As it was mid-week, the vendors and stands were at a minimum and what was on hand was a bit more dear than I had hoped. My next quest was the vintage and thrift shops, but apparently one of my companions missed that part of the conversation before heading out and was more than a bit grossed we moved on. After an hour of leisurely walking we found the Geffrye Museum. This was a former alms house that has been converted into a fine display of period rooms and gardens. It was well worth the walk. My favorite was the geranium tree - something I plan on working on this week at home.

Luckily we found a brand new tube stop behind the museum. The Hoxton stop was not on my Streetwise Map, but lucky for us there it was! Kinda fun as one of my favorite knitting podcasters hails from this neighborhood. So as there were no Electric Sheep in sight, we made our way back to the group and moved on to the Hard Rock Cafe. There we had the opportunity to go into the vault to view the guitars and costumes of the music icons. Not really a rock star groupie, but it was pretty neat.