I seem to spend my life saying "When things quieten down..." or "When I've got a bit more time..." but just as I think that is about to happen something else comes along to fill my days. Nothing changes and the more I think about it that's the way it has always been. I guess it is the way I am. I need projects, I need plenty to do, I need to be busy. Which is just as well because busy is what I've been!
How was your Easter? (I'm way behind on blog reading) Good I hope! I finished off all the business baking by Friday evening and rather than have a day off on Saturday I decided to make an Easter cake for us... It took all day! But it was worth it.
I had no sooner sighed "done" than these two appeared as if by magic to "help me clear up"... every bowl, spatula and whisk was licked clean!
On Sunday the family came en masse and there were eleven of us here to eat the cake and other goodies, which was lovely. Then on Monday I went to Mum's new flat to help her with some decorating. After a day painting walls and ceilings I could hardly move!
But in between the busy bits there has been time for relaxation too and I have got through a few books this month. The first was How to Be Both by Ali Smith. I really wanted to like this book, I really did... but I didn't. It has won awards, it was clever, very clever but it just didn't engage me. In fact, I can barely even tell you what it was about. Two different stories with a tenuous connection through art, one set in the 1960s, one in the fifteenth century. I didn't like the style, I didn't like the prose, it irritated me and I was disappointed because I really believed I was going to love this book.
A quick read this month was The Bookseller of Kabul. I enjoyed this observation of a different culture presented by journalist Asne Seierstad who spent four months living with bookseller Sultan Khan and his family in Afganistan. But there was a lot that made me angry, in particular the treatment of women and the values which seem so alien to our Western culture but there was also a lot that engaged me too. I can't claim to understand it but I found it an interesting read.
I also finished The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee which was a fascinating history of the gardens of Italy and the citrus fruit that grow there. It transported me to the warmth of the Italian sunshine and made me want to pack my bags. A lovely combination of travel, history, art and food from scented bergamont groves to Scicilian marmalade kitchens. A sensory delight!
My most recent read was Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming. This is our village book club choice for April. Another very quick read, it is a memoir by the actor Alan Cumming. Whilst researching for the TV show Who Do You Think You Are, Cumming not only discovered things about his maternal grandfather but at the same received shocking news from his father, a violent man who had brutalised him throughout his childhood. It is very readable, reasonably well written with humour and wit and amazingly, no bitterness.
There has also been more knitting... a pair of socks finished, another pair for Stewart.
And today I have been packing bags and ticking things off lists... unfortunately not for a trip to the lemon scented gardens of Italy but Folkstone instead. I'm there to teach a three day machine embroidery landscapes course to members of Canterbury Embroiderer's Guild over the weekend.
It might not be Italy but I'm sure we'll have fun making Italian inspired landscapes.