Monday, June 13, 2011

On the porch

Sunday had a few hours of perfection in it, most of them spent on the front porch.  Sitting in a comfy chair at the far corner and looking up, I get to look at this:

and if I crane my neck out further, I see this:

I love my tree.  Especially on a day like that - sunny sometimes, cloudy others, the temperature just cool enough to need sleeves, a gentle breeze, tons of blossoms sending their scent along the air currents. Reminds me so much of the good things about camping out sans bugs, sunburn, and soaked clothes.

I decided to park myself there for as long as possible to enjoy it, leaving only to get another cup of tea.  There was some knitting of the sleep cap for my friend who's about to do chemo, and also some reading of a book my aunt loaned me.

Have you heard about Nella Last's War and/or this book, Nella Last's Peace?  They are nonfiction - diary excerpts written by an English woman for a government initiative to record what life was actually like for its citizens.  Essentially the books capture the social history of small-town England during WWII and afterward, since she not only recorded her own days but the moods of the people around her.

They're also about Nella, though, and that alone is fascinating.  The first diary was dramatized for television - depressing at first as she begins her observations as a nervous, timid person, then uplifting as she finds her footing as (ultimately) a huge local contributor to the war effort.  She is an excellent home manager too and I feel, reading her notes about what food she could find amid the rations and coupons and how she prepared it to be as comforting as possible, that I wish I could take a class from her on the subject.

At one point yesterday as I was about to put the book down for my own knitting, I came across a mention of her young friend and neighbour Margaret trying unsuccessfully to source some scraps of grey yarn to use in a Fair Isle sweater; Nella had none, but kindly dug out one of her own old sweaters, a green one, for Margaret to unravel and reknit. She noted that she felt sorry for these young people with busy fingers, not being able to find materials to work with.  I think I would have loved having Nella Last for a friend, don't you?

I see there is a further book of her thoughts during the 1950s... must hunt that up for some summer reading.

In spite of the distraction I finished the sleep cap before supper.  Yay! And it's gorgeous.  It's just not a good sleep cap; the super easy yet effective brim is too bumpy to be comfortable in lying down.  So... it seems I've designed a new chemo cloche to share once I've gone over the pattern again, and also that I've got to get to work on something more suitable for sleeping in.

Happy Monday to you!


Brendaknits said...

Sunday was too cool for porch sitting here. Lucky you. Those books sound wonderful tanks for the tip.

Mary Keenan said...

You're welcome!

Aussie Maria said...

Must look up those books, sound very interesting. Can't wait to see the new cap. Sunday was very cold (for here) as you can see from my blog :-)