Adventures

Duvet Day – December 2017

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It seems that I can’t do things by halves, my good friend N went on holiday while she was away, I moved house, moved job and met a new man all in the space of a couple of weeks! However, it is all working out really well and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have been for quite a few years.

However, it has taken its toll which is why I am tucked up in bed, Barney curled up at my feet and I am enjoying having the time to catch up with everyone in blogosphere and finally compile a post myself. I am suffering from a bug that has had me sleeping most of the last few days, but finally I am awake a little more, that I can write between naps. The lack of posting is not an indicator that I have abandoned my creativity, rather the result of a busy work schedule and a home to reassemble.

Christmas

I came across a medium reading recording from 2015 where I was told I would be living in a Georgian house – at the time it seemed to be pie in the sky but  it is my reality! For years, I have desired a good old fashioned mantle shelf to decorate for Christmas – finally I have the most beautiful marble fire place. Tall ceilings and large floor to ceiling windows (all be it single glazed because of the grade II listing!) I am delighted with my new home.

Games Evening

I achieved all the things on my November wish list, we had three games nights over the last few weeks – it is such a fun way to spend time with friends. Pictionary is an old favourite, but this year we bought Cards against Humanity – which is such good fun – but not one to play with anyone slightly prim! You definitely need to know your friends well to play this one! But it is hilarious and great fun.

The new Articulate your life – is an easier version of the original game, I have to admit I often struggled with the geography and nature category in the original game, but the categories in this one are much more simple! (even I managed a good score!)

It is something that I intend to do much more often next year – it is a great way to have fun with friends – it is so much easier than eating out! and you can laugh to your heart’s content!

poetry workshop

The poetry workshop at the local library was tremendous – we were introduced to some new poets, and the tutor was very encouraging. Spending time with other writers and talking about poetry and writing is great for creativity. I was thrilled to discover that there is a regular poetry group in the area – they meet once a month so I am looking forward to focussing more on creative writing.

I managed to make two advent calendars for the grandsons of E – ready in time for December. I will blog about the making of them in time for December next year!

We met up – the two families together at the Winchester Christmas Market. Skating on the small ice rink was harder than I remembered – it took a few circles to find my feet – but joy of joys, it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!  We warmed up with mulled wine in the freezing weather. The grandsons are delighted with their calendars, I included some cracker jokes as well as a small toy – it is so much fun to have little ones around again.

little baby elf

Little Effie is growing fast, here she is all dressed up for her first Christmas Party! Last Friday I had my first session of babysitting, it was far more nerve racking than when I had my own children but it was delightful!

montessori mobile

I made her a little feather mobile – the Montessori system advocates the use of floating mobiles at three months. I was so thrilled that it caught her attention, she enjoyed watching the feathers float around in the breeze.

Vintage Christmas felt dog decoration

I’m participating in Sewchet’s stitching Santa this year – I came across this little decoration pattern in last year’s Prima Christmas Makes magazine. I thought it would make a good hand made gift. I couldn’t bring myself to replicating the rough hand stitching, but otherwise I am rather pleased with the result. I made another one for my tree.

Stitching santa

My parcel arrived all the way from New Zealand – long before I had been able to make my gift and send the parcel off. Can’t wait to open it and see what is in store!

Cocktails

I am lucky enough to have a talented hairdresser for a son, this is us drinking cocktails after I had my hair done. The purple lights look as if I have purple hair, but I have had a streak of electric blue on one side – that I am thrilled with you can just see it peeping through by the blueberries!

Sirdar colour wheel crochet

I’ve been missing crochet while watching TV – so when I saw this colour wheel wool I could not resist buying it. I decided to keep the crochet fairly plain to allow the colour variation to show through. Its just trebles but I like the ripple effect of the little blanket.

That about sums up my news for now, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to a happy, healthy and wealthy, 2018!

ttfn x

 

 

 

Adventures, book review

The Handmaid’s Tale – book review.

 

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I had heard about this book in the 1980s when it was first published, I remember being intrigued by the concept, but I never quite got round to reading it. I caught the first episode of the latest series – and decided to watch no more until I had read the book.

I know its been said many times – the book format gives a richer experience for me, more intimate than watching a TV screen, but I have to admit Elizabeth Moss was a perfect choice for the adaptation.

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception

My respect to Atwood, it is an engaging stifling mesmerising tale – Offred is a survivor, she does not allow herself to think or remember her life before the regime, but it is through the memories that the full story emerges, layer by layer. We go back and forth in time, and the way media is used and manipulated to shape minds, is astounding. Long before sound bites and facebook, it is shocking to see how easily it can all come true.

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When Attwood wrote this book, she was in Germany – Eastern Germany still had repressive regimes and the fear of being arrested for crimes against the state were her inspiration.

Back in the early 1980’s there were no cameras monitoring the streets – no google data collection nor email monitoring. A couple of years ago, a scandal in this country involved under cover policemen living double lives for years with female feminist activists.

“It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the President and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

“Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control. I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, just like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”

Attwood’s words are chilling – because it seems we have become a society that rarely questions. Our screens are full of celebrities in jungles or dancing, children don’t want to change the world -they want to be famous.

This book has reminded me – of the school child who enjoyed political debates and believed that society needed to change, needed equality – and now, thirty years later the gap between rich and poor is widening again and I wonder where that idealistic teenager went? It feels good to consider something deeper and it is definitely thought provoking.

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If nothing else, this book shows us just how close we are to things tipping the balance and it is scary and frightening. The narrative tension never lets up, there is a pervading fear – that seeps off the page. The suffocating restriction of Offred’s life, where time hangs heavy – but there is nothing else to do but remember.

The ending is a a mark of genius, the epilogue allows us a widening view, and the ability to create our own ending.

Yes, the book does offer a deeper experience, but I will try and catch up with the television series – if nothing else it has created a debate.

Thirty years after publication and it is deservedly on the top sellers list.