I am in what has become known as the knitting room. Not that much knitting goes on in here because I seldom knit, but when my niece visits she charmingly asks to go up to the knitting room because there is always business going on in here. Today, as on many other days, it is a mess. The mantelpiece is the tidiest spot. The table where I am sitting is a shambles with books, envelopes, diaries, two - one for what is coming and one for what has been and gone, books, fabric, yarn, mending, receipts. The bed, for there is a bed in the knitting room for those occasions when a secret nap is needed, harbours more flotsam - blankets, a scarf, a skirt to be upcycled, scraps of faux fur. On the sewing machine, more scraps, a broken lamp (it fell onto the floor yesterday!) and, somewhat oddly, a large carton of mixed spice next to the scissors and pins. The only point of comfort is the fireplace where some orange fairy lights twinkle and fool us - for I include the cats who often join me here - into thinking that there is a real fire. It is a remarkably effective trick.
The reason for this messier-than-usual mayhem is that there has been rather too much gallivanting. Norwich, and later Cambridge by train; longish local walks to reclaim well worn routes through old stamping grounds; a new sewing class; a trip to the Southbank to hear the T S Elliot Poetry Prize nominees reading from their work; glee-filled hours snatched with WI buddies; rather too many visits to cafes. Riches recorded only fleetingly, all part of the doing a bit more resolution. No wonder each room in the house is littered with discarded scarves, hats and bags for bringing home booty and a scattering of blankets for staying warm.
Tucked away in my head, more small pleasures. Kathleen Jamie's no-nonsense walk to the lectern, launching straight into a poem from The Overhaul, knocking the hail-fellow-well-mettery of the men into place, and the breathtaking finale of Sharon Olds reading from Stag's Leap; an Eccentric Flint, just one of many beautiful pieces at the stunning Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts; buying a Sooty glove puppet for one besotted fan's birthday in a proper toyshop. And at home, the too-short reflected light from a day's snow before the streets and pavements turned to ice and grey slush.
|Bathroom window, Sunday|
If I get my metaphorical skates on I'll be in time to buy a zip and some raisins before the shops close.