Friday, 2 December 2016

Five On Friday

Hello!  It is so good to be here with Five things to share with you on a Friday!!  Yay!!!!!  Can you tell that I am pleased to be here.  Oh yes, I am!!!

Just in case you aren't sure, or were not aware, I have changed the way that Five On Friday works a little bit.  Read my post here for more information.  There is also a link up post, you can find that by clicking here and there will be a link at the bottom of this post too.  This post is just my entry for Five On Friday, in the same way as you write and link yours.

So, off we go with my post.

One

No Christmas decorations up yet, but I did get the autumn/Halloween things down and put away.  This little bowl of decorations is on the shelf in my office.  I bought these as my new things for this year.  I always get a couple of new decorations and this year I apparently chose four, and then bought another two - the little birds.



Two

My desk keeps slipping into a parallel universe of mess.  Every time I tidy it up - daily - less than half an hour it is covered in stuff again.  I keep find myself on the phone shovelling things on or off of the desk or floor (is that a floordesk?) while balancing the phone and trying to keep my laptop on the desk looking for whatever I need to talk about.

To be fair my desk is only small, I would measure it but my tape measure is buried.  As you will see below, a quarter of the desk is taken up by my laptop and another quarter by my fan.  Oh, and yes, I know that it is now technically winter  but I need the fan.  Hot flushes.  Nuff said.

I also need a bigger desk.  Or better organisation.  Or a way to stop that time slip dumping mess everywhere!

If mess makes you queasy, don't look at this picture.  This is how I found my desk on Tuesday morning.  It was clear on Sunday.


Three

This is my knitting - with teeny tiny sock yarn!  I using tiny yarn and tiny needles.  Then I realised that my tension was so tight I would never be able to carry on knitting, let alone use what I was knitting.  It was stiff as a board.  I wasn't knitting a board.  I was trying to make a sock.

For now the socks are on hold until I can work out how to knit them without getting ladders on the sides.  So far DPN's have been my best bet, but my needle size was too small.  I have tried DPN's, magic loop and teeny tiny circulars.  My needle investment has been large, despite the tiny size of the needles and yarn.  My plan is to knit up this ball of yarn to make a very narrow (because I hope that will make it long enough to use) scarf of sorts and then I will start again with DPN's in a larger size and have another go at the sock.

You might think it is crazy to learn to knit by making socks, but they have lots of technique, there are some great tutorials - thank you Winwick Mum! - and you have to learn to knit something don't you and the thing that I want to knit more than anything is socks.  Plus I have to concentrate SO hard that it distracts me from everything else really well!!!


Four

Somewhere at some point at the beginning of November I posted about my meal list for the month.  My chosen book for the month was Eat by Nigel Slater.  I cooked some new things and some old favourites and also gave up a few times and had pasta and a bought jar of sauce, fish and chips or some other less than healthy choices.  So overall the months meals were meh!.  Good when I cooked and not so good when I didn't.

Despite not cooking all of the things that I hoped to, I love this book and with one exception, I have never cooked anything from it that we didn't like.  The one thing we didn't like was just too spicy for our tastes, but I will make it again sometime with less spice!

My favourite and most decadent dish is the spaghetti bake (recipe here).  I recommend it!  We also tried the stewed red cabbage with blue cheese and apple for the first time (sorry can't find a recipe link). It was delicious.  I recommend it too!


Five

I have had a spurt of finishing crochet things in the last 10 days or so.  I need to eek out some time for pattern writing and sharing new things with you.  The pile of things keeps falling on my hubby.  Not sure whether the pile is trying to tell me or him something.  It looks pretty though.  I want to get them patterns written though because I want to wear these things.  That alone should be motivation shouldn't it!


Oh, and the toilet roll inside is there because I was using it to ply yarn that I have been trying - very badly! - to spin.  I am a terrible spinner!!


Two things I can share with you are the scarf (above).  This is called the First Time Easy Scarf, you can find the pattern here.

The carrot was a gift for someone who really wanted a crochet carrot.  No pattern, I just made it up as I went along and no, I can't replicate it!  The nicest thing about this was the lovely carroty illustrated thank you note I received.  So kind, thank you, you know who you are!


That wraps things up for this weeks five bits of goodness.

To see more Five On Friday posts click the badge below, as I am of course linking with Five On Friday!  You can find out how to join in a grab a badge and everything else you need to do by clicking through to the link up post.

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope that you have a great weekend, whatever you are up to. 

Oh, and if you are taking part in the Christmas Card swap, today is the last day for sending your cards.  There will be a link up post to share your cards later in the month.  If you haven't heard from you swap partner, or been in touch with them, please leave a comment on their blog today, asking them to get in touch.  If you don't hear from them by the end of your day on Saturday please e-mail me with your name and address and I will send you a card from me instead and if you would like to mail me a card in return that would be lovely, but there is no pressure to do that.

If you get a message in your comments from your partner, please do get in touch with them!  They are waiting anxiously to hear from you.

One last thing, that I forgot before, I have decided to do an opening of my advent calendar each day on Instagram, so if you would like to do a daily window opening with me, do pop by my IG account each day between now and Christmas - you can of course find me as Love Made My Home!

Amy


Five On Friday - link up Number 1

Five On Friday has changed, so see how it will be working from now click here.  Also read the Five On Friday page, the link is at the top right of my sidebar.

Sorry the links are shooting off the edge of the page, I cannot change it now as the people who have already linked up will disappear, but I will sort it for next week.  Sorry about that, don't know what happened there!




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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reading My Books - The Piano Teacher

This book was a fantastic read!  I know, after all of my ho hum book reviews lately you didn't think that I would start a review off with those words did you.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee was given to me as a gift quite a few - really QUITE! - years ago now, and it sat on the shelf.  For some reason I wasn't sure about it.  Perhaps it was the tagline "This seasons Atonement" on the cover.  I never really got Atonement.

With my project to get my books read firmly on the agenda now for the last couple of years, when I reached this one on the shelf I had to read it though and I duly have.  Well, actually I have to tell you that as I am writing this I still have the last couple of pages to read, but I skimmed ahead and feel that I can give you the review now.  I loved it that much, I am that anxious to share it with you.


The story follows the lives of the newly married Claire Pendleton who has just moved to Hong Kong, and Will Truesdale and Trudy Liang.  The book is based on historical fact and events that took place during the Second World War in Hong Kong, although it is obviously a work of fiction.  I think that made me enjoy it even more because there was a sense of reality throughout the whole book.  It really carried the story along very well and added an additional layer of interest.

There are two stories running concurrently though the book. that of Claire and Will and then that of Trudy and Will.  There is some violence, but firmly rooted in historical fact and nothing gratuitous.  While I wouldn't recommend it to a very young person an older teen onwards could enjoy this book, because there is no bad language - you know how I feel about that! - there are some "intimate" moments, but again these are part of the story, not just there for the sake of it.

I learned more about life in Hong Kong during this period too which I enjoyed.  You have to sweep some things aside because it is history, we wouldn't do them now, but that was life then.

As I said, Claire has just married and moves with her husband to Hong Kong and they set up home and their very small suburban 1950's lives.  Will has been living there for a lot longer and his and Trudy's story is told mostly during 1941 when Hong Kong was invaded by Japan and then on to the end of the war.  Will and Claire meet 10 years later and it is through their growing relationship that the story is told.

I don't want to say too much otherwise I fear I will give too much of the plot away.  What I can say though is this is a really good read, it makes you want to keep going and find out what is happening and where the story is going to go.  You might think you know and then perhaps you are not so sure.  Some things I figured out, others not so.

What would I rate this book?  10 out of 10!

How is your reading going?  Have you read any good books lately.  Do feel free to share.  Also let me know what you think about fictional books set during historical fact.  Do you enjoy them?

Happy Reading!

Amy

Amy

p.s. you can find all of my other book reviews here.