A Spot of Tea 1 - has been sadly neglected in the past month and a
half while I concentrated on other projects. And in the rush and
bustle of Christmas preparations I haven't had time to do a lot of
stitching. But this week I finished the final small motif and the
last big one just needs the date and initials filled in to be done.
Surely I'll be able to manage that small amount of stitching in the
I mailed off my secret project to ???? yesterday. I've got
pictures but won't post them until it reaches it's destination. And
then I suspect that the recipient might well be able to take a
better picture then I have. We'll see. Stay tuned.
I'm expecting a shipment from Stitching Bits n Bobs this week and
am tingling with anticipation. This one will be mostly fabric and
thread, with just a few charts. I see that the website has another
sale going on now. Oh boy!! I'll wait a short while until all my
Christmas shopping is done, and then we'll see.
Meanwhile, I ordered some books from the Folio Society a while ago,
and most of them arrived this week.
1) The big one on the bottom is a replication of The First Folio of
Shakespeare, and is just that. All his works in one very, very large
book, reprinted exactly as it was first published hundreds of years ago.
2) The second book is Andrew Lang's The Pink Fairy Book. I'm sure many of you will have read these books at one time or another.
3) After that is Josephine Tey's A Daughter of Time, which is the book
which introduced me to the Richard III controversy. Do you believe
that he was the twisted, power mad monster of Shakespearean and
Tudor propaganda or did he get a bum rap??
4) A sweet children's tale is next. Frances Hodgson Burnett's
A Little Princess. I've never read this one before, but I've seen the
movie starring Shirley Temple many times and am curious to see
how they compare.
My book read of the week was Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the
Belly. I absolutely loved this story. I found myself totally
immersed in it, and at times lost touch with my surroundings
as I followed the narrative. Which was a problem since I read on
the buses going home from work mostly. Have to remember
to get off at the right stop or I'm liable to end up visiting
Guelph and calling DH for a rescue.
Lily's parents left the security of 1950's England to travel the
world. Lily was born during their travels and for a time the
family moved from place to place without setting down roots.
Their nomadic existence ends in Tangier when Lily's parents
are killed in a drug deal gone wrong, leaving a young Lily to
be raised by a sufi sheikh who teaches her the Qur'an. Lily
grows up a devout Muslim who accompanies a male
companion to the city of Harar in Ethiopia at the age of 16,
to escape the political unrest in her adopted city.
Lily becomes a helper to a widow in Harar with four small
children and eventual becomes a teacher to the impoverished
children of the neighbourhood, teaching them to read and
understand the Qur'an. She becomes a member of the
community, learning their customs and their beliefs and
finding a home in that rich, colourful culture. She meets a
young Doctor named Aziz and they fall in love. But
Ethiopia in the 70's is in turmoil as the aged monarch
Haile Selassie is deposed and a military dictatorship
takes over. Famine and persecution spread and Lily, as
a white woman, is in danger and forced to flee the country
for an England she has never known, leaving Aziz behind.
Trained as a nurse Lily makes a life for herself in England
living with the community of Ethiopian refugees and helping
to run a charitable organization to help reunite scattered
Ethiopian families who have fled the horrors of that
country to all corners of the world. And always looking
for word of Aziz's fate.
The narrative of the book switches from the 70's and Lily's
time living in Harar, to the 90's and her life in England. I
loved reading this book and learning about life in Ethiopia
and seeing that world from a different perspective. I highly
recommend this one. Camilla Gibb has a strong empathy
for her subject, and knowledge of the religion and culture
of the region. She was born in England but grew up here
in Ontario. This is her third book and she is a well
reviewed, award nominated author.
Some more Christmas decorations from around the house. Above
is a new setting, the main village piece being from Avon. It lights
up, which didn't show up in the photograph unfortunately, and
the lights change colour. The lights on the trees also light up, and
the whole thing is very sparkley. Of course it eats batteries like
candy, so I only turn it on once in awhile, but who cares.
This is the den again. The flower arrangement and the potpourri in
the round metal container are both from the craft show that my SIL
and I attended in November. The flower petals are apple slices.
Neat, huh?? And you should smell the aroma coming from both. Ah,
heaven. The enclosed container for the potpourri is great because it
keeps the cats from playing with the stuff. I'm sure that it wouldn't
be good for them to ingest. The little building lights up and is a
library. Well, what else would it be???
My Mom's birthday was great. We had a nice meal thanks to the
food put out for the wine and cheese party, although DH was the
only one who had wine. We gave her some sweaters from Northern
Reflections for her gift and she was so happy. My Mom loves
clothes and dressing up. And we had a nice visit. Since the residence
is only a seven minute drive from here we just kept an eye on
the weather to make sure that the roads weren't getting too bad.
We have to navigate a few steep hills between here and there
and didn't want to get stuck at the bottom of one. This isn't called
the region of Halton Hills for nothing.
Today DH is taking Mom's Christmas tree over for her and
setting it up. It's a table top, fiber-optic tree which just requires
plugging in and fluffing out and it's good to go. He's also having lunch
with her and taking her some things that we picked up for her at the
store yesterday. She loves having her SIL to show off to the other
Meanwhile, once I've finished this post I'll be doing some cleaning
chores and then I have to make a start on my baking. We picked
up supplies yesterday so I have no excuses now. Is it possible to
slow down the clock for a while?? Time is flying by too fast and I
still have a lot that I want to do. It's the same every year.
Work was exhausting last week, being first of the month and all.
I'm hoping that this week will be calmer so that I can do some
baking, wrapping and bow making in the evenings. I'm off over
Christmas, as is DH and we're both so looking forward to it. I'm
planning another Christmas party this year, but forgot to buy
invitations while we were out yesterday. Drat!! Frazzled...me?
Have a good week everyone. Cheers!