Autumn 2013

Autumn 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What's the Question, then?

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Apple Basket!

This week is week 42 in the calendar (hence the silly title of the post), and so the autumn break week. Kids are out of school, parents and grandparents are busy entertaining the little rascals, and facilities everywhere are brimming with visitors.

We made a family outing on Monday, going to the ‘Old Town’ in Aarhus (Den Gamle By). This is an open air museum, built as a small town on a site inside the real city on Aarhus; they take apart actual old buildings, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries, and move them to the site. Workshops, living quarters, and shops crowd alongside each other, with mannequins in quite a few of them and live people dressed up and working in others, particularly vendors of pastries and sweets. Horse-drawn carriages rumble through the cobbled streets carrying the lazy footsore.
We ate our lunch in the walled garden of a merchant’s house, basking in the sunshine.

A new addition to the site is a 1974 street with shops, posters on walls, and an apartment building housing four apartments as they were at the time: on the second floor to the left lived a single woman, a school headmistress, with Persian carpets, nice old furniture, and a lot of books. Directly above her was a commune: four adults, all students, lived here among shelves built from wooden beer crates, posters from the Denmark-China Friendship Association, wicket chairs and a bunch of knitting.
To the right were a gynaecologist’s office, orange furniture everywhere and huge ashtrays in the kitchen and waiting room; and above that lived a nuclear family, Mum, Dad and two kids.

After all of the old houses, we needed refreshment and walked into the city proper to go to Starbucks – in September, the first two Danish Starbucks outside Copenhagen Airport opened, so this is quite a novelty for us.
My parents and Thomas then drove home (Andreas had opted out of the whole show, deeming recent Danish history to be not interesting enough for the effort), while Victor and I stayed in Aarhus to wait for evening.
We were going to a guitar concert; the Scottish guitarist David Russell (who lives in Spain) was playing at Helsingør Theater, an old theatre from Elsinore that now sits in the ‘Old Town’, actively functioning for performances. I have been there once before for a performance of Euripides’ tragedy Ifigenia.
So, we had a couple of hours to kill and went into Bruun’s Galleri, a mall mostly populated with clothing shops. I managed to find me a pair of nice boots – I was looking for that kind of boots, mind you, not just shopping to pass time – and then we ate (at Sunset Boulevard, where our order number was 42!) and walked back up to the theatre.

David Russell is an absolutely brilliant guitarist – and a pleasant person; he seemed open and present, focused, of course, while playing, but making contact with the audience in between. He talked a bit about the pieces he played, and at the end, came back onto the stage twice for encores.
We got seats right at the front, because Victor, with professional interest, wanted to be able to watch the finger placements and moves up close. And he won a CD in the raffle giveaway; so we listened to guitar music on the way home, too.

The Knitting
While in picturesque environs in the Old Town, I had some photos taken of my purple O w l s top – and then I cropped the pics to only show the top itself. So it goes.

I finished this week the Greyfriar socks for Victor, from the pattern that I will release soon; I got to the point above the heel and the ankle de- & increases on the first sock before Monday – so the straight part of the leg has the same length as a David Russell concert. The other sock had a more fragmented build – but it looks just the same.

It’s been mostly about socks this week, knitting the grey ones for Victor and ordering Arwetta for three more pairs, two for Thomas and one more for Victor (Andreas doesn’t want hand-knitted socks, that’s why I’m not knitting for him).
It was very satisfying to just order six skeins of yarn, knowing that my PayPal account had ample funds from pattern sales; this is the first time I have been able to do that – and there’s still more than enough for a hoodie’s worth of Peruvian Highland, when I get round to that project.

Still, the Leaf Cardigan has had a bit of attention: I decided to go with the leafy lace pattern on the sleeves, too, so the knitted part was frogged and the new sleeve begun. So far, so good.

Having knitted monogamously on the grey socks for several days and looking forward to making another pair of grey socks from the same pattern, I cast on for a dress.
Well, something had to give, right?
Anyway, I am using the Rondeur pattern again, this time in the Kauni EZ that I bought at the craft fair (Husflidsmessen) in September, in a variety of blues, for just this purpose. I plan to continue the increases below the waist, until the skirt is wide enough, and to make long sleeves like I did on the Charm tee.

The Books
Well, I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the story of Amazing Amy and Naughty Nick; as always, I don’t want to spoil it for you, if you haven’t read it and plan to – on the other hand, I do need to make a short comment, and since Goodreads decided to be weird for several days (not loading the CSS file), I’ll put it here. I will use a small font size, so you can scroll past it easily, if you don’t want to read it.

This is a seriously creepy book with a grim, dismal ending – not the one I could have wished for. You know it’s going to go wrong when Amy decides to come home to her ‘new Nick’, not only because her optimism is juxtaposed with Nick’s thoughts of killing her. And then she gets herself pregnant. Just thinking of the child: another life that is going to be completely ruined. How could he ever grow up to be normal or well-adjusted or balanced? And of course, Nick’s life will be a nightmare forever; I know how it is to tread on eggshells in your own home, and my ex was an amateur compared to Amy. Ugh. I hate it when the sociopath wins.

One of the other writers in the FWG, in the short story contest group, wrote a book – well, quite a few of them write books, some even for a living, but one lady mentioned her book and that she gives out the first forty pages for free.
I downloaded, read, and decided to get the whole book to find out what happened next. The Kindle version is only $5, so no problem. Anyway, the book is Up in Smoke by AA Abbott (pen name); it deals with the tobacco industry, the world of finance, international smuggling, love, death, and betrayal. Some get what they deserve in the end, some don’t.

In two weeks – less, actually – it is time for the Black Library weekender II, and Andreas and I will be going to Nottingham again. I’m getting back into the Warhammer 40,000 universe, so far by reading Pariah by Dan Abnett, the latest instalment in the Inquisition series comprising the Eisenhorn trilogy, the Ravenor trilogy, a handful of short stories, and now the first book in the Bequin trilogy.
The early appearance of Alizebeth Bequin in the first of the Eisenhorn books was, as you may recall, my inspiration for the Bequin shawl.
As ever, I enjoyed Dan Abnett’s writing – and finding the answer to an intriguing mystery concerning identity.

It being a break week, and as I have not only caught a cold, but also had a joint in my lower back / pelvis manipulated back into place, I have been lying down quite a bit this past few days, resting and reading.
So, I also read The Sea by John Banville, the reminiscences of an old man, newly widowed and returning to the seaside town of his childhood. I liked this book, but not as much as his The Infinities. Both novels deal with the complexities of family life, intergenerational traps; in both books, trains and the Greek gods play their parts. Maybe I preferred The Infinities because the gods were more prevalent, more directly interfering.

And I started today on a Nadine Gordimer short story collection, Selected Stories. I find that writing – and telling – microstories has reinvigorated my interest in reading them, in the composition and discipline required to make up a good short story.

Well, this is it for now – I will be back next week, and until then: have a lovely week, enjoy and take care!

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