28 May 2009

Mood Improvers

Today, we went out to look at the back wall, because we suspected that it would make an excellent suntrap, where we could go to drink our tea on lovely sunny mornings. And around back, we saw an amazing sight: one of the trees covered in many dozens of butterflies! This picture doesn't do it justice. Also a little bird has made its home in a hole in the wall and we can hear the babies chirping.

And all the plants that we put in last year are really taking over - I was also really happy to see a few bumblebees and a few honeybees and a few butterflies, and a myriad of other little insects all busily enjoying the flowers.

All of the life in this tiny microcosmic eden makes me very happy.

And, I'm also happy because my coquette tube tunic is turning out well so far, I think!

Of course, finishing it means frogging the gothlet (my cotton armour garment), which is taking almost as much time as knitting it did. I don't even want to tell you how long it's taken so far, and I'm not done.

I went to Berlin over the weekend for my friend N's birthday. It was a lovely weekend, with a big barbecue on the day itself. I ate more meat over the three days I was there then I do normally in ... I honestly would say in as much as I do normally in about six months. It was good, but I'm glad to be back to my normal mostly vegetarian diet.

Last year when I went to Berlin for N's birthday, I thought that we started the afternoon of the party off a bit backwards, with cakes and coffee first, due to disorganisation, or for the kids - honestly, I didn't know why, but I didn't know it was on purpose. Not until this year, when it happened again - cakes and coffee first, bbq second. It turns out that this is normal, and most definitely on purpose. Not for any particular reason, it's just 'the way it is.' It works for me - I think if we could meld our two cultures together it would be even better - cake to start, bbq in the middle, and cake to finish!

This was the view outside my window, into N's lovely courtyard. It's a council building, and the courtyard is huge, actually big enough to house a decent-sized kindergarten.

Prenzlauerberg, the neighborhood where N lives, is a bit like Shoreditch, in the way it looks and the many restaurants and cafes, and little organic groceries. Way more kids there, though. At the party, I was one of only two people without kids.

On a more dystopian note, I saw some pretty desolate places on the way out to London City Airport:

19 May 2009

New Projects Redux

I frogged the spidery tank. I had started it with a bit of trepidation - it was the only pattern in the new interweave knits that I even kind of liked - but I knew I wouldn't really like it, and I wasn't enjoying knitting it. Instead, I'm now knitting the coquette tube top (rav link) from fitted knits.

I'm thinking of extending it so it's more of a tunic, so I can use it at the beach. If not the beach, then maybe the Lido in London Fields? This is the third garment I've attempted with this yarn, so hopefully as they say, third time's a charm... And so far, I'm much more pleased with it.

I've been feeling a bit blue lately. I think it's just post partum blues: last week I had a lot of work, and so all of a sudden having no work (besides looking for work) is a bit of a downer.

08 May 2009

New Projects

I'm going to make this spidery tank, but with an extra repeat on the lace pattern, so I can wear it to the beach. Which beach that is remains to be seen.

Yesterday, I interviewed an artist for a profile I'm writing on him. He's about 86 and it was a many-layered conversation. It left me feeling deeply happy but also deeply sad. Happy because it's always good to speak with amazing people and have a little time with their thoughts and experiences. Plus, I love good stories, and story-telling is what he does. But also I felt sad because I don't feel that I necessarily have access to amazing minds as often as I would like. How often do you get to speak to people where ideas and experience are interwoven in such a way that you feel that you have transcended both, that form and content come together in such a way that they have created something new?

It's a bit hard to explain (haven't totally absorbed/synthesised all the information), but basically, he says that "now" is the most important time but that you also have to see "now" as the bridge between present and future, and the way to make that bridge strong is through telling stories. Of course, as an anthropologist, I eat this stuff up. What is anthropology but the study of story-telling, after all, and is there anything more human than to tell stories? Not that there aren't other aspects of our lives that aren't equally human, but I think that it is one universal that unites us, whatever form it takes.

In short, he says live life and share it by telling it.