Getting back to my trip "down south", on the Friday I went over to the Isle of Wight to see my friend Sarah. My mum came with me and we headed down to the ferry terminal with no guarantee that we would actually get on a boat. The Isle of Wight music festival was starting that day with 50,000 people expected, so we thought that if we got down there and the queues were huge, we would think again and maybe have a day in Southampton instead.
Expecting crowds of backpackers we got a 9.30 bus which went all over the world to get there. The routes have changed a lot in the 20 years I have been away! Anyway we got there about 10 and there was hardly anyone around. Where the other 49,998 people were is anyone's guess. We decided to catch the fast Red Jet which takes 23 minutes rather than the hour on the car ferry and arrived at 10.45. Sarah's husband Alex picked us up and in less than ten minutes we were at the house.
Wow, what a house. Five bedrooms (she has 4 children), 3 bathrooms, two huge fields, a triple garage converted into a games room containing a pool table and ten pinball machines, stables and a ride on lawn mower. She also has a huge static caravan on a site a few miles away which we went to see. Oh, and 10 chickens. When we were leaving, Sarah gave us half a dozen eggs fresh out of the chickens that day. They were delicious. We had a great day, with lunch out, and we got to meet the boys when they came home from school (Meg, Sarah's daughter went off to the festival earlier), before heading back to the boat shortly after.
Talking of lunches out, this Sunday we arranged to have lunch with Becca and her boyfriend Mark. I hadn't met Mark before and Colin hadn't met Becca. We decided to go to The Glasfryn near Mold. It was a lovely lunch, we arrived at 1 o'clock and we were still there till gone 3. The food was great, I had a couple of huge salmon fishcakes, Colin and Becca had burgers and Mark had steak. No complaints from any of us. The chat came very easily and it was a great success all round. (Edit: Nnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooo, I've just had a text to say that Becca can't come to Woolfest, sob!)
I never got round to reviewing a couple of books I have recently finished. The first one was A Metropolitan Murder by Lee Jackson. This was set in the late 1800s when the first line of the London Underground had been built. A young woman is found dead in one of the train carriages and a man flees the scene. Did he do it? You'll have to read it to find out! There are twists and turns and it gives an interesting insight into the seedier side of London in those days. I enjoyed it.
I then read My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick. I was looking at the Hay on Wye Festival website when I noticed this author and this book. When it mentioned vampires I had to have it. It is actually categorized as a book for teenagers but that's never stopped me, I'll read anything if its good. Although it is quite short, it could be an adult book. It is again an historical novel, set in Eastern Europe in a tiny snowy village. There are a couple of gruesome murders but then the victims are seen supposedly back from the dead, and it is down to Peter, a woodcutter's son, to try to stop them. Along with a band of wandering gypsies and a secret his father has kept from him his whole life, he tries to track them down and save the village. Again, I enjoyed this. There was an epilogue at the end which felt disjointed from the main story, as if it was tacked on to bump up the word count but overall a good story.
After that I decided to try Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre. A friend of ours had mentioned this author a while ago and I only just got round to getting one of his books from bookmooch.com. Well, I abandoned it after about 20 pages. It shouldn't be right to say that a book is for either men or women only but I'm afraid that this is definitely a "bloke's book". The graphic descriptions of the results of alcohol overindulgence were far too much information for me, and the description of the murder victim was very gruesome. Ulgh! No, there are many more books I would much rather read than waste any more time on this one. I have gladly left it and moved on to Sepulchre by Kate Mosse (not that one, the one with an e). I really enjoyed Labyrinth and this one appears to be along a similar vein, though I am only 100 pages of 732 along so far.
I suppose I should mention a bit of knitting before this post gets too much longer. OTN I have the Vegas Sands neckwarmer which is coming along very nicely. I think there may be a few of these for presents this Christmas!! The yarn is lovely and the colours are completely random so there is no striping. I think it will be quite fitted to my neck, (I was slightly worried at first whether it would go over my head) so I am going to knit until the yarn runs out so that it folds when I wear it.
I ripped out the Nutkin sock, so the only other WIPs are the Clapotis and the jumper to be sewn up. I have done the shoulder seams so I have made a start.
I was listening to the Sticks & String podcast on the way to work this morning. David was interviewing Franklin from The Panopticon and he was telling a story about how he was knitting a baby hat on a coach, and at the end of the journey another passenger asked him about it. After the usual exchanges, she then asked him "so did you learn to knit in prison?" He didn't know what to say, and as they were getting off the coach at the time. he never did get round to asking her why she would have thought that. What goes through people's heads? Obviously the only men who knit are those that are forced to because they are (quite literally) a captive audience! Sheesh!
Just on a final note (and in small writing so as not to upset anyone), please leave me a comment, I really like reading them and I haven't had many for a while.