Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Moving Favourites

Monday, 18 April 2011

Cover of Moving Molly54. Moving Molly by Shirley Hughes

I was excited to find this available to me on BookMooch, as I remembered it fondly from my own childhood, and it didn’t disappoint when reading it to DD. While the pictures and incidents came back to me as I read it, I had forgotten how relatively long this story is; DD seemed quiet and attentive for the whole thing however, which I was impressed with.

While the core of the story is Molly and her family moving from one home to another, there is far more to this than a simple, “Molly and her family were moving house. A van came to move their furniture. See their new house and garden.” Instead we have a much more nuanced tale of a roughly-four-years-old child’s perspective on the old home and what it was like there, what the actual moving day (and the ones before and after it) entails, and her finding a place and activities for herself in the new one.

In my opinion the story here is good, but it’s the pictures which make it great. They tell significant parts of the tale, and give much fertile ground to go further into it. (Oh, Molly’s parents and she herself are keen gardeners, although her elder brother and sister aren’t shown to have much interest in plants.)

While this might well be useful in getting a child used to some of the issues involved in moving house, it’s well worth the read even if you never do (and my mother still lives in the house we had when I was born).

Expanding Wardrobes

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

I’ve done rows 1-9 of a second Mystery Shawl, as I have most available time for it at the moment while commuting, and the threads for the one I began on Friday (which I’ve only done the first row of) are not conducive to taking about with me. I amn’t convinced I’ve got enough of the turquoise for the pattern, or that I’d ever wear the colour, but if need be that will go to a child. I’m intending to do the thread one for myself, still. I’d hoped for some pictures for you, but haven’t been able to get them onto any computer yet.

My own wearable clothes in are still in a jumble, in bags, boxes, and even wardrobes, occasionally. I amn’t looking forward to all the ironing this move is going to entail…

149. Mrs Tinne’s Wardrobe: A Liverpool Lady’s Clothes 1900-1940 by Pauline Rushton

This is actually a fascinating book, showing much of the extensive wardrobe of the eponymous Mrs Tinne, a Liverpool doctor’s wife of the first half of the twentieth century, whose husband’s private income allowed her to buy many more outfits and accessories than most of her peers, although she seems to have largely retained her tastes to those normal in such circles. Her youngest daughter has donated most of the wardrobe to the National Museums Liverpool, and this selected catalogue of the collection is beautifully produced, with a very readable introduction to Liverpool, the Tinne family and the major clothes retailers of the period contained within it.

End of an era

Sunday, 1 June 2008

So we’re supposed to be finishing moving out tomorrow (Sunday), and there’s lots to do. We have ordered broadband in the flat, but it’ll take a few weeks, and I don’t even know has our phone line been fixed yet, to use dial-up, so my blog posts may be irregular for a bit.

147. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

As I began to say last week, I’m thinking of The Bean Trees as a fairy tale, with this sequel as a critical retelling that becomes its own myth, and I amn’t really sure why they are taking me like that. The ongoing story is as plausible as most novels (and seems better researched than many), and the characters have their strengths and faults just like real people.

Perhaps it’s that the first book was very much the tale of one person (Taylor) and her successful quest to make a good life for herself. Sure, there were lots of other people involved, who helped and shaped her, and who she was able to help in turn, and this was necessarily Turtle’s story too, but the ending set us up for Happily Ever After. (I am trying not to spoil too much here, but it’s difficult when I’m trying to discuss the sequel.)

Pigs in Heaven is a broader book, which feels to me (although I know nothing about the author’s intent) like it wasn’t intended from the beginning, but that rather Kingsolver wrote The Bean Trees as Taylor’s story, with Turtle largely a cipher, but then realised the answer to the question of Turtle had not been a long term solution, and decided to write it.

Perhaps this also ties into Annawake Fourkiller’s reiterated point from the book, that whereas Taylor has an individual path and impact, Turtle, as Cherokee, is part of the Nation, and thus has ongoing (if dormant) ties to many people, sharing their story.

Scurrying around

Friday, 30 May 2008

I’m about to begin a Mystery Shawl, courtesy of Tracey. She’s been whetting our appetite over on the CLF board at Ravelry, and has just put up the first fourteen rows. What with the moving malarkey, the yarn I’m intending to use is here, but my hooks are over at the flat, and it’s Friday afternoon. I do need to go over there, as some of the veg I want to cook for Shabbos is there, so I’ve written the first four rows of the pattern out on paper. I’ll take over the yarn, and whatever else I can manage (it’s on cones, so bulky), do those rows quickly, if I can, and then bring back the veg and get ready for Shabbos!

143. Keeping Unusual Pets: Chipmunks by Belinda Ogle
144. Keeping Unusual Pets: Chinchillas by Tom Handford
145. Keeping Unusual Pets: Ferrets by June McNicholas

I wouldn’t expect any of these pets to get along with the cat my flatmate wants us to get, but apparently things like that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Still, we won’t be having rodents by choice, no matter how beautiful some of them are. (And yes, ferrets are mustelids, rather than rodents.)

Each of the books in this series follows a standard format of chapters and pages, but the varying animals and authors come through vividly. I was intrigued that the chipmunk book suggested using some food and accessories intended for chinchillas, whereas the chinchilla book made the animals sound quite different from chipmunks!

146. Martin Luther King by Rob Lloyd Jones

This book mentions Rosa Parks once, whereas the Parks one mentioned King a few times. (The books are from different series, authors and publishers.) I suppose King comes across as a more general leader. He’s an interesting figure, and this book is a good read even for adults, although it’s written to be a fairly easy read. I would recommend it to older children and adults for whom reading is newer than it might be.

Enough!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

I’m bored of packing and transporting stuff now, but there is still some to do, so I amn’t getting to do enough crocheting for my pleasure. It’s coming together, however, and hopefully won’t take too much longer. I need to get back to the Braille course as well. Somehow, though, I do seem to be getting some reading done:

134. Great Cities of the World: London by Gill Stacey

Although this book is written from an American perspective, for American and international readers, that did not grate, nor was it even so noticeable more than a couple of times. Otherwise this has good pictures among clear text.

135. The Essential Johannes Vermeer by Christopher Sweet

I saw Vermeer‘s Guitar Player on Friday at Kenwood House, and I think I should go back and examine it again in peace.

I have reviewed other artist biographies in this series before, but I especially like this one, despite some of the interpretations, perhaps because it includes all the paintings reliably suggested to be by Vermeer, and discusses each one as part of a flow of his oeuvre.

136. Graphic Biographies: Rosa Parks: The Life of a Civil Rights Heroine by Rob Shone, illustrated by Nick Spender

This is very clear and interesting, both in the graphic storyline and in the text introduction and appendix. I’ll look for more of the series. It is slightly hagiographic, but it is very good.

137. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

I really like this story of M. (soon to become Taylor) Greer, who has spent her adolescence and younger adulthood preparing to leave her small town, saving money and most importantly refraining from getting pregnant. Within a couple of days of getting out she has been given a baby and in this book slowly makes them a new family circle. One thing I’m never sure of in this book is how old Taylor really is. She’s probably in her mid-twenties, but she never quite says.

The book seems very simple but there’s a lot in there, and I’m glad I reread it. I read this first a couple of years ago, and simply enjoyed and thought about it on its own merits, which are manifold. Then a few months later I found Pigs in Heaven, which is a sequel that takes apart the mechanism by which Taylor gets to keep Turtle (the baby), and which is also very good, but which for me gives this book a fairy tale gloss, as I know the happy ending can’t last and was over simplistic. I’ll probably reread that next, so will talk more about the pairing then.

The best kind of mountain

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Room filled with boxes of books
This is a picture of eight of the boxes of my books we moved to the flat last night. (Um no, that isn’t all the books. It’s probably about half the ones I own. In this country.) (See, eight boxes doesn’t sound very much to me, but I’ve been given a maximum of one month (by my flatmate) to sort them out, take several to the charity shop, and get shelves for the rest. And then get those shelves into my room, which isn’t big.)

We didn’t just move the books, and bookcases, however. We also brought up a massive (and I mean massively heavy – it has a solid metal mechanism) sofa bed. Or rather, we (my flatmate and I) helped the delivery guy get it half way up the stairs, and then we all got stuck, with us above the sofa, it completely blocking the stairs, and the delivery guy at the bottom.

Panic struck, while we tried to think of local, strong, healthy males we could call upon. (This needed people bigger, heavier and stronger than us or any of our female friends, much as any underlying feminist principles might object. There are plenty of women who could have done this – we just don’t know any of them. We tried ourselves, and physically just couldn’t.)

So I wouldn’t blame the people we phoned (or their spouses) for not answering our calls for awhile (although we have no intention of requesting anything in the foreseeable future) but they were wonderful, dropped everything and really came to the rescue. (And were lovely about it in every way.)

The lessons learned:

  • We have wonderful friends and relations.
  • Always always always check on the size and weight of something that needs to go upstairs, even if it’s free!