Sunday, 4 September 2011
Chance and coincidence
Last night I went with friends to the annual memorial dinner of an organisation founded to defend civil liberties, with a local comedian as MC, who was very off-colour, and not at all funny, and the main speaker a journalist (reasonable). It was a fund raiser, to honour two of the founding members, both now deceased. Dr P was also a founding member, so that was an additional reason for going.
It was held in a very large Chinese restaurant, and it was very noisy, so conversation was difficult. We had a couple added to our table, whom none of us knew, but when I talked to them I discovered they were originally Victorians (as I am) and we knew many people in common, and as they were gregarious and very interesting we had a most interesting and enjoyable talk. They knew my brother and his first wife, and are good mates with very close friends of my sister, the mother of the bride. Ah, the amazing nature of chance and coincidence.
Today, to ward off some of the pervading gloom, I went out. Firstly, off to the local second-hand market. All of a sudden, probably due to the arrival of spring, there are many more stalls. The market was teeming with people with lots of little children. There is an amazing assortment of (in my opinion) absolute junk. Many clothes, all sorts of tizzy and fake jewellery, as well as Indian jewellery, plants and flowers, food stalls, DVDs, old machines and furniture, crockery, socks, nuts, buskers, old linen, pictures and photographs. And second hand books. Today there was even a wool stall. It is fun browsing through the books, and you never know what you might find. There is the usual array of popular fiction, and of various biographies, and there is also quite a lot of history. I have got to know some of the stall-holders, so am evidently a customer worth cultivating.
Today I found the biography of Michael Collins that I have been after for a while. Then I found a large and glossy book in Spanish on the Prado. I have bought it, but won't pick it up until next week, as I was heading into the city, and the book was too large to lug about all day. My Spanish is pretty basic, but lots of things can be guessed - a reasonable knowledge of Italian is a big help here. Week after week I tell myself I should not be buying any more books, but invariably I take no notice of myself.
From there I went into the city to attend the crochet clinic. Today there were quite a few of us, most of whom were doing incredibly complicated work. I took along the sweater I have been making from a very 1970s pattern, in a pretty mauve wool. I started it last year. As the pattern was badly written, there were many puzzles to be deciphered. I was at the crochet clinic the day before Dr P died, and went again a couple of weeks ago. Today's work was the joining of all the pieces. The seams need to be pressed, the sleeves have to be joined to the body, and then there is some final edging to be done. It looks as though it will fit, and may look quite nice. In between doing this magnum opus, I have been making more squares for next year's Knitting With Love, and intermittently working on a shawl in fine mohair. The shawl may not work out, as I think a bigger hook would have worked better, as well as a heavier yarn. Perhaps it may have to be unravelled.
Once the clinic finished I went off to David Jones to see their spring flower display on the ground floor. The place was absolutely packed, with tourists, mostly Asian, all taking photographs with their phones, of themselves as well as of the flowers. It was the most spectacular display, of orchids, native flowers including Gymea lilies, roses, lilliums, ferns and strange plants I could not identify - one was a huge purple allium, I think.
Then I went to a film, The Help, which I enjoyed very much. I recommend it. I kept puzzling about one of the actors - eventually recognised that it was Alison Janney, who played CJ in The West Wing. Sunday afternoon seems quite a good time to go to a film.