Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Miscellany

 Less than two weeks now until our trip, and perhaps not surprisingly, I'm feeling a bit scattered. Or not scattered so much as spread a bit thin. Looking at recent photos I'd thought to Instagram but never got 'round to, I can see why -- Madly Off in All Directions, I see I've been going, but it's all good stuff, and today's post is my reminder of that.

The top photo was taken last week as I ran along the waterfront in the city whose harbour is guarded by the small island on which I used to live, the island you can see on the right. The visit was a short one (two nights), and while I didn't make it over to Protection Island (yes, that is really the lovely name of our former home), I visited with four good friends in about thirty hours, a very good use of my time (the tea-with-macaron photo below was taken just before one of those friends arrived for a visit in a favourite Bakery-Café, Mon Petit Choux.

And the run itself was a Very. Good. Thing! The second run since I stopped my "running rehab" program in May, due to a flare-up of the injury I'd been coming back from, the first run since May that I didn't fall. Not only did I not fall, but after a 10-minute walking warm-up, I did four sets of 5-minute running, 1 or 2 minutes walking, a wee bit of lolly-gagging/photo-taking, and then a 5-minute cool-down walk, for a total of about five kilometres.  The best part was that I felt no discomfort the next morning.

My plan for now is to stick with my gym workouts -- I do these 3 or 4 times a week in the well-equipped gym in our building, following a program designed for me by my trainer.  But I'd also like to include a run once or twice a week, keeping those short and taking regular walking breaks, roughly following the schedule my physiotherapist set out back in March.  We'll see. . . . I may not ever run another marathon, but eventually I'd love to be able to enjoy the 20-kilometre weekend runs of not-so-long-ago.
 Besides visiting and running, I've been knitting madly through my stash. I have two hats on the needles right now. One is a collaborative project with the Newly Nine, for whom I just finished a pair of socks. I worried a bit about whether she'd like them because I had to add stripes to one sock when the leftover ball of purple yarn proved to be insufficient. But she seemed to think the taupe stripes on only one sock were a cool innovation, and modeled the pair happily-- too bad I never thought to take a photo.

Nor do I have a photo of the finished mittens I knit for another birthday girl, only this one snapped while they were still in process. They fit the Finally Five! perfectly (Nana's hand holding hers even when I'm not there, I told her yesterday when she pulled them on. She nodded solemnly, then flashed a big smile and hugged me tightly).
 For those of you who wonder about future down-sizing, fretting perhaps about how you'd  accommodate family events and other social occasions. . . . We rented the Amenities Room of our building for The Five's birthday on the weekend. Nana and Granddad didn't have to do much besides be on site, answer the Enterphone, and run up and down the elevator to retrieve a few items from our suite. . . .
 But we were pleased to see how well the space worked for a small crowd of excited party-goers, crafts set up at one end of the table, snacks at another, ample room for unicorns (the party girl's requested theme) to prance and gallop and punch their way through a piñata.
 Final item in this Monday Miscellany is my repair of the zipper on a very useful small leather cross-body bag I purloined from my husband a few years ago. It's perfect for a day when I don't want much weight on my shoulder -- a light wallet, a lipstick, my phone, and I'm set -- but I'd popped some sock-knitting in it a few weeks ago and messed up the zipper trying to extricate the yarn I'd caught in it (I know, I know!).

So I Googled a bit, and it turns out there are a plethora of sites offering zipper-repair instructions. This was the one that worked for me, but there seems to be consensus around the solution of gently pinching the slider, and, indeed, that worked for my zipper.
So that's what I've been up to: running, visiting, knitting, party-ing with Fives, and mending zippers. 
Oh, and I posted about a book you might like (I loved it!) over here, on the reading blog I've quite neglected this year.

And behind the scenes, some French and Italian practice (The Italian-Speaking Three just laughed the other day when I told her that "Posso parlare un po' d'Italiano," and my daughter asked her if Nana was speaking Italian. Apparently I have some work to do, some R's to roll at the very least. . .

Breakfast time now, though, and then out to take advantage of some rare November sunshine. Comments always welcome. Have you mended a zipper? Knit a mitten? Had tea with a friend? Read a good book? We'd like to know. . . .Or just wave a hello. . .


32 comments:

  1. Day off today! Sunny which is so uplifting. I'm off to book club and errands. I hope to get outside to the parking lot gardens. I just re-read The Cellist of Sarajevo for book club. Your little girls are certainly growing up.

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    1. That would have been a great book club discussion! (hard to believe it was so gorgeous out yesterday, right?0

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  2. Can't top the mitten making for a five year old, but did manage several garlands, necklaces and braclets made up of neon, bendy, plastic straws and colored Italian pasta made over English-style Thanksgiving weekend with my UK "family ". It was the peaceful- (really) two hours of crafting with my 7 year old God-child and his 5 year old sister that added that something extra to my favorite holiday-next to Easter.
    I SO get the travel anxiety, Frances. Suddenly I have the urge to stay home and repaint all the woodwork in the dining room instead of packing and going off on a trip. Happens every time I travel, but once on the plane....phew, a Jack Daniels and ginger ale and suddenly I am all zen. "Speaking words of wisdom, let it be" like a chorus in my ears.
    A.in London


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    1. That sounds like a very productive weekend of crafting -- are you wearing the necklaces today? ;-)
      And I'll remember your zen words of wisdom, "Jack Daniels and ginger ale" Thanks, Mother Mary . . .

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  3. Protection island. What a wonderful name for an island:). I’m back to knitting warm thick men socks at the moment. More stocking fillers. Plus a quick crocheted shawl over the weekend just gone so that I don’t freeze in my Victorian costume this week. Glad the running is going well. Slow and steady is definitely the way forward. Good luck with your holiday organisation. B x

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    1. Are the socks made of a worsted weight? Mine always seem to prefer the fingering, and they're not so fast (and I think I'm one son and two sons-in-law behind at the moment. . .
      Hope your craft fair booth was worthwhile....

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    2. For the men worsted weight which does knit up so quickly Although I have had some interest in the thinner socks I wear. Just as well I like knitting :)

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  4. "Nana's hand holding her's " - what a lovely thought behind the mittens!

    ceci

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    1. a bit soppy perhaps, but I did mean it . . and she seemed to understand...

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  5. You've been busy! The gloves are lovely, and I know I'd appreciate socks with a different decorative element added into one of the two. While I read this post I discovered your separate reading blog (I subscribed), and I discovered you ran a marathon at 60. Good on you. I stopped running in my twenties because I began to worry about my joints (they were fine), because my dad had hip replacement surgery in his sixties. He was in a pilot program in San Francisco. I switched to fast walking, yoga, and pilates. I find fast walking outside exhilarating. Recently, I was cleared to begin walking short distances again. I can do two miles easily, and it makes me so happy; I look forward to building back up from there. Exercising outside feels much better to me than the gym does, but I appreciate having access to both. Good luck getting ready for your trip. I look forward to hearing about it.

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    1. Do you mean race walking, à la Olympic athletes? Or are you just able to walk very fast (I have to confess that if I don't stay conscious of speed when I'm walking, I tend to moderate speed, at best). I think walking and happiness are closely linked and I'm so pleased for you that you're able to walk a bit of distance again.

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  6. Dear Frances,after your stay in Rome this time,you'll "parlare italiano" like Sofia Loren!
    Beautiful name for an island,lovely photos and a thought behind the mittens-I agree with all the ladies above
    Kudos for your run,again!
    Dottoressa

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    1. Oh, I do hope so, although I doubt my little judge will give my Italian a thumbs-up (at least not until I get all those gestures figured out as well!)

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  7. Yes , lovely name for an island . I’ve had a look round on google & it must have been a beautiful place to live all those years . Still just a hop away too .
    Wendy in York

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    1. It's a very special place with a wonderful community. And you're right, it's still not so far away. . .

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  8. Knitting.... you are inspiring me, Frances. I must get back to my knitting that I started again last year with SUCH good intentions! But that slippery, non-stretchy mohair I'm using is not much fun to work with. Nevertheless. It was pricey enough to motivate me not to let it sit in my basket any longer. Hopefully. Ha.

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    1. Did I ask you before, when you complained about the mohair's slipperiness, whether you were using wood needles -- sometimes they're a bit better for the slippery fibres, offering just that bit more "grab."

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  9. Still working on a knitting project that is heavy...a double strand and a large project which is awkward as it takes up so much of my lap now! On the downward slope though and a few more sessions should see me finishing...next project will be a smaller more manageable one! Live and learn...
    Great to know how to fix a zipper Mater Well done!

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    1. Your lap blanket is going to be gorgeous, but I have to say I wouldn't enjoy working on it myself. I've done a few of the Gaptastic Cowls -- not quite as bulky, and even at that I find each stitch a bit tedious, and the piece overall so awkward.
      I was pretty motivated to fix that zipper. . . thanks!

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  10. Loving your posts of late, MF, although I've not commented much recently. I'm delighted at the prospect of your upcoming travel and will be a happy armchair companion.

    Hubby and I will be staying close to home over the holidays, due to his treatments. But we're both resilient and doing well for now.

    BTW, I've loved your recent reading enthusiasms and have added Spill Simmer Falter Wither to my reading list. Winter is made delicious because it offers us more time to read. And because it requires no mowing. ;)

    Bon packing and bon voyage!

    Ann in Missouri

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you and your husband are weathering this difficult time, finding as much comfort as possible at home, I hope. Also glad to hear you've found the reading reccomendations useful -- I'll be keen to hear what you think of Spill Simmer Falter Wither if you find time to read it.

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  11. I love the mittens and the idea of always having the child's hand in yours. Recently I taught myself magic loop so I could knit socks without double points; don't see why it wouldn't work for mittens as well.

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    1. I've thought about magic loop, but honestly, I'm so used to the double points and have so many of them. . . not sure I want to invest in more circs at this stage. Plus wrangling that second ball while travelling doesn't appeal -- do you find it much easier?

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  12. I'm adding The Cellist of Sarajevo and Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither to my reading list - always on the look out for a good read. Just finished The Leavers by Lisa Ko - wow! it was so good - not a happily ever after ending and yet satisfying. I also love the mittens and am inspired to try it.

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    1. I read The Cellist years ago and second Mme's recommendation. Now I'll add The Leavers to my own. . .

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  13. I'm pleased to have enjoyed your wonderful hospitality on Protection Island. I think of you every time we drive up Island to Nanaimo. I just finished The Girl on the Train and didn't see the ending coming at all!
    No knitting here, but some sewing and embroidery projects on the go.
    A lovely thought of Nana's holding the Finally Five's via the mittens.

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    1. That was such a pleasant weekend with you, Lorrie.
      I know! That ending!

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  14. I read Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither earlier in the year for my literature class and I found it to be beautifully written and so moving. I was astounded when I found out that this was Sara Baume's first novel. She wrote so convincingly from the perspective of a middle aged man. I had tickets to hear her speak last month at our local literary festival but unfortunately she couldn't make it due to severe stormy weather in Ireland. I have her second book on my bedside pile and I intend to start it this weekend as my literature class has a two month break over the festive period. I love the class as it pushes me out of my literary "comfort zone" but nine books in nine weeks is quite hard going on top of work etc. I will enjoy reading my own choices for a few weeks before I get stuck in to next term's booklist.
    I loved your mitten and sock tales too. Wilma D

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    1. I've got her second book on a Hold Request at the library.
      I know that literature classes ask a lot of students in terms of reading and I applaud your commitment -- it was often very clear to me by the end of term that many of my students weren't keeping up (and, of course, a fair number never got started quickly enough at the beginning!).
      It's good, though, isn't it, that balance of being pushed to read by a reading list someone else has compiled, and then having those restful recesses when we can read at our own behest?!

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  15. Just finished "The Light between the oceans" I think. It was very enjoyable. Take a look at it. I'm now reading Tina Brown's Diary. It's good if you know the people mentioned. I'm enjoying it because it's a change from fiction.

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    1. I gave that book to my daughter a few Christmasses ago -- I'll have to borrow it from her!
      I'm sure that you'll b

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    2. Whoops! Wanted to say that I'm sure you'll be enjoying the Tina Brown memoir, given the world you've moved in. Fun to recognize people in the pages. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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