Small pleasure 1
I bought some things from Donna's etsy shop. A couple of fabric rolls for storing dpns (double-pointed knitting needles) and a small project bag that's perfect for sock knitting. The finish of these items gives me such pleasure. The beige linen ties for the needle rolls are just right. The tiny buttons that trim both the rolls and the project bag are perfectly chosen. And the fit of the zipper in the project bag is a joy to behold. I suspect I'm a finishing nerd. Now all I need to do is to round up my dpns and file them in the needle rolls. I wish tidying up gave me the same amount of pleasure I get from contemplating Donna's sewing.
Small pleasure 2
I ordered some of Brooklyn Tweed's 'Shelter' yarn from Knit Purl (my not-so-secret place of temptation) and it arrived last week. I'm not sure why I bought the yarn. It was being discussed on internet sites? My admiration for Jared Flood's knitting aesthetic? Sheer self-indulgence? Probably a combination of all these motives. The yarn does give me great pleasure. It's robust and rustic and the colours are subtly rich. It's very much in the shetland tradition of hard-wearing, slightly catchy yarns and reminds me of some Jamieson yarn I bought very cheaply some time ago and haven't yet knitted up. But it is expensive, and with sensible shopping around some of the UK sites in particular, there'd be very acceptable alternatives. I admire what Jared Flood is doing in creating yarn that suits his style and meets his standards for quality and 'localism' of both the raw materials and the mechanics of producing the yarn. However, the attraction of 'localism' rapidly disappears once you have to transport the yarn all the way to Australia. I think this yarn, lovely as it is, will be a one-off or only very infrequently repeated pleasure.
Small pleasure 3
Over the weekend I visited the Art Gallery of NSW. This is not one of the world's great art collections - in fact it's not even the best Australian collection - but the AGNSW gives me great pleasure. Partly it's the location with its view over Wolloomooloo bay to Sydney Harbour, but mostly it's the program of free events that are always on offer. There's always a film program with films loosely linked to one of the major exhibitions on show. Currently it's a program of films set in France during the high Romantic period covered by the exhibition of drawings From David to Cezanne. We saw the classic French film 'Les enfants du paradis' - made in France under all kinds of constraints under German occupation during the second world war. The film is romantic and sad and cynical and pragmatic and very very long. It provided an afternoon of emotional indulgence.
We also saw the current exhibition of Aboriginal artworks, Art and Soul. Many of these works were included in the recent, wonderful documentary on Aboriginal art by the same name. The exhibition is luminously beautiful and the documentary well worth viewing.
(Not so) small pleasure 4
My daughter was awarded a highly competitive research grant which will fund her employment and research for the next three years. Not a small, but a great pleasure.