* Since posting several weeks ago about my ambitions for travel I've been to Orange, to Mount Keira and then, this last weekend, to Brisbane. Next weekend I'm off to Canberra for, among other diversions, the Celebration of Wool at the Old Bus Depot Markets, and then a couple of weeks later I'll be visiting Lennox Head for a good friend's significant zero birthday celebrations. You'd think that would be enough travelling to satisfy even me, but my travelling friend Jan and I are also plotting a more serious bout of travel - ie outside Australia - in mid-June. More of that nearer the departure date
* I've been to Brisbane to celebrate my grand-daughter's fourth birthday. I think four must be the perfect age for a birthday party. The guests were Ana Maria's classmates from kindie (and assorted accompanying parents) and they were both old enough and young enough to find it fun to play happily on the playground equipment of the excellent park in which the party was held. They all came proudly in their dress-up clothes - Snow White, Cinderella(s), Batman, variations on fairies, cloaks, tutus.
They're not yet old enough to be competitive and critical and sufficiently old enough to enjoy, unselfconsciously, masks and spangles and tiaras. My daughter had done just enough organisation - choosing a great location, food in individual party boxes for the children, cheese and fruit for the grown-ups - and we had perfect weather and absolutely no accidents, mishaps, arguments or tears. A great success.
And I've decided to include a completely gratuitous picture of Ana Maria in her Playful Stripes cardigan, finished earlier this year.
* It's a long time since I've enjoyed a knitting project as much as my current Different Lines shawl. Everything about it is perfect. Yet another garter stitch project, but with interest added through the short-row shaping to produce stripes of graded width. The yarn is particularly luxurious - an alpaca / silk blend from Old Maiden Aunt Yarns that I bought from Loop in London on my visit early last year. The yardage on each skein of yarn is less than ideal for this project but, with stern blocking, I think the finished size will be adequate.
* One of the benefits (sometimes disadvantages) of my blog is that it enables me to keep track of my reading. I'm somewhat ashamed of my recent reading. Of the last ten books I've noted, nine are crime fiction. Good crime fiction but, nevertheless, definitely escapist reading. I'm a seasoned practitioner of escapist reading so I can't imagine I will ever really change this reading pattern, but I am going to make a serious attempt to broaden my reading. So I'm making a public resolution - no more crime fiction till I've read at least ten books of other genres.
* I've done a bit of clothes-buying - but more about that on my next 12 in 11 update.