An A to Z: Of Life, Books, Yarn, and a Certain Small Brown Dog …..


A is for AUTUMN. It seems to be coming early this year. The weather has changed, and we’ve already seen conkers, and lots of blackberries.

B is for BRYHER. I was delighted to find a copy of her memoirs, ‘The Heart to Artemis’, in a charity shop. I’d borrowed the book from the library, sent it back because it wasn’t the right moment, so I’m delighted to have a copy on hand to read at exactly the right time.

C is for CAST-OFFS. Another half-a-dozen bags have left the house for charity shops, and I’m slowly thinning out books and general clutter. I want to build a personal library and keep the things that matter without being overwhelmed by ‘things’.

D is for DIANA GARDNER. This post pushed the volume of short stories I have, sitting on the Persephone bookcase, right up my list of reading priorities.

E is for ELIZABETH IN THE GARDEN: A Story of Love, Rivalry and Spectacular Design by Thea Martyn. Another lovely charity shop find.

F is for FRANZISKA. I think this will be my next knitting project. I’m happily cabling at the moment, but it’s time I tried my hand at Fair Isle again.

G is for GROOMING. I do brush and comb her, but it doesn’t take Briar long after a visit to her groomer to turn herself back into a shaggy beastie.

H is for HOUSE. I’ve booked a week off work in the middle of September, to tackle some of those jobs that never seem to get done.

I is for INFORMING MY READING. Though I haven’t read as much as I would have liked to for All Virago All August or Women in Translation Month I know that those events will be informing my reading over the months ahead.

J is for JUST BOOKS. Though my week off is primarily to do things at home, I’m thinking of taking a half-time break with a day trip to Truro and a visit to my favourite bookshop.

K is for KNITTING. My current project – Gladioli – is progressing well. The back is complete, the front is well underway, and the sleeves will be quite straightforward.

L is for LIBRARY. It’s moving to the basement of the town hall, newly refurbished so that the council can have offices there, before the end of the year and I’m worried. The staff won’t say – maybe because they don’t know – what is going on, and the notice says there will be as many computers as there are now, but nothing about books and other services.

M is for MARGERY SHARP. The second Margery Sharp Day will be happening on 25th January 2016 – a party to celebrate her 111th birthday. If you missed the first, you can catch up with what happened here.

N is for NIGHT-WALKING: A Nocturnal History of London by Matthew Beaumont. I put it on my wishlist as soon as I read about it, and I picked it up in the library as soon as I saw it.

O is for OLDENBOURG. I picked up ‘The World is not Enough’ by Zoe Oldenbourg to read for Woman in Translation Month, but, though I loved it I put it to one side, because I felt that it would be best enjoyed as a slow winter read.

P is for PORTMAN. Coracle by Emily Portman is a lovely part of the current soundtrack to my life.

Q is for QUIET. Shattered just before midnight when a cat walked across the garden and Briar, who I had thought was sleeping on her seat in the downstairs bay window, expressed her opinion.

R is for RICHMAL CROMPTON. It’s lovely to see more of her stories for grown-ups sent back into the world, thanks to the lovely Bello Books.

S is for SCILLY. I wasn’t so taken with this when I first read the most recent magazine, but now I’m seeing Ravelry projects it’s really growing on me.

T is for THUS FAR AND NO FURTHER. After falling in love with ‘A Fugue in Time’ I checked the library catalogue for other Rumer Godden books, looking particularly for those that had fallen out of print. This was the one I chose to order first; her first work of non fiction.

U is for US CONDUCTORS by Sean Michaels. I wasn’t sure that this would be my sort of book, but what I’ve read I like.

V is for VIRAGO. This post has made me want to add another book to my Virago collection.

W is for THE WAY WE LIVE NOW is my Trollope in progress, and I am loving it.

X is for XCLUSION. When the promenade re-opened with no signs about the summer beach-ban for dogs we thought maybe the rules had changed, and we had a lovely few weeks of dogs playing happily, and other people not being bothered by it on the stony town beach Sadly though, the signs came back and so we have to wait until October before we can go down to our own beach again.

Y is for YES! LET’S GO! That was Briar’s reaction when, after work on Tuesday, when there was a break in the rain, I asked her ‘would you like a ride in the car to the beach?’ That’s a stretch of beach where she is legal, a couple of miles out of town.

Z is for ZORBING. ‘Conkers shining on the ground. The air is cooler ….’ It feel right to finish where we started, at the beginning of autumn.

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11 thoughts on “An A to Z: Of Life, Books, Yarn, and a Certain Small Brown Dog …..

  1. Lovely A-Z Jane, and I think the Gladioli jumper is lovely. And Briar looks shaggy and cute whatever you do to her! I do hope you enjoy the Diana Gardner book – I thought it was wonderful! 🙂


  2. Plenty to keep you occupied as Autumn arrives.

    Our beach has the same rules, Stanley went for his first visit today. He can walk along the promenade, but is only allowed on a certain part of the beach all year. It was most successful on the bit he did visit.

    I must get on with some knitting again, but I have been busy finishing off some stitching too.


  3. I’m pleased to hear there’s going to be another Margery Sharp day. I didn’t manage to take part in the last one but hopefully this time I can get organised and join in. I hope you enjoy your week off work and can find time for the trip to the bookshop!


  4. I do love these A to Z posts, they’re such a wonderful mix of things. I am currently sorting out “books i don’t need to keep” – and it’s a lovely feeling to let them go. And it leads to re-arranging shelves, which I also enjoy.


  5. Lovely post! And we are hoping to visit that bookshop in Truro when we’re down your way next month. I need to leave plenty of book room in my suitcase, I think!


  6. Troubling news about your library – I hope they manage to stay open and carry on as usual. I’m so grateful that the libraries in my area are fully supported by the local governments and cherished by the citizens.
    Nightwalking sounds like a very interesting book – I’ll have to see if I can find a copy.


  7. I think one of the most thrilling phrases a dog can hear is ‘go for a ride in the car’. We took Deacon to the garden centre yesterday; I just love watching the fur on his face blow in the wind.


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