Saturday, July 03, 2021

Letter from home

Here is the news from Hepworth Towers.

1/   I have been working on a painting of this.

It's the midsummer sun setting behind the house and lighting up my study. I was outside on the patio watering my pots one evening and looked up and saw the loveliness of the light embedded in the dark house wall. So I took a photo, and now I am struggling to paint it. 

This is the progress so far. As you can see - there is a long way to go. 'It's challenging' is a mild way to express how I feel. It's a come-uppance because I am always telling people I like the challenge in painting. Although I have to say that painting endless clematis leaves is more of a bore than a challenge. Thankfully, the dire spring weather led to the leaves being rather sparse this year.

2/   I picked 3.5 kilos of gooseberries from my one and only bush. This was two days ago and they are still waiting to be topped and tailed. I HATE topping and tailing. I think I'll do it in front of Last Tango in Halifax to kill the boredom.

3/  I have finished the patch for the back of the quilt I made last year:

4/  I went for an exhausting and wonderful ride to the end of the Trail one afternoon and collapsed on the grass amongst the wildflowers:

It was so blissful there, it was hard to leave and come home.

5/  I got to page 80 in a novel and gave up. And that was after spending £12.99 on it. I had been looking for something to read and picked up this book that I bought secondhand in Colorado.

Whatever is troubling you - lethargy, being a control freak, neediness, man flu, apathy, constipation, losing your job, being tired and emotional, death of a loved one, etc etc...the authors will suggest a couple of books that will cure you. I was feeling sad about something and was leafing through the book and found this:

and as I recognised Niall Williams' name from a lovely quote I had recently found

and having checked out his literary credentials, I decided to give As it is in Heaven a go. It began well and the writing was good, but Williams is very wordy and I do not like wordiness. Also he is prone to fanciful and baffling imagery such as:

Pollini was twenty-eight and looked like a man who had fire for breakfast.


My conclusion is that while The Novel Cure itself is an entertaining and informative read, book recommendations such as these do not take into account the style of the writing. And I am very picky about style. So bite me. (I have no idea what that saying means but Phoebe says it in Friends and it always makes me laugh.)

Thankfully a friend came to my rescue and lent me this:

which has a simpatico style and is also hilarious. A reviewer described it as a cross between Nora Ephron and Maria Semple (both of whom I like) but I'd describe it as more like a naughty Anne Tyler. Whatever, I am racing through it and will have finished it by bedtime and then I will be distraught, waiting for the author's latest book to arrive in the post.

Meanwhile, Dave has been railing against the regulations which forbid him to buy a Dado stack for use in carpentry. They are legal in the USA but illegal here. I foolishly asked him to explain what a dado stack is and why they are illegal and he spent half an hour five minutes explaining what one is and why there is a misconception about their safety/lack of safety which is why they are banned in the UK.

And then i went on reading Standard Deviation and came across this:

and it made me howl with laughter.

I just went in the kitchen to check the name of the dado stack and Dave said:

"Why do you want to know about it?"

"Because it's something I want to put on the blog."

"Can I show you a picture of one? Explain it some more?"


That, dear friends, is the news from Hepworth Towers.

Wishing you a super weekend.

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