The snow came on Monday and, although it seems to be thawing at the moment, more is forecast for later in the week. I live at the top of a farm track which takes longer to clear than the village roads and so provides me with the perfect excuse to stay indoors. I’ve not been totally lazy though – I’ve been out to post orders and to get essentials (chocolate) from the village shop. I love walking in the snow before it gets all slushed up – everything looks so crisp and clean:
My knitting-time has been curtailed by the need to finish reading A Year of Wonders, this month’s choice for my book group. This is the first novel of Geraldine Brooks, an ex-war correspondent. It is based on the true story of Eyam, a Derbyshire village which became infected with the plague in 1666. Convinced by a visionary young minister, the villagers agree to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to prevent the disease spreading. The story is told through the eyes of eighteen year old Ann Frith, as she has to confront the deaths of family and the disintegration of her community.
I’d been reluctant to start the book as I was expecting an account of the plague to be bleak and depressing but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are some quite gruesome descriptions of the plague symptoms and, as you might expect, a lot of death but the book remains curiously uplifting. It is beautifully written and captures the essence of the seventeenth century and lives of these isolated villagers.
To me, this reinforces the benefit of being in a reading group. I would not have chosen to read this book but I’m now delighted that I have and will look out for Geraldine Brook’s other novels. I always find our group discussions fascinating too. We are only a group of six but, even so, our opinions vary and the discussion usually takes off in different directions. This time we talked a lot about herbal remedies as they feature quite prominently in the book. Our next xhoice is Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I’ve only just started it but am already fascinated.
I have managed some knitting though. I’ve finished the DK socks and I’m really pleased with how they look. I wasn’t too keen on these shades in the ball but love them knitted up. The yarn is Knitcol 063 Mozart and is 100% merino wool – very cosy!
I’ve also been knitting a triangular shawl in Crazy Zauberball, colour 2178. Its name in German is Heilix Blechle – I’ve no idea what that means but the colours remind me of Black Watch tartan.
I’m not sure what my next project will be but I do know it will be something light-coloured – even with a daylight bulb, I find it difficult to knit dark colours at night.