It's lunchtime, and the mist that crept up from the river and hung around the woods this morning, is still dragging it's feet,and casting a weird, white light over everything. It's damp and cold. But I love it.
It makes me want to snuggle up and do nothing but knit and read. I'm reading Livingstone by Tim Jeal. I'm only on page 41 but finding lots to admire in Dr David Livingstone.
He didn't have the privileged upbringing that I'd imagined, but was born into a poor family who lived in a single, fourteen by ten foot room that belonged to a cotton mill, on the banks of the river Clyde in Scotland. From the age of ten, Livingstone worked in the mill six days a week, from 6am until 8pm. It was heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit because the humidity was thought to produce finer thread. It must have been an awful life for a small boy, extremely hot, dangerous and very noisy.
His father was a Sunday School teacher and an avid reader who passed on this love of books to his son. After a long, hard working day, he would go to the company school until 10pm at night. But even when he got home from school he didn't rest on his laurels, he would read until midnight. This hard work enabled him to to complete his education, studying to be a Dr of Medicine, despite all odds.
Livingstone sounds like an amazing man. Perhaps not the most instantly likeable...a little unusual and rough around the edges, not very talkative and slightly socially awkward. But I think that endears him to me, even more. He was so inspirational. I can't wait to read his adventures.
And knitting...I finished the first pair of Totoro mittens for a stocking-filler. They looked lovely and the alpaca yarn felt soft and cosy, but something wasn't quite right with them. The shape of the glove pattern is unusual for me. The thumbs are set into the palm of the hand and I found them really uncomfortable when I tried them on. I want the thumb to be set into the side of the glove. That's how I'm used to making them, and wearing them too. I find that a much better fit.
So I unpicked the thumb and stitched up the stitches where it had been, took a deep breath, then cut a slit on the side and picked up stitches to knit a new thumb ,where I'm more comfortable setting it. That's where I am now, experimenting with thumbs. Then I'll start on some of these.
Oh and the other book I'm reading is this, and planning what to cook from it for supper tonight. At the moment the roasted potatoes and aubergines are favourites, along with the caramelised carrots with gremolata, page 355. But I also would love to make these Braised Greens or these Roasted cabbage slices. I wonder which would go best with fish...Decisions, decisions...
Sharing with ginny for yarn along today...coming?