Monday, 17 September 2007

Gosh. Golly.

Less than 24 hours, and I have a 'real' commenter (as opposed to a blood relation who has been told where to come). Thanks, Marianne, for your kind works on my poor little squares.

I doubt I'm going to be one of those bloggers who manages to post every day, despite present appearances. I have a life to lead too, including the work I don't talk about, and no more time off until October, and the Knitting and Stitching Show in London. I don't normally, for example, get to spend a Monday wandering around Norwich with Chris, my husband, doing oddments of shopping and going to a matinee of 'Atonement' at the cinema.

This is not a review

Not because everybody read 'Atonement' years ago, because I hadn't read it until last week (and I'd never let the fact that a book isn't fresh off the presses stop me from reviewing it so long as I thought one person who might enjoy it had yet to come across it). Mostly this isn't a review of the book or the film because it's impossible to discuss either in any depth without giving away large chunks of plot, which would be a shame. The film was an excellent adaptation of an excellent book, Keira Knightley is becoming a rather better actress than she is often given credit for, and we spent most of the way home discussing what we'd seen. Or what we thought we'd seen.

I often find myself reading around a theme. I am, after all, an eternal student. So, having read 'Atonement', which included Dunkirk, wartime hospitals, and a nurse who is trying to write literary fiction, I found myself last week re-reading 'The Charioteer' by Mary Renault, which is set in a military hospital after Dunkirk, and was written by someone who nursed in a very similar hospital. There are interesting contrasts between the two - 'The Charioteer' has a much more 'realistic' feel (and very different themes). Possibly this is because it was written nearer the time, by someone who had actually lived through much of what she was writing about, but I'm not sure if this is the whole answer. I suspect Ian McEwan could have written a more real-feeling novel if he had wanted to, and the slight sense of distance in his novel is purposeful. There is a twist (which I am trying very hard not to reveal) at the end of 'Atonement' that makes the reader question the truth of everything that has gone before, and suddenly all sorts of discrepancies make sense. The film captured that quite well, I think - at one point fairly near the beginning, a plane flies overhead. A fairly elderly man sitting in front of us exclaimed "in 1935!" and although I'm no plane expert, I thought it looked a little advanced for the date. But I also thought to myself "I think that may be the point".

Two books and a film that I would recommend, therefore.

Knitting

If I were a highly organised blogger I would have started a new project yesterday, so that I could lovingly chronicle its snail-like progress (I am not a fast knitter. I might be faster if I only had one project at a time, but I've never been able to test that theory). If I were only a slightly more organised blogger I might have managed to photograph the current main project in daylight, but I forgot before I went to the post office this morning, and by the time I got home it was getting dark. I am almost halfway through the Turbulence U-neck pullover from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature, in a shade of moss green that definitely needs natural light to show it off. I have a vague thought of finishing it in time to wear it to the Knitting and Stitching Show next month, which realistically means finishing it by the 6th of October. (It has cables. I am not wearing it unblocked. The point is to make people think I am a competent knitter). It might happen. Now that I've actually said that I want to do this, everything possible will go wrong, and I will have to fall back on Plan B (which involves an Icarus that has yet to be blocked). Anyway, if I had photographed it today it would have looked terribly boring, because I haven't quite started the exciting cables on the front, which I am about to do once I've posted this. If I can find my cable needle, of course, which is probably down the back of the sofa as I write, making for Australia.

4 comments:

Silas said...

I'd ask for more details of the plane, but I doubt you'd be likely to remember details...

Now, if I could work out why Blogger is telling me I can use HTML tags in German...

Vivienne said...

It had four engines and Chris thought it was a bomber. Oh, and it was sort of silvery and shiny...

I can't explain the German. I've made sure everything I can see is set to UK English, but there must be something somewhere that's escaped me. I shall just have to persuade myself that it lends the blog a cosmopolitan air.

Silas said...

Four engines? In 1935?

It was probably, given the shiny silverness, a B-17, which Wikipedia tells me first flew in 1938. I can't find a single 4-engined job which flew in 1935.

Vivienne said...

I thought you'd know.

As I said, the plane being anachronistic is probably the point.