Friday, March 13, 2009

Chocolate, a book, some knitting

I finished reading "The road home" by Rose Tremain for reading group. Links to a review in the Guardian, LibraryThing and the Orange Prize website (it won this last year). I was a bit disappointed with it, I think because I'd been expecting great things from Tremain and I don't think it was up to that level. The story follows Lev, from an unidentified Eastern European country, who comes to London to find work and send money back home to his mother and daughter after his wife dies. At first he is totally disorientated in the city, has to sleep rough and his first "job" involves delivering leaflets for £5 a day. But he finds his feet, improves (dramatically!) his circumstances and eventually returns home. Some parts seemed very authentic - the descriptions of London during a hot summer's day, the treatment of immigrants, the confusion that is London if you don't know it, are a few examples, but Lev seemed unrealistically lucky. He definitely fell on his feet, in what seemed an unlikely way. I'm not sure that it is a story of a typical immigrant's stay in the UK, although I'm not sure if there's such a thing as a "typical immigrant" anyway! It was very readable though it's not the sort of book I'd end up staying up all night just to finish, but reading it wasn't a chore.

Last weekend I went to stay with a friend near Solihull, which included a trip to Cadbury World! Alarmingly, the website says "where chocolate comes to life", which I'm not sure is a good thing. Is chocolate meant to be alive, rather than in my tummy? Anyway, as you can see from the pic at the top, you can write your name in chocolate, and go to something called "Essence" where they show you how Dairy Milk is made, and you then get to choose some sweets and have melted Dairy Milk squirted on top:

Mine were liquorice allsorts.

Cadbury World was fun (if stuffed full of small children who were all on sugar highs and looked like they were about to be sick). I think I was attempting to be too academic about it all - I'd have liked to have much more to read about the history side of it in the Bourneville Experience section, rather than just a game about designing your own town. Wikipedia has more about it.

On the Sunday we went for a walk at Baddesley Clinton, a medieval moated manor house with beautiful gardens, dating from the 15th century:

Knitting news:

The bits of Suri are now all knitted. I just need to block (where?) and sew the seams up. So it'll be a while yet before completion.

I gave up on the Herringbone socks after the third frogging, and have switched to No Purl Monkeys instead. I'm loving the way the colours work out in the pattern.

I've also been playing around with the sidebar of my blog and re-organised some of the gadgets. I hope you like my interactive sheep too - if you pat it it baas!


Tabitha said...

Mmmm Chocolate. Any blog post about chocolate is a good one in my book. Baddesley Clinton is beautiful. Wouldn't it be cool to you have a house with a name? Though with all that stone I imagine it is rather drafty in the winter.

The Suri is beautiful (great color) and I love how the color plays in the No Purl Monkey. Great choice of pattern for that yarn.

Anonymous said...

I love your sheep to bits and it gave me love hearts back!! All that chocolate looks yummy....

acrylik said...

Lovely post. I'm one of those strange people who can quite happily live without chocolate, but a factory visit I would find fun. Shame to hear there's not so much of the history in evidence though.

Love your current knits, beautiful colours.