view basket

Currently browsing: Travel

Slightly Foxed

  • 1861 Loading
  • 0
  • »

slightly foxed summer 2009boat on cunda

It is still summer, isn’t it? So says the cover of my latest issue of Slightly Foxed, with which I’m finally united now that I’ve returned to a country where there is no vestige of summer. From the Aegean, where clouds were a great rarity, to England, where they are so thick you want to scrape them off the sky. But anyway, I love Slightly Foxed! It is one of the most delightful things that can fall through your letterbox (Graze boxes are high up on the list too). The cover of the Summer edition takes me back to the Turkish island of Cunda, where I took this photo of a boat called ‘Yasemin’ (which also happens to be my middle name). SF is always beautifully laid out on cream paper and boasts the sweetest illustrations; really it’s enough to bring out the bibliophile in any text-lover. It prints unpretentious reviews of forgotten or out-of-print books, and has been accused of harbouring nostalgia for early lit crit, and of being altogether unscholarly. Perhaps the best compliments I can imagine. If newspaper literary supplement reviews make you cringe and swear off reading comtemporary literature, this will be just your cup of tea (you can subscribe here if you like)! Nothing sends me searching on Abebooks quicker…

The first article in this issue is about Graeme Greene’s Stamboul Train which is now on my reading list, even though I spent 40 miserable minutes in Istanbul Atatürk Airport waiting in the customs & x-ray queues, hoping our next plane was delayed. It was. Then I spent nearly 4 hours thinking how I would rather have spent a week travelling by train than having to sit for even 5 minutes with a hideous aqua seat cover about 4 inches from my face. Honestly, I can see why some might prefer to stay at home reading their lovely Quarterlies instead.

summer blues

Another Aegean blue addition to my possessions now that I’m back in blighty is my new (old) iPod shuffle. The engraving is half a quote by Aristotle (it continues: “Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit”), and is there to remind me that unless I blog more often I cannot be a blogger. Like paint chips, the shuffle makes a great bookmark (I don’t know why Apple don’t mention this on their website), and the combination of Foxed & shuffle (with a bit of knitting thrown in) is even more enjoyable when employed on my favourite train route – between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.

2nd gen ipod shuffle

And despite the wise admonition of the most excellent Woolly Wormhead, I just couldn’t resist the urge to match (both my iPod & my Strat). The colour is Collection 2000’s ‘Show off’, in case you want to, you know, show off.

your nail polish must always match your ipod

21st August, 2009  // Literature, Travel // tags: , , , , , .

Summer Knitting

  • 1779 Loading
  • 2
  • »


It’s sweltering on the Aegean today! If you’re travelling to the sun this summer (perhaps escaping the gloomy torrents of British rain?), you’ll want to do a little thinking and preparation before you get there, to ensure you get the most out of your knitting time. Even if you live somewhere where it regularly gets hot in summer, you might find some of these tips helpful in keeping you cool and keeping you knitting.

What to Knit

  • Naturally, something light and lacy is better than a big, thick piece of knitting.
  • Loosen up. Thin yarn with large needles is perfect. Knitting too tightly can be hard work at the best of times, let alone when it’s too hot to move.
  • Knit something circular, so you don’t have to keep turning rows. Basic socks, hats, and other accessories are just the thing.
  • Knit something that you can wear even in the heat. Summer hats, sleeveless tops, and lacy beach wraps are about all you’ll want to wear if it’s really hot.
  • Avoid knitting anything complicated. I know we all get tricked into thinking that the summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on knitting, but if the weather’s hot, chances are you won’t feel like working on much at all. There are several reasons for this:
    1. The heat can add to your frustration if you’re knitting something too fiddly, especially if you make a mistake! Even if you’re not a tight knitter, 20 K3togs in a row are enough to make anyone’s brain boil.
    2. If you’re knitting outside, in bright sunlight, it will be very tiring for your eyes to be scrutinising your knitting & the pattern all the time.
    3. You’re meant to be relaxing!
    4. It’s more fun if you don’t have to keep referring to instructions, and you don’t have to carry them around and make sure they don’t blow away.
    5. If it’s hot, it’s too hot to think. Take it easy.

(read more…)

17th July, 2009  // Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , , .

Where Have You Been?

  • 1914 Loading
  • 1
  • »

Well may you ask! When I came back to Turkey for a few months, I hadn’t realised that a combination of heat, intermittent internet, and a general lassitude would keep me away from work for so long. Many events have passed unrecorded, including my birthday, and the Skein Queen contest I won, to name one of her gorgeous colourways. The name I entered was ‘Summerhouse Love’, and it’s fairly descriptive of my current state. Ironically, I must await my return to Wales to fondle the Plushness, but the cool colours will be a reminder of my indolent summer days. I had already treated myself to a hank of Skein Queen yarn for my birthday (look at Deb’s gorgeous packaging! I admired it for a long time before I let myself open it), along with a tiny hank of Artist’s Palette ‘Glisten’. Really, the difficulty of the larger questions of life (its meaning, what one should do with it, etc.) pale in comparison with the painful hours of deciding which colourway of handpainted yarn to purchase.

skein queen package

another early birthday present

Much of my time has been spent reading, listening to Cole Porter songs, taking photos of congruous colours, and of course, doing a lot of mindless knitting. These socks are now finished, though it’s too hot to wear them.

sock & colette
Olive pressing against my window
sock & colette
bits of houses

I mentioned in my entry to the Skein Queen competition, how much I love summerhouse novels. Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Proust’s Swann’s Way (the only one of the series I’ve managed to read so far), and Colette’s Ripening Seed are the chief ones that occur to me. To a lesser extent perhaps von Arnim’s The Enchanted April (which I suppose is not summer), Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Forster’s A Room with a View, and maybe even Bellow’s Herzog, though they’re all very different books. Admittedly A Room with a View doesn’t even involve a house, but it is still one of my favourites.

And if you’re looking for musical accompaniment, here is my Cole Porter mixtape:

  1. I Concentrate on You by Frances Wayne
  2. I Loved Him but He Didn’t Love Me by Kaye Ballard
  3. Get Out of Town by Chris Connor
  4. Night and Day by Ella Fitzgerald
  5. Just One of Those Things by Diana Krall
  6. I’m in Love Again by Bobby Short
  7. The Laziest Gal in Town by Marlene Dietrich
  8. Where Have You Been? by Judy Holliday

So close to your side I’ll stay,
You can never say,
“Baby, where have you been?”

13th July, 2009  // Inspiration, Life, Literature, Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , .
1 2 3

Your Favourites ❤

  • Your favorites will be here.