A Good Read, An Exhibition and a New Knit

It seems a while since I’ve blogged, so this is a February round up! The month began with a nice gift from Mum:

Then I went to the fantastic Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. I just squeezed the visit in before it closed and I was so glad I’d made the effort. Because the link between the pieces was only that they were produced in, or inspired by, or found in East Anglia, there was a huge range of exhibits in a variety of media. There were fabrics, Anglo-Saxon objects, paintings, silks and sculpture. This made for a fascinating time wandering round and looking at everything. One slightly surprising detail: East Anglia was defined as just Norfolk and Suffolk! No Cambridgeshire?!

Norwich looked beautiful in the sun last week:

As a great fan of Elizabeth Jane Howard, I was pleased to spot this celebratory table in Norwich Waterstones:

At the moment, though, my reading time is being completely devoted to the wonderful Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This is a completely marvellous book and, as it has had masses of press coverage, I won’t describe it fully. Nevertheless, the recommendation from (another great novelist) Hilary Mantel on the cover is well-deserved. Atkinson’s writing is precise; the settings and situations seem very true to life (in World War II, for example) and the characterisation is superb. At the start, I tried to keep flicking back to the list of dates at the front to see which of Ursula’s ‘lives’ I was reading. I wouldn’t recommend trying to keep track of things in this way; I soon gave up and enjoyed the book much more because of it. Atkinson’s use of motifs such as the fox and snow struck me as particularly ingenious: they are as much fun to spot, linking the episodes in the novel, for the reader as they are for the characters. This is a unique novel which would bear reading again and again – rather like Ursula’s episodic, near-magical life.

Oh, and finally – before the the weather turns too hot, I’ve just got time to knit a new hot water bottle cover from Knits To Give by Debbie Bliss. More on this once it’s done, but I’m enjoying doing it in luxurious merino Aran:

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun!