Nov 23, 2015

Three Men

If you were asked to name your favorite book what would your answer be? I find that usually if you ask somebody this question, people fall into two categories. Some struggle to pick a single book. It is natural, after all, there is a huge field of writers, styles and genres, and so many good books to choose from... To others, the task comes easy. I belong to the second group. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) from J.K.Jerome is my indisputable number one and the sequel, Three Men on the Bummel is a close second. 
Those are the two books I can read over and over again and each time I enjoy every page. Written in a good-natured tone they are easy to read, uncomplicated, funny with a few serious parts. The author is often digressing from the subject and the characters are just like the real people, far from perfect, suffering from the same weaknesses we all suffer from: laziness, vanity, schadenfreude. The books are about travelling and friendship, witty and filled with good advice that is valid even now, more than 100 years after the books were first published:
Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.” 
So, what is your favorite book?

Nov 17, 2015

Truth and love...

...must prevail over lies and hatred. Those are the words of Vaclav Havel spoken sometime in November 1989 when my country went through a period that is known as the Velvet revolution. I was too young at the time, not even a teenager yet, and I didn't really understand what the change meant for me, for my country. Nonetheless I remember that the general feeling in those days really was one of love and truth and above all: hope. Hope always helps. 
There are no pictures today, but here is a song, that became and anthem of those days, 26 years ago. 

Nov 10, 2015

Upcycling I.

Upcycling is a kind of recycling. You take an item you no longer use and convert it into something different, something better. A few weeks ago when I was walking around the H&M home section I noticed some lovely  knitted cushion cases. Here is a picture from the H&M website:
I liked the design and the fact that they look so cozy and wintery but the price was a bit higher than I was willing to pay. And then I had an idea: I will make my own! 

This used to be an old jumper that didn't survive a machine wash. It stretched in the washing machine so much that I could no longer wear it, so I decided to unweave it and I kept the yarn, thinking it may come handy some day. And it did :) I spent the following few evenings knitting as I watched TV and when the cushion cover was ready I dyed it with a home fabric dye to a more lively color. And here is the result:

What do you think? I am quite happy with the result and I think that now, that the days are getting colder and evenings longer I will give DIY and upcycling another go.

Nov 2, 2015

Bare (travel) necessity



With the autumn in full swing and the winter approaching fast a scarf is a real must. In cold and windy days I am mostly using scarves for the  most obvious purpose - to keep my neck warm. Yet I carry a long, light pashmina (or I should rather say: a wide scarf, since my pashminas are not the real, cashmere ones) in a neutral color with me all year long. Because, you see, a scarf can become so much more than a scarf. You can wear it as a shawl around your shoulders to protect yourself from the strong sun or from the cold air. It can be used as a beach towel, if you happen to forget to bring one and in the biggest emergency even as a bath towel. You can tie it around your hips as an improvised beach skirt or around your torso as a top. On holidays, when visiting religious sites where head cover is required you can use it as a head scarf. You can tie it together and use it as a bag, or wrap fragile items in it to stop them from getting damaged in your suitcase. You can use it as a light blanket, as a sling or as a bandage...and much, much more. Who would have thought, that a simple piece of fabric that will take almost no space at all in your luggage can be so versatile?