So many of the things I enjoy doing - sewing, knitting, reading, watching movies - compete for the same slivers of free time, and when I spend time doing one it means not doing the others. There has been more sewing and a bit of reading happening over the past year and almost no knitting.
But the sewing machine has been getting noisier and noisier and basically crying out for a service - it's over six years old*, has done a lot of kms and has never been oiled. I was struggling with the idea of sending it off for two weeks - even though, in reality, I quite often don't use it for a couple of weeks and there is no urgent sewing to be done, AND I could always borrow my mum's machine if there was, there's an illogical comfort in knowing that it's there. But when it started stitching independently of the foot pedal I decided that it was time.
And, on the upside, not being able to sew means that I have more time for reading. We're planning a trip for later in the year so I have begun my usual pre-holiday immersion in fiction, guidebooks and films - the pile on the left**. We're heading to Helsinki, Berlin, Basel, Geneva and Singapore. If anyone has suggestions for things to do in those places, or books or novels set in them, I'd love to hear them.
There is a pile of non-holiday related reading too, on the right***. I've finished Life After Life already and absolutely loved it - I tracked it down at the library after hearing Kate Atkinson interviewed on Radio National. Such a beautifully written and thought provoking book.
And I've cast on a new knitting project for the first time in ages - Dusk by Veera Välimäki. Although the short row shaping has me a bit baffled, I seem to have forgotten how to knit. But I think it will be lovely to wear once it's finished.
*I just read the post I wrote when the sewing machine was new, and laughed at the bit where I said it "has several features I've never used before, like an automatic button hole maker and invisible hemming foot" because I still haven't used either of those features.
**The pile on the left is: Wallpaper Guide to Berlin, Lonely Planet Guide to Berlin, Flights of Love by Bernard Schlink, The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert, Wages of Guilt by Ian Buruma, All That I Am & Stasiland by Anna Funder (both of which I have read and really enjoyed, but am looking forward to re-reading), Helsinki White by Jack Thompson. I've also just finished & thoroughly enjoyed My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss and I'm reading The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna which is apparently a Finnish classic.
***The pile on the right is: Runaway by Alice Munro, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The Luminaries, Life After Life.