Reading, Knitting and musing…

I thought I would write a little about the books I have been reading lately, with pictures of the knitting I have been doing on the side 🙂

DSC07742

I took the The Friday Night Knitting Club on holiday with me and really enjoyed this book. The main protagonist is Georgia Walker, a capable single mum and owner of a knitting shop in New York’s Broadway. She is doing well, making ends meet and raising her 12 year old daughter singlehandedly with support from an older friend and mentor Anita. Not long into the book, she is faced with two people from the past unexpectedly returning into her life and long buried betrayals resurface. The Friday Night Knitting Club comes into being quite by accident, but familiar characters return every week to knit and unlikely friendships and connections are formed. The book is well written and is an easy yet engaging read. I won’t go into too much detail, but I was in tears by the end. A good read with an unexpected ending. Also great to spend some ‘virtual’ time in a knitting shop 🙂

DSC08145

I have just finished The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul which I found on a book shelf at our holiday cottage (I left another book in exchange). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is written by Deborah Rodriguez, an American writer who used to own and teach at a beauty school in Kabul, Afghanistan and also co-owned a coffee shop there. She is well placed to write about the region and the people, having spent five years living and working there. The story centres around five women: Sunny – an American who runs the coffee shop, Halajan – the owner of the building who has a modern outlook, but must hide this from her son, Yasmina – a country girl, pregnant and abducted from her uncle’s house, who works in the cafe, Isabel – a British journalist with quite a past and Candace – a rich American divorcee, looking for her calling in life. Their lives entwine as they get to know each other in the cafe and good friendships are formed through adversity. There is once again the theme of women connecting and together they get things done. We learn about how women there are oppressed and devalued by their culture and have to live under a strict code of conduct. The book is set at a time when the Taliban were starting to get a stronger grip on things and life is unstable in Kabul. We learn a lot about Afghan culture, traditions and the different ethnic groups. It was quite eye opening in some ways for me and certainly makes me appreciate the freedoms I have as a woman in the West. The characters are believable and it left me wanting more. I just saw there is a sequel to it and a couple more books by the author so I will certainly be ordering more 🙂

DSC08247

And at the weekend I started reading Tomorrow There Will be Apricots. There are two female protagonists I believe, an eighty year old and a troubled teenager, Lorca, who I am just getting to know.  So far so good.

As you can see, I have started a new knitting project. I didn’t work on with my sweater this week as I had to wind another ball of yarn before continuing. As it has been getting cooler here again, I decided I would finally knit myself a hat! So this weekend, on the train to London to see friends, I cast on to knit a Wurm hat

DSC08180.JPG

and after two train journeys and a couple of car trips, I am nearly there 🙂 I have made a Wurm hat before and found it a very flattering, fun shape. The bright, soft blue/green Merino yarn is also making it an enjoyable knit.

I have noticed the books I am gravitating to are about women’s relationships and the need to form a supportive community.  I think women’s groups are so important; be they friendships, reading groups, craft groups or political groups or even an antenatal group. Women need to connect and support each other and not be in isolation as we go through life’s stages and challenges. We thrive in a supportive environment where we can feel safe to be a woman, to express ourselves fully; our passions, joys, fears, doubts and vision for the future. We all have our own individual strengths of course, but I believe together we are stronger, and confiding in each other we can feel more validated and thus become bolder and wiser.

I feel the world needs women’s wisdom now more than ever, perhaps even for its very survival. I have heard it often said that women will change the world for the better – as creators, nurturers, communicators, visionaries and peacemakers – we understand what the world needs to mend its broken heart and to safeguard the future of the world. As mothers we are perhaps even better placed to want (and need) change and perhaps to create it, one child at a time;  by encouraging in our children a deep love and respect for our planet, for our fellow beings (including animals) and for all of nature.

Recently I became impressed by the vision and work of Clare Dubois and Tree Sisters. I am enjoying contributing to their cause, albeit only financially at this time. It is so inspiring and encouraging to see women standing up for what is important so we can create a viable future for our planet.

Even through this little blog here, I hope to build some form of community, however small, through sharing and connecting with other women (bloggers or not) with similar values. We need to support each other; to applaud each other for our womanly skills – It is another way of sharing and valuing what we do.

Gosh I didn’t realise I was going to write that, but it is something that dawns on me often; that if we women listened to our deepest longings – for peace, harmony, connection and community, then we have all the answers. We just need to subdue our fear of being too much, too powerful (we have generations of female ancestors who were devalued and belittled for being women whose voices still whisper their fears to us, but would, I think, want us to be free).

Finally, I would like to share a couple of things with all you lovely women out there, that have struck a chord with me. I hope you like them!

This video clip was sent to me by a friend.

And do have a listen to this free meditation by Scott Brandon Hoffman –  It is called a “I See You” – a Love Letter to women. Take some time out alone and enjoy this warm bath for the soul. You deserve it!

Dear Woman, never doubt how special you are.

 Sharing at Unravelled Wednesdays

10 thoughts on “Reading, Knitting and musing…

  1. After reading this post I popped online and reserved the Friday night knitting club and the little coffee shop in kabul at the library i work at. This is just the kind of books that appeal to me. When I turned 40 I felt my life had really lacked female knowledge such as traditional craft and medicine. Prior to that I was a stay at home mum bringing the children up with a waldorf influence but still very isolated from other like minded people. For my 40th birthday, I traveled interstate for the first time since having children, for a long weekend of natural dyeing, knitting and sewing. I’ve joined a very meditative and holistic and restorative yoga class and next I’d love to go to a Jane Hardwicke class. Slowly building up my women’s coven.

    Like

    • Hi Zena! Lovely to hear from you after so long. That sounds so great what you have been doing lately; giving yourself the right sort of nurturing. We give so much to our children, (especially us Waldorf mums who go the extra mile!), we really need to fill our own cups too, so it is great to hear that you are taking those steps. I would love to go to a long crafty weekend like that – how amazing to have time away from home to learn these ancient womanly skills and to meet like minded folks – such a boost! And you are also connecting with your female ancestors and hopefully keeping the skills alive for future generations. Wonderful! The yoga class sounds so nourishing and the Jane Hardwicke class would be a fab idea! Good for you for looking for connections to like minded folk – it is so important and validating to find others on a similar path. We are stronger together. I do hope you enjoy the books. Take care and lovely to hear your news.

      Like

  2. I’m so glad to read your review of Friday Night Knitting Club. I keep seeing that book everywhere & it constantly shows up on book recommendation lists but for some reason, I’ve resisted reading it. Your description makes me want to add it to my que however. Thanks!

    Like

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and books. 🙂 It is nice to have community, in whatever form it comes to us, and I am glad for your blog. I’ll confess that I have a hard time fitting in with other women, but I do have some dear friends and my dear books, which are my own kind of community. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for the Lifeways book!

    Like

    • Yes community can take all different forms. I am fortunate to live somewhere where I have found like minded friends but it took time and and I really have our school parent and child group to thank for many of my current friendships. I understand how it feels to not fit in and it takes too much energy to try to be someone other than you are. I think many sensitive people experience this and people who live a life outside the mainstream. I felt like that when I first had children. I had no idea of what to do with my first – she cried so much and everyone I knew had relatively easy babies and had very different ideas re discipline/tv/sugar etc. I just knew what felt wrong and so I had a period of time quite isolated but knowing I had to follow my heart. I was thankful for some lovely parenting magazines that echoed what my daughter needed, a couple of wholesome/Waldorf blogs and books that validated what I was doing or sent me in the right direction. It looks like you have met a few kindred spirits through your blog, like Stacey (how is she?) Meeting like minded women, through writing our blogs is really another way of building community as we are sharing and supporting each others endeavours. There is also the quiet power of doing what you are doing because it feels right and that is a great example to set your children. I haven’t read Lifeways in ages – I remember enjoying it. Will have to revisit it 🙂

      Like

  4. A community whether virtual or real life is so important, reading other peoples blogs, their journey, the nurturing, creativity is inspiring and for me very encouraging, as we do not always these days have these women on our doorstep, so the virtual world becomes a great source of support and wisdom. Have added The Coffee Shop of Kabul to my book list, just come home from the charity shop with an interesting selection to read.

    Like

    • No indeed we often don’t always have like minded folks nearby or people who inspire us with their ideas and wisdom. It is so great that we can now connect and gather ideas from people all across the globe who are treading a similar path. Thank goodness for this sharing – we are richer for it. Charity shops are so great for books aren’t they. Enjoy your reading!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s