Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven

I just finished a lovely book of short stories, "Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes". I read it so quickly, but I just could not stop. Doesn't matter. I will be rereading this one many times I'm sure. Stories of England during WWII, those at home, evacuees, rationing (rationed chocolate!), sewing parties. Some humorous, some poignant. Naturally knitting got mentioned a couple of times.

The cover is so beautiful and features part of the painting "The Queue at the Fish Shop" by Evelyn Dunbar, the only salaried woman artist employed during WWII by the War Artists Advisory Committee. [How's that for a tie in during Women's History Month?!]

So England was in my mind when I stopped by the library this afternoon to pick up a book for JP. I wound up detouring through the non-fiction stacks and my eyes just happened to catch the book, "London 1945, Life in the Debris of War". I can pick right up where I left off. When you see the cover what is the first thing you notice? The red coat? It does stand out, but did you also happen to spot the string bags?

My knitting mentor is no longer with us, but she was born in England in 1923 and I heard some wartime stories from her. I can definitely picture her in a queue at the fish shop. If she were just down the road I know I'd be talking to her about the things I've been reading. I'd be showing her my latest knitting, too, I'm sure.

It was such a warm spring day here today. I didn't have to go into the office and instead made my way to a yarn shop where I purchased some yarn and Ysolda Teague's Elijah pattern for a sweet little elephant knit seamlessly (thankfully!).

"When she had hung up the receiver the clock was striking six. She went over to the radio, turned the knob, and sat down with all the other anxious women to knit and listen."
War Among Strangers" 17 January 1942
from "Good Evening, Mrs. Craven"

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I am nearing the end of "Picking Up The Pieces" that I chose to read solely on the basis on the quote on your sidebar. A much needed lovely escape for this crazy weekend.

Thank you for sharing bits of your life. It's helped keep my life a little more sane.