A nice day. Madame Noir and I visited an RSPCA kennels in Durham. Lots of gorgeous dogs, mostly greyhounds, lurchers and the occasional quivering whippet. I fell for a Saluki called Tish, but apparently she doesn't like cats. So tomorrow I am going back to walk a beautiful, long-limbed and willowy blonde lurcher called Naomi. They say owners tend to look like their dogs (or dogs look like their owners). If that is the case then if Naomi is to be mine she will need a few more sausage rolls (or I will need a few less).
I have been considering lurcher-esque names. I feel they would have to be Northern and working class. So far the contenders are: Hetty, Thora, Gladys, Mavis and Hilda. My favourite is Hetty (Madame Noir's suggestion, inspired the classic 80s BBC series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates starring Patricia Routledge).
After the kennels I moved on to John Lewis. I love that shop so much. It is clear, clean and uncluttered. One of my Easter resolutions was to start knitting, so I was in search of wool and needles. The haberdashery department in JL is heaven on earth: thousands of delicate shell buttons on sweet little cards, yards of faded silks and velvet ribbons, balls of fuzzy, cosy cashmere. I particularly adored all the Cath Kidston sewing cases.
Anyway, resisting all the temptations on offer, I limited myself to wool and knitting needles, and have been practicing the basic knit stitch ever since I got home. It is not going well. I imagined knitting would be a calming and meditative process. I am discovering it is anything but. I drop stitches everywhere and keep finding Cecil (my Maine Coon kitten) tangled in my purple angora, like some bondage loving Tory MP. I have not managed to knit one row yet, I keep having to start again.
I have just looked for local courses in sewing and knitting, but there are none. I love the idea of sewing, crochet, knitting, embroidery. All those skills must be dying out and it is such a shame. Apparently I could do 'Call Centre Skills', an 'Autocad level 1' (believe me, I have had my fill of cads, auto or otherwise) or even an 'Introduction to Leadership'. But not one practical course on sewing or knitting. What is the world coming to? I shall have to teach myself.