Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Love In The Time Of Cholera (and other things)

I have finally finished reading 'Love In The Time Of Cholera'. It's an extraordinary book, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's a love story, set during the last century, possibly in Columbia (although I'm not convinced). You can feel the heat, the Catholicism, the oppression. Think 'Evita' in the opening scenes when it's her father's funeral and she isn't acknowledged as one of his children. It's the story of a young man, Florentino Ariza, who meets a young girl, Fermina Daza, and they fall in love, through their letters, which they exchange for two years, but as soon as they meet again Fermina breaks it off, and not long after, marries Dr Juvenal Urbino. (The author uses the characters' full names every time they are mentioned, which adds to the formality and strangeness of the atmosphere). They are married for fifty odd years, and during that time Ariza never forgets her. (The whole point of the book is that it's saying love sickness is a disease like cholera.) After that time, the doctor dies, and Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza get back together. The annoying thing about it, is that the author lists all of the people Florentino Ariza has affairs with (graphically described) over those years, while in his own head, he has kept himself pure for Fermina Daza, because he hasn't got married. One definitely gets the impression that Marquez sees no problem with this, although, I'm sure if it had been Fermina that had had lots of affairs, it would have been considered scandalous.
This book does deal with death, decay and old age, which was a bit too much for me last week when Mr O had gone to Germany to see his dying brother for the last time. I could have thrown the book at the wall (haven't done that since 'Flowers In The Attic'). It is a strangely compelling book, and quite beautifully written. I had to know what happened at the end, and that's got to be the sign of a good book, hasn't it?
So I'd give it eight out of ten, and would tentatively recommend it, but you've got to really want to read it. (ie, I accept no responsibility if you get half way through and think, 'This is total tosh!') As I say, I saw the trailer for the film and was intrigued, but I would find it incredibly hard to turn this book into a film. I am going to watch it one day (alone, during the day!) just out of curiosity.

So, I have finally finished my last little cottage cross stitch. Here it is:

Just to remind you, here are the other two:

I love the fact that they are all slightly different, not just the roofs and walls, but each garden fence is different, too. As you can see, they are all slotted into the sides of my pen pot, and look very cute. I would have liked a long, narrow picture frame, so I could sew all three side by side, to make a little street scene, but I can't find the sort of frame I'm looking for. If you see one anywhere, please let me know.

These are the cards I've made recently. I kept this one simple:

But like this one very much, too.

But I've got to be honest and say the most fun I'm having at the moment is with scrapbooking. Whereas with card making, I still need training in certain techniques, and make the best cards when I copy other people's, somehow with scrapbooking, although I play about with bits of paper for hours, I find it so much easier to put together. There's something about knowing the end result is for you to keep, too. Imagine being able to stroke those beautiful papers for ever! The only limit with this is your own imagination.

I am aware that I am just starting out with this new craft, but some of the pages I've seen in books are nothing short of art. I would love to get that good, one day.

I am learning that good scrapbooking starts with a good, clear photograph, and the challenge is to keep that as the main focus of the scrapbook page, no matter what else you put with it. That is where the skill lies, I think. I'll show you some more as soon as I can, but I'm waiting for some photos to arrive, so I can use those, too.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your cottages. I have no patience for such intricate work myself, which makes me admire it even more.

    The cards are really clever and I can see some great ideas developing in the scrapbooking. Again, I am not an expert at either, but I do recognize creativity.

    As for the book...might be interested after I read the three I have sitting here. Thanks for the review.


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