The Book Junkie has issued a Summer Reading Challenge, and I have accepted it. Maybe you would like to do the same?

The original challenge is to read 2 books a week for the summer, for a total of 28 books, posting about each one. However, it is a flexible challenge. Some folks are reading a book a month, or trying a new genre or something like that.

I toyed with the idea of trying a new genre. After all, there are genres I don’t read: horror and Westerns come to mind. The idea of reading horror and Westerns (although I have read The Exorcist and Lonesome Dove, so I guess they would not be entirely new…) is unappealing. It is also hard to see any real benefit to me from doing so.

Also, let’s face it, summer is a challenging time of year for me without adding anything. And yet, I like to have a goal of some kind. So 28 books it is. Last year, I read through the entire Knitting Blog ring. Clearly, my summer goals are low key.

Yesterday, I took my sons shopping. We went to the mall. I bought shoes. I wanted to put in the amazing parts first.

We started at the bakery. There are two bakeries that we frequent. One is the French bakery. The other makes excellent croissants, but also has doughnuts and wedding cakes, so it cannot be the French bakery. It is also the workplace of the handsomest man in town. The boys had sausage rolls and croissants with ham and cheese and chocolate doughnuts and hot chocolate.. I had fruit salad. And pastry. I was in a bakery, after all.

Then we went to the Co-op for granola, freshly made sourdough bread, and sundry other less interesting things. And then to buy shoes. At the mall. The shoe store #1 son prefers was offering two pairs for $89.95, which they seemed to feel was a great bargain. My last visit to the mall was almost exactly one year ago. This year’s visit was less traumatic. In fact, though #1 son did say to me, “You want to get out of here as fast as possible, don’t you?”, I didn’t really find it unpleasant. We went to two stores (and had been to four before reaching the mall), and I could have gone to another. I even thought that I might go back in the near future and buy another pair of shoes for myself. Not that I will actually do that, but the fact that it crossed my mind seems significant.

We got home in time for lunch and to make the pleated bag. It is not precisely what I had envisioned, but I like it very well.

I lined it with canvas, but did not put in the pockets and divisions I was planning. I may go back and do that later.

I put a bit of elastic inside the sides, as they would not fold themselves in and stay there, while sewing the pleats made the opening of the bag too grudging. The closure is a Chinese coin sewn on with a bead and a self-fabric cord. The handle is store-bought, and I attached it with self-fabric tabs.

There was an enormous amount of hand stitching done in tiny little spaces, so I was glad to have Pride and Prejudice to watch, but this 2005 film was not, it seems to me, as good as the 1995 BBC version. It was pretty, but there seemed to be a lot of anomalies — people’s behavior didn’t ring true, and their manners seemed off. Perhaps I am wrong about that, since I was not alive in 19th century England, but I found it distracting. With the bag finished, I took the Regal Orchid sleeve back up and got it to 11″.

Following the afternoon’s stitching, I did a bit of hoeing in the vegetable garden, and then we saw our boys off to their friends’ houses and passed a quiet evening.

Ah, Saturday.