Saturday, February 13, 2010

Four years of distractions

I started writing Random Distractions in February 2006, although I see from the archives that I didn't actually push the Publish button until 3 March. I just couldn't imagine who might want to read it, a thought that recurs at regular intervals.

That first post, Discoveries of the week, probably sums up my interests pretty well: a love of literature and language, picking out some of the absurdities and pretensions of modern life and observing the ways that people think and behave.  The last is not meant in a judgemental way, I just love people and really want to know what makes them tick. One of the greatest pleasures of becoming a blogger has been the contact with people all round the world, I have learned a great deal and some very precious friendships have developed.

To mark Random Distractions' fourth birthday I have chosen a book that I think is a perfect representation of the blog:
Jane Austen was a great observer of people and their behaviour and this book is full of beautiful illustrations of  the clothes, manners and pastimes mentioned in her novels. If you want to make a bonnet as worn by the ladies of Mansfield Park or that "pulled about" by Lydia in Pride and Prejudice, full instructions are included.
or  you might be off to the Assembly Rooms.........
...... and need to know how to tie or recognise the latest fashionable knot for a cravat:

It is a great companion to Jane Austen's novels with illustrations and instructions for  paper flowers, transparencies, reticules, a huswife, knitted rugs, muffs, tippets and many  more period pieces. I haven't been tempted to make anything as Jane's young ladies were far more skilled than I am,  but I love looking at the book.

If you would like to enter your name in a draw for this book, leave a comment here, whether you are a regular reader or you've stumbled here by chance. I will make the draw at the end of the month.


  1. Ooh... I would loved this to go with my Jane Austen Cookbook! I used to live in Bath and loved the history and the town through her eyes!

  2. Congratulations on four years blogging! The book looks like a really interesting read.

  3. Well, I must give myself a chance on this one. How wonderful to have a book that will explains the mysteries of making a reticule; and you never know, if I can tie a cravat I may get my man - though am likely to 'Do a Jane' 12 hours after any proposal - but what a skill to have! Congratulations and Happy Birthday to Random Distractions. May you continue to delight your Followers with a mixture of wisdom, erudition and serendipity – not to mention the excellent recipes!

  4. I'm hyperventilating! Oh, and happy birthday Random Distractions, lol.

  5. Who can live without a bonnet?

  6. Many more happy years at the keyboard.

  7. Welcome back and happy birthday to your blog, Maureen. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time with your family.
    I don't think our little snowfall can disrupt too much at my house. I've been down with the flu since the middle of the week and haven't been up to much at all. Bleah.
    You're right about this book being right up my alley! Please toss my name in the basket and I will hope that it is theone drawn and I can end this terrible boredom I'm experiencing with something enchanting. lol

  8. Happy Blog Birthday!
    It's very nice to virtually meet you!

  9. Oh well done! Four years is a real achievement.

    What an extraordinary book. Makes you wonder how one ever managed without knowing how to do all those cravat knots. I rather fancy the "mathematician".

  10. Congratulations on completing four years!
    I grew up with Jane Austen, and this books sounds like something I would love to browse through.

  11. Congratulations on your anniversary. I love reading your blog and being transported back to England without actually having to travel.

  12. I've packed the book and will post it from Oxford to the winner. I just wish that I could send a copy to everyone - perhaps I should buy a ticket for the European lottery!

  13. Hello Maureen
    I've been meaning to comment here since I saw it last week. I hope I'm not too late to be included (that is if you'll post down under) it looks like fun read - interesting too.
    Take care


I love to read your comments and promise that I will reply as soon as I can leave my garden, sewing room or kitchen!