Sunday, 22 January 2012

Soduko, Bridge and More Small Stones

Collecting small stones is all about looking carefully at one thing each day for the whole of January and writing down what I see. It’s a fascinating activity. I’ve never done it before and I didn’t expect to get this far. I’m well over half way and think that I might just make it to the end of the month.

I’ve chosen two number-related stones to talk about and listed out my others at the bottom of this post. [I posted about my first nine small stones here.]
Wednesday 18th January: 1 to 9, 1 to 9, 1 to 9. Looking for patterns. Always different. My evening Soduko never fails to fascinate.
Thursday 19th January: Shuffle and deal. Sort the cards. *sigh* No bid… again! #Bridge 
Why does Soduko fascinate me so much? In theory it’s completely pointless. It makes no difference if I fill it in correctly or not, but in practise I’m quite passionate about it, almost as passionate as I am about Bridge.

Bridge also relies on working out numbers, counting the high card values in your hand, making a calculated estimate of how many points your partner has according to the bids of your opponent. I’m not sure if I do it to keep my brain active, or to keep me from thinking about life’s worries. Probably both if I’m honest.

Do you have a hobby that you’re passionate about?

My small stones from 10th to 21st January: 
10th  It has a rich red base with black lines forming diamonds, circles, elaborate shapes, each one filled with blue, beige and red. This is the Turkish rug that I never see beneath my feet. 
11th  A rotund pigeon approaches our tree, thrusts legs forward, leans back on an air current, flaps wings wildly… and he’s landed. 
12th  I slice the cucumber so thinly the light shines through. My knife slips. I should hide the half slices but where? In my mouth!
13th  The car wash guys have raw red hands and yet they chat and laugh as they wring out leathers, spray on soap, hose down suds. 
14th  A thousand tiny fireflies have been skating all night on our frosted car roof to the tune of The Bolero. I know because I can see the lines their skates have left behind. 
15th  A line of steam escapes from beneath the saucepan lid and gathers like dewdrops on the cold kitchen window. 
16th  Yellow tulips dip over the rim of my vase like ballerinas bowing for applause. 
17th  Pasta bows, soft and shiny, covered with sizzling cheese and spinach for Popeye-style strength. Supper for one. My choice.
18th  1 to 9, 1 to 9, 1 to 9. Looking for patterns. Always different. My evening Soduko never fails to fascinate. 
19th  Shuffle and deal. Sort the cards. *sigh* No bid… again! #Bridge
20th  Two spikey-haired cats miaow at me as if I can stop the rain. Sorry girls. 
21st Chocolate ice cream with real chocolate chunks, smooth and crunchy, cold and creamy. The taste lingers :-)   


  1. Loving your small much seen in such short sentences...suprisingly vivid.

    Sudoku?That's another thing you're going to have to show me how to numerically dyslexic so have not got on too well!

  2. I love the imagery of the rotund pigeon!

    My hobby I suppose is reading. I don't have time for anything else other than that with the working and writing. With January blues, the writing is taking a bit of a back seat. I'm enjoying getting through a few books though.

  3. Hi Ros .. I just think you need to read my post - I guess you will?!

    Actually I've just clicked what you've been doing - couldn't get my head into it!! I need more numbers ..

    My hobby right now is probably educating myself via my blogging and visiting others .. and I'll add avant garde films, museums, art galleries etc to the list when I free to roam.

    I'm drinking - lighten the mood tea .. which is what I need - cheers Hilary

  4. I have never played bridge and can't even spell the number one.I play scabble on my phone,read and lately my blog has been my hobby and reading blogs about writing. I love your small stones.Do you write yours in a book first? I do and they change quite a bit by the time they go on my blog. I really like the fireflies skating.

  5. I'm a bit addicted to Sudoku, although I did realise that I should have a more wordy distraction too, so now I do the Guardian crossword online. I'm rubbish at them, but I keep trying.

  6. I'm semi-addicted to challenging sudoko and crossword puzzles. They're good for the brain, and I think the number symmetry of a good sudoko is a thing of beauty. (I know. I'm a little weird.)

  7. Fascinated! I don't play bridge or know anything about sudoko but if it helps to take your nind of other issyues then it is theraputic. Writing and designing is my therapy.

  8. Love those small stones and imagine they can be quite liberating. Have to try it myself. Sudoko - have spates of it but not good at it and lose interest but can see how it can grip you.

  9. Hi Bridgit, the small stones have surprised me with their vividness too.

    Hi Rebecca, it really was a very rotund pigeon. I might even have called it fat if I wasn’t trying to be a bit poetic! Reading is a good January hobby.

    Hi Hilary, I’m popping over to visit posts just as soon as I’ve commented here. Avant garde films sound intriguing.

    Hi Anne, I started writing them in a book and reworking them but now I’m typing them up as a word doc so I can keep them. I do have to fiddle around to make them short enough to tweet but I think that sometimes adds to their precision.

    Hi Annalisa, I used to do the Guardian cryptic crossword every day. I rarely finished it but I used to get a fair way with it. Now I sit and stare at the clues and can hardly fill in a thing. I think the mind gets out of the habit of being cryptic.

    Hi Susan, if you’re a little weird then so am I because I agree with you!

    Hi Pauline, now I need to know what type of designing you do. This blogging game makes me sooo nosey!

    Hi Susan, do give the small stones a go. They’re well worth it.

  10. Your descriptions are beautiful. They paint a picture in so few words.

    I found your through Out on a Limb.
    Catherine Denton

  11. What a wonderful idea. I love details; what a great way to make sure you notice them! Good for you.

    My dad is an avid Soduko player. I try to stay away from numbers as much as possible! But I admire people who like them. :)

  12. I've seen this small-stone theme going around the blogs, it's very interesting and a nice way to look at our everyday lives. It's the little things that matter, isn't it.

  13. You are very good at this! I much like the entry for the 16th myself.

    " Yellow tulips dip over the rim of my vase like ballerinas bowing for applause."

  14. My small stones, but a few of many...
    - Tea. All sorts of flavours. A hint of vanilla and jasmine to the full bodied mouth watering licorice and cinnamon.

    -Faces. They are everywhere, but I love looking for them in patterns. The scratches and screws on the back of a door turn into a long nose sneakily peeking sideways at what I am doing.

    - Family Tree. The compulsion of the search draws me in as I find another great aunty twice removed.

    - Family at Home. There is nothing better than taking my coat off in the porch hearing my son scream "Daddy, Daddy" and the scurry of feet as he rushes to the door to great me.

  15. I really enjoyed your Small Stones. My favorites are about the skating fireflies and the yellow tulips. Both Soduko and Bridge are great for your mind. I'm impressed that you have so many worthwhile hobbies! Julie