With this assortment of loosely connected articles snipped from the loom of his life John-Paul Flintoff has woven a patchwork quilt with many colours and different fabrics; some bright and vibrant with a fine and pleasing silky texture, some mundane and workmanlike like practical cotton or linen, others as dull and uninteresting as coarse sacking.
Being a journalist, he does not tell us anything significant or instructive about sewing, other than that he has done some. So don't expect this to be a book about sewing, it is more of a biography mixed in with some philosophy. However, it is entertaining, or at least most of it is. The chapters are many, and short, and usually rather shallow, and in my opinion they feel to be about the right length and tone for a catchy article in the weekend supplement of a newspaper. I guess it is a hard habit to kick.
He does have some very interesting themes on ecology, religion and politics, and just when one thinks he is taking them somewhere useful the chapter ends, and in the next he skips away onto something completely unrelated. This I found irritating, and it made me think that perhaps he is merely re-hashing other people's bright ideas, but not doing enough research or thinking enough about them to develop depth or add value. For me, I think one of the most cogent bits was written by his wife, and this made me wonder if she was the clever one supplying him with the ideas.
The book is good in parts, less good elsewhere, and bad in just a few. Being episodic it does allow one to dip in and out without losing any plot, so it is ideal for those of us who do most of our reading on public transport.