Thursday, December 01, 2022

Oh, Mary Lot, thank you for the pointer to that Wordle hat (comment yesterday). We in my little group post our results to each other daily, so I could make individual hats using the recipient’s actual scores. What fun!


 I must get back to my knitting – again, a day has gone by with none. I continue to feel better. The antibiotic course finished today. I think Daniela and I hit the ideal moment for that bath: I am strong enough now to change into pyjamas at bedtime, and back into real clothes in the morning. I’ve been dragging myself around in the same rags, night and day, for the last week.


Roger and Helen are safely back in DC, much missed here. 

 Wordle: I was today’s dunce with the only five. Theo, Granddaughter-Rachel and Ketki shared the honours with three. Everybody else scored four. A lot of us, including me, had gr,*,gr,gr,gr for our penultimate row, but we got there at different speeds. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Dies atra

 Not much further forward, but perhaps a little. No knitting. Daniela administered a bath this morning and I spent the rest of the morning wondering whether that might not have been a step too far. I spent the afternoon in bed, dozing, and feel somewhat better. I recognise the truth of what you say, Tamar – that if an antibiotic has improved my condition, it must be due to something other than viral ailments. My sister also thought I needed an antibiotic although she seemed to think that the one chosen was a bit feeble. There’s only one more day of it. Sometimes one feels better simply because the course of antibiotics has ended. The doctor who came here said to phone again when the course was finished, if I wasn’t better. I’ll leave that until Monday. (GPs no longer work weekends – there’s an emergency service.)


Current affairs: I am not black, but I’m also not British, and I am often asked where I’m from. I’m not offended. It seems a reasonable conversation-starter.


It occurred to me as I was drifting back towards consciousness from my pleasant nap, that the King is updating the monarchy much as the Papacy has been updated. Except that in the latter case it was pleasantly gradual, starting perhaps with John XXIII. Whereas the monarchy has gone from Pius XII to Francis in a single leap.


Wordle: Five, today, my least-liked score. I got three greens at the beginning of the word, and guessed wrong twice. Four was the big score today. Ketki and Theo joined me with five. And Theo’s father Roger, now presumably safely although wearily back in DC, was today’s winner with a three.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Well, here we are. My guests have gone. And my cold is much better.


Both happened at once. The cold exploded last Tuesday evening, just after Helen and Roger and their friend Kinthi arrived. In the end daughter-Helen brought a mattress and slept on my bedroom floor, which was a great comfort. And a couple of days later she succeeded in getting a doctor to the house. An antibiotic was prescribed and it has done a lot of good. Two more days to go. I am still coughing like an operatic heroine in the final act, but the cough is no longer productive.


And apart from all that, she has fed and entertained my guests for the entire week.


Wordle: I kept it up the whole time. I failed the day the answer was ITCHY, and nearly failed (=scored six) today. Everybody found it on the tough side today, and Thomas who is so often the best, joined me with six. I’ve had a run of threes for the past three days.


No knitting whatsoever. I’m going to have a bath tomorrow, and hope I may also celebrate a return to near-health by dividing Fergus’ sweater for the armholes.

Monday, November 21, 2022


My cold has receded somewhat, leaving a bit of chesty cough behind. I turned the heat on today, and otherwise cosseted myself. No walking.


My sister and her husband will be here tomorrow. You may or may not hear from me during the following week


And, indeed, you won’t hear much today. No knitting – always an ominous symptom.


And I failed at Wordle. No excuse.

Sunday, November 20, 2022


Well, here we go. My sister and her husband will be here on Tuesday. Alexander hopes to pop in to see them on Wednesday. Thursday we will have our faux-Thanksgiving party at a local restaurant. I’m not absolutely sure I’m not developing a cold.


C. and I had a good time at Mass this morning again – another outing for my disabled badge. And knitting has progressed well – I’m on the very verge of reaching the point which I think may be right for the underarm break. I must bear in mind, when I next measure, that if I stretch the cables out a bit, to block for width, I may at the same time be diminishing the length.


I’m reading a Tana French called “In the Woods”. It’s here in the Kindle, open to the last page, so I must have read it before. I have no memory of it at all, except perhaps of the most vague. It’s got a brilliant McGiffin, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Mr Bezos would be twice as rich if Amazon stopped warning silly old fools like me, as they hoven over a title, that they bought it four years ago. Don’t tell him.


Wordle: A Wordle special, today. I scraped home in six. From the beginning I had greens in positions two, three and five. I kept guessing wrong, despite the diminishing stock of available consonants: and at the end there was at least one other possibility. I was lucky to scrape home. Theo, Ketki, and Daughter-Rachel had the same difficulty with the same configuration, but for the most part either got there sooner or guessed right sooner. Ketki scored four, Daughter-Rachel five, Theo six (like me). With different configurations, Thomas and Granddaughter-Rachel had five and Alexander four. Mark was tops with three.  


Saturday, November 19, 2022


I am touched at, and grateful for, your concern – but there’s no need to worry. I have an electric Aga and I would as soon turn it off as sell one of the cats. I don’t know yet how much it’s costing me this winter, but it means that the kitchen is always warm and dry. These days, I find I tend to stay in there from lunchtime onwards. The house itself is comfortable, too. In the days – they must be more than ten years ago, now – when my husband and I were able to go to Kirkmichael at all times of the year, we always turned off Aga and central heating when we were away and always found, when we got back, that the house, although of course cold, was never as bone-shatteringly cold as it might have been. 

C. has suggested that if I pushed the kitchen table a bit closer to the window, there would be room for a big comfortable chair. It’s an idea I must investigate. Meanwhile I find the wooden kitchen chairs very comfortable, and suitable for knitting.

 I’ve progressed a bit further. Today I finished a ball of yarn – always an event – but while I was winding the next one, Perdita appropriated the knitting itself, lying on the kitchen table. So I’m stymied. If it were Paradox, I’d just swipe her off.

 Wordle: I wonder if our scores have ever been so spread out. I scored five, my least-liked result. My starter words gave me four browns and I wrestled with the anagram for a while, and found an answer, and sat back – but it was wrong. Still four browns. I found another one – and realised, too late, that it was a Jean-word. One of the browns was in a position it had previously occupied and therefore inevitably  wrong. But, like many Jean-words before now, it was useful. Two of the browns turned green, and the position of a third could be deduced. That was the fourth line, and then I got it.

 My brother-in-law Roget scored six. His son Theo got five, like me. Alexander, Mark and Thomas got four. Three for Ketki and Daughter-Rachel. Today’s star was Granddaughter-Rachel, with two.

 Today would have been my husband’s 97th birthday, I think.

Friday, November 18, 2022

 It has been a filthy day, weather-wise, but since it was my bath-morning I not only didn’t go out, I didn’t even wonder if I should try. Helen came for a while. Archie came later, and we got through some paperwork. Daniela’s son Daniel is doing well after his procedure. My resolution not to turn the heating on is being put to the test. So far, so good. The real test will come next week: I’ll turn it on for my sister and her husband. Will I have the strength of character to turn it off when they go?


I got some knitting done, and measured seriously again. Progress is virtually undetectable since last time. I’ve calculated where I will be in the pattern when I hit the armholes. It looks extremely long already. But Fergus is extremely long. I wish KD said somewhere how tall her male model is – I know he’s wearing the size I’m knitting, but what with artistic photography he might be no bigger than the prime minister.


KD’s book “Sark” has arrived. It’s nice. It’s got some nice patterns. There’s not much text, but what there is, is interesting, including an interview with Norah Gaughan. Brooklyn Tweed has sent me an ad for their Kai Fella sweater which I like a lot. Big squares, connected as intarsia. That’s it, but it’s good.


Wordle: A tough word today. It took me six. But nobody else had that much trouble, so maybe it wasn’t as tough as all that. Daughter-Rachel needed five (that’s some comfort); four for Mark and Ketki and Theo; three for Thomas; an astonishing two for Alexander. Nothing from Granddaughter-Rachel or Brother-in-law Roger.