Home again, again. Here's yesterday morning's picture of the vegetable garden, on which no work got done. I didn't even get across the field you see behind to collect a barrow-load of manure. But we cleaned the gutters of their load of autumn leaves, and the ditch that runs beside the driveway likewise, and pruned an apple tree, and did various other winter-type chores. The conical tree in this picture is an abies grandis; my husband planted it, when it was much smaller.
We have no television there, no internet connection, no mail to speak of, no newspapers unless we make the effort to drive to a neighbouring hamlet. The result is a wonderful cleansing of the palate, like a spoonful of sherbet between courses. And the illusion that life is perfectly manageable.
This time of year is good for knitting, too. Darkness drives one indoors by half past four. You will remember of course that at our last visit north, I had only just started the ribbing on the second sleeve of Rachel's striped Koigu. Now, we're getting distinctly near the end of that sleeve.
Ten more stripes to go. Then I will have to give serious thought -- I don't like thought -- to the neck placket and collar. Up to now, I'm just enlarging the pattern I designed for a toddler, but I think the neck demands a bit more in the way of application.
Here in Edinburgh, I'm within a hundred stitches or so of finishing the cast-off of Swirly 2. Then I must pick up the First Holy Communion veil and do at least a wadge of it before allowing myself any more solstice-comfort knitting.
The new issue of Knitting (the British magazine) was waiting for us here. There's a wonderful article by Mary Morrison -- who is surely the Mary Morrison of http://morcatknits.typepad.com -- about a trip to Shetland. I was delighted to note that she went sufficiently native to refer, at the end, to "the return trip to Scotland". I've never been there, alas, but I know that that's how Shetlanders refer to the mainland: "Scotland". "Mainland", I think, means to them the largest Shetland island.
I've decided what to do with that magazine. Despite what I said once about never throwing away a knitting magazine, that's what I'm going to do. I'll keep each issue for a year, as I do with my food magazines, and then have a last flip through just in case, before binning it. I've got to go on subscribing, for the sake of British knitting. We need this magazine, and they're really trying. But storage space is getting tight, and I'm certainly not going to throw away a VK or a Knitter's or an IK.