Monday, August 14, 2006

We’re here in Edinburgh until Wednesday. Where to start?

Jayne has sent me some extremely interesting things – if you can imagine being even remotely interested in such a subject – about “Kitchener stitch”, and there have been some good comments as well, including Franklin's scholarly contribution, which throws a whole new light on the matter. I think maybe I’ll devote the whole blog to Kitchener tomorrow.

I got VKB No. 17. The friend who did the bidding has actually, physically got it, and I won’t see it until life calms down and we can meet. I certainly don’t fancy trusting it to the Royal Mail a second time.

When I got up last Wednesday morning, the day the bidding closed, it stood at £16. By the time we left for Strathardle, it was up to £21. My friend and I expected major sniping, and she has promised never, ever to reveal the amount I authorised her to bid in our eleventh-hour telephone conference. But we got it for £22. That's bad enough, but I'm delighted.


There was a New Yorker cartoon long ago whose caption has passed into our family vocabulary: man-slumped-over-bar, to bartender: “The trouble is, either you’re married or you’re not.”

Grandchildren are like that. Either they’re here, or they’re not. You wouldn’t believe how quiet this house seems, or – even with all that mess (see August 8) still piled in the hall – how orderly.

So here are some grandchildren pictures. Carlarey, I’ve given up on Blogger. Pictures now come to you via Flickr, an achievement I could not have reached without the help of several commenters.

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That is a picture of James' and Cathy's children, Alistair, Kirsty, and Rachel, with the 2006 Summer Pudding. I hadn't made one for years, but James had fond memories from his own childhood, and he insisted. The children picked a lot of the berries. It was a huge success.

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On the left, Mungo Drake of Thessaloniki, with his knitting, and Rachel Miles of Beijing, with hers. On the right, Rachel, Fergus Drake, and Mungo in front of the new Mega Tent on the west lawn.

My birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, a date shared with Fidel Castro, Maddhur Jaffrey, and Helen’s husband David. (And others, no doubt.) Maddhur Jaffrey was in fact born on the very same day as I was – there’s a factoid for you.

My sister had commissioned, and yesterday presented, a drawing by Franklin of an elderly sheep just finishing off a nice piece of lace knitting. I cannot even attempt to express how delighted I am and how much it means to me.

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