Monday, May 28, 2007

Largely non-knit

I made good progress with Sam yesterday. I finished the back panel, and am half-way around picking up the stitches from it and adding them to the remaining neck stitches. After spending all that time on the Princess border, where 15 rows was a good week’s work, this sense of moving on from one thing to another is really rather welcome.

Our granddaughter Helen came up from Newcastle for the afternoon yesterday (or I might have knit even more), and we had a pleasant time lunching Italian and walking on Calton Hill. She has just finished her second year at Newcastle University, reading English and Classics. She and a friend have just written down their five favourite books and exchanged lists – each has got to read the others’ books.

The Curmudgeon nominated me recently for the Thinking Bloggers Award. I was deeply touched, but I find I can’t go on, as I am supposed to, and nominate five of my own. It would be like choosing among my friends, or my children. I read a good many more than the ones listed in the sidebar; each, obviously, has something to say to me, and I like and respect them all.

I think I promised Lorna once that I’d do a meme where I listed five things about myself that couldn’t be deduced from the blog (and which I didn’t mind having bruited about). I got stuck on that one, too, for different reasons.

But I can, easily, list my five book-of-books, my desert island choices, the novels that create worlds I can, and often do, live in:

1) Prince Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo
2) Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
3) Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
4) Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
5) George Eliot, Middlemarch

The MS Word spelling-checker has never heard of “Tomasi” “Lampedusa” “Gattopardo” “Brideshead” or “Vikram”, but somebody must have told them about Middlemarch.

Rabbits reprised

Helen, I remember those Chinese rabbits at the supermarket. I think they are probably the only rabbits I’ve ever eaten, and that’s when I discovered that my husband doesn’t like eating rabbit.

Moorecat, I read with interest the information in the link you provided about calicivirus. What I don’t understand is why it killed almost all the rabbits in Australia and yet seems to be having almost no effect here.

4 comments:

  1. Jean,I believe it's something to do with our climate. By and large, Australia is warmer and drier than the UK (like you need telling).

    I remember there was concern initially when the virus was accidentally released, that it was the wrong time of year (too damp, I think it was during our autumn break).

    I do know that calicivirus has been around in the UK and Europe naturally for a long time, but because of the different climate, it doesn't thrive there to the same extent.

    Can you tell I read you often? I really enjoy your take on life and, needless to say, your knitting adventures!

    Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  2. A harmless calicivirus was already present in some European rabbit populations; it's thought that exposure to this has provided some protection against RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease). Google also found papers suggesting that the virus can exist in both a pathogenic and non-pathogenic form; the rabbits sampled by the study ( White, Trout et al, Epidemiol Infect.2004Jun;132(3):555-67 15188725) were carrying the non-pathogenic variety.

    I don't know whether or not that helps! Myxomatosis also kills fewer rabbits because some populations have changed their behaviour; individuals spend more time in relative isolation above ground and are less likely to contract the disease.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Truthfully, Jean, I had a tough time with the Thinking Blogger deal and almost didn't do it myself, except that Carol, a dear friend, tagged me. Otherwise, I find lists such as favorite books far more useful and interesting.

    You might like to know that both Franklin and I adore Middlemarch and have read it many times. And of course, I love Jane Austen. Every book.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Janet9:25 AM

    I am enjoying thinking about my favourite books but so far only one stands out above many - The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. I am going to do a blog later today about favourite authors whose books have remained on my shelves for many years.

    Meanwhile I'm going to sew up the black gansey and will post a picture accordingly.

    ReplyDelete