Thursday, May 15, 2008


You will remember that just before we left for London last week, a neighbouring art historian walked by with her dog as I was saying goodbye to my courgettes on the doorstep. I spoke of my anxiety about them, and she promised that her husband and daughter would water them, she herself being about to leave for Thessaloniki.

Yesterday I passed her husband, outside the Murtazas’ shop, red as a beet with embarrassment, cleaning up some diarrhoea the dog had deposited on the pavement, as the animal stood calmly by. I stopped and thanked him for looking after my courgettes, and said what a comfort it had been as I slogged around London in the heat, to know that they were in good hands.

Courgettes? he said.

[It has taken me most of the morning to figure out how to spell "diarrhoea". I couldn't get close enough to find it in the dictionary -- finally tried the medicine cupboard, and read it off a packet.]

I am still here – we are both going to Strathardle today, to return on Sunday according to my husband, or Monday if I am to be believed. So the courgettes will be growing in the soil of Strathardle this evening.

Christina is home from hospital, and very pleased to be so. Tamar, I didn’t thank you for your thoughtful note day before yesterday. It had occurred to me to worry about taking our elderly lungs into an acute respiratory ward, although I did nothing about it except worry. That was an interesting suggestion of yours, to ask whether there had been any changes in the domestic scene recently to which she might have had an allergic reaction. The conclusion – although it sounds a bit tentative to me – is that she had an allergic reaction to penicillin, on top of the original chest infection.


I still have a few rounds of toe decreases to do for Thomas-the-Elder, plus the finishing bit, but I’ll get out a fresh set of needles and start Cathy’s socks in the country.

Tamar and Kate, you inspire me to seek out some re-knittable heels. I’d far rather do that than darn.


I'm not worrying about Mrs Clinton any more, and I think Mr Obama's tactic of simply behaving like the candidate is the right one.

See you Tuesday.


  1. I believe I may have mentioned that courgettes are quite capable when it comes to surviving.

  2. I think the "afterthought" heel is reknittable, and ends up looking a bit like a short-rowed heel.

  3. I think EZ has a few heels in her books that would work. I agree about Mrs. Clinton. It is about time we all get on the bandwagon and beat Mcbush.
    Did you see the Sweet Asses for Obama pattern on Rav?

  4. I remember once I was off school because of diarrhoea, and my mother took ages to write the note excusing me. She got it right in the end.

    Billy Connolly calls it 'dihoria-hi-hay'.

  5. I had all set to go a witty comment about alternative colloquial expressions for diarrhea, but decided I would rather not risk lowering the tone of your elegant and pastoral blog.

    Whenever I hear "courgettes" I think it would be a terrific name for a hit all-girl musical group from the 1960s.

    One night only at the London Palladium: Jean Miles and Her Courgettes!