Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another evening spent peacefully tidying dinosaurs. I’m doing much of it with neat little knots, and if the judges don’t like knots, tant pis. I don’t trust weaving-in to hold the ends secure. Helen will be here with her sons a week tomorrow. I hope to have the sweater ready for Fergus to try on not long after they arrive, although of course I will then snatch it back from him until Games Day.

I spoke to Rachel yesterday on the eve of her departure for their annual family holiday lounging about in the sun somewhere in France. Alexander and Ketki will join them. The conversation revealed that we need more accommodation for the Games – I usually book too much, and wind up with expensive unoccupied beds. I’ve been stingier this year, with what would currently appear to be disastrous results. I’ll get to work on that today.

And my other great adventure today will be to go to the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. I’ve been only once before. It’s slightly awkward to reach from here, around the other side of the castle. Specifically, I’m hoping for some rare-breeds pork that tastes nice. As Julian Barnes says in “The Pedant in the Kitchen” (which Alexander gave me for Christmas a few years ago), “I’m on a Ulyssean quest for pork that doesn’t end up tasting like the sort of compressed cardboard from which they make hospital pee-bottles.”

I think the trouble is that the Modern Pig has been bred to be lean to the serious detriment of taste and texture.

But also I often feel these days that old age is piling up around me sort of like Conrad Aiken’s great story, “Silent Snow, Secret Snow”. This will be an attempt to burst through the drifts.

Lying half-awake listening to the radio yesterday morning – the pleasantest part of the day, I sometimes think – I heard the man say, “Age, a dreadful disease for which there is no known cure.” His next sentence, however, was about retroviral drugs, so I guess he must have said “AIDS”.

If I feel really peppy, I can walk a longer distance to a different homeward bus and go past, and indeed go into, K1 Yarns.


Dawn, you’ve got it in one: the “swallowtail coat of a beautiful blue.” Eventually I will explain exactly why I want to knit one. I was interested in the notes that accompany the text on that page. As often with notes, some seem to me slightly wrong and others to explain things that don’t need explaining. But “called to the bar” is left un-annotated. When I first absorbed Gilbert & Sullivan into my bloodstream, I had no idea what “called to the bar” meant.


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  2. I know what you mean about the pork. I get most of mine from a local organic farmer, and the difference between it and what I get in the grocery store is significant. Especially the ham. Hope you have a successful outing, reminds me I wanted to hop down to our farmers market this am.

  3. (Clicked in the wrong place, hence deletion).
    I expect you've now already been to - or are at - the wonderful Edinburgh farmers market. I saw jumpers of lovely 'black' -sheeps wool there, and have longed for one ever since (have now bought some NZ organic undyed that is reminiscent, but not *quite*...

    I also remember wonderful jams and wines, and also - the lamb/pork roast. they roast whole animals and give you some meat in a roll with redcurrant jelly (lamb) or apple sauce (pork). Both wonderful. Envy is green in me!

    And I've started the black Liesl - easy, fun, and I think will be useful.