Saturday, August 30, 2008


So, does Palin have a stay-at-home husband? Or live-in mother? I’ll probably know by the time I finish reading the weekend papers.

I ask because a Down’s Syndrome child needs a lot of extra time and love and patience right from the off. (An NDA* baby needs a certain amount of those things, too.) Parents need time, as well. Such a birth is a shock. Parents have to recover from it, and get used to loving the baby who isn’t the baby they expected. I’m not sure rushing straight back to one’s desk as Governor of Alaska is a good idea.

That’s up to her – but I certainly don’t want hers to be the hand that reaches for that red telephone at 3 a.m. It could happen before the baby’s first birthday. Much as I preferred Obama over Clinton, I never doubted for an instant that Hillary was up to the job.

Kathy in Juneau, if you’re there, what does Alaska think? I hear she’s very popular.

[NDA = “Not Diagnosed Anything”. It’s an acronym much used by parents who contribute to Down’s Syndrome discussion groups.]


I’m well embarked on the first cuff. No photograph today – it may all have to come out. It’s a deliberately extravagant cuff, but I don’t want it to drag in the poor bear’s soup.

It’s been tough going, because the sleeve has to be turned inside out twice, and that isn’t entirely easy where double-pointed needles are involved. The second time was worse, because the balls of yarn (I’m using two together) also should have come back through the sleeve, but they were too big.

I’ll wind them into smaller balls before I do the second cuff, but meanwhile things are awkward.

Art and Literature, miscellaneous

Rosesmama, I wouldn’t expect any review to mention my mother’s book. It was 45 years ago, and the jacket of Wh*te H*at says specifically (I gather) that it is the first book about the Dickenson-H*gginson friendship. There is no reason for any reviewer to doubt that statement, at least until we get to reviews in scholarly journals some months hence.

I know about Franklin’s London visit – it’s in the diary. I don’t know if we’ll make it, but I’m going to try. I could be one of the 1,000 Knitters!

The Art Newspaper turned up yesterday. They’ve known about the sale of the Titians for a month. Their story says that if they are saved, they will continue to hang together, alternating between London and Edinburgh. That’s good news.

Omsafeeya, here is the promised picture of our Arabic – what? Helen gave it to us, and I’m pretty sure it comes from Cairo, where she and David met. Arabic, not Greek, is her first love. She will be here on Tuesday, on her way from Strathardle to Athens for another year. I’ll show her your comment and see if she can tell you any more. The technique is appliqué.


  1. My first guess on NDA was "not differently-abled", though "not diagnosed anything" is certainly more accurate. After all, I think we're all "differently-abled" in the literal, if not the politically correct, sense. My suspicion would be that Palin has little people to provide child care, but the whole homeschooling thing does beg the question of how she manages that. It does at least imply that she and/or her husband have an active role in teaching their children, though I suppose that if you're only teaching scientific knowledge as it was understood 2000 years ago, that takes a big chunk out of your teaching load.

    Your Arabic calligraphy looks to me like a representation of a lion, which wouldn't be that surprising a motif coming out of North Africa.

  2. She knew the baby had Down's Syndrome long before the birth,so she wouldn't have needed a period of adjustment. She was back at work three days after the birth, which we're meant to be impressed by, I think. In the UK, even men aren't back at work three days afterwards - I think Tony Blair took more paternity leave than that after Leo was born.

    I can't see many Hillary supporters voting for her,because of her policies, and I expect a lot of Republicans will disapprove of her not staying at home with the babies - I don't know if the littlest girl is at school yet. She's an odd choice, and must have caused a lot of resentment on the part of people who might have felt they were a better one. Apparently her parents were on their way to their gold mine when they heard the news, which is less surprising. I wonder if she knows how many houses she has.

  3. Here in Britain women are not allowed to work for for two weeks after the birth (four weeks if they work in a factory).

    Men don't have to take any paternity leave at all, but they are entitled to two paid weeks.

  4. Well, I have to say I have multiple reservations about her as a potential VP. In fact, my husband and I were discussing it so vigorously last night that my son thought we were arguing, even though we were in complete agreement with each other!

    She's determined, I'll give her that. When her youngest son was born, she went into labour while she was in Texas. She gave a speech, got on a plane, and returned to Alaska to give birth.

    The surprising thing to me is that she's meeting with such approval. And, yes, someone I spoke with yesterday spoke the dreaded words, "I was going to vote for Hillary, but then decided on McCain. Now he's got a woman running with him, there's no doubt in my mind I'm doing the right thing". Gah!

  5. Hey Jean,

    I'm here!

    Well, Sarah Palin is a pretty popular governor among Alaskans. But I am not, as you've probably surmised, representative of your average Alaskan Voter. I can't believe that Hillary supporters are going to flock to vote for McCain just because he has picked a woman as his running mate. It's insulting to think they would. Palin is rabidly anti reproductive choice. A McCain/Palin administration would be a disaster for women's rights. (She is also currently under investigation by the State legislature for Abuse of Power. Won’t rational people care about this?)

    I'll be canvassing for Obama on Monday; it'll be interesting to see how the undecideds are leaning with this news.

    It has been tremendously exciting to think that there was actually a chance that Obama could win Alaska in November. I guess it's possible that this news will undermine our chances, but will anyone take her seriously on the national level??? Time will tell, I guess.
    In knitting news: I’m sorry you didn’t get a ribbon for your dinosaur sweater – I thought it was wonderful!!


  6. What I'm hearing is that the baby may not be Sarah Palin's at all but in fact, her grandchild!! Hold on to your hats... it might actually be the child to her 17 year old daughter! Which would explain the ability to return to work so soon, etc. During the annoucement and acceptance speech there was shot of what appeared to be an older child (female) carrying the baby.

    None of this sounds very good.