Here we are back. The weather was abominable most of the time, and I didn’t get much done. My husband did better.
Then, yesterday morning, this:
Then, yesterday morning, this:
The radio says that there is snow in London today, the first time for such an event in October since 1934. None in Edinburgh, so far.
A great sadness hung over the visit, in that our butcher has retired. He was the best butcher I have ever known. Getting to his shop in Alyth is a bit out-of-the-way, a real treat for myself therefore (as I thought) when I went last Friday. His name is still above the door; I didn’t grasp what had happened until I got inside.
His name is Michael Dorward. I won’t bother with the link to the story of his retirement in the Blairgowrie Advertiser: you can find it if you Google, but it doesn’t tell you much. The Advertiser did say that the new proprietor will continue to use Mr Dorward’s recipes, but I can tell you that the pork, leek and apricot sausages, my absolute favourite in the world, don’t taste the same. They were perfectly competent sausages, but they weren’t Mr Dorward’s pork, leek, and apricot.
It is a small, unprepossessing shop. Mr Dorward clearly had no interest in empire-building. He had a fierce price in the product he sold. The shop was full of notices of prizes his sausages had won, and the account of the time he was chosen to supply haggis to Scotland’s World Cup rugby team, and awards your supper had earned, for all the good it did them -- the prize cards won by the cattle he had bought at Forfar Market.
Probably the quickest way to say how good he was, is to tell you that he accepted neither credit nor debit cards. He resented (as many shopkeepers do) the tax the bank demanded for every transaction. Even the corner shops whose proprietors speak only Urdu take cards these days. In Mr Dorward’s case, Perthshire happily queued up to pay him in cash.
So that was terrible.
I didn’t get much knitting done – here’s the current state of the Araucania sweater. Love that yarn. The post office put a card through the door while we were away to say that they tried to deliver a parcel – I hope to get up to collect it today, and hope it will be the yarn for Ketki’s sweater.
Back here, I finished the 9th repeat of the Princess centre last night– only 43% of the total, according to Cynthia’s Formula. Disapppointing – I had hoped to be nearer 50%, because the second half of anything always goes faster. The irony is, as you can see from the second picture, I’m nearly to the end of the border. It’s just that every row now takes half-an-hour.
When I spread it out for photography this morning, I found two small holes which could even be moth damage. I am not as horrified as I ought to be: careful mending will scarcely show up in that sea of stitches. But I will put it away with great caution, this time, when I switch to Ketki’s sweater.
Tamar, thank you. I think I’m OK – I think the word “behind” was a mistake on my part. My sister will be here tomorrow – tomorrow! – and we can talk about it. Not only is she a doctor, she has suffered a torn retina not all that long ago.