I think it’s time to lay blogging aside until early ’09. I’m tired, frightened of how much remains to be done, scared of the dark, not good company. We’ll all feel better after the solstice – except for poor Kate, who’s got all the fuss but nothing to celebrate except the retreat of light.
Yesterday’s lapse was because I was ferrying my husband across town for an early hospital appointment. “Early” is not easy for him. Getting him somewhere early is not easy for me.
Two things were odd –
I walked across the square to get the papers at 7 a.m., much earlier than usual. It was still utterly night. I could see well to the east along London Street and there was not a glimmer in the sky. But the blackbirds in Drummond Place gardens were twittering in a distinctly matutinal way. Do they have little watches? Or were they responding to the sounds of the city bestirring itself? And, if so, do country blackbirds sleep in?
The drive to the hospital took place between 9 and 9:30, straight through central Edinburgh to the southern outskirts. There was no rush hour, just normal-to-slight city traffic. Why?
I’ve been back to St James’s Centre for more post-office-queueing, and finally weakened and bought not only Rowan 44 but also a book of their tweed patterns. An absurd extravagance, already regretted. I’d like to see the cashmere tweed yarn, though. As far as I could detect, Lewis’s didn’t have it.
Christmas knitting should be finished this evening. James and his children will arrive tomorrow – Cathy is staying behind in London for a couple of days to berate Macmillan’s for not pushing her latest book, The Slaughter Pavilion. Joan Smith picked it as one of the gems of ’08 in a column in the Sunday Times this week – but there’s not a copy to be had on the shelves of our local Waterstone’s. Nor have I ever seen one there.
(It begins with a striking event based on something which really happened in Beijing not far from where they live. Just last week Cathy learned, from a journalist who had been there, that a detail which she had invented for her book, actually happened. That’s the sort of thing, the interlacing of fiction-writing and real life, that Muriel Spark often writes about.)
Happy Darkest Day, everybody.