Monday, June 01, 2009

OK, so as planned I have ripped out the old Surprise Sweater and started it anew, with the thought of livening up the colours. I sat in the kitchen ripping and listening to Mr. Nadal losing his tennis match yesterday afternoon, and was a bit disconcerted at how much ripping was involved. Knitting it again will take a while. Still, I got it done and started over.

I was struck with how demanding garter stitch is. I found, after the first decrease row, that I was one stitch out in the placing of the decreases. That wouldn’t matter a bit, in fine lace (at least, not to me). A discrete K2tog here, a careful M1 there, and the problem is solved. But garter stitch is much more serious. I tinked back and got it right.

And today is May 31, as far as the Princess is concerned. Dental and medical, in the real world. I have broken a centre front tooth and all my glitzy clothes and svelte figure cannot save me from looking like a bag lady until I get it fixed. It’s going to be expensive; I hope not too time consuming.

Then in the afternoon I see a doctor to find out if my improved lifestyle has reduced my cholesterol or whether I need to take statins like everybody else. And perhaps see about the removal of a new, prominent wart on my upper lip which rather underlines the bag lady effect.

Kate, yours is sensible advice, about dieting and reviling the flesh and constitutionals. Don’t worry – this isn’t a diet I’m on, but an Improved Way of Life. I did it once before, with great benefit to myself, but it ended abruptly when I broke my left arm. Daily cider was absolutely required, and once resumed, not abandoned. This time I hope to go on forever, more or less. And I’m consciously trying to incorporate more striding about, here in Edinburgh – plenty of hills to practice on. In Strathardle, there’s the garden.

(We watched Hannah and Her Sisters over the weekend – one of the characters claims to be a reformed alcoholic. Beer had been her downfall, and I noticed that she said it had made her fat.)

Tamar, I don’t think I had ever heard about Mercury being retrograde. Does the same apply to Mars? which (without having gone very deeply into things) seems to me as if it might be capable of the same phenomenon because of being between us and the sun. Are there any other planets in that position? I could have told you like a shot, when I was 12.

I am dubious, but there is a residual pool of belief in there somewhere. Once when I was middle aged and more energetic, I read Augustine’s City of God (in Latin, too) – I’m not sure I finished it. I was struck with how much time and energy he devotes to refuting astrology: it came before Christianity and from some points of view, looks set fair to survive it.


  1. My sympathies on the tooth. I recently went thru a toothless time while have some work done that left me looking like a meth head. Isn't dental part of national health? I've spent zillions here, but at least I can get it done, I'm grateful for that.

  2. I sometimes think growing old gracefully is too much work.
    I love Monday morning. With my first cup of coffee at work I read your entries for Sat, Sun, and Mon.
    Why is April 12th special?

  3. =Tamar7:20 PM

    Mercury is specific to intellect and communications; when it goes retrograde, it confuses messages, computers, and plans. It's fine for following through on plans previously made, and if you are very careful to double check everything.

    At the very least, a reminder to double check communications doesn't hurt, and most computerized purchases can wait a few weeks while I think it over.

    Any planet can be retrograde, though the slower ones don't do it as often. They affect their own spheres of influence. It all gets very complex. I noticed void moons and retrograde Mercury in college when I kept a diary and got a backdated chart after the fact - the results matched what I had written down.

    A man who worked in radio communications documented correlations with Earth's electromagnetic wave patterns and the other planets' positions. He also documented major weather patterns and proved it by predicting weather a year in advance; the test was done in Analog magazine: predictions printed at the time and checked a year later. He was far more accurate than the government weather service (this was back in the 1950s, pre-satellite).

    Electromagnetic fields are known to affect humans in a variety of ways. So I pay some attention.
    But remember, "the stars impel, they do not compel."

    Good luck with the tooth repair. It is a medical problem and ought to be covered.

  4. Teeth (shudder). I recently went to a new dentist who had all the usual predictions of dental downfall (I've only had one filling in my life date) and have instituted a new brushing regime. Sometimes I think that my uncles had the right idea - they got all their teeth pulled when they were 18.

    Good luck with the de-bagifying.