Thursday, September 17, 2009


The Telegraph gardening section said ten days ago (when I had but one red one) that tomatoes wouldn’t ripen further outdoors this year – and they were talking about the sunny south. I didn’t believe it, but even so was very pleasantly surprised by what I found on the doorstep when we got back from Strathardle on Tuesday.

I don’t think there’ll be much more ripening now, but I will certainly leave them while the current spell of good weather lasts. The light is going, but they are still getting several warm, sunny hours every day.

I agree about chard (and perpetual spinach), Mary Lou – (and I love the Different Every Time blanket). True spinach is (like peas) one of those vegetables which depend on the man-from-Del-Monte moment. Miss it, perhaps because you’re not in Strathardle that week, and the crop is lost.

(This year, the spinach bolted when three inches high, during that freak drought in May. And we missed the moment with the peas, which, however, still made a decent soup.)

What I will eschew is mispoona and rapa senza testa and bianca riccia da taglio and whatever else they can think up for me in the catalogues this winter.

I ordered Nigel Slater’s new vegetable-gardening-cookery book “Tender” from Amazon yesterday – and nearly ordered Peterson & Noble’s “Knits from the North Sea” this morning, inspired by Donna Druchunas’ enthusiasm for it. But printed a reader’s review, so intelligently written and so persuasively negative that I held my hand. I wonder if I would have recognised her name, had it been signed?


I’ve finished the first half of the Griswold stole, and started the second. Tuesday evening, when we got home, I tried to thread the first half onto waste yarn and wound up setting it free altogether. It was a mess. The only thing to do was to recover the stitches roughly and then tink back patiently to solid ground.

When we were packing up to leave last week I had occasion to re-fondle the Fyberspates yarn in dreary olive green which I had laid out to take to Alyth to donate to charity. Not a good colour for a child’s cardigan – but what about the February Lady Sweater for me, if I’m worried about the slightly alarming red of the Araucania wool I have ordered? So I put it back in stash. So much for good intentions.


My husband is doing all right, I think – certainly no worse, which counts as improvement in old age. Mundi, thank you for the recipe. It sounds both delicious and restorative, and I should have time to make it today.


  1. Maureen in Fargo3:59 PM

    I was interested in Knits from the North Sea so I looked at KnitPicks where they show pictures of the projects in the books they carry. I wasn't terribly impressed so I haven't bought it yet, but I just looked at them again and there might be one or two that I like...

    If you haven't checked it out, here's the link:

    Your tomatoes look good, ours are still ripening too here in Fargo!

  2. Ravelry has a lot of interesting comments about Knits from the North Sea. A lot are rather negative, particularly about the small input from Margaret Peterson, about how you are advised to use very small needles (ie sock yarn on us size 1 for lace) and about the number of errata. Here is the best thread that I have found, it includes comments from those that have bought the book as well as those who rejected it.

  3. It's amazing how things ripen when you're not watching them every day. I finally got rid of my tomato plants even though they had not gone down with blight. We have had so many windy days lately and I'm fed up with picking them all up when they blow over. The remaining fruit will ripen in the porch and be good enough to cook down for pasta sauce.

  4. Ohh, nice tomatoes. A lot better than mine anyway!!