Games Week dawns.
Here’s the current state of the entry – half-way through the second sleeve, and the body suddenly looking too long. No turning back now. Helen will be here this afternoon, with two boys. She’s going Festival’ing with a friend in the early evening -- not conducive to knitting, at this end.
I have been ticking my way pretty industriously through the list of things I wanted to get done this week, and should polish off a couple more today. I hope we’re going to Strathardle on Wednesday where my targets will be to cut the grass around the specimen trees down the commonty, preparing them for their annual photographs with grandchildren, and to shop and shop and shop for food for our picnic lunch on the Games field.
And to cultivate a Zen – or at least bovine – calm in the intervals.
We are to have a rice salad of Jamie Oliver’s, from “Ministry of Food”, and a French bean salad with feta of Gino d’Acampo’s, forget which book, plus sausages and barbequed chicken and crisps and beer and cider. Lots of people drift off and get themselves fish and chips from somewhere anyway.
Melanie, I ordered something from YesAsia once, perhaps a Nihon Vogue, and they wrote to say they needed me to fax them pictures of my credit card. I didn’t fancy the idea, and cancelled the order. Perhaps I should try again. But I think I have reached the stage where book-buying has to result in a serious attempt to knit Japanese, before I do much more of it.
Lisa – I’ve said this before, I think – when we were in Beijing, James drove us out into the countryside one day to see sections of the Wall. We wound up at the famous place where kings and presidents are photographed, but before that had seen some interesting and less-known fragments. In one village, where the Wall was marked with a plaque saying it was a national monument, a youth told James that we were the first westerners to have visited.
In that village, some women were sitting by the road knitting. One of them was doing a very interesting all-in-one baby clo’. Stitches had been left behind, I remember, while she finished off an arm or a leg. It was densely knit for cosiness in a desert winter. I asked, through James, if I could take a picture but she wasn’t keen.
That’s what I want to know more about. All I came home with were some magazines of utterly western designs, whether rip-offs or Chinese designers aping the west, I don’t care. I’ve got Judith Gross’ “Patterns from China”, not without interest but still pretty urban.
Maybe I should ask James or Cathy to do a search on whatever passes for Amazon in China (perhaps it’s Amazon) to see if any Chinese writers have tackled the subject.
It has a role in nature, too. I have to net the red currant bush if I don’t want the pigeons to take 85% of the crop. There’s no need to protect the white currants which taste so similar that – we discovered this year – they make a perfectly satisfactory if rather pallid Summer pudding.