Monday, September 20, 2010

The Pope has finished and gone. His sermon at Newman’s Mass yesterday was exemplary –nothing about orthodoxy, just prayer and education and Newman’s work as a parish priest. He (Newman) must have been pretty exceptional, for Leo XIII to sweep in and make him a cardinal like that.

After the bit yesterday where Newman was declared to be “beatus”, and before the Mass got seriously under way, various people, two by two, went forward to speak briefly to the Pope. First lay people, then clergymen – and when the commentator said that the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory were being presented, I feel sure I recognised a very, very, very old Fr Gregory Winterton.

Fr Gregory was Provost of the Oratory in our day. Amongst much else, he officiated at Rachel and Ed’s wedding. Google is able to tell me only that until recently, he was alive and well, the oldest living English Oratorian. That is remarkable enough in itself. Who else could it have been? I had hoped to find confirmation in this morning’s Birmingham Post – no luck.

My husband said that the old man I thought I recognised was the “wrong shape” to be Fr Gregory, and my husband is not often wrong. But I will remain convinced until it is proven otherwise.

Fuzarrelly, don’t believe public radio. Newman’s remains were dug up – disgusting, as I said yesterday – because, apparently, saints have to furnish relics. Fr Ambrose St John, with whom he was buried, as he wished, was a fellow Oratorian and they undoubtedly loved each other. The church has never said that there is anything wrong with loving someone, of the same sex or of any other. Love is a good thing.

Before I get on to knitting: Daisy Waugh, in yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine, writes about the Games. Not ours, not Braemar, not Glen Isla – but there is a recognisable sameness. And Mungo, in case you haven’t read him yet, is brilliant on the Strathardle Gathering, as on most topics.


Catdownunder, thank you for the shrug pattern. (On her blog – follow the link.) I have copied and saved it.

In thinking about the future, and all this stash, and what is going to happen, I am also mightily taken with the first pattern in the new VK, an Aran cardigan by a designer with a Japanese-sounding name. If I used that as a frame, and put Starmore’s panel from her “Cromarty” pattern in “The Celtic Collection” as the centre back, and flanked it with something from the Japanese stitch pattern book…
A half-drop of the pattern would make it mirror itself on either side of the centre panel, wouldn't it?

There’s such a thing as over-egging the pudding, and if a long life has taught me anything, it’s that less is usually more. I will continue to move these ideas around in my head. It would be a way of gathering together the things I want to carry forward from 2010, without buying too much more yarn.


  1. You are most welcome Jean - I finally feel as if I have started to repay you for the wonderful kilthose pattern you once sent me - now neatly mended because it has been so much used!

  2. Sometimes more is more, usually when it comes to opera.

    Looks like you have a plan.

  3. Oh Jean, I do hope you are getting that compost interest. Perhaps it will help with the garden next year.

  4. Hi Jean,
    Terry Mattingley posted a very compelling critique of the NPR piece you referenced in this post:

  5. I do agree with less is more - most of the time! but not with aran knitting patterns:)) and the one in the pic is gorgeous - and yes, if you start one at the bottom and the other one half way through - it should meander nicely. looking forward to a pic of all of the patterns together (checked out the price for the old A. Starmore pattern book - umpf, I am not going to pay £ 75 upwards - was it stillwater?) the pattern looks great - but not that great:))