I’ve just been putting our rubbish and recycling out into the dark and snow – there’s no doubt, the air is warmer. Yesterday was one of the coldest I’ve ever known, with Edinburgh sheet ice underfoot. It will be rather satisfactory to be in London if only to stride about, after a fortnight of picking one’s way with great caution. I’ll probably trip on a paving stone. We won't see much of James, because Rachel says he works late and she thinks he is going to his in-laws in Cheltenham this weekend to welcome his wife and children, newly-arrived from China. We should catch glimpses.
And we’re all set to go. Back the middle of next week.
Stashhaus, I like your idea (comment yesterday) of trying on the Round-the-Bend sleeve to see how it’s blousing – I’ll do that. I have been aware of the difference between the yarn I’m using and Meg’s prototype, without giving much thought as to how to adjust, except for calculating K.
Some years ago Alexander gave us the Oxford English Dictionary, a wonderful Christmas present – the whole 12-volume thing, on a CD-ROM. (My husband calls it “Murray’s”, no doubt for sound historical reasons.) The only trouble with it is that every so often you have to “validate” it with the “data disk”. This becomes absolutely maddening, for a product one has legitimately owned for more years than one can precisely remember.
To my shame, I couldn’t find the data disk yesterday morning. However, I have recovered it, and will be more careful in future.
Apart from its comprehensiveness, it is also much more up-to-date (2002) than the paper dictionaries in daily use here – Webster’s International Second Edition, 1935; and the Shorter Oxford, 1933. For “fey” it gives 1) fated to die; then three obsolete meanings: 2) leading to or presaging death; 3) accursed, unfortunate, unlucky; and 4) feeble, timid, sickly, weak.
But finally, a modern meaning which will justify Alan Bennett’s use: 5) "Disordered in mind like one about to die; possessing or displaying magical, fairylike, or unearthly qualities. Now freq. used ironically, in sense 'affected, whimsy'."
It's not a word I would ever dare use myself, but I thought of it when we went to visit C. in hospital the day before her surgery, when she had just heard her own death sentence. See my blog post of 9/11.