Friday, December 17, 2010

Weather: still no new snow in Edinburgh, although bitter cold, but it seems to be happening further north, and the forecast remains grim.

I spoke to C., who sounded cheerful. I will take my husband to see her tomorrow. She is tremendously pleased with the service she is getting – and she is not one to affect such pleasure without cause. The people who come to help her wash and dress in the morning are well-trained and fully professional. Edinburgh social services are busy fitting bars to the bathroom wall so that C. can hold on and shower in safety. They are lending her -- a brilliant idea – a recliner chair, so that she can nap during the day without having to get up and go to bed.

She is not enthusiastic about food, but is doing her best at least to sip the high-calorie supplements provided. She’s clearly trying, and expecting to gain some strength.

One of our early Christmas cards reported colon cancer in an old friend. Clearly the disease du jour. R.’s is perhaps not quite as bad – she had her operation a fortnight after C. did, and is already at home, with the prospect of chemotherapy to come.

And as for knitting, here’s the sock:

I could conceivably even finish it this evening.

Mary Lou, I hope you’ll try an Oliver soon. It’s very easy, and I like the way it sort of keeps count for you of progress down the foot. I’ve done a pair for my husband, and one for Ketki, and now Matt. Any others? Not sure. Both my husband and Ketki are enthusiastic. But you do have to pay a little bit of attention. Is this an Oliver round, or not? If so, where are the decreases at the moment?

And as for Christmas, I got some wrapping done, and that was about all, for yesterday. Around here, that is often a rush job on Christmas Eve, or even Christmas day -- since we don't open presents until the candles are lit on the tree, at dusk. It feels good to have some packages ready a whole week in advance.

Today I hope to get beds made for James and his family, and maybe wrap some more. It’s slow work, not because I make fancy packages, but because I am clumsy. One thing, though: I bought a reel of stick-on gift labels because they were cheap. They turn out to be significant time-savers – no more threading thread through little holes.

I might also try to start a menu list, along your lines, Kristie. Big pots of relatively simple things. Spaghetti and chilli, as you say. All-in-one chicken-pieces-in-the-oven. Consider, at least, a salad, although it seems rather cold for that. I love your idea of a cook-off. We might even do it, in the Kirkm*chael kitchen. Here, there’s hardly enough work-space for one.


  1. =Tamar9:33 AM

    The sock is very bright and pretty!

    One year I had a choice: arrive on time or wrap the presents nicely. So I put the presents inside brown paper bags and stapled them shut. My family insisted that I at least draw pictures on the bags, so I did.

  2. Anonymous10:07 AM

    We used to wait until the kids were in bed, put in the video of "It's a Wonderful Life" and wrap, hell for leather, until Clarence the angel got his wings. Anything that wasn't wrapped by that time was deemed "too big to wrap" and propped behind the tree!

    Now my kids are grown, and we are celebrating our "Family Christmas" on January 15, which is the first time we can gather the clan from Michigan, Chicago and New Hampshire. So I still have plenty of time to finish up shopping and wrapping. Christmas cards, unfortunately, are another matter and must be dealt with quite soon!

    Barbara M.

  3. I always love to have a 'turkey in residence' at Christmas. There always seems to be someone needing something to munch on. I may well be 'a day late and a dollar short' with this suggestion. Maybe for next year? See if you can find a Turkey Roaster of an appropriate size, I think they come in two sizes, for a medium or large turkey. Do up the turkey , pop it in the roaster and in fairly short order it is done to a turn. I know, it seems too good to be true but believe me the turkey will be delicious will very little interference from the cook.

  4. The sock is such a cheerful sight on this grey Berkeley morning! thank you.

  5. Sarah JS6:23 PM

    Growing up, we'd always have the dining table all covered with gift wrap & ribbons for the daylight hours of Dec 24. The room could be totally closed off from the rest of the house. Someone would go in, start wrapping, & whomever else came along to wrap their presents had to ask permission for entry. It was exciting to be told, "No. Go away for a bit" as that meant someone in there was wrapping something for me!