Monday, March 07, 2011


RtB is coming on nicely – I’m getting towards the turning of the final corner, at the top of the back of the second half of the jacket.

The new Woolgathering is here – a disappointment. I don’t like the pattern, I am sad to learn that the new EZ book has been moved back from “spring” to “May”, and I either own or am not interested in all the books listed. Poof.

Sharon Miller, indefatigable in her pursuit of knitting history, has posted two links to films about Shetland life made in the early 1930’s: and, both from the National Library of Scotland. Knitting is included. I haven’t watched either of them yet.


Thank you for all the comments – about “True Grit” (I suspect I should read the book) and about C’s predicament. At the moment, a friend from schooldays is staying in the house with her. That should help a lot, and at the least, advances things through the early part of this week, the days when our niece works the longest hours. Angel, that’s a good story about the colouring book. The next time I am in John Lewis – toys are right next to yarn, as it happens – I’ll look carefully at the children’s department to see if anything seems right.

(When James was suddenly diagnosed with diabetes, a long time ago now, I went down from Birmingham to London to visit him in University College Hospital. I brought an armload of meant-to-be-entertaining paperbacks. While I was there, a colleague’s wife turned up, bringing “Beano” and the current Radio Times. I wouldn’t be surprised if my books aren’t still under the bed.)

I am pretty sure that all my high-brow preparations for my last days will come to naught, but something will have been achieved if I inspire anyone to read “Put Out More Flags”. It was published in 1942, and therefore written in the months between Dunkirk and Pearl Harbor, when the outcome of the war was by no means a foregone conclusion. It is easily Evelyn Waugh’s happiest book.

Here are some pics of Drummond Place Gardens, taken when I circumnavigated them with my sister one day last week:
Today offers another such frosty and sunny morning, although I fear I'm too late for the dog-walkers. I think I’d better go out there again now. I’ve put on five pounds since Christmas.


  1. Jean, I thought you might like to know that you have already inspired me to read "Put Out More Flags". I thought it was hilarious. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I also read Put Out More Flags because of you. I also have The Leopard on my list, although I have seen the movie several times.

  3. Just sit back with your knitting and prepare to enjoy those films. I did just that last night. Silent films from the '30's. Very good. I recently saw similar films in my Norwegian class. Interesting to compare. As you watch you can just hear the wind blowing over the landscape.
    I was also reminded of the Lillian Beckwith and Jane Duncan books.

  4. skeindalous6:00 PM

    Are you all referring to The Leopard, the Italian story or the African story? Think it is the Italian one that was made into a film. Always looking for a good read.

  5. Jean, thanks for the pics of the Gardens. I see the grass is starting to green up. Such a relief not to have to pick your way over the icy ground anymore. Somehow, I had pictured the Gardens as more formal but much prefer the more rustic path that you show. I am reading Kate Atkinson's "One Good Turn", a mystery, so am getting my fill of Edinburgh recently.

  6. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Dear Jean.... we just spent a weekend traveling, NH to Detroit, for a granddaughter's 5th birthday party. Flying was a little rough, and I found myself thinking of C. (and of myself) and thinking that to die quickly in a plane crash (See, sock knitting has not completely helped me!) would be a not too bad way to go for me. I'm 63, had my husband of 42 years next to me, and think my life has been wonderful. What I worry about is not death, but indignity, and worrying about becoming childish, and needing help to get to the airplane, and losing my independence. I hope C. finds something to comfort her.

    Barbara M.

  7. I've moved away from Edinburgh recently, and got such a pang of homesickness when you mentioned that the toys are next to the yarn in JL...

    I suppose my friends had a lot of new babies when I lived there, and it was convenient to shop for something to knit and a toy for the wee bairn at the same time.