Monday, May 09, 2011

Half-way round row 49. If I press hard, I should be able to polish off this first chart (54 rows) in two more sessions. The current row introduces the last of the big holes, thank goodness. The trouble with big holes is that they are worked over four stitches, k2tog, YO, YO, k2tog, and this spoils the symmetry of lace which is based on odd numbers –spoils it, not to the eye of the beholder, but to the knitter.

In row 49 I have seven stitches on one side of the central motif, six on the other. Much anxious peering as I try to remember which is which.

Fizz, thanks, I’ve now joined the Ravelry Knit Nation group, and read with interest the thread about Franklin’s photography classes. One sees at a glance what his problem is: from “I have a camera, no idea what it is! It takes pictures!” to “I have a Canon 40D with its standard kit lens (17-85mm) and a 50mm prime lens that I use for close up plant photography”. I’m sure he has been here before, and will do us all proud.

Life in general

Our niece, C’s daughter, phoned yesterday to say that she and her sisters are planning to lunch together on C’s 80th birthday. Would we like to join them? I had been worrying about that day – my husband is occasionally a bit vague about my birthday, and doesn't know his children’s, but he never forgets June 2. I accepted with joy, and he sounded pleased when I told him.

We’ll go to the new restaurant/tea room at the Botanic Gardens. We can stroll among the flowers afterwards if it’s a nice day.

Our niece said recently that she was thinking of taking up knitting again. She used to knit, and gave it up when her daughters got so big that making-up became seriously tedious. Ahah! thot I, and told Amazon to send her “Knitting Without Tears”. We’ll see.

The problems of probate are something I think about sometimes, although we have seen enough now of Death and his ways that I know I may never have to deal with it. I thought maybe the Inland Revenue would swoop in, having watched the papers for death notices. But our niece says not, nothing has yet been done about C’s estate, it is for her and the lawyer to make the first move. Her daughter Little C. has been sleeping in her grandmother’s house to comfort (and feed) the bereaved cat. But now she has gone back to university for her final term.

Our niece means to get started on all the business soon, so that it doesn’t consume her entire summer.

British law is simple: the first slice of an estate – roughly equivalent to the value of an average house – is tax-free. Everything beyond that, 40%. (Between husbands and wives and between civil partners, everything is tax-free.) I am sure C. had no debts, and she had some savings and investments as well as her unencumbered house and its contents, so there’ll be some tax. But how agonizing the process, and how close the scrutiny?


Here is my windowsill-grown tray, now permanently on the doorstep. Those runner beans need to be planted out soon. We can’t go to Strathardle today, because we’re expecting a delivery. Tomorrow? Wednesday? I don’t feel entirely sprightly, and there’s heavy work to be done when we get there.

There are also two courgettes, as you see, and, to the left in the back, a baby gean tree, prunus avium. We lost a huge one in a storm not last winter but the one before. Last summer, my husband collected seeds and we planted them two or three (I've forgotten) in each of 12 Roottrainer cells. And we've got a baby tree!


  1. Your enviable vegetable-growing has inspired me to plant some frequently-used herbs and several tomato plants, including a couple of heirloom types. I enjoy your gardening talk as much as the knitting one!

  2. Gerri3:01 PM

    I took Franklin's photography class at Yarnover here in MN. I thought it was very helpful. I had never mucked around with different color backdrops, light boxes, etc. I haven't taken the time to go read what all is being said on Ravelry.

    I have lots to figure out yet; I was great with an analog 35mm with no auto settings. My little camera (lovely gift) is all pre-sets-different kettle of fish since it lacks on for "knitting or weaving." So far using the food setting and adjusting the color correction is helpful

  3. Getting together with your nieces on C's birthday sounds like the the perfect thing to do. I have been wondering how your husband is doing.

    Those plants are looking full of promise. I hope you are able to get them planted this week. Three cheers for spring gardening!

  4. When I took Franklin's class in March, he did a wonderful job of dealing with the students whose experiences with cameras/photography were on every point of the spectrum from extremely ignorant beginner (me) to those who were quite well-versed amateurs. I believe this is one reason he keeps the class size so small - for individual attention.

  5. Anonymous12:04 AM

    Forty percent. Holy mackerel! If I lived there and became ill, I would be liquidating everything and handing it out in cash to those who would otherwise inherit. "Canada does not have a death tax or an estate inheritance tax." Whew. (Not that I have a lot to leave, but that is still nice to know.)

  6. My husband tells me that if property passes from spouse to spouse tax-free, then the survivor also inherits the other person's allowance ie there would be double the value of an average house before tax was due. Of course, we do not know C's circumstances, and you hinted that her marriage had not been happy, so perhaps she did not inherit from her spouse?