It was really rather funny, Anonymous, when the left-leaning Alexander had his Holy Mackerel! moment a few years ago, when he realised how much tax will eventually have to be paid on our estate. A major problem for our heirs – and for many people, one way and another – is that we have some seriously good furniture, inherited from my husband's family, and some moderately good pictures, bought by him, and if our heirs want to keep them, they’ll have to shell out cash.
One thing we have done is to divide the property in Strathardle, previously in my husband’s sole name, into six parts and give shares in it to me and to our four children. That happened just over seven years ago, the magic number for giving things away. So 5/6’s of that house and those broad acres (20 of them) are now completely out of his estate. I think our heirs will be more concerned about keeping that house, than the furniture here, so that’s good.
The Inland Revenue can look with suspicion on gifts made more shortly before death. I don’t know what the rules are, exactly. I do know you can’t give your house to your children and then just go on living in it: they’re on to that one. C. gave her car to our niece at some point last winter, when she knew she would never use it again. I think they’ll probably be all right with that.
Your husband is right, Shandy, about how husband and wife and civil partners can now accumulate and thus double their tax-free band. It was a recent concession. But it doesn’t help C.’s daughters. Her husband, long dead and even longer gone, contributed nothing to her wealth, such as it was. And he had remarried, anyway.
This is terrible.
Last night I finished row 51 of the mourning shawl border. Instead of starting 52, I just went on knitting the pattern for 51. It was late, I was tired, and perhaps not entirely well. The not-quite-rightness of the stitches I was knitting into revealed the error somewhere in the second pattern repeat, and I tinked back to the beginning of the round and started afresh. The tinking was a bit clumsy but I think we’re more or less all right, galloping-horse-wise.
The irony is, that if there had been any Big Holes in the rows in question, I'd have got it at once -- in the next row after a double YO, one must kb into the second loop. If I'd come across one of those, I'd have known what had happened at once.
But it fact, it was only this morning, walking across the square to get the papers, that I grasped what had really happened (solvitur ambulando, yet again) – I didn’t turn, at the end of 51.
That means that I’m now knitting st st. I have peered at it, and it’s very hard to tell. I am far enough along the first side that to tink now would be a pretty serious operation, risking further mess. What worries me is thoughts of the Wager Welt, Walker Vol. I p. 16. In back-and-forth garter stitch, one row of purl creates three rows of st st. Will that be the case here?
Once, years ago, I tried inserting a life line and found it fully as much work as knitting a round. I’ve never attempted it since.
We’re going to Strathardle today (I think). Will the peas be up? They might be! Back by Monday if not sooner. It gives me time to think about this problem.