Thursday, May 26, 2011


1) Don’t miss the latest blog post from KristieinBC – she’s one of us. And don’t fail to follow her link to CTV. I could watch it here in Drummond Place, so it ought to be manageable anywhere.

2) The friends who were staying with us last weekend went off to Dunkeld on Sunday and actually saw the nesting osprey through binoculars. The webcam available to all gives a much better view. It’s now time for the eggs to hatch, and nothing is happening. The tone of this morning’s blog entry is less hopeful than before.

I’ve been looking in ever since our friends told us about their day. I have been surprised, every time, by the attitude of Mrs Osprey. I would have expected her to use the time to read a good book, or get some knitting done, but she is constantly restless (as far as one can be, sitting still) and constantly alert.


All went well with the Aran sweater yesterday. Perhaps, after the disaster, I am paying more attention.

When I had it off the needles, I used two different systems to calculate how much yarn I would need altogether. I’ve got enough, although not much to spare. I tried again this morning, with yet another system. I’ve still got enough. I worry, and it’s a good reason to press on as hard as possible.

A serious temptation to deviate:

My madeleinetosh yarn, colourway Cosmos, is here. I need to knit a great big swatch and send the particulars – perhaps, better, the swatch itself – to the cyber friend who is going to write a pattern for me based on the Japanese shirt I so much admire. That is to be the next Strathardle project, once I polish off that final sleeve on the pink Araucania. I bought enough that I don't have to worry -- thus are stashes built.

I think we’re going there today, although my husband made an ominous remark at bedtime last night about a letter on his computer which he just wants to finish and dispatch. Everything takes time in old age, and there is the further complication that our movements are circumscribed by the need to plan ahead for food.

“Ten servants waited upon the household, but in a desultory fashion, for they could spare very little time from the five meat meals which tradition daily allowed them.” [Evelyn Waugh, “Scoop”] There’s only one of me, but the result is much the same.

I am very eager to get started mulching, and I note your comment, Tamar. I am sure, from previous experience of grass cuttings, that I know what you mean about “rot anaerobically”. Mix with sawdust? Wood ash? I have neither straw nor, at this time of year, leaves.

Our friends who stayed recently have a house in France, and I was eager to ask them about sorrel, which is said to be much more common there. Once we had tracked down the word, oseille, they agreed – it is a familiar soup and sauce, not a stand-alone vegetable, and not much found in the market. In the course of my Google’ing I found a recipe for sorrel pesto, and I’m eager to have a go at that, too.


  1. My mother-in-law, Irenka - who was displaced from Poland during the war and eventually settled here in the UK - grows sorrel, and makes the most delicious soups and sauces with it, and a vegetable dish with eggs and potatoes that is divine, despite its unpronouncable name! Sorrel features *large* in Polish cooking. Irenka freezes part of her crop for winter use, and also pickles it!

    Still giggling at the mental image of an Osprey knitting !!

  2. Have you got a paper shredder? If so shredded newspaper is great for mixing with grass clippings, at least in compost bins. I could see it working as a mulch too in the correct proportions. Enough grass to stop the paper blowing away and enough paper to stop the clippings sticking together in lumps. Try half and half and work from there?

    Might try it myself, actually. I'll let you know.

  3. Thank you for the links! Both very interesting. At 7:44 p.m. CST in the US, I was able to make out a bit of movement on the Lock of Lowes camera. I'm looking forward to seeing it in daylight.

  4. Oh that yarn! So gorgeous!

    My best friend's parents grow sorrel in their little backyard in San Francisco-- in fact it was at their house that it was the first time I had it.

  5. =Tamar11:50 AM

    If I recall correctly (it's been a long time), either shredded paper or sawdust would mix well with the grass cuttings, because the wood content temporarily binds nitrogen as it decomposes and I believe the grass cuttings would provide nitrogen, thus sparing some for your plants. The only difficulty might be the heat produced during composting.

  6. Anonymous8:44 PM

    I am going to love watching the progress of the Japanese shirt. I saw that on your weblog some time ago and loved it then.

    Here is the cam that many of us in North America have been watching since the days the eagles were eggs:

    At the moment, there are 23,800 people watching. We are all waiting for the eaglets to fledge.

    And now, I am off to check our your ospreys.

  7. Anna D11:25 AM

    Here's a recipe with sorrel, that sounds delicious:

  8. Daisy1:00 AM

    Have you looked at "Classic shirt" by Sally Melville? You could elongate the body...