We had a very good lunch at the Botanic Gardens yesterday. Although we live within what (used to be, for my husband) walking distance of the Gardens, we hadn’t been around to the West Gate since they built the new structure. It’s rather impressive. The restaurant is good – tables far apart, ceiling high, a party of six, as we were, can converse without having to shout. The food is good, and well presented, and not outrageously expensive for what you’re getting.
The conversation was pleasant throughout, and mostly light, but strong emotion, even under the surface like that, is very tiring. I’m still feeling it.
My husband has scarcely spoken of his sister since her funeral. Yesterday, as not infrequently, I sat beside him on the bed as he tested his blood sugar in the morning, prepared to advise on the insulin dose if necessary. He writes the result down in a little ruled notebook, and said, as he did so, “It’s sort of sad, writing ‘June 2nd’.” I am sure, if things had fallen out differently, my birthday would cause him little or no distress – but he had known C. much longer.
I got back to the Aran sweater, as hoped, with only minor difficulty in figuring out where I was in the pattern. I’ve finished the third repeat of the meandering Celtic cables.
I also got the email about the Japanese shirt written and dispatched. I’m going to send the actual swatch to my cyber-friend today. Betty, the pattern is in Setsuko Torii’s book “Hand Knit Works”. You’ll find if you Google that a translation was in the pipeline a few years ago, but it never emerged. The book itself is utterly wonderful, but rather expensive.
Some shop sent me an email a few days ago about a German sock yarn. Why is it always the Germans for sock yarn? I had a sudden hankering after it this morning – but it isn’t at IKnit, in London; nor at Knit Purl out there in Oregon. I gave up and Googled “crazy German sock yarn” and good old Google got it in one. After finishing a pair of Gents’ Gray, and being restrained in yarn-buying for really quite a while, I’m rather tempted.
Annie, thank you for the recipe in yesterday’s comment, now printed and in The Box. It sounds delicious. But I’ll wait until I can do it with my own new potatoes as well as my own sorrel – not too long, now.
Hugh, as we must now learn to call him, has a very simple recipe (in “The River Cottage Year”) along perhaps similar lines: boil new potatoes, being careful not to over-boil. Put in bowl with butter, a trickle of olive oil, and some shredded sorrel. Toss about. A minute or so later, when the heat of the potatoes has wilted the sorrel, toss again. Season. Serve.
I was surprised yesterday to see how dry the Royal Botanic Gardens were looking. Everything is green – if not very advanced – in Strathardle.