Saturday, July 09, 2011

Don’t miss Liz Lovick on Fair Isle.


Yes, Annie, Andy Murray’s kilt was knitted (yesterday's post) – it was plain blue, though, not tartan.

I don’t know how Good King Henry got its name, Julie. The New York Times article – link yesterday – speculated on the subject but didn’t get anywhere. We saw an interesting television program recently about Linnaeus and the naming of plants. “Good King Henry” must have been very common to acquire its unusual Latin name, chenopodium bonus henricus, instead of having the second element be descriptive of the plant.

That’s interesting about quinoa, too. I am about to order some more Good King Henry’s. I’m going to try them fully exposed to the rabbits – I suspect they’ll leave it alone.

I’m short of time this morning, and there’s not much knitting to report – I hope to finish the tedious tidying of the Aran sweater’s sleeve seams today, and get to work knitting the neck.

So I’ll say a bit about the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

We used to go quite regularly, 35 years ago. “Stay Six Days, See Six Plays” was the slogan then as now, but in those days the programme was meatier: Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Middleton. They also made a point of producing new Scottish writing. I don’t mean that the whole thing was utterly highbrow, but it was higher than it is now. The only thing of much substance this summer is Bridie’s “Dr Angelus”, and that doesn’t open until August.

It seems to cost more, too. I can’t substantiate that with figures, but in those days it was a possible family outing. Now, it distinctly involves sucking the breath in through the teeth.

And it is very striking, how geriatric the audience is these days. I suspect these three comments are in some respects interrelated.

Cathy and I and various children saw Alan Ayckbourn’s “Henceforward”, which wasn’t very good – Ayckbourn’s fault, not Pitlochry’s – and “My Fair Lady”, which was simply brilliant. Is it the greatest of the mid-20th-century musicals?

And Alistair got to work backstage for three days as “work experience”. He had a great time.


  1. Ah my father would tell you that My Fair Lady is definitely the best of those musicals!

  2. It is so nice to have you back! And thank you for the link to Liz Lovick's blog. I now want to add Fair Isle to my fall itinerary.

  3. grannyPurple2:42 PM

    I remember seeing Henceforward in London more than 2 decades ago with Ian McKellen, and thought it was amazing. Perhaps it hasn't worn well with all the advances in technology...