Friday, December 16, 2011

I think this is the moment when I will bow out for awhile, perhaps to reappear in the last week of the year.

Our plans seem to be in more than ordinary disarray.

n      My husband’s illness puts a question mark over our journey to Loch Fyne next Friday. And I’m not altogether sure I feel entirely hunky dory myself. We have long believed that there is a sort of sub-flu one can get when one has had the injection, and I think that may be where I am.
n      Rachel’s husband’s dearly loved Aunt Frances had a cerebral haemorrhage last weekend. Drs decided yesterday to withdraw ventilation and let her die. Rachel and her family couldn’t possibly come to Loch Fyne – they are expected on the 26th – if it meant missing Aunt Frances’ funeral. No one knows, of course, how long the dying will take. I am fond of Aunt Frances myself, although knowing her but little.
n      Alexander cooks on an Aga, which came with the house. Agas are generally regarded as the ne plus ultra of cooking apparatus, although Alexander himself – a fussy cook – is not entirely pleased with it. Be that as it may, something has recently gone wrong. A Man is meant to come next week and put it right. If he doesn’t come or can’t fix it, roast goose on the 25th is out of the question. I’m not much bothered with this one, although Alexander is – baked beans on toast washed down with champagne would do very nicely.

Amongst my own right-now problems is the question of what to feed people today. James and his daughters will be here at the end of the afternoon – the middle of the night, for them, freshly arrived from China. James thinks the girls will just want to go to bed, but I can’t meet them on the doorstep with the immortal line, “You’ll have had your tea”. I’ve got to offer something, and one of the girls is vegetarian.

And James himself (a Type 1 diabetic) has adopted a regime of no-carbohydrate-in-the-evening. And my husband continues to protest that in his current delicate state he doesn’t want anything “cooked”, he just wants food.

Lying awake last night, wondering if I was ill, I figured out today’s program. I’ll have a large pot of water near the boil when they arrive. If the girls want food, I’ll make them spaghetti aglio e olio, a delicious dish of utmost simplicity often consumed by young Italians in the middle of the night. And vegetarian. And then the rest of us can have Gino d’Acampo’s version of spag bol a little later and James can leave out the spag.

And tomorrow will have to look after itself.

As for knitting, I’ve passed the halfway point with the Pig Bauble and progressed with the current sock. I am much struck with the emotional difference between madelinetosh scarlet and KF hand-dyed-effect rhubarb, a dark purple. I am pleased enough with the sock which is emerging, but the process of knitting it completely lacks that scarlet boost.


  1. Best wishes for Christmas! It does sound difficult. I sympathise - ours also sounds as if it could be much the same!

  2. Have a lovely holiday and take the greatest care of your health!

  3. Dear Jean,
    My sympathy for the troubles surrounding you and hope the arrival of your family will bring some pleasure.

    Have a good rest and enjoy the rest of the year.

    I will be thinking of you even when you are not blogging.

    All the best,

  4. GrannyPurple12:20 PM

    Let us hope that all resolves in the best possible way! I'll watch for your return.

  5. I hope you and your family have a very good holiday in whatever form it takes. Sounds like spending time together will be fine wherever it happens.
    Still no snow in Toronto!

  6. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Wishing you and your husband good health and the pleasure of family this Christmas! I'll look forward to your return!

    Barbara in CA

  7. Ruth in Ottawa2:14 PM

    I am curious to hear the outcome of the Aga story; we are going to have one in the new house we are currently building (this is probably considered eccentric over here - the Aga, not the house). I thought there was not very much to go wrong with them?

    I do hope you have an enjoyable Christmas in spite of all setbacks, keeping in mind EZ's words "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises"; words to live by! And I'll be looking forward to the resumption of your posts. No snow here in Ottawa either, Lisa...

  8. Wishing you and your family improved health and a wonderful Christmas season together whatever form it takes. I'm thinking of Rachel's family in this difficult time. God Bless.

  9. Best wished for a healthy New Year!

  10. Reading your blog post today is bringing back some memories of our Christmas a few years ago. Let's hope yours doesn't reach the epic proportions of failure ours did!

    Stress can take out an immune system faster than anything, so hopefully you are able to progress with as little of that as possible. I hope both you and your husband are fully recovered by Christmas Day, and that you have a lovely holiday filled with family and good cheer, in spite of the rough beginning to the season.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Sarah JS3:28 PM

    Best wishes to all in your family and relations.

    Would a nice vegetable soup (with bread or not, depending on one's carbohydrates preference) work for tomorrow?

    Less than a week to solstice! Happy Christmas & New Years.

  12. Gerri3:35 PM

    Take care of yourself. May everyone improve in health. My thoughts are with Rachel and extended family.

    Some years the Christmas train has to ride it out on the siding, which can have it's own moments of joy and peace-may that be true for you and yours.

  13. Discretion is the better part of valour.

    If I were you I would "pass" on Christmas. The most important thing for you and your husband is to get well. Your symptoms may be the result of stress on account of your husband's health (ask me how I know!) and the seasonal preparations.

    Wishing you all the best and looking forward to the resumption of your posts in the New Year.

  14. skeindalous6:11 PM

    May you have a blessed Christmas, in spite of, or through, or in addition to, all the complications you mention. A healthy New Year, as well. Looking forward to hearing from you in 2012.

  15. Good thoughts sent your way from the Bay Area Peninsula in California (30 minutes south of San Francisco). I'm sorry you are facing these health issues. Perhaps you can move your Christmas celebration to January after you and your husband are healthy again.



    P.S. I so enjoy reading your blog.

  16. Happy Christmas, Jean and best wishes for a healthy New Year. Thanks for another lovely year of blog posts. I always learn something new.

  17. Happy Christmas and best of health to you and your family, Jean. I'm sure things will sort out. Imagine if we didn't have our knitting to get us through!

  18. =Tamar4:10 AM

    Knit on, it's proven to relieve stress. Your solution to the food question sounds perfect. One year my mother gave up on trying to produce a story-book dinner and just cooked traditional food and left it warming in the kitchen, and we all went and got ourselves servings whenever we wanted it. It worked fine, and we did that for many years with corresponding lack of stress.
    Best wishes for improved health soon.

  19. Anonymous3:25 AM

    Dear Jean,
    I'm sorry that all these difficulties have presented themselves now. I think you're right to take pressure off yourself and I hope you and your family do enjoy Christmas.


  20. The run up to Christmas is so often tough, how much more difficult when illness and ill fortune leaves one's plan in disarray. Wherever you spend your Christmas, with whom ever, and whatever you eat (beans on toast and a glass of champers sounds perfect) may it be a good one. Happy Christmas Jean x

  21. I hope your Christmas went well and things are settling down for the new year.