Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It sounds as if they’re going to announce in Switzerland today that they may have spotted the Higgs boson. It will be a feather in the cap of Drummond Place, if so, as Professor Higgs used to live here. It was quite a while ago, and he wasn’t here long, maybe 18 months, but still, here. Drummond-Place-in-history runs rather to poets and artists – a Nobel Prize for Physics would be a bracing change.

My husband is better. I consulted a dr by telephone yesterday, a facility our practice now offers as standard. I hope they all do. He agreed that the markers I mentioned yesterday were significant, and said that my husband must be seen if any of them regressed. He also thought that an antibiotic might help, and he seems to have been right. At any rate, we’ve had a nearly cough-free night. It took all the rest of yesterday morning for me to get across town to the surgery to pick up the prescription – paper, with an actual dr’s signature, is still required – and then to get up to Boots to activate it.

But I got my pensum of Christmas cards written in the afternoon.

On the subject of Christmas: the pedant in me has noticed (Zite, again) that a significant minority of people seem to believe that “the twelve days of Christmas” refers to the period we are currently enduring. It does not. The 12-day count begins on 25 December and ends on – wait for it – Twelfth Night. The first time I spotted that error, I assumed it was an individual’s idiosyncratic mistake, but it keeps cropping up.

I finished knitting the second hat. My list of the year’s FO’s positively sparkles for December. There is still Arne & Carlos’ pig ornament to knit and take to Loch Fyne next week, but knitting, especially in December, is required to sooth as well as entertain. Christmas-tree-bauble-knitting is a lot of fun, and indeed addictive, but not soothing.

So, after tidying up the hat, I reverted last night to the KF hand-dyed-effect sock. Tomorrow is Wednesday. I’ll cast on the ornament during my osteoporosis half-hour and trust it to knit itself thereafter.

The sock yarn still slightly worries and slightly irritates me. The sock which is emerging is fine, wonderfully soft, and the sloooooooow colour changes are splendid. But the ball keeps falling apart and the yarn keeps splitting. We’ll see. I think when I was knitting in a&e the other night, I got into the swing of it and it sped forward like any sock. I hope that will happen again.

Zite found me an interesting hat pattern yesterday: the Regina. Here is a link to the one Zite illustrated which I think looks better than the designer’s colour scheme. It sounds fun, and madelinetosh DK is actually mentioned. What if I dipped into the delicious pile of yarn my sister recently brought me for my Effortless (or Vitamin D, as the case may prove)? I mustn’t, but I'm tempted.


  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Twelfth Night and the days that came before ... I share your frustration and have encountered this with growing frequency. The folk who do not understand that Advent starts on the first Advent Sunday and not December 1st also drive me potty. And I'm not terribly keen on the Christmas tree as Advent calendar, but that I can't really hold against people. Long may we pedants continue!

  2. Glad to hear things are moving forwards on all fronts (husband, sock knitting, baubles). I was in MacAree bros shop on Saturday - (surely your local yarn store?) - and spied your bauble book. It looks splendid in the flesh, and they also had some socks knitted in that splitty yarn. They looked completely normal, so much so I doubted whether it was actually made with that yarn, but apparently so. Perhaps I will use my ball of said yarn for socks after all....

  3. Thankyou for mentioning that Christmas starts at - well - Christmas. It seems to come as such a surprise for some people. Advent is a time of fast, I think - when you clear out and sweep up ready to bring in Christmas. I have never liked the habit of firms and organisations having their Christmas parties/lunches any time from late November onwards. And the tree goes up on Dec. 24th, while the carol service is broadcast from Cambridge! So!

  4. Ooh! That Regina hat is very very tempting! Thank you for linking to it!

  5. Each year I fervently wish for a rebirth of the Twelve Days of Christmas. I think that the desire to keep everyone consuming and shopping has grown too strong to overcome that. Occupy Christmas!

  6. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Jean, first anonymous commenter, Jean from Cornwall, and Mary Lou: I am so glad that some people still know the difference between Advent and Christmas. Even those who were raised Catholic or Anglican seem to forget; meanwhile most people in the US think Christmas begins the day after Thanksgiving, because that's the retailers tell them. Mary Lou: I've been thinking that we need is a Slow Christmas movement, inspired by the Slow Food people.
    -- Gretchen

  7. skeindalous6:11 PM

    So many interesting points raised in this post and in the comments. We pedants must unite and press for accuracy in language. One thing the French get right is the attempt to keep their language focused, perhaps to excess! The Twelve Days bit is indeed spreading, and if only it were true that the selling of Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving, rather than weeks before. Sigh. May our holiday knitting truly sooth and entertain!

  8. I think people have no cultural grounding in Christmas extending past December 25 because it doesn't matter in most parts of the world.

    I live in New Orleans, and we celebrate Christmas until January 6 when Carnival season starts. (Must always have feast or fast here!) Understanding the 12 days of Christmas makes so much more sense when our culture observes it.

  9. =Tamar1:29 AM

    And the tree came down on Twelfth Night, too. It's all the fault of calendar reform, I hear.

    The Regina hat in yellow and green strangely reminds me of a green-footed duck curled up for warmth. I'd be tempted to add a bill.

    I was about ready to soothe myself with a pair of mittens when I got a sudden request for a hat. Such is the season.

  10. In Latin America (and among many Americans of Latino extraction) the 12th night is celebrated just as boisterously, if not more so than Christmas. That's when the three kings come and bring all the kids gifts (a different variation of Santa Claus I suppose.)

    I have until Friday to finish my end of semester and finals grading. I graded research papers like mad today, my eyeballs feeling like they were going to explode. Next week I fly to Los Angeles to visit my mom and dad and partake in the Christmas craziness. It is almost upon us-- which seems sudden. I wish I had more time to make baubles (and wasn't grading upteen million exams.) But for a uni prof, this time of year is the sprint to the end....

  11. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Thanks to you Jean, I downloaded Zite (iphone version) and it is as good as you said; so nice to read news about the subjects in which I am interested.