Monday, May 07, 2012

My sister and her husband will soon be airborne, Amsterdam-Edinburgh.

Dining room

I was gravely alarmed by Helen C.K.S.’message yesterday – she may be right, that I musn’t allow myself to tell our neighbours how much they have cost us in uncompensated expense and in misery. Although I was grateful for those of you who thought I should do it – that includes Greek Helen, who wrote privately.

But Helen C.K.S. also thinks that Upstairs (or their insurance) won’t even have to pay for our damaged possessions. That’s what frightened me. Time will tell. Just this morning I have a submitted an estimate for restoring the sideboard and two chairs, to Upstairs’ insurance broker, letting her know that there is more to come.


And as for knitting, Sunday produced little, as usual. I am ribbing Lizzie’s second sock – this is the Gibson-Roberts heel tryout. And thinking about what to do next. I am all  fired up to try Judy’s Magic Cast-on and a toe-up sock.

But that won’t be suitable for the Bedroom-at-Arles socks I want to knit for Alexander. I only have two 50 gram balls of that yarn, not enough for gents’ socks. I’ll finish off the toe with something else – probably with the yarn left over from his wife’s Van Gogh socks, Restaurant de la Sirene. Obviously, not possible toe-up.

So for Judy’s Magic Cast-On I need someone else, Hellie perhaps, and perhaps a Zauberball. Fun to think about.


It’s good. It’s a slim vol by five designers of not-quite-basic patterns. I love the hats and the scarves, and will one day, I hope, knit Mary Lou’s baby sweater for Theo and Jenni’s child. The book suggests variations, and, better yet, has its own website on which the designers mean to develop ideas to extend the patterns.

The one thing missing, perhaps, is a basic sweater. Mary Lou’s “man’s sweater” design has a zip up the front which disqualifies it, for me.

The surprise was Mary Lou herself. I had a vague mental image constructed around Mrs Roosevelt. Mary Lou is actually much younger, chic-er, and prettier. Meaning no disrespect to the memory of Mrs Roosevelt, whom I revere.


No blog tomorrow, while Roger and Helen are here. Later in the week we hope to go to Strathardle and forget our local troubles. The weather is still unseasonably cold. My poor little vegetable seeds will just have to make the best of it. The forecasts include substantial frost, and even snow on high ground. I hope the apple blossom is not too far advanced. 


  1. Anonymous9:37 AM

    I am not an insurance expert but I went googling and found this comment
    Last one at bottom of page, seems to say upstairs insurers pay, as far as I know there are no exceptions for the flats of Edinburgh, negligence is negligence.

  2. I agree with Jenny who has commented before me.

    Surely the Upstairs people are responsible for the damage that their actions have caused, albeit accidentally. They do have insurance, so they will not be out of pocket. The total of the claim would normally include all the additional expenses which you've had to incur - for instance, the train fare. There should be no uncompensated expenses.

    I would suggest that you should list out all such expenses and submit them not to Upstairs - but to Upstairs' insurance broker.

    And I do sympathise - this must be as stressful as a burglary. Such an intrusion.

    Good luck with the PGR heel. I had to write it all out in order to understand it myself - I don't use it much, I find I prefer the traditional heel construction. However the symmetry of the PGR heel is very satisfying, somehow, and it is always interesting to try something new.

  3. Good luck with it all! We (also in Edinburgh) had a flood from upstairs a couple of years back which caused some damage to our boiler and meant (with a smallish baby) that we had to move to the in-laws for a few days while it was fixed (it was Feb, and rather chilly, with no heating and no hot water). Upstairs paid the bill - as they caused the problem. I don't really see why it would be otherwise - but do go direct to their insurer rather than them. Still, I would never go without contents insurance, and cant really fathom why you dont have any...

    Anyway, good luck with the gardening in Strathardle. I was shocked to see snow falling in Edinburgh yesterday morning (albeit briefly) but glad to report that the hardy broad beans are finally up. I had given up and thought they had surely rotted to oblivion.

  4. If you had contents insurance your insurance company would go to their insurance company to get compensation and then reimburse you. Not having contents insurance is going to make that much more difficult - but not necessarily impossible. A tort is, after all, a tort - and Scots Law has a long history of dealing with such things!

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Jean! I do revere Mrs. Roosevelt, too, but vain enough to be thought a bit prettier! We went back and forth on the zipper for the sweater, and I think one of the variations coming is a button band version of the men's sweater. On the ceiling debacle, I agree with Fiona, all costs should be reimbursed, but dealing with the insurance company is best, in my limited experience. I've been at a knitting retreat since Friday, and taught some people the crocheted cast on, which to me is easier than picking up the bumps, but still unzips perfectly. Unless using Kidsilk Haze...

  6. Good morning, Jean. I love your blog, I look forward to reading it every morning before I trudge off to work.
    As far as toe-up socks, it is possible to knit the whole of the toe box (starting with JMCO) in a different yarn, and then join the main ball of yarn meant for the sock. I often do this if the sock yarn is one of those without nylon content. I then also do an afterthought heel in the same yarn as the toe,and finish the cuff with as many inches as required for desired leg length.
    Best wishes for getting through all this insurance hassle; as I have been telling my daughter, one day at a time, sometimes it is one hour, or one minute, but still it will pass. She is going through a huge mess right now too; her car was destroyed by hail, and her condo unit suffered serious hail and rain damage. The condo association wants all the insurance checks turned over to them; they say they are going to replace all the roofs in the neighborhood (but that is their responsibility anyway), and some of the condo-owners have different types of insurance, different deductibles, etc. What a mess!

  7. maybe you just didn't blog about it, but I am surprised that "upstairs" hasn't even apologized for the mess and offered help of any kind - never mind insurances. but I do agree with Helen that you should think about adapting your own insurance to cover contents. it seems to me that you don't just live with generic cheap furniture, pix etc. - so that covering damages to all of that makes perfect sense? I don't agree with people, who claim that lightening doesn't strike twice!
    about the gardening: don't know how your apple trees are faring, but in our cold weather they already started shedding petals - and I don't think we'll have much of a harvest to look forward to:( the veggies on the other hand tend to make up for lost time pretty quickly - it's probably better to be late in this cold spring!

  8. Gerri3:11 PM

    The dining room deal sounds just the way those things go-one thing follows the next until you finally hit the end and it all starts coming back together. One day at a time is the only way out.

    I think you certainly should receive all that you have a right to. I'm hoping upstairs is cooperating with reaching their insurance, etc. I have no experience with this situation, which sounds frequent in Edinburgh. And, of course, all the reimbursement for ceilings, etc, won't cover your time and discomfort.

    Thinking of upstairs, did they not just have a new baby and one with a permanent disability? Perhaps the letter could be written but then burned? They may be having their own dark days, of an entirely different nature.

    Once all the insurance is settled, you could ask to discuss any remainder that you are out of pocket. They then would be looking at definite amount and can respond.

    Good luck with the seeds (typo made that "weeds", which I guess could still apply.) My garden has quickly become a jungle!

  9. The way it works is that you claim this sort of thing from your own insurance company then they turn round and recoup the money from the other person's insurers. I have to say that it's going to be a long hard slog to do it directly and the reason that upstairs are not speaking to you is probably because their insurance company has advised them not to admit responsibility. There is a great difference in insurance terms between accidental damage and negligence, or indeed deliberate damage. Also, if they do pay out, you'll only be able to recover moneies up to the limit of their insurance for liability to other parties, which may not be set up to cover new for old and valuable antiques. You really need to have this sort of thing covered by your own insurance for both contents and property, especially if it's valuable. That's what your insurance is for, for you, not for other people. If they deny liability (as opposed to accedental damage caused by a third party, say someone else installing a faulty pipe) how can you prove otherwise after all?

    I would start getting the insurance quotes for next time given that you've had two floods from upstairs already. Part and parcel of Edinburgh tenament life tbh.

  10. I heard your son on BBC Newshour (which airs in the US) today. He was talking about Chinese journalists being expelled. (I only comment because you seem to delight in people hearing your children around the world!)

    This ceiling business would have me dizzy and upset all the time, Jean. It would be a lot of self-medicating beer (or cider) for me. You are far more stalwart than I.