Here we successfully are, re-grouping and enjoying a brief respite from the mud. I’ll have my hair done today. No chance for a new clo.
The garden is so bad that the only thing to do is to concentrate on the few successes. I had thought the potatoes would be one of them. But foliage has begun to die – blight? And when I start digging, it turns out very few potatoes are to be found. The foliage of the Picasso's still looks good—maybe I’ll do better there.
The vegetable cage has been a distinct success – no rabbits or deer in there. I shall hope to use its protection to better effect next year. Sorrel soup continues to please, and Good King Henry has figured as saag in another curry. I still haven’t decided whether it actually adds a useful piquant note – or is it just that the spices conceal the bitterness of the vegetable? At least it gets from garden to table.
Bunching onions are looking very good, especially the ones Harriet gave me recently. I have cautiously divided a couple of the bunches. We should be in business seriously next year if the deer don’t pull them all up in the winter. The mange tout peas, all of eight inches high, have bravely come into flower. We may get a plateful after all. Usually in August I can’t keep up with them.
And there will be a late crop of broad beans.
Oddly, the parsley is ebullient. I would have thought the deer would enjoy that.
And the gooseberry bushes, in other years stripped bare by caterpillars, are looking quite cheerful. We had no crop at all this year, presumably because potential flower-buds were stripped along with leaves last year. So I entertain some hope there.
My husband’s frailty continues to be a cause of anxiety. Helen has alerted a neighbour whom we may call on for help – some comfort. I remember that my mother, perfectly alert into her 90’s, dropped out of group conversation long before then. My husband seems to be at an equivalent stage, drooping silently over the supper table but fine in one-to-one conversation.
Helen’s eldest son Archie is about to start life as a schoolboy at Merchiston, here in
. The plan is
that Helen will come back from Edinburgh
at the end of September to be here for his first exeat – when he is allowed out
on leave for a long weekend. We can all go to Strathardle then. Greece
(Her husband David, a worrier after my own heart, is afraid that Marchiston’s emphasis on rugby will make Archie’s life hell, and equally worried that Archie will love rugby and spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.)
I took the Italian socks along, but didn’t get much done. My fingers don’t seem to work as well without a television set droning on in the corner. I have nearly reached the ribbing of the first sock. It would be nice if I could press on and get the second one finished next week, when the recipient will be with us for the Games.
Speaking of which, I am entering those red socks in the “Best Use of 100gr Wool” class, as well as the snood in the Snood class.