Monday, October 29, 2012

We have late-summer hurricanes on the east coast all the time; I can remember being blown about. But I’ve never known anything like this, for anticipation. I read somewhere recently that the US has most if not all of its electricity cables above ground, suspended from poles, whereas here in Britain, in memory of Hitler or perhaps it was in anticipation of him, a substantial portion runs underground. So the US is much more vulnerable to storms.

It’s all above-ground in Strathardle, and winter storms often plunge us into darkness.


Thank you very much indeed for your help with the Microsoft Surface. (Anonymous, it was grand to be reminded of those days when one typed in the Greek alphabet code by code, and of the thrill when one printed one’s work and it was right! Or nearly.)

Catmum, that review you linked to was pretty damning – I watched the clip where he tried to save a Word document and was repeatedly frustrated by a window demanding that he “sign in”. It wouldn’t accept his password, and it wouldn’t go away. My husband would throw the machine across the room.

Your link sounded more encouraging, Theresa. And my husband’s requirements will be vastly simpler than those of either reviewer – he doesn’t want to watch movies or make PowerPoint presentations or do any other of those even more incomprehensible things the reviewers mentioned. Just word-processing (USB port essential) and web-cruising with a machine he can hold while sitting in an armchair.

I will proceed with much-increased caution, but I’ll still try to have a look at it in John Lewis if they stock it.

In the old Word Perfect he uses, I have created tiny applets to make things easier. For instance, to insert a footnote you need to hit a function key, probably in conjunction with Shift or Ctrl or Alt, and choose “footnote” from the menu screen which then arrives, and finally write it. I have consolidated that so that all he has to do is put the cursor where the note goes and hit Alt-N (“N” for “note”). I doubt if such easings of the path are possible in Windows.


I’m down to the last few feet of the first ball of yarn, perhaps 1/3 of the way through the 5th triangle. That’s fine.

Else reminds me, in an email just received, that knitting something red is very helpful at this time of year. How could I have forgotten?! Last year, I had left-over yarn from knitting Thomas-the-Elder’s “electric red” sweater. I knit a smaller version as a Christmas present for Thomas-the-Younger and still had enough for a beanie for Alistair and another for Fergus although by then the red appeared only as stripes.

Hindus are on to something, regarding it as the colour of good fortune, worn by brides. When we “did coloring” at Hampton Elementary School in Detroit during the war, all the big, successful children got all the red crayons of which there were never very many. What about that brioche-stitch scarf I was thinking of? Rowan Cocoon doesn’t get redder than “Quarry Tile”. Would that do? I'm not sure -- Else's right, I need red.


  1. Windows 7 also has a password requirement to log on. Once in a fit of pique at my husband for using my computer and downloading strange software I change the password to a complicated combination of lowercase and caps of our pets names. I promptly forgot is and had to get out the laptop to find a hack online. I was able to take out the password requirement but not recover the password. So much for fancy security

  2. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Thanks for the red sweater/hat photos!
    I am also knitting a red item these days - a somewhat tomato-y Hitchhiker scarf in a generic Chinese sock yarn.
    Yes I think the red colour does have a cheerful effect on these ever-darker days. I am thinking to keep the scarf for myself to brighten up winter.
    Lisa in Toronto

  3. =Tamar1:59 PM

    Red and yellow is another good combination, and Sir Terry Pratchett has made that the color combination for the Unseen University Foot-the-Ball team, so I even have a reason for using it for my scarf. It doesn't hurt that my current winter coat is a rather reflective bright lemon-yellow.

  4. Anna Zilboorg, in her 45 fanciful hats book, calls it a civil service to wear bright colourful hats in the greyness of winter!

  5. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Thomas the Elder certainly looks great in his sweater.

    Beverly in NJ

  6. =Tamar2:11 AM

    Underground power lines are only as good as their waterproofing.