Sunday, July 14, 2013

There is but little to report. And it's Sunday, so time presses. I’m halfway down the foot of the 2nd Mind the Gap sock – another couple of sessions should polish it off. I love the way a sock is virtually finished, when you finish it.

So we’ll have to make do with some random thoughts.

1) Your comment the other day, Mary Lou, sounds rather as if I recommend Tiger in the Smoke and Put Out More Flags here every 18 months or so. No great harm done, if that is true. (The link is to a most useful tutorial on setting in sleeves.)

But here’s one I hope will be brand new to many: Diana Cooper’s three-volume autobiography, beginning with “The Rainbow Comes and Goes”. She was the daughter of the Duke of Rutland, famous for her beauty and wit. Indeed, I need tell you no more than that she is the acknowledged model for Evelyn Waugh’s Mrs. Stitch.

She came out as a debutante before the Great War. She knew all those famous young men who perished – Patrick Shaw Stewart, Edward Horner, and so on.  She lived a long time, and by the end of Volume Three is in the post-World-War-II world we all inhabit. And she writes extremely well.

We spoke the other day, at least I did, of fishing for compliments. Diana Cooper loved them in youth (don’t we all, throughout life?) and referred to them as “dewdrops”. Having remembered that, I took the book from the shelf to find the passage.

2) We learn that the gov’t is to abandon the “Liverpool Care Pathway”, the highroad to death. If ever there were an example of an unfortunate name, that is it. The actual protocol sounds exactly the same as the way my sister-in-law C. was treated in the last days of her life at the Marie Curie Hospice in south Edinburgh. It depends on skilled and attentive and sympathetic nursing, such as she had. I could ask no more than to have such a death.

Marks& Spencer, I read somewhere once, doubled the sale of its Leek & Potato soup when they stopped calling it Vichyssoise. I think our favourite soap opera of all time, El Dorado, might have survived if better named – it sounded like foreign muck, to the people who dislike foreign muck. 


  1. Hardly every 18 mints. Once before, maybe. And it seems a long time since I read them, anyway. Diana Cooper's book sounds like for for the list.

  2. Just reading "Put Out More Flags", following your suggestion. Very sharply written indeed.
    I wonder what one could call the withdrawal of any intervention to make it seem less sinister. Euphemisms soon become worse than the blunt facts. "Letting nature take its course" might suggest "The Natural Course", perhaps.

  3. KarenE10:44 AM

    For cancer it is called palliative care, which is accurate and succinct. Why shouldn't we educate rather than work with an increasingly restrictive vocabulary?

  4. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Agreed wholeheartedly KarenE