Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I am sorry to have to tell you that one of the Loch Fyne ducks died in eggbirth recently. Her replacement is being delivered here to Drummond Place this morning. Alexander phoned yesterday to say that it would arrive between 6 and 7 a.m. He will be over later in the morning to get it. “You will have to keep it entertained,” he said.

So that is why I am sitting here in the early morning gloom – it is currently 6:27 – waiting for a duck.

Little to report, otherwise. I am now increasing the BSJ along the mitre lines, and it looks as unintelligible as ever. How on earth did that remarkable woman ever think up the design?

[6:45: We have a duck.]

Cheryl wrote suggesting that I bypass the question of the Princess shawl and the forthcoming wedding, by knitting a Christening shawl for future use. Trouble is, I’ve done that. It’s the Amedro one. I knit it for James’ and Cathy’s daughter Kirsty in 2000, along with the matching dress. I had the Indignant Gentlewomen on Castle street make a petticoat.

And since Scotland most unexpectedly won the Calcutta Cup that year, I incorporated it into the design.

It sounds from what Sharon Miller says, as if it was the practice on Shetland to use an elaborate wedding shawl for the Christening the following year. Reversing that notion, I hope Kirsty might wear this one at her wedding, although it's no Princess. I have packed it away with a note to that effect.

Doorstep gardening

The sorrel is sufficiently abundant that I will be able to harvest a fourth soup today. I keep meaning to, and keep being too tired in the evening. The plan for today is to make the basic soup – sweat a potato and some onion in butter, simmer in stock – early in the day, so that all I have to do later on is add sorrel for a few moments and then liquidize.

So that was a highly successful doorstep crop. I’ll take the plants to Strathardle next time, and see what the deer think of them.

The big news on the chilli front is that the Scotch Bonnets are reddening. It will be interesting to see if they are as hot as supermarket ones, or does windowsill-growing result in less capsaicin? Once the harvest is in, I will cut all four plants back severely and see what happens. The big jalapeno from Waitrose is still flowering. The two Apaches and the Scotch Bonnet have calmed down, but carry a substantial amount of fruit still to redden. The Scotch Bonnets look like little Chinese lanterns.

I’m busy thinking about next year. Chinese (or “garlic”) chives, for one thing.


My husband’s computer eventually pulled itself together and got recently-edited files into the cloud. I don’t think the delay was Dropbox’ fault. Sister Helen, I don’t even know what the “ID line” is. I tried “refresh screen”. I tried again the next morning. I have no doubt that, for a while, my husband’s computer wasn’t talking to the cloud.

It’s an up-to-date Toshiba. The computer dept in John Lewis is all laptop these days, with grown-up computers, few in number, relegated to a corner. But that’s what I’ll go for when I finally replace old slow-coach here. I don’t entirely trust laptops.


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    I can just visualize you, duck-sitting! What makes the Gentlewomen so angry? No, I know what you meant, but I couldn't resist.


  2. Duck sitting! I was transported back to my childhood and "The Story about Ping" (Marjorie Flack). Our neighbours when I was about two had ducks. We had hens - not nearly as interesting!

  3. Ruth in Ontario, Canada2:06 PM

    I've had my Dell laptop for over 2 years and absolutely love it. Just saying...

  4. Full-size duck or a duckling? For either one a basin of water in the bathtub will keep them occupied.

    I had a Dell laptop as my main computer for 7 years. The only issue I had with it was the lack of room for expansion cards. I also used a standard plug in keyboard and mouse instead of the laptop keyboard and touchpad. But it worked fine.

  5. had a great laptop until the cat knocked my hand with hot tea as i was sitting and she decided to jump in my lap and then the laptop was no more.

    so am going to replace it with an iPad. i have a great desktop with multimonitors and its like a command centre. i dont really need a laptop.

    and i am DYING for an iPad. birthday money should top the savings fund.

  6. Anonymous4:34 AM

    "[6:45: We have a duck.]" Best. Line. Ever.

    Godspeed to the duckling!