Safely home, and we had a grand time. The weather was astonishing, all the more enjoyed because it was pissing down in
London. My husband,
listening to the forecasts last week, worried about what tasks we could
set Joe if the rain kept us all indoors.
It didn’t, and he toiled mightily tidying up and sawing fallen branches in my husband’s little larch plantation. His mother Rachel had forbidden him to use the chain saw, and us, to let him use it. I was just as glad, but he could have done much more with its help. Maybe next summer James can teach him how to use it. James is the only man who can get it started, anyway – it is a fairly new Stihl chain saw chosen for its easy-start characteristics.
I would ascribe the glorious weather to what James calls the Strathardle Microclimate – except that Kate Davies’ blog makes it sound as if the glory was Scotland-wide.
Lizzie (Joe’s younger sister) has been in
Texas this weekend with university friends.
She sent this, this morning, from Austin.
Not only is the street named “ Elizabeth”, but
there is a sticker there somewhere saying “Brixton” – which is practically
where she lives, in London.
I took “Rams and Yowes” along, and didn’t get much done. First of all, the bamboo circular I had taken proved to have the slightest chip in one of the ends, which meant that stitches, effectively, would not slide from the cable to the point. I turned the needle around, no small feat, and that went better – the defective connection was perfectly capable of transferring stitches from the point to the cable.
But the needle was too long. Not impossibly too long -- I could knit without stretching the work, but it involved a constant effort of stitch-pushing. Last night I transferred it all to a better needle and absented myself from felicity a while (=the Milano) to get things going in a better fashion.
Milano: I now can’t find your comment – I hope you’re here this morning. You liked the size otherwise, but wanted to lengthen it and were afraid there wouldn’t be enough yarn. Please write to Carol Sunday – I don’t know anything about her at all, have never dealt with her except for buying my Milano: but the yarn (the blissful yarn!) is hers as well as the pattern. She might be able to help.
Don’t blame me for this. I am trying to report what a young Englishman said.
Joe was in
recently – something about opening a sports centre which was somehow connected
with his work in London.
The sports centre was – is – in a deprived area north of Philadelphia. Shootings are near-daily
events, he was told. He was surprised at how rapidly and smoothly one moves between prosperous-middle-class and impoverished-nearly-totally-black areas. And this from a man who lives near Brixton (see above), one of London’s
most notorious areas.
But what really astonished him was when the moment came, during the opening of the sports centre, for singing the Star Spangled Banner. Everyone stood there, hand on heart, belting it out. Singing the praises of a country which had short-changed them, Joe felt. They wouldn’t have treated “God Save the Queen” like that in Brixton, he said. How is it instilled, that sort of patriotism? I couldn’t answer. When I was young we had the war to instill patriotism in us.