I found the red tablecloth – it's in the drawer where it ought to be, nicely laundered and ironed, to judge from a cursory glance.. And I know where the underlay is. The proper red napkins are in Strathardle where Christmas always used to be, but Waitrose will have some nice heavy paper ones. Today I will find The Joy of Cooking – I have too many cookery books – and plan my stuffing.
Helen thinks maybe a take-away (a carry-oot, as we say around here) would be the thing for the 24th, but I am afraid that all the restaurants would be so busy that we'd sit around hungry all evening, getting crosser. I'll have a look at what Cook has to offer. The link is to their Asian dishes.
Helen says she is in touch with Father Christmas so I don't have to worry about him.
And as for Christmas knitting, I've done 25 of 31 rows of the two-colour chart for the Sensible Christmas Project. There's a bit more to do after that in the background colour, and then loose ends and a seam and perhaps some cautious blocking to deal with, because the bottom is curling despite three rows of ribbing. But essentially, we're getting on fine.
Bizzy B, there will certainly be a picture of it (and of the Silly Christmas Project) in good time.
I don't think I'm giving too much away if I tell you that the Sensible one has lettering on it. I've done a lot of lettering through the years, in colour and in lace. And I always feel the same sort of surprise – the knitting is (obviously) not orderly and geometric like Fair Isle and almost all lace patterns and even Rams & Yowes. You have to peer at the pattern and think about every row. But what emerges makes sense in an entirely different way.
Thanks for the comments. I found myself wondering yesterday whether Hitler knew in advance. Maybe he thought that since the Americans had held aloof from the European war for a whole two years, a war of their own in the Pacific was just what was needed to keep them permanently occupied elsewhere. Or maybe the Japanese didn't tell him. The answer (or at least, speculation about the answer) must be there to be found in some of the thousands of books.
Churchill, who knew America and Roosevelt rather better than Hitler did, went to bed a happy man that evening. There was much pain to come, but there was now no doubt at all about how it would eventually end. Whether he had known in advance or not, how did Hitler feel?
Churchill's account has echoes of Downton Abbey. He was dining at Chequers with the American ambassador, Averell Harriman. They listened to the nine o'clock news which was mostly about the Russian front, and the British front in Libya. There was something at the end about a Japanese attack on American shipping in Hawaii, and then the Brains Trust programme started. Harriman and Churchill looked at each other with some unease, and then the butler (who must have been listening to Radio Five Live in the kitchen) said “It's quite true. The Japanese have attacked the Americans.”
I don't think that butler was in the habit of contributing to conversations between his employer and the American ambassador.
Churchill says that he and Harriman were able to get a call through to Roosevelt within five minutes. I wonder if Mr Cameron could speak to Mr Obama so easily.