Thursday, February 06, 2014

Today's excitement is getting my husband to a GP's appt, hard work on the get-me-to-the-church-on-time front but otherwise not too stressful. Fortunately the appt is in the morning, leaving time for a good nap after lunch. My own appt is on Monday, early, when we hope to discover that there is something in the “bloods” to explain my continued malaise, preferably something easily treatable with a pill.

Thank you for all your sympathetic comments. Daisy, I tried some chocolate when I read yours – after all that fuss and expense, I still have a substantial number of chocolate brussels sprouts in the cupboard. No harm was done. Ellen, you're right that a lot of the comfort in Austen-reading lies in the sense that everything is under control, and will work out for the best (so unlike real life).

Peggy, that was an interesting remark of yours (comment, Monday) that Austen is hard on older women. I finished Mansfield yesterday and started on Persuasion (thanks to you, Ellen): I might nominate Lady Russell, Anne Elliot's godmother and good friend – but I don't suppose she was anything approaching old, by modern standards. Some presumably-good ones must have died young, Emma's mother and Lady Elliot, but that hardly counts. The irritating spinster in Emma – Miss Bates? I'm not going to look it up – is essentially a good guy, and Emma is rightly faulted for mocking her.


I've finished the first repeat (of 19, I fear) of the centre of the Unst Bridal Shawl. It doesn't look like anything much. I haven't put the edging away yet – it's still on the floor beside my knitting chair, and it looks like a real achievement. When I sit down to knit, I can scarcely see the centre – a tiny scrap beside it.

However, spread out on my knee, it looks fine, and it's not very difficult knitting. On we go, at least for a couple more repeats, before I turn to the Milano.


We need some illustration. Here are some pictures (they came in a strip) that my friend Sylvia sent yesterday. At some point in some past decade, she and Ann turned up in Birmingham. I have known them both since my very early days at Oberlin. Ann and Sylvia were friends before that, in high school.

My husband was away, I remember, and I think it was at the point in life when all the children had (just) fled the nest. So we were free. We went to Chatsworth (centre picture) and on to Oxford and then Stratford. By a brilliant stroke of luck, they were doing Henry V which had been such a great thing in our Oberlin days because of Olivier's movie. At Stratford that day it was Kenneth Branagh – possibly his first big role? Very memorable, anyway.

The point of he third picture is obscured by its being cropped. It was taken in our garden in Birmingham (left to right: Sylvia, me, Ann) and we were all standing, as we had learned to do in the 50's, with one foot in front, turned sideways, to make our ankles look slimmer.

1 comment:

  1. All this talk of Austen has me revisiting it too. I'm in the middle of Mansfield Park and will look up others. Last weekend I indulged in watching all of the episodes of Pride and Prejudice (the Ehle/Firth version).

    If you're looking for more Austen to have on hand, you may want to visit Project Gutenberg for the ebooks. All of them are on there and free for downloading. It should be in Kindle format.