Thursday, March 06, 2014

Here we go. Lent. It will be particularly interesting this year to see if I feel better (as I usually do) without cider.

A friend of Greek Helen's phoned yesterday and offered to drive me to the hospital – that's what's meant by a good friend. I accepted with pleasure. The Western is close, and if there's a place in the hospital car park, it's not far to walk to the door. But if there's no room, one often has to park down by the big police station at Fettes. The hike back up the hill from there is more than I want to undertake just now.

This will be for the ECG and chest x-ray. I doubt if I will know anything about the results until I see the dr again next week.

I did a bit of minor tidying in the sitting room yesterday, and found a little DVD called “Shetland Fine Lace” which I bought in the Lerwick Museum in September.. Our DVD player doesn't seem to be working – we don't use it very often -- job for Archie when he's next here – so I wound up watching it on a computer. Very highly recommended, some fine pictures of old lace and of Shetland landscape. As much as anything, it's an account of the new lace yarn I'm using for the Unst Bridal Shawl.

I'm nearly half-way through the second sleeve of the Milano. =Tamar, it's matching. I hesitated over making it fraternal. That's the way I always do socks. But I thought the discrepancy might look discordant here.

….. I wrote this much yesterday, and then life took over. The cleaning woman was here, the vacuum cleaner stopped working, I had to leave a sandwich lunch for my husband before setting out to the hospital. You know how it is.

Lent: if I can do one day, I suppose I can do the rest.

Hospital: it was wonderful to have Helen's friend with me. Sure enough, there was no space in the hospital car park – and finding the places I needed to be, once inside, wasn't easy either. The ECG nurse gave me the print-out to take to the dr. I opened it at once, of course. It says “ABNORMAL ECG” and has four additional lines of unintelligible text which I have copied out and sent to my doctor-sister. She says she was never very good at ECG's and will have to look it up.

The chest x-ray took longer. That is being sent directly to the dr. My appt with him is a week today. I hope I will then find out something of what to expect. I dread surgery.

But for the moment I am greatly enjoying my new status as a genuine invalid – Pulling Myself Together and Making an Effort is of no use at all. This morning I will devote myself to sending in a supermarket order on-line. It helps not to have to order cider.

I should finish the second Milano sleeve today, and make a start on picking up stitches for the neck. Since that is done only once, the precise number won't be such a stressful issue as it was for the second sleeve, as long as they are distributed evenly around. There are lots of ends to deal with, but I'm still on target to finish next week.


I am inspired to cook more with dried beans, after the success of that salad I made for Archie latr weekend. My sister has long been keen, and orders from the splendid Rancho Gordo. I can't find a British equivalent, although there are some interesting sources with a shorter bean-list (and a good health food shop on Broughton Street). Claudia Roden says that beans are largely a new-world thing anyway, now thoroughly integrated into Spanish cookery as into Mexican. Perhaps Christopher Columbus brought them back.

I have ordered a book called “Pulse” by Jenny Chandler which all the reviewers on Amazon are terrifically keen on. I hope it'll come today. There's a great-sounding bean salad in The Crank's Bible which is one of the books recently to emerge from the spare room.


  1. Robin in California12:04 PM

    Thank you for the update. We are all in your corner as you face this heart issue. Funny you mention Rancho Gordo. I ordered 6 different types of dried beans from them last week. My first time ordering from them online. Wish I could share them with you.

  2. What a good friend - and remember you have a whole network of friends around the world pulling for you. I do hope it's just medication and not surgery. I can get get a variety of beans at the local food coop, but tend to limit their use to soups, chickpea salad, and Mexican food. Branching out may be in order. Thanks for the nudge towards Mansfield Park. I'm halfway through and wonder if I am ill-spoken and impertinent.

  3. thank goodness for that friend! sending prayers!

    thanks for the bean website - sounds interesting.
    looking forward to the MILANO!

  4. I will hold you in my thoughts that health issue is easily remedied.
    Thanks for the link. I have been looking for a source for Bertolli beans for a long time. They are currently out of stock but the beans are also called October beans and it is March after all.

  5. Hello Jean
    I am glad to hear everything is well so far. Yes, totally agree that you should be an invalid for a while. Take it easy.
    Thanks for the link to Pulse. I have The Bean Book by Rose Elliot, I cook from it weekly and it is falling apart (I punched holes in it and put it in a binder). A new book would be very welcome Regarding cooking beans, a pressure cooker is great for reducing the cooking time, I wouldn't be without mine.
    All the best

  6. My favorite sentence of your post was the one about enjoying your status as an invalid (though you hardly sound like one!). I hope you you can enjoy it for as long as it amuses you and then get better as soon as it begins to pall.

    1. My dad used to call that enjoying ill-health. A great phrase!

  7. I am doing 40-bags-out-the-door-in-40-days this Lent. I did it last year, so you might think I do not need to do it this year, too. You would be wrong,
    My other Lenten practice is similar to your giving up cider (and also something I do every year): I stop eating anything white (sugar, wheat, rice, etc.) plan my meals the night before and then eat what I planned ( not something more fun). It's boring, but stops me thinking about food all the time, which is my great sin: gluttony.
    I'm glad someone could drive you to the hospital, struggling with parking when you feel wretched is Awful. You're on my list-- I hope the news is good, and arrives quickly. Waiting is also Awful.

  8. Bit of a coincidence that the bean book is called "Pulse", no?
    The sooner you have a proper diagnosis, the sooner treatment can start. Now might be a good time to break that "No taxi" rule. Thinking of you.

  9. Rebecca7:30 PM

    Best to you regarding your health! I'm an Oberlin grad, too, 1962. I do so enjoy your blog.

  10. =Tamar10:31 PM

    Definitely time to start using taxis, despite the expense.
    Don't knock surgery - it's scary, but friends of mine have had much longer lives because of it.

  11. Anonymous3:14 AM

    Best wishes from our still-frozen part of the world!
    Do take care of yourself.
    LisaRR in Toronto