Friday, June 13, 2014

Will I get around to mentioning knitting at all, today? I've reached round 127 of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl - that's what you're all waiting to hear -- and am happily establishing the last half-motif.

Non-Knit – Art

Did one or two of you, perhaps, recognise the picture in yesterday's Scotsman – “Masterpiece Rediscovered after 140 Years” – as the one we tried to buy for ourselves in NYC early in the year? Glorious, if so. I have not entirely failed.

My husband is credited in the article with “verifying” the picture. He also supplied all the historical information, starting with the “140 years” in the headline. He gave them the entry from his great unpublished catalogue, that day when they brought the picture around for him to see. That's why we thought we'd win, back there in January: we knew more about the lost picture than anyone else possibly could.

But the dealers bought it on the evidence of their eyes alone, and full credit to them for doing so. And shame to the NY auctioneer who didn't see its quality. It is about to be offered at the London Art Fair for a quarter of a million – pounds, not dollars. When we still hoped that we might grab it for what would have amounted to pennies, based on the auctioneer's estimate, Alexander thought that he would buy it himself, and lend it to us for life, as an ingenious and perfectly above-board way of avoiding inheritance tax. My husband wasn't entirely happy with the idea.

Alas, it was not to be. But at least we tried, especially my sister and her husband who made the heroic journey to NYC in the bleak midwinter, to bid from the floor (as we say). There is nothing more we could have done. The dealer quoted in the article is unknown to us – he's not the man on Dundas Street whose wife actually did bid, and win, from the floor and who subsequently brought the picture around to us. And suggested leaving it for the weekend, but we declined.

It's a lovely picture.

Non-knit – account-keeping

Ellen, I know that disaster looms on the old computer, just as I know it about death itself. But what am I to do? Quicken pulled out of GB ten years ago. The latest British version – the one I'm running on the old computer – seems to have installed itself properly on the new one, but can't read my backup files.

I could buy a current US version of Quicken. But could it read those old files? Perhaps the first thing to do is to establish whether the old British version will run and function on the new computer, if I wave goodbye to 20 years of account-keeping and start again from scratch.

And, Melfina, I will certainly look at the website you mention, as an alternative to Quicken. But I like Quicken.

Meanwhile, things went better yesterday although Quicken remained flaky and “had to close” a couple of times.


  1. I may just be able to get up to London to see that lovely picture now. I hope so.

    We haven't had cuckoos here (or owls, or thrushes) for about twenty years since some of the nearby woodland was cleared but I do remember the sound of their call did change slightly over the season. It was still definitely a "cuckoo" sound though.

  2. If I were a regular reader of the The Scotsman, I would have recognized the painting. At least you got to see it in your home for a bit.