Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All continues well. If I can keep on schedule, I'll establish the fourth and final rank of yowes on the Rames & Yowes blankie this evening. And the border of the Unst Bridal Shawl continues to edge forward – still without finishing that sixth ball of yarn. It can't possibly survive another session.

But it deserves to be recorded, how very light this yarn is – J&S Shetland Supreme 1-ply lace weight. Sharon specifies 9 25-gram balls of something or other. I'll have used 6. The seventh, soon to be attached, is only necessary because I will have knit the edging twice.

I've heard from the distant knitter who I thought – see yesterday – was knitting the same thing, but it turns out she's knitting an Unst Stole the pattern for which I hope to locate in Heirloom Knitting today. We have had a lively exchange of views, nonetheless.


Thank you for your help with Games Weekend catering. I like the idea of emailing them for menu suggestions. Specific people, asking for a plan for a specific meal. You're absolutely right, Mrs A: “Meal planning has to be one of the most difficult of domestic tasks”.

Until recently, we followed exactly your plan, Lou. Each of the meals was assigned to a different party – I'm responsible for the picnic to be eaten on the field, so to speak, which depends on getting a car down there in a good position the night before, full of beer. But this year the house will be empty until virtually the last moment – no one will be in a position to shop let alone think. The final plan is that Granddaughter Lizzie (she of the University of Kansas) will be here in Edinburgh that week with a friend, for a bit of Fringe. She'll drive up with us on the Thursday, so at least I'll be in position for one day to shop and think. Thinking always goes better there.

Meanwhile this coming week is shaping up nicely. The plan is to assemble in Strathardle tomorrow evening, us, Helen and her boys, Alexander and one of his. I have bought a chicken which was a personal friend of Prince Charles's in life. This time I won't roast it (Jamie Oliver, “Jamie's Dinners”) but poach it (Nigella, “Kitchen”, “My mother's praised chicken”). She's right, it goes much further that way, and Helen, although vegetarian, is not Hindu – her main concern is animal welfare, and I think she'll eat the vegetables in their broth. I'll lay on a bean salad as well, just in case.

But yesterday Alexander phoned, suggesting he pick us up in the late afternoon tomorrow and that we eat in a restaurant somewhere on the way, Perth or Blairgowrie, meeting up with Helen and her party if we can swing it. What a luxury! The chicken can wait until Thursday. This kind of cosseting by one's dear children is what my poor mother always hoped for from me and my sister, and rarely or never got. Dutiful help, yes, especially from my sister, but not spontaneous cosseting.

The summer pudding is a bit of an anxiety – we can but see. Helen didn't pick the red currents when she was there last week. She had thought of leaving them behind, frozen. Are they now too ripe?


  1. A dinner on the way sounds perfect. My 14 year old nephew has arrived for a visit and if your grandsons consume anything like what he ca, meal planning will require vast amounts of everything! And of course he is skinny as a rail. Safe travels!

  2. How nice to be cossetted!