Friday, July 04, 2014

Sorry about that. I had a breakfast date with an old friend yesterday. I thought there might be time to put in a brief appearance here, but there wasn't. Tomorrow I hope to go for a walk with our niece, the first in a while (it's all go around here) – again, I hope to be here but may not make it.

The old friend is a man I met on Broughton Street one day, perhaps 15 years ago, when I had nearly finished climbing to the fishmonger's. He stopped me and said, Don't we know each other? I peered. He wasn't Alexander. He wasn't James. He wasn't drunk. I was about to suggest that perhaps, although unacquainted, we were each the sort of person that the other knew, when he offered his name, and I recognised him.

For several years, while we lived in Birmingham, I taught New Testament Greek once a week to the Jesuit novitiate. (St Peter will let me straight in when he hears that, especially now that the Pope is a Jesuit.) Chris had been one of them, one of my favourites, indeed. He took vows and became a Jesuit, although never a priest, but by the time we met on Broughton Street he had left the order.

And we've seen each other from time to time, ever since. Yesterday he told me that he has become an enthusiastic Facebook-er. I'm there, but only nominally, but when I got back here, I sent him a friend-request. It turns out that he has no fewer than six Friends who share a Friend with me – talk about degrees of separation!


All went fairly well, yesterday. One bump is smaller than the othets -- I think I must have gone straight from Row 4 to Row 9, in a 12-row repeat. It was very obviously a mistake that it would be wiser not to try to repair. Mary Lou, I take some comfort from your thought that the knitters of Unst and Fair Isle and wherever were really no better than we are, considered in the moiety.

[I don't think that word is rightly used, but now that it has popped into my head, I'm going to leave it there.]

But I have often reflected that if you devoted your life to one sort of knitting, you'd get to be pretty good at it. A Fair Isle knitter would know her gauge to the millimetre and could concentrate on fit, for instance. Whereas we flit from Shetland lace to Bavarian Travelling Stitch to Norwegian lusekofte and never get to be very good at anything. Speaking for myself.

Anyway, here are the promised pictures of local gardens, taken on Tuesday without the slightest deviation from my usual route from home to newsagent.

And here is one my downstairs neighbour sent the other day, clearly not taken this year because the tripod isn't there. Their cat often sits on our doorstep because it is sunnier than his own, or so he maintains. I'm sure I didn't know it was being taken.


  1. Thanks for the photos, it's nice to see what people do with tiny spots. I just came back from Savannah GA, and the small gardens behind homes were lovely. Of course, they are a zone or 8 south of here. I do think if we did only one sort of knitting we would be better at it, but perhaps bored.

  2. Beautiful gardens, you can do a lot even with a window box or a patio. I remember reading either Vita Sackville-West or Gertrude Jekyll's account of a correspondence she had had with a factory hand in an industrial town about what he could plant in his window box and she wrote him a planting scheme for his window box. Wish I could remember which it was or find the volumes I'd read...

  3. What a beautiful house you live in!

  4. csj04233:48 PM

    Hi Jean:

    The photos are indeed beautiful. Sometimes it's quite interesting what you see when you stop to look.

    I heard an interesting story on NPR the other day that may interest you. I couldn't get the whole link here, but I tried knitting and went right to the test of the story as well as the audio. There are also links to other Shetland and/or knitting related stories they have broadcast. I hope you enjoy them.


  5. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Thanks for posting the window box photos! It is indeed fun to look at others' gardens no matter the size.