Monday, July 07, 2014

The tennis was wonderful. Sometimes the final sort of fizzles out, but not yesterday. We got to see the older Federer twins at the end, even though Daddy didn't win. It was funny the way the commentators kept referring in parallel to his great age – he's nearly 33 – and the fact that he is the father of four as if repeated childbirth might have sapped his strength as much as the passage of the years.

We've still got a bit of World Cup football to suffer through (I'm for the Netherlands), and the Tour de France, before we can settle down with the horror of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. My sister sent this link about everybody in Harrogate knitting tiny sweaters to be strung together as bunting for the Tour.

I've never been terribly interested in it, but one can't help being aware. Not aware enough, however. I never realised until this morning that it isn't continuous. I always thought of them all going to bed somewhere in the Alps, say, and then getting up the next morning to set off where they left off, on the next stage. But this morning they're leaving from Cambridge, and I'm sure they were somewhere like York, yesterday. I feel utterly disillusioned. Or have they been cycling all night?


I'm sorry to have thrown him at you like that yesterday. The reference was to a children's book from my youth. Here's the text. The point is that he keeps being told how to carry things, but the instructions are always inappropriate for the next thing he has to carry. The Grimm brothers tell the same story, less entertainingly. But if the clever and resourceful Sambo is regarded as an unsuitable racial stereotype, I'm not surprised that the dim-witted Epaminondas has disappeared from general consciousness.

Anyway, that's not really the story I am mentally groping for. (This is all a propos the issue of how to attach edging to shawl as one knits it on, and my enthusiasm for following the latest advice received.) The one I want is something about a pair of people – husband and wife? father and son? – and a donkey. Perhaps they set off to market with both riding. Then they are advised that the wife should walk, to spare the donkey. Then, no, the husband should be the one to walk, because he's heavier. Then they must both walk, leaving the donkey to carry their load. At the end, they wind up carrying the donkey. Does anyone recognise that? Possibly Grimm, again, but I can't find it.


As feared, only a very little yesterday. Today James and his daughters should arrive (insh'Allah), but rather late, so I should manage a bit more. The corner is very close. I realised at Mass yesterday – always a good time for thinking quietly – that I'm not going to finish the edging this month, so the best thing to do is to abandon the Unst Bridal Shawl, once I'm around that corner, and finish the Rams & Yowes blankie which has to be ready for grand-nephew Ted's first birthday at the end of October – just before this year's great wedding, grandson Thomas to his Lucy, when she will wear the Princess shawl.

And one does hate knitting to deadlines.

If any grandchild suddenly schedules an unexpected formal wedding, I'd be able to polish off the Bridal Shawl in a month or so. But that's not at all likely to happen.

We're planning to go to Strathardle tomorrow, back Thursday. James and his entourage will return to London on Friday.  I'll be here again on Saturday, if all goes well.

Don't miss Judith's comment yesterday -- this is non-knit, again. She's been to the London Art Fair and has seen the picture which alas! we failed to buy,


    Here is the tale you seek - not Brothers Grimm but wrongly attributed to Aesop - though I would imagine it would crop up elsewhere too - by that prolific fellow, Anon.
    I have to say, I went with the Wiki piece about Epaminondas, and got a forgotten Theban General.

  2. Although not a soccer fan, I'm pulling for the Netherlands too. I was in Amsterdam for 2 weeks during the 1990 World Cup. The pubs and cafés were packed with people wearing orange (my favourite colour) and cheering the soccer on the tv.

    The star player at the time was Ruud Gullit. His image with toothy grin and dreadlocks was everywhere - posters, T-shirts, cookie tins, dolls, cupcakes. He's the only soccer player I could ever recognize on sight.

    He's long since retired, but I'm still cheering for the Netherlands as a remembrance of the joyful time I spent there. Hup Holland!

  3. I don't understand why the grandchildren couldn't share the Princess shawl. It seems it would have been much easier. :)

  4. Perhaps this is the fable you mean?

  5. Anonymous7:27 PM

    In June 1971, we were finishing up a graduate student year in London and traveling through the Netherlands before flying home from Amsterdam. We stopped one night in a small town, found a hotel, and went out for a walk. When we returned, we found the entire town was bars, no restaurants, nothing was open! We went back to our hotel, where the hotelier's wife grudgingly cooked us an omelette before returning to wAtch the European Cup match at Wembley, where Ajax beat a Greek team.

    Next day, we took a train from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, full of very fervid Ajax team supporters! I had never seen the like, rowdy songs, firecrackers set off I. The aisles of the train while conductors smiling turned a blind eye to the chaos! That was our introduction to soccer......
    Barbara M. In Nh

  6. Allison3:36 AM

    Having absolutely nothing to do with today's blog post... Have you seen this?

  7. Hello Jean, googling "folk tale donkey market" came up with this: