Friday, July 18, 2014

Very successful walk, yesterday. I forgot to take my camera, but you can look up Linlithgow and get the general idea. We circumambulated the loch, didn't scramble in the ruins of the Palace (I doubt if it's allowed), did visit the adjacent, magnificent church of St Michael – as big and grand as many a cathedral, reminding us yet again of the savagery of the Reformation in Scotland. Not an image, not an artwork, not a fragment of glass remains. At least it's standing.

And that's not quite true. St Michael himself (the well-known archangel) is still to be seen in a high position outside. We were told that he was carved in situ, into the fabric of the church, and thus escaped smashing. Or perhaps the vandals stood somewhat in awe of him? The church in Scotland must have been very corrupt at the time, for so many people to have been keen to wreak such devastation. Or John Knox must have been a particularly compelling preacher. Or both. I need to tear myself away from novels and read a good book on the subject.

I missed seeing Helen and her family, who arrived yesterday after our niece and I had left. My husband's account was unsatisfactory, but Helen phoned in the evening – from Bristol, I think – and I am more or less conversant, now, with who's where and has which key, and what's happening next week.

She left behind the most magnificent rope of garlic I have ever seen. If you can buy it like that in Edinburgh, I don't know where, and I've tried, in my limited, geriatric way. I might give some to Alexander if he's lucky – he's involved in the plans for next week.

That's Gabriella, who comes on Fridays to try to rescue me from chaos.

As for knitting, that went well, too, despite tiredness. I did my three rounds of Rams and Yowes – I'm nearly finished with the second round of Yowes in this final panel, and should establish the third today.

And as for reading, I'm nearly finished with Old Filth and am enjoying the moment of doubt as to which Gardam will come next.


  1. I was thinking of you yesterday, Jean, and hoping you were enjoying your walk with your niece. The garlic braid is wonderful. Fresh garlic is so much better than the dried up stuff that's sold at the grocery stores. I also wanted to say how beautiful your shawl is! I meant to comment on the post where you had the recent picture of it, but then forgot.

  2. Anonymous4:46 PM

    I recommend Diarmuid MacCulloch's history, "The Reformation". "Even-handed, learned and profound", to quote one reviewer.
    -- stashdragon