Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I've re-activated MalWareBytes – I thought the Malware had eaten it alive, but it turns out that the icon on the desktop still works and it is currently hard at work, it claims, eliminating dozens of intruders We'll see.

We've been having wind and rain – far short of the forecast storm, so far. But we didn't go for a walk yesterday, because of the wind and my husband's unsteady balance. I got two – two – Christmas cards written in the precious half-hour thus made available. That is a good idea (comments yesterday), just to send them late. I should have a bit of extra time in the day when we are at Loch Fyne (if storms don't prevent our getting there) with no cooking to do, and I could write some then. In January, every free second must go to the income tax.

KayT, I used to do the cards your way, the easy ones first and the delicious long letters to old friends last. Meaning that sometimes, the long letters didn't get written. But now, with powers failing and time running out, I am going straight for the people I am most anxious to keep in touch with.

Last night's knitting was again successful. But I think two WIPs is all I can manage – Carol Sunday's beautiful yarn will have to wait. Archie's sweater is now about 10” below the armpits – 17” required. Slow progress – but it's progress, and it is, as hoped, just the right late-evening retreat from the mental excitement of the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl. The half-way point, on this final edge, is not impossibly far ahead.

The cumulative effect of madelinetosh Composition Book Grey is more grey than purple. In fact, very like remembered composition books. But that may be just the result of the poor winter solstice light.

P.D. James

I'm sorry she's gone. The Economist, this week, has a good obituary, imagining her own Inspector Dalgliesh calling on her for tea.

I heard her speak in an Edinburgh bookstore once, not long after we moved here, so about 20 years ago. I also heard Ruth Rendall, on another occasion, similarly. I was amazed, and remain so, that those two women, millionaires both, who could snap their fingers at any publisher in the world, could be persuaded to turn out on a damp autumn evening to sell a few books.

At the time, the TV adaptations of several of James' books were fresh in our minds, with Roy Marsden as Dalgliesh. He was simply perfect, and I am sure I am not the only reader who cast Marsden as Dalgliesh in my mind's eye during the reading of all his subsequent adventures.

But P.D. James said that, good as Roy Marsden was, he wasn't Adam Dalgleish as he appeared in her mind's eye. A tantalising thought. She ought to know. 

Wind now seems to be throwing rain at the windows. Perhaps we're having a storm after all.


  1. It's certainly wild out. The rain is sleety and cold and the wind is whipping the trees outside my office window. The hills will definitely be getting more snow today. The Pentlands have a light dusting still.

    A good day to stay in!

  2. I am sorry about P.D James, as well. Although I saw a headline that said something like "she penned bestsellers" and thought Ms. James might have given that headline writer a thought or two on such language. Re. the Christmas Cards, I figure during the 12 days of Christmas is good, and many people are more relaxed and ready to read a card/letter during the lull after Christmas Day.

  3. I did not know of the death of P. D. James until I read your blog this morning. Both she and Ruth Rendell have long been favorites of mine.

  4. Hi Jean - re Christmas cards: would it help if you were to blog on alternate days, using the time to write some of your Christmas letters? We would know not to expect your post, and you could forge ahead.
    The thing I find hard about the whole business is leafing through my address book and noting all those who are no longer with us - and this can only get worse as one ages.

  5. Anonymous4:18 AM

    Greetings, Jean,

    As time and energy become more precious, I've found I practice triage, making sure I contact my most important people with phone calls or personal emails. The rest I fit in as time and energy allow, but I no longer regard Sending Everyone a Christmas Card a duty; rather, I pick and choose.

    A friend breaks them into thirds: the first, and most important third, goes out in time for Christmas. The second goes out for New Year's, and the third in time for Twelfth Night.

    Life is much more manageable when you remove the Shoulds from your back and only carry what you can comfortably handle. Ditch the rest, or delegate, but get things off your back so that YOUR holidays are pleasurable once more.