Here we are. I've missed you guys.
The big knitting news is that I have turned the Messy Corner – the final corner – with the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl, and am now on the home straight. Today's job is to count the stitches between where-I-am and where-I-began to see how much fudge is necessay to make things come out even for the final graft.
There's a bit more to tell you on the knitting front, but I'll leave it for now. Here is some family news:
- Ketki was working at home recently, as she often does. The Little Boys were at school and Alexander off somewhere. She heard an unusual noise from their ducks, which are allowed to wander about the premisses by day, and got up from her desk to investigate. She found one of them in the jaws of a fox. Ketki is formidable behind – perhaps, indeed, because of – her Hindu calm. I have never heard her raise her voice, but she says she shouted at that fox. He was not happy to let go but recognised that he had met his match. The duck was badly shaken but has now recovered.
It means that the ducks are no longer allowed to wander unless someone can keep them under close observation, and rush out to shoo them home every time they try to march down the driveway towards the loch. The rest of the time they must be in their pen, and they don't like it.
- Ketki and the little boys were on Queen Street in Glasgow when that bin lorry careered out of control. They were finishing off lunch in a pizzeria and would actually have been out on the street if the waiter had been a bit faster with their bill. They were kept penned up inside for a while, as the pavement was occupied by the dead and injured and confusion. They were eventually let out the back by the fire exit.
- The house were struck by lightening on Christmas Eve. This has happened before, indeed once before while we were there. This time it happened while Alexander was driving over to fetch us. He had just heard the news when he arrived. They were without electricity or telephone. He was nearly in tears.
However, the electricity board came up unexpectedly trumps. Power had been restored by the time we got there. British Telecom promised that the telephone line would be restored “within three working days”. Given that disaster had struck on Christmas Eve, that meant “within a fortnight if you're lucky”.
So we had no phone calls, no internet, no email. They don't have television anyway. The effect was extraordinarily peaceful.
So that's that for 2014. I have high hopes for next year. I must spend today thinking of ways to simplify life, and laying out papers as a preliminary to tackling the income tax. There seem to be an awful lot of medical appts in January, each demanding a full day of time and nervous energy. And there's also a weekend when Archie and his cousin Alistair will be here. So the income tax must not be allowed to drift.
Knitting news tomorrow, plus an account of books given and received for Christmas. Meanwhile, a very happy New Year to all.