Saturday, April 18, 2015


My husband and I disapprove of a lot of things, one-day cricket and cricket commentary when it replaces the Today programme on Radio 4 long wave, among them. But we have been enjoying the Test Match from Antigua during our naps this week. The Test Match Special team always invites distinguished retired cricketers from the other side to join in the commentary – and West Indian cricketers have lovely Harry Bellafonte voices.

It occurred to me that my husband and I have reversed our traditional national roles, when it comes to cricket. He thumps the floor with his stick (metaphorically speaking) and demands to know, as any American would, What is the score?

And I try patiently to explain that the question is irrelevant. You have to take a number of matters into consideration. Should England declare, or bat on for a while? It's not simple.

It is surely the only sport in the world where they stop for tea.


My knitting time was more than ordinarily interrupted yesterday, so there are still a couple of rows to be done before I can lay the Tokyo shawl aside and knock off a pocket square.

Rachel and Ed are coming up next weekend to take us to Strathardle, wonderful to anticipate. Ed is always keen to be active and I am sure my husband will have many a chore to keep him employed. Rachel and I can attempt to deal with a winter's infestation of mice. And we can look for those keys.

I don't know what we're going to do about the Games this year, but I just had a look on-line and sure enough, there they are, on a rather over-busy website suggesting a keen amateur employing all the tricks in the web designer's tool box.

The knitting categories are 1) a cardigan for a premature baby, to be donated, pattern supplied; and 2) a tea cosy. David and Helen have been meekly asking for a tea cosy for years. Have I got time? Do I want to involve myself in the clever fiddliness which will probably win? Everybody's got access to the books with the extreme patterns, in this digital age. I would have no advantage there. Still, I'll think about it. The more entries there are, the more gratifying for the winner to win, I always feel.

The cardigan pattern is mildly interesting. Have a look. To begin with, it specifies the needle sizes as 10 and 12 – so many years out of date as to be astonishing. I remember a character in a dear, departed soap opera more than 20 years ago – we were still in Birmingham – referring to “number 8's” and my thinking that that wasn't right. If she were really a knitter, she'd be talking metric.

And the first few rows seem to begin with an instruction to “slip 11”, surely impossible. Maybe it will look more comprehensible when I have had lasers shone into my eyes.

Thank you for your comments on the question which arose yesterday as I contemplated that event, namely what does a devout Muslim eye surgeon or airline pilot do about fasting during Ramadan? I am reassured by your answers. If I get a chance, in a quiet moment in our nearest shop, I'll ask Mr or Mrs Hussain. He grumbled to me during one Ramadan recently that his teen-aged children were eating the pre-dawn breakfast and then spending the day in bed, emerging just in time to break the fast with the daily feast after sunset. He thought that was cheating.

I don't know his children well, but I have known them a little bit since birth and I would say that they were turning out splendidly.


  1. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Good morning, Jean, I think you'll find that the premature baby pattern tells you to Sl 1 (slip one stitch), not S11. It's just badly punctuated...

  2. Hello Jean

    I have had the laser procedure for a cloudy lens. It was quick, painless and very successful.

    Best wishes

  3. I accidentally made myself a domino knitting tea cozy. It was intended to be a hat, but failed miserably in that role. I felted it slightly and still use it. I have to say, my brain is stuck in US sizes for the most part, except for the smaller metric sizes.

  4. Cricket - I love it! We both miss it very much. I can't say I understand it but I love the gentle drone of the commentary - but not when it displaces Radio 4 Longwave.

  5. Oh Jean, have to admit that I happily use metric - but still sometimes - when thinking about standard needles for standard sizes will say, in my head - oh yes, DK - that's tens and eights!! It is surely a sign of my age!
    Have you seen the Kate Davies sheep tea cosy? It's lovely.
    I too love the cricket commentary - and the football too, on Radio Five Live. I love spoken word radio, and find those sports much more interesting on the radio. On tv I spend most of the time looking at my knitting and get rather cross that, of course, the commentators don't tell you what's going on !!!

  6. Randi6:30 PM

    My son, who is a knitter and an electrician, says the old British needle sizes correspond to wire sizes in use now.