Thursday, November 17, 2016

I had a longish weekend in Madrid with my husband once, and remember the keen pleasure I felt, in the Prado, thinking, I can be here again tomorrow. That’s much how I felt yesterday – but now tomorrow has dawned, with much to be done.

I won’t try to blog tomorrow; my husband is said to be coming home early. Nor on Saturday (the birthday) or Sunday (everybody still around) or Monday (Rachel and Ed still here for a precious hour or two). I’ll see what I can do about Tuesday.

The hospital was excellent yesterday with pre-release briefings. I somewhat got the impression that they are anxious themselves about how all this is going to work, although glad to have the bed back.


I moved nicely down the leg of the 2nd Kaffe Fassett sock yesterday. I may well not go to the hospital today, leaving the visit to Helen. In that case, the sock is stuck for a while: 50 of 75 leg rounds done.

And, in the evening, I finished the  1st sleeve increases for the half-brioche. Now to choose a sleeve length – there won’t be much more to do before the interesting shoulder shapings.

I’m watching Nancy Marchant’s Brioche class on Craftsy as my good-night soporific. She’s terrific. She pronounces her name in an unexpected way. That set me to thinking of Bruce Weinstein, another favourite – both Craftsy and book. He pronounces the identical diphthongs in the two syllables of his surname differently. And that sent me on to Reince Priebus – the diphthongs are different there, and I’ve heard the BBC (I’m sure they’re careful) pronounce the name, but I can’t remember how it’s done. I want to sound them the same, in my head. Reence Preebus.


I’m reading Alan Bennett’s “Keeping On Keeping On” on my iPad – there won’t be much reading after tomorrow. It’s a pleasant compilation of his recent diary entries. He has an especially good line in overheard exchanges between elderly couples in supermarkets, who have had a lifetime to polish their barbs. I have never had much luck in that line, but I’ve got one, which I think Alan Bennett would enjoy.

We once went to see an Andy Goldsworthy exhibition at Inverlieth House. (Inverlieth House, alas, is no longer to be an exhibition site; much Edinburgh fuss.) I had never heard of Goldsworthy. We saw, amongst other wonderful things, a ceiling-to-floor curtain of autumn leaves woven together, astonishing and beautiful.

He: “All right if you have nothing better to do.”

She: “What better have we to do?”


  1. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Reince rhymes with pints, and Priebus is as you think.

    We have a good DVD on Andy Goldsworthy somewhere, bought after seeing his work at the sculpture garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I must fish it out and watch it again.....our current Television is all trump, all the time and quite dismal.

    Barbara M. In NH

  2. Remembering Kaffe Fassetts mnemonic about his name -- rhymes with safe assets.

    The GOP website has this
    "The Chairman has no probem acknowledging he has a unique name that can be difficult to pronounce at first. Here's a simple trick: Reince rhymes with "pints."

    As it turns out, Reince is actually a nickname for his full name, Reinhold, which has been passed down in his family for years. "It's what happens when a Greek and a German get married," Priebus joked. "

    1. Anonymous4:06 PM

      Ah, Kaffe Fassett. Until I read his mnemonic a few years ago in a knitting mag, I had always wondered whether his name was pronounced Coffee Faucet or whether it rhymed with Taffy Basset. The actual pronunciation came as a surprise.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  3. Best of luck tomorrow. I am sure Perdita will love the reunion.

  4. Try to enjoy your time with your family and we will wait patiently (or so) for your return. I hope things are better than you anticipate. I have always said that is the benefit of being a pessimist (as I am); if things go well I am surprised and if they don't I was prepared. Anyway, we will miss you.

    1. Anonymous3:56 PM

      Well said, kayt.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  5. Now I must investigate Alan Bennet. Overheard gems are the best. My favorite was heard standing in the MOMA in NY in front of Matisse's Dance. Little Boy: Mommy, why are those ladies naked? Mother: (In a very heavy NY accent) They're not naked, it's art.
    Sending best wishes and positive vibes your way for the days ahead.

  6. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Lovely to be reminded of Alan Bennett and Andy Goldsworhy in the same post. CBC here rebroadcast, over the summer, an old interview with Alan Bennett, good reminder of his charm. Like your own couples barb. All best wishes for the next few days.
    - Beth in Ontario

  7. One of my favorite overheard snippets was at Disneyland. An exasperated father said to his whining, probably exhausted, 3-4 yr old: "if you don't start having fun I'm going to spank you." Ahh, the irony, I'll never forget it.

  8. =Tamar3:37 PM

    My general rule for pronouncing the ei/ie diphthongs: ignore the first vowel and pronounce the second vowel like its letter-name. I haven't encountered many exceptions like the idiosyncratic pronunciation of Weinstein you mentioned.

  9. I tend to pronounce the ie/ei combos as you would in German, which is not always correct. I remember being surprised by the way Beth Brown Reinsel pronounces her name for that reason.

    I love Andy Goldsworthy's work. I love the non-permanence.

  10. I spent my afternoon making a new coat for a small skinny dog that accompanies her owner to the community arts hub where I volunteer. My husband has just said the same thing, as in didn't I have anything better to do? The dog left warm and her non sewing owner, a non sewing pensioner gentleman of slender means, left grateful. Time spent making useful or beautiful things is never wasted and anyway, what else would I have been doing. The hoovering? Bah to that.

  11. Carol M, San Diego7:22 PM

    A tale about my mother-in-law (long passed). She tended to hoard goods, e.g. during Cuban missle crisis, she bought 100 pair of nylons fearing they'd be hard to obtain as in WWII. When she passed, they found 10 boxes of Mento candies (go figure).
    But my fave is the one when her husband, upon a rare visit to the cellar:
    Did you know there are 32 cans of tuna fish on the shelves?
    Her reply: I should hope so!

    Take care of yourself during all the Homecoming excitement for your husband.

  12. I like the way the French pronounce every name like it were french, so that J.S. Bach rhymes with buck and Tom Hanks with hawks (without the h, of course!).Of course, this sometimes makes it hard to know whom they are talking about. On the contrary, a friend working at a local radio station told me they get telephone calls about the right pronounciation of even the most remote and unknown place names.
    I hope your husband´s transition goes well, and you can enjoy being with your family. Of course I will miss my morning reading, i.e. your blog, but I will wait patiently knowing you have more important things to do.
    Best wishes for all of you!

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  14. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Just peeking in to see how you're doing! Hope your mister is happy to be home and has left his grumble behind. Don't let them run you off your feet, keep one eye on the help, and remember to grab moments to enjoy life. See you when you return:)

  15. sending prayers. i have just caught up on the last week of posts. went down on my birthday wednesday with a horrid virus that didnt let go til saturday night. sigh

    hope that all went alright on friday and that by today (monday) you are settling in to a routine.. hope that all the extra care you need is available!

    for those looking for more on Alan Bennett... the BOOK OF THE WEEK on BBC Radio 4 was from Keeping On... and Bennett read them. there are only five eps 15 mins each. still available at bbc radio 4 website or via iPlayer (available on iOs and Android)

    1. well i misremembered the Bennet Book. it was for TWO weeks starting at the end of October

      that link takes you to the first episode. again they are 15 mins each.

      its a measure of the love of Bennett that he was given two weeks .. most authors get one week.

      i remember now that i missed a lot and was listening on demand after it was over.

      there are a lot of other interesting books in this programme. they typically are available for many months on demand.

  16. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Hope it is all going well, Jean. There are probably a few more kinks to be worked out. Circling back to the diphthong question. I don't think proper names are required to conform to grammatical rules. People tend to do what they want with their own names (alas). At least for me it satisfies my renegade-loving soul. So that's something:-). Chloe