Here we are, dear friends! We did it again! I don’t understand all this stuff about sunrise and sunset not behaving quite as they ought. Alexander was here yesterday and raised that very point and I was unable to elucidate. Never mind: we’ve held on, darkness has been defeated – or so we hope. Catdownunder and her friends, of course, have had the opposite experience.
I’ll stop writing until (I hope) some time next week, the “back end” of the year. I’ll miss you guys a lot. I hope you’ll all have a jolly time, however you celebrate it, if at all.
I finished knitting the first half of the third side of the edging for Mrs Hunter’s shawl. That leaves 48 scallops to go. Six or seven a day will see it done in a week. Maybe.
Hellie herself rang up today, sounding very buoyant. She and Matt are going to be joining the Loch Fyne house party after Christmas, and propose calling in on us on the 31st, on their way south. I am concerned about the lengthening of their journey, especially on that day, especially if the weather is (as often) unpropitious. But the thought is very welcome.
I got out my notes for my husband’s sleeveless madtosh vest, knit a year ago. They are rather sketchy. I am inclined to take the resulting vest as a great big swatch, and knit the basic v-neck sweater in Bruce Weinstein’s “Knits Men Want”. Maddeningly, my notes don’t mention needle size but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to take them from the ball band.
So, one day soon, maybe even tomorrow, when I’ve done six or seven scallops, I could cast on.
Throughout married life, we have read aloud at bedtime. In the beginning, we alternated, but I regularly fell asleep after listening to two paragraphs at the most, so we soon adopted the practice of having me read every night. Sometimes I fell asleep while reading, an interesting phenomenon. I would start producing nonsense, and my husband would have to wake me up and nudge me forward.
That’s by the way. We have read widely, without a programme. Tonight, we finished “Greengates” by RC Sherriff, the author of “Journey’s End”. (Wow!) We’ve covered an awful lot of 19th century English and American novels, but we’ve also taken in War and Peace and Churchill’s “The Second World War” and, most spectacularly of all, “Ulysses”.
I was very doubtful about that one. It turns out it was made to be read aloud.
The other day, my husband said that he thought we should embark on another big project. I suggested Scott Moncrieff’s translation of Proust. Volume One (1000 pages plus a few) arrived today. The first page is suitably soporific. We shall see.
We don’t often abandon a project, but we don’t mind doing so. “Brighton Rock” was too gloomy for bedtime, Wodehouse too funny. So Proust and Scott Moncrieff have got to be on their best behaviour.
If we succeed, this will, almost certainly, be our Last Book.