Friday, July 14, 2017

I got my passport! And – equally as important – I have located and rubber-banded to it, the one-before-last, which contains the vital rubber stamp “Given leave to enter the United Kingdom for an indefinite period.” They don’t hand those out like sweeties any more. I don’t know what would happen if I tried to get back to Drummond Place without it, and don’t intend to find out.

Helen (anon) (comment yesterday) – that was a good idea, to list the places I wanted to visit, and see what Google came up with. Lerwick, Norway, Faroes, Iceland. There are indeed several interesting cruises .  I even found one that included a knitting cruise, but it seemed to think that 1500 passengers made it a small ship. (Not all knitters, of course.) I’m certainly not going to add my voice, and money, to big-ship-cruising.

I’ve signed up to hear what Gudrun and Mary Jane are offering next year, and also Amy Detjen. You’re right, Mary Lou, that my driving-home-from-Greece hopes for this year preclude Rhinebeck. Which is a distinct shame.

My difficulty is not just that I’m about to turn 84, but that I’m weak. I hope that will pass, to some extent. But that’s why an initial adventure with family at hand to support, is a good idea.

I’m getting a bit bored with tennis, and indeed with the sewn bind-off. Three more matches. Federer and Williams have simply got to win: the two oldest players in the tournament, I think. Venus was magnificent yesterday, and the British Girl, in today’s newspapers, is suddenly somewhat more Australian than she was yesterday.

We’ve heard from Susan Crawford. She hopes to have the Vintage Shetland Project book ready to go to the printers in “early autumn” and to us six weeks later. I’ll believe it when I see it. It would be gloomily interesting to collect all her reports from the two years (for such it now is) since she solicited crowd-funding. I’m pretty sure, although I’m not going to look it up, that when she was first diagnosed with cancer, late last year, she planned to publish the book as then scheduled, but said that she wouldn’t be able to take part in the post-publication publicity.

Cancer sort of takes over everything, but it is worth remembering that we had had major delays before the diagnosis. She was at EYF in March, 2016, selling autographed bookplates to put in your book when you got it. I was already cross, having hoped to have mine by November, 2015, and didn’t seek her out. 


  1. I expect that now you can get out and about more, walks, etc. you will feel stronger. Maybe some actual strength training? I read recently that muscle weakness is the cause of our tiredness as we age, so I put a set of 3 pound dumbells on my desk at work to use on breaks. They have been gathering dust...

  2. It seems a shame that there is no local group for you to join, toddling distance from your home.
    Inspired by your sampler scarf, I have completed my Museum Waistcoat. I learned a lot from this, not least that it is jolly difficult to be completely random while knitting Fair Isle.

  3. Oh, I do hope the Vintage Shetland Project book IS out in the fall, but then we'll have to wait a bit longer here. That's okay. I received my Chinese version of Canadian Knits and it's beautiful. I do think I can read the charts and figure it out even though I can't read it. The Chinese models are lovely and there is something unifying about them wearing the sweater designs of the Salish people. Ella Gordon used the Japanese version when she made her cozy Cowichan vest. The book Salish Indian Sweaters is over $200 used. I wish I could come upon it in a used book store or charity shop when I go to Washington State next week.
    You will gain strength, Jean. My mother is 87 years old and still stays involved with people, driving and living alone. She's a brilliant conversationalist, too. After my father died, she needed some quiet time to restore her bearings, just as you probably do. You'll grow in natural buoyancy as the weeks and months roll on. I think you have many interesting adventures ahead. I'm so glad you blog almost every day. I find your knitting talk extremely inspirational.

  4. I joined a balance class that is run through our local hospital. It consists of exercising to strengthen the muscles you use for balance. It is run by physical therapists. There are people of all abilities there: from wheelchair bound and strokes to just older people. Do you have anything like that where you could be supervised by professionals?

  5. Even Youtube has some excellent exercise routines for seniors. I read the most common reason for people to have to give up their independence is lack of ability to get out of a chair on their own. Some simple exercises will help with the strength.

  6. One more thing, sorry, did you see the The Accidental Urban Gardener in the New Yorker? It reminded me of your front step garden.

  7. Goodness yes, with all the Brexit nonsense going around, you don't want to be given any guff at the border. Agree about the sewn bind-off. It's a good one, but oh so tedious to work.

  8. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Misa Hay also offers knitting tours in Shetland. Dates are now up for 2018.

  9. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I do love armchair travel planning. All options sound fabulous.
    Congratulations on the new passport. Good to get that sorted out. I like to keep a photo of the photo page on a device like phone or ipad in case it needs to mailed to someone or in an emergency.