Monday, December 11, 2023

 More dreadful weather, with still more forecast. But the winter solstice is now within sight. (Friday the 22nd at 3:27, in GB) Again, the day seemed busy and no knitting got done in the morning. Helen came.  A physiotherapist came. James himself will be here tomorrow for a few days’ Christmas visit. 

  I’ve finished that “rows 1-4 six more times” section in the yoke of the Spalding, and made a few modest adjustments to the stitch count. There’ll be a chance to adjust again when I actually leave the sleeve stitches behind. I have at last more or less mastered what is required. It goes a bit faster now that I don’t have to peer at the pattern for every row.

  Wafa thinks we should take the cat along to Helen’s house for Christmas dinner. On the other hand, nobody much — including the physiotherapist who was here this morning — seems to think I can be safely got there myself. The alternative is to eat here, and I suppose we should make tentative plans.

  Wordle: singularly easy today. Thomas and Roger were the laggards, with four. Theo, Alexander, Mark and Rachel got three. Ketki would normally have carried away the palm with her distinguished two — except that I scored one.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

 Filthy weather continues. C. came to see me. Christmas has reached the slightly silly stage when no expense seems too great. Does Thanksgiving save you from that in the US? 

Knitting progresses. I did four long, long rows today without looking at the pattern. The difficulty being that there are several forms of the right-side-increase row. I’m in a section for which the instruction is “repeat rows 1-4 six times”. I’ve done five of them, and I think it would be just as well to count stitches before I proceed. After that there will be 16 more rows until the happy instruction to “ Proceed to all sizes resume..”

Comments yesterday: Tamar, Wafa has already found the four copies of Knitter’s Magazine from the turn of the millennium, where Meg expands on and elucidates the EPS. They are safely back on the shelf where they belong. A great relief.Gretchen, I don’t know exactly where she found the key to the carriage clock — it was on the shelf of a bookcase at the far end of the corridor: completely impossible.

Wordle: my starters did all the work. An easy three for me. Rachel and Mark and Thomas also got three. Alexander and Ketki both needed four, with identical grids consisting only of greens. In DC, Roger had three and Theo four. I think C. said she got it in three, but without being able to refer to her score in Signal I can’t entirely trust my memory.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

 Filthy weather, spitting sleet at the windows. However, it was perhaps a degree or two warmer and I may be an inch or two better, despite the lack of new medication.

   Knitting went well. I have finished the first ball of yarn — measurable progress. The row is now very long, but  it is a considerable comfort that nothing will have to be repeated — I am knitting the whole thing, neck down. And the bit where I leave the shoulder/sleeve stitches behind is now within sight. And the dropped shoulders are pretty low. Lots to be cheerful about.

  Anonymous (yesterday): C. Is my niece Clare. My husband’s niece, strictly — his only sister’s daughter. She has been as a daughter to me since her mother died, a good many years ago now.

  Have I told you about our carriage clock? Wafa found the key. Many years ago, when we lived in Birmingham, we had a bad burglary. That clock went, although the key was left behind. Many months later I saw it in the window of a jeweller in the city centre.

  It was all rather like the evidences for God in Newman’s Grammar of Assent. I couldn’t prove it was our clock. But it said “Edinburgh” on the front — my husband had inherited it from his Edinburgh grandfather. And it had a  honest Arabic face — the vast majority of such clocks have Roman numerals.

  And the clincher was when I went in and bought it. It had been supplied with a clumsy modern key, which I left behind in the shop, knowing that the key left behind by the burglars would fit. So I was particularly distressed recently when the key couldn’t be found, and particularly pleased the other day when Wafa found it. 

  Wordle: I was the only three. No glory in that — Alexander scored two. Thomas and his mother Ketki and Rachel had fours. Mark lagged behind with five. Roger and Theo in DC were both four. (C. is a fairly faithful Wordle-doer but not  member of our little group.)


Friday, December 08, 2023

 C. came this morning and wrapped up some xmas presents for me. They look very well. I have sent Helen home with presents for herself and David, to keep things as simple as possible here. I calculated that if I still gave presents on my former principle, to all my blood descendants, the number would be above 30. 

  I mustn't forget that C’s own present is still to be wrapped, even though she is not related in blood.

 I continued to feel not-quite this morning. C. called a doctor. A pleasant young woman actually came and measured vital signs and said I have some crackle in the lungs — fluid or infection. She didn’t prescribe anything. I was glad about that. I’m still not-quite.

  I got a couple of rows of knitting done. The rows are so long these days that that is almost a creditable achievement. 

  Wordle: my starters almost solved it themselves this morning — an easy three. That was a popular score — but Ketki did it in two and Alexander needed four. Theo and Roger in DC both took four. 


Thursday, December 07, 2023

 Wind, rain, cold. I tried to adopt your excellent suggestion of wearing a hat, Tamar, but to my embarrassment nothing very suitable could be found. Should I abandon all this ridiculous knitting and knit myself a hat? 

I am sorry for two days of silence. All is well, except that, perhaps, I have a bit of a cold. The dr said recently that I must let him know at the first sign of a lung infection so that an antibiotic can be started promptly. But if this is just a cold, an antibiotic won’t help and it will harm the microbiome. There’s no cough, let alone a productive one. No knitting yesterday — that’s a bad sign.

Helen was here briefly this morning on her way to Kirkmichael, to meet a man who was going to value the house, her thought being to buy out the other three and live there. I have given her my 1/6 and my busband’s so she now owns half (if my arithmetic suffices) but I have to live for quite a while for the value of the gift to be entirely removed from my estate for inheritance tax purposes. I’m not sure I’m up to it.

Random thot: there seems to be a lot of volcanic activity in the world all of a sudden. Indonesia and Mount Etna and cracks opening up in Iceland to the extent that they have emptied a whole village. 

Wordle:  It took Wafa to crack it (in four) yesterday: I had three greens but was totally baffled. The word was WOMAN. Today the cisAtlantic team all got four except for Ketki who scored three. There’s no news from Mark. In DC Theo was another four and his father Roger a brilliant two. 

Monday, December 04, 2023

 Still seriously cold. Maybe when it warms up a bit, I’ll venture into the catalogue room (so-called) and write you a proper message on my computer, with pictures. For the time being I huddle in the sitting room  under a heated blankie and pick out words with one finger on my iPad.

  Helen came to see us. The first of the presents I ordered yesterday turned up.

   Knitting continued to advance, slow but steady. I’m knitting (Brooklyn Tweed’s Spalding pattern) from the top down. There are 62 rows, or thereabouts, before I leave stitches behind for the sleeves. I’ve knit 20. It’s a start.

   Mary Lou, I hope your yarn turned up, and that you like it. It’s one of life’s better experiences.

   Wordle:  not much difficulty today. My starters gave me two greens and two browns. I scored an easy three.  Mark , Theo, Rachel and Ketki shared that score. Roger and Alexander were the fours, Thomas the lonely outlier with five.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

 Bitter, bitter cold. The winter of 1962-3, when Helen was born, was one of the bitterest in recent memory — and it started early. 

  I pretty well finished all the Christmas shopping I intend to do. So that’s something. 

  C. came to see me, with her friend Ian, the man to whom we are both forever grateful for driving us to and from Oban for both of our cruises in 2021.

  Knitting continued well. I did only three rows which doesn’t sound like much. But I must remember that although I cast on only 55, and that number remained fairly constant through all those false starts, it is now increasing by rapid, irregular amounts. It is looking well. 

  I finished The Running Grave. I would have enjoyed the denouement more if I had had the characters straighter in my head. I wonder if they’ll televise this one? 

  Wordle: I was today’s dunce with 5. There were 4’s for Alexander, Thomas and Ketki. Mark and Rachel distinguished themselves with 3’s. In DC, Roger was another 4 and Theo is so far silent.