Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lorna: That's how I do a Su Doku. For a long time I was too grand to use a pencil, and never got beyond "Moderate". Then last summer I upped my technique, do it exactly as you describe in yesterday's comment, and can now, usually, finish the "Fiendish" and "Diabolical" ones, if I give it enough time. But I can't get anywhere with the Sunday Times. Can you? Get it next week and we'll do it together over the following six months. It's called "Superior" and is on the inside back page of the News Review section. Hell, they'll probably have an easy one for Christmas.

The solution -- for those of you who haven't been bitten -- is of no use to a Su Doku doer. It's no use being told which number goes where: one has to know, why.

My husband's birthday

Helen in Thessaloniki just sent some photographs. (Alas, her new digital camera has lost its flash function, so we won't have pictures of Fergus in his new Wallaby for a while.)

Our four children clubbed together and gave him -- I may have mentioned this -- a drawing by the artist he knows more about than anyone else. Slipped inside a birthday card. This is the moment, in our kitchen at home before going out to lunch, when they gave it to him, and the photograph well captures his astonishment and delight, overlaid with the scholar's interest in the object. It is signed and dated and located (=bears the name of the city in which it was done). We have a good local framer and have moved with unusual celerity, for us. It's now hanging in the sitting room.

This one shows the moment of the final surprise, when we got to the restaurant and he discovered the Nine Old Friends. It hasn't scanned quite as well as the first. From left to right, after my husband, two of the old friends, me, looking distraught, Rachel, and Rachel's youngest child, her daughter Lizzie.


I got a few more rows of the veil done, in intervals of Christmas-card-writing (and got another good day's work done on them, too). I am alarmed to see even blog-writers mired down in Christmas knitting, just the way Knitlist-members used to be when I read the Knitlist. There is quite enough to panic about this time of year, without letting knitting get stressful, too. I've got to prepare some more packages for the post, my most-hated job, and toil up the hill to a remote post office with them, since they've closed our local. How can I do that and keep up Christmas-card production? We're going out to lunch today, to a 50th birthday party, which will probably mean virtually nothing done.

But both the veil and Rachel's striped Koigu, in Strathardle, are far enough along that I am thinking seriously about their replacements. I always used to be astonished, when people wrote to the Knitlist to say they had finished something and couldn't think what to do next. The whole fun of finishing something, is starting the next thing. And while you're finishing, you can think and plan -- and, hey! if need be, order the yarn.

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