Saturday, February 25, 2006

Calcutta Cup Day

Kick-off is at 5:30 Greenwich Mean Time. (Yet another honest sport has been dragged into the hours of darkness by the forces of commercialism.) The answer will be known, therefore, by mid-afternoon on the Eastern Seaboard. If the miracle happens, I will post again. Pheidippides’ dying words should suffice, and would strike an appropriate Olympic note.

More likely, I will be here as usual tomorrow morning, in maybe-next-year mode.

All week I have been thinking of the Tom Lehrer song which gladdened my distant youth: “Fight fiercely, Scotland! Fight! Fight! Fight!” Or something like that.


What’s the matter with everybody all of a sudden? It must be spring.

Annie Modesitt is a designer of whom I stand in awe, and a blogger I read regularly. Yesterday I found a picture of some sheep on her Blog: “I just love the sheep. Aren't they beautiful - isn't this an astounding photo? The colors are so rich and deep, the expressions on the faces are so frank.”

And Franklin, for whom my admiration is well-known, likewise provides a link to pictures of sheep, and proceeds to rhapsodise about them.

I’m sorry to have to say it, but sheep aren’t much better than rabbits, in the animal-kingdom scale of things. They’re smelly. They’re stupid. A field over-populated with them is unpleasant to walk through. They get into your vegetable garden when they find a weakness in the wall, or when an idiot country-lover leaves the gate open down the commonty. The expression on their faces never changes – that’s how sheep look. They’re worse than rabbits because you’re not allowed to shoot them.

Once, long, long ago I was preparing sheep's brains for supper. James, then pretty small, asked what it was, and I told him, and he said, quite rightly, “Sheep can’t think.”

The sheep we live among are Scottish Blackface, which aren’t even any good for knitting. They make nice lamb chops, but the wool is only of use for carpet-backing.

Despite all of which, I look forward to the lambs.


The Nudibranch is still not finished, but nearly. It’s wonderful. I thought, when I was well into the casting-off, that it was going to be too short, but I was wrong. It’s perfect. I want to knit another one.

The cast-off is an interesting one, and I don’t see it in any of my books:

K 2 tog
Return the resulting stitch to the left-hand needle

I think it’s probably something like the “suspended cast-off” (which I’ve never tried and don’t entirely understand), and its purpose if so will be to provide a slightly stretchy edge. I’ll have to take the matter up with Lorna, who designed it.

Yesterday I ordered both sets of yarn, as discussed in previous days. Both promised speedy first-class posting. So if both arrive this morning, does that mean Scotland will win?


  1. Anonymous3:50 PM

    You've got me cheering you on this Calcutta Cup Day. We've done it before, we can do it again.

  2. Anonymous3:50 PM

    You've got me cheering you on this Calcutta Cup Day. We've done it before, we can do it again.

  3. There's nothing better than sleeping in, making an excellent cup of tea from mint leaves from your garden, then sitting down to read a few blogs and starting off the day with Jean. The sheep brain comment will be with me all day! Gotta love it.

    I'm sending my consolation hugs...I have no idea how the cup is going, but I'm guessing it's bad.

    *consolation hug*

  4. Errrr, guess I'm eating sheep tonight.

  5. Sorry, I'm behind in my blog reading, but I have to add a little sheep tale: my stepmother's mother always sings out, "stupid sheep! stupid sheep!" whenever she sees a flock. I took up this habit. Once I did it while in a car with my niece, who was maybe 6 at the time. She told me very seriously that "stupid" is a bad word and I shouldn't say it. Clearly she is not being raised well. Sheep are dumber than boxes of rocks.