Tuesday, February 07, 2006

James has confirmed that the veil is safe in Beijing. So that’s that job done. I’m sure we’ll get pictures of his daughter Rachel wearing it in due course. The event isn’t until April.

I’ve finished Row 29 of my Princess shawl border. The next little landmark, not far off now, will be the completion of row 31. At that point, I’ll be half-way up the current chart. There are two more pages of charts for the border after this one, and the other two have more rows than the first one, so it’s not much of a landmark. But it’ll be something.

I’ve now belatedly latched on to The Princess Diaries, the blog describing the struggles of two knitters with the Princess. I was a bit confused at first, because I somehow thought they were both working on one shawl. Now I think they’re each knitting one. They’re in the early stages of the edging, still, and I feel very superior from the vantage point of my 29 rows of border. And yet, looking at the picture of the finished thing, looking at the balls of Gossamer Merino in my cupboard – I’ve hardly started. The diary-writers think you can knit anything, one row at a time. I’m afraid, in my case, death may supervene.


We’re going to Strathardle today. Blogging should resume on Monday or Tuesday.

Lorna gave me the most wonderful collection of seeds yesterday – follow the link; she explains all on her blog, although without saying how wonderful the seeds are. Many of them are heirloom-type seeds from out-of-the-way sources. I shall first of all, I think, make use of them in my pursuit of the mange-tout pea that tastes the way it should.

My father grew them in his Victory Garden in Detroit, way back then. In those days, and for many decades afterwards, such things were unknown in grocery stores. When we acquired Burnside, in 1963, I asked him to send me some seed, and he did, and we grew them successfully in ’64, and I think the resulting peas tasted as good as the ones I remembered from childhood.

[We grew them unfenced, in ’63. There must have been a couple of rabbits about somewhere, but they weren’t the menace they are now.]

But now the taste is lacking. I’ve tried the standard seed-catalogue varieties. I’ve imported seeds from America. I even bought some in China when we were there visiting James three years ago. (The Chinese don’t really eat peas, per se: always mange-tout, or so I’m told.) Nothing quite works.

Lorna’s collection includes several varieties which are new to me. So we’ll see.

Our lunch party with the braised sausages went fine. For Friday’s friends, I’ve chosen a one-pot chicken casserole which I hope will strike the same note of insouciance.

Mama Lu, thank you for the sausage recipe, which sounds pretty wonderful. Our butcher here in Edinburgh, and our one in Alyth, are both fiercely competitive -- and prize-winning -- sausage-makers, so supplies are not a problem.

Dawn, thank you for the information about Bloglines. I knew that such a service existed somewhere, and I need it. I’ll get on to it when we get back.

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