Sunday, March 19, 2006

Here we are again, after a pleasant family visit and a hard week of art. Where to start?

Even as I write, Thomas-the-Elder must be at Heathrow about to board a flight for Leningrad. A measure of gloom and anxiety hung over the household when we were there for supper on Friday night. Thomas had a life-saving bowel operation when he was 48 hours old, and another – also an all-night emergency job – when he was 14 or 15. Since then he has been subject to severe, disabling bouts of abdominal pain. Surgery can do no more, for fear of causing more adhesions. I think I’ve got that right. He knows how to take care of himself, but his devoted mother fears that borscht and boiled cabbage and irregular meals will be too much for him. In addition, he had, at that point, failed to make any contact with the family he is supposed to stay with for the first fortnight.

And the general mood in the household won’t have been improved by Ireland’s defeat of England (at rugby) yesterday. In London, to make it worse. In a thriller, but that’s small consolation to Englishmen. (Scotland beat Italy by a whisker, in Rome, our first away win for four years.)


I finished the socks I was knitting for James’ wife Cathy (who has very small feet) and cast on the yarn I bought at the Ally Pally last summer, to make a gents’-sized pair. Perhaps for Alexander. I pressed forward remorselessly on the train yesterday, and finished the 50 rounds of rib for the first sock. I don’t much like ribbing on dp’s.

A sock-picture will appear soon, but here for now is something more interesting and cheerful – Rachel in her striped Koigu and Thomas-the-Younger in his.

Upload problems today -- here's Rachel, but Blogger refuses to show us Thomas.

The Lavender Hill Mileses are going round to lunch with the Ogdens today, figuring that a replacement Thomas is just what Rachel needs to cheer her up. It is hoped that a joint picture will be taken of Rachel and Thomas and James-the-Younger, all in their striped Koigu’s.

And last night I started my sister’s shawl.


  1. Dear Jean,

    Welcome home - are you train weary yet? I'm about to jump the XPT back to Canberra but I've had a lovely 4 days back home in Wagga. Commiserations for those who need it regarding footy. At some stage youshould post a family tree and permanently link it down the side panel so we jonny-com-lately readers can keep track of the relatives!

  2. Anonymous10:08 PM

    Welcome back. It occurs to me to wonder: when you knit larger or smaller socks, do you adjust the size by casting on more or fewer stitches, or do you just use larger or smaller needles?

  3. Anonymous7:50 AM

    I have been studying Jean's family tree, since they appear so prominently in the blog. A best I can tell, it consists of: a daughter and granddaughter named Rachel; a son and grandson named James; two grandsons Thomas; a daughter Helen and a granddaughter Hellie; an Alexander, an Alistair, and an Archie; a Ketki, a Cathy, and a Kirsty.

    This gets easier with practice. I have a fairly small immediate family, but 250 of my great-grandfather's descendants still gather for annual picnics. They are all named Stan, except for the ones name Howard.