Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Largely non-knit today, I suspect.

But I’m doing scallop 28 (of 29) on my sister’s shawl edging, so tonight should see the job done. We have postponed the next departure to Strathardle until Thursday or Friday.

We had a nice lunch yesterday (“tender and crisp chicken legs with sweet tomatoes” from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Dinners”) with our old neighbours from Birmingham. Their house is on a lower level than our former one. The gardens, in the back, are separated by a brick wall – the level of their garden is six feet or more below ours. I used to worry about the weight of soil which must press on that old wall, and sure enough, a year ago, it came down. I’m glad I wasn’t there.

The ex-neighbour reminded me that 25 years ago, when Rachel and Ed got married, I planted a climbing rose called “Wedding Day”. It’s still there, and it flourishes, visible in all its glory over the wall. Roger is going to take a picture of it for me when it blooms this summer.


Inspired by the Italian knitting blogs which Urraca intoruduced me to a few days ago, and by my success at listening to James on my computer, I have progressed through Franklin's podcast to listening to Italian radio while I “work”. I learned Italian in late middle life, in order to help escort groups of schoolgirls on expeditions to Pompeii e dintorni. I can read it fairly easily, and speak it slowly and laboriously. But I can’t understand much, when Italians are speaking at speed, and I thought I might gradually pick it up by listening to the radio.

I can tell what they’re talking about, and catch occasional phrases. Rather like a noisy cocktail party. And I find that when they’re talking about anything remotely interesting – I just learned that there’s going to be an eclipse of the sun in Italy in the near future, for example – comprehension shoots up. Rather like a noisy cocktail party. But they talk about soccer an awful lot of the time.


Dawn, Judith – now that you mention it, I remember that buying yarn ball-by-ball was common in the 50’s, although I never did it myself except for that once. There were notices in the LYS’s saying that yarn could be “laid by” for a month. I think it probably benefitted the shop by encouraging people who couldn’t really afford the whole lot at once, rather like hire purchase. And benefitted the knitter who would have had to stick at it, before the shop put the rest of the yarn back in stock.

And, Judith, I gave Rachel her shawl eventually. Thomas-the-Elder was baptised in it. Since then (he’s 21) it hasn’t been seen, although Rachel is pretty sure it’s around somewhere. So maybe yours is safer with your mother. But it would be nice to see it.

Aarlene, I don’t know whether cider has any nutritional virtues. 1000 calories a day is indeed an alarming figure, and I think that may be an underestimate. I could achieve the same measure of befuddlement with fewer calories, probably, if I went down the Chardonnay path, but it seems daft to make an effort to acquire a new vice when I’ve already got so many. I think sobriety is the only sensible road ahead.

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