Tuesday, October 31, 2006

from thessaloniki

yesterday i went to philippi, where the roman republic finally died, and brutus and cassius with it, and horace fought but lived to write another poem, and st. paul preached and was thrown in jail. it was raining rather hard and i had it all to myself.

today we will visit philip ii's tomb (alxander the gt's father) and tomorrow, insh'allah, edinburgh, if the british are willing to let me back in on this rush-job of a temporary passport. the gks were very dubious about it, and they only had to put up with me for 10 days.

we've had a nice time, very interesting. my arm is improving -- 5th wk nearly over -- and i continue to hope i'll be able to knit when we get back. i have decided on a feather-and-fan scarf from stash as therapy-knitting, large scale, the incs done as m1 rather than yo, so no holes. we shall see.

two more vkb's yesterday, thanks to my friend helen, one of them the most recent one i didn't have and the other, another wartime one. a good haul.

i'll have a few pics when normality resumes, including pelion and ossa but not philippi because it was raining too hard to take the camera out of the car.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

broken arm -- more

blogger has just swallowed half-an-hour's laborious typing. phooey. this time i'll save-as-draft after every paragraph.

i am mending. i'm now in the 4th week -- about half-way through the worst of it. the plaster has been replaced with a brace, freeing the elbow and increasing comfort. the next appt is on 9/11, british style, when it is hoped that physiotherapy can start. the x-rays still looked pretty scary to me last time, but i am told that the humerus doesn't require to be absolutely straight. i'm in favour, generally, of minimum-intervention-type doctoring so i hope for the best.

i have knit a few stitches in recent weeks, without pleasure. i write from london, whither we hope to depart for thessaloniki tomorrow. i'm travelling without knitting, and hope to be able to resume when we get back. the left hand is definately making more of a contribution to life in recent days, helping to hold a book open or steadying a lemon for slicing.

i tried to interest myself in the idea of buying some luscious yarn and knitting myself an EZ bog jacket. wouldn't all that garter stitch qualify as physiotherapy by itself? but i couldn't work up any enthusiasm for the idea, oddly. alexander's fair isle is right out, for now -- it takes two hands to wind skeins into balls, and the left hand is then required to make an active contribution to colour knitting. so i inch forward with the princess, still in row 144. since the task is infinate anyway, slowness hardly matters.

there has been progress on the vkb front though. i've recently acquired 3 more wartime ones, at considerable cost. i think they see me coming, by now. my friend and agent helen, left in charge while we swan off to greece, spotted two more yesterday, including the most recent one i lack. i now own the pivotal issue in which multi-sizing was introduced. the introduction to that one deserves quotation in full, when i can type with two hands again.


i discovered 10 days ago that my passport expired on sept 29. mercifully -- the discovery cld just as easily have been made at the check-in desk tomorrow -- the u.s. embassy turns out to have a fast-track temporary-passport system for the careless and stupid who can apply in person and prove that they have immanent travel plans. we were planning to fly from london anyway, also mercifully, so we came down on thursday and i went to grosvenor sq on friday.

it took me a full hour to get into the building, partly because i initially joined the wrong queue. i was in the 9:30 appt. queue, whereas i shld have been in the american citizens' 9:30 appt queue. i thot they might strip search me to make sure it was really a broken arm and not a bomb under my jumper, but i was spared that and once inside all was pleasantness and efficiency. i've got a passport.

when we go to pelion next weekend, we will drive through the vale of tempe, the glen farg of greece. why is the name so resonant? i half-remember a line about "lovliest of vales" but i can't find it. tempe, az, has a useful webpage with quotations from lots of poets, but the one i want isn't there. google also produced a very naughty contribution from Burns, but that isn't it either.

tempe is where apollo pursued daphne until she turned into a laurel. it was from there that the ancients picked laurels for crowning people with. if they still grow there, and we can find a convenient lay-by, we'll take some cuttings.

i think my trouble with blogger was inadvertant right-clicking on a strange mouse.

Friday, October 06, 2006

broken arm

i am very grateful for everybody's good wishes. more than i can say.

we're getting along all right. i have served nine days of my sentence. we eat marks & spencer's ready meals. i will go back to the orthopods next thursday and trust they will be delighted with my progress.

i broke the other arm four years ago. and, yes, lady bracknell, i can fairly be accused of carelessness. it was a different sort of break, in the same place (humerus). i am much more comfortable this time, which i am sure is because i am in plaster this time. i can sleep lying down. i am taking few of the lovely painkillers they gave me -- none at all, in the last 48 hours. last time, i lived on a diet of painkillers for six weeks. the flipside will be major stiffness of elbow and shoulder at the end.

there seems to be nothing wrong with my left hand, but i can't knit. it is not painful so much as oddly uncomfortable -- the hand is not properly attached, via the elbow, to the shoulder. drs say it is ok to knit if i can. i try a bit every day, and am acutely aware that six weeks (or whatever) of knitting have been subtracted from a pretty limited remaining total.

cider: it wasn't involved in the accident, as someone said, but has been a comfort since, as many hoped. the initial difficulty was, there was virtually none in the house when we got back from a&e, so abstemious were my ways. and our local shopping street, which probably offers the best meat and fish in edinburgh, good groceries, adequate fruit and vegetables, a health food store and a good new delicatessen, strong on cheese -- broughton street has no cider, or at any rate none i would drink. i am fussy. however, a subsequent delivery from sainsbury's has put that right. consumption is tempered by the need to be steady on my feet. it's hard to say, about weight. how much does plaster weigh? my main discomfort is in the back of the neck, due to the weight of the sling.

i haven't done much towards getting on with the things i might be expected to be getting on with. i can still do a very little around the house, and every task takes an inordinate time. i do hope to get the planning of alexander's fair isle done, as someone said. i have decided not to allude to scotland's '06 victory in the calcutta cup, in the princess shawl, after all. all that stuff about elephants. if i ever do get near the end, i will initial and date it near the top of the centre bit. 2008? but i will incorporate the cup itself and "06" in the sweater -- that's why it's got to be started this year, and hopefully finished before the cup leaves edinburgh. and i must plan how that is to be done.

we're still planning to go to thessaloniki at the end of this month.