Monday, May 28, 2007

Largely non-knit

I made good progress with Sam yesterday. I finished the back panel, and am half-way around picking up the stitches from it and adding them to the remaining neck stitches. After spending all that time on the Princess border, where 15 rows was a good week’s work, this sense of moving on from one thing to another is really rather welcome.

Our granddaughter Helen came up from Newcastle for the afternoon yesterday (or I might have knit even more), and we had a pleasant time lunching Italian and walking on Calton Hill. She has just finished her second year at Newcastle University, reading English and Classics. She and a friend have just written down their five favourite books and exchanged lists – each has got to read the others’ books.

The Curmudgeon nominated me recently for the Thinking Bloggers Award. I was deeply touched, but I find I can’t go on, as I am supposed to, and nominate five of my own. It would be like choosing among my friends, or my children. I read a good many more than the ones listed in the sidebar; each, obviously, has something to say to me, and I like and respect them all.

I think I promised Lorna once that I’d do a meme where I listed five things about myself that couldn’t be deduced from the blog (and which I didn’t mind having bruited about). I got stuck on that one, too, for different reasons.

But I can, easily, list my five book-of-books, my desert island choices, the novels that create worlds I can, and often do, live in:

1) Prince Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo
2) Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
3) Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
4) Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
5) George Eliot, Middlemarch

The MS Word spelling-checker has never heard of “Tomasi” “Lampedusa” “Gattopardo” “Brideshead” or “Vikram”, but somebody must have told them about Middlemarch.

Rabbits reprised

Helen, I remember those Chinese rabbits at the supermarket. I think they are probably the only rabbits I’ve ever eaten, and that’s when I discovered that my husband doesn’t like eating rabbit.

Moorecat, I read with interest the information in the link you provided about calicivirus. What I don’t understand is why it killed almost all the rabbits in Australia and yet seems to be having almost no effect here.


  1. Jean,I believe it's something to do with our climate. By and large, Australia is warmer and drier than the UK (like you need telling).

    I remember there was concern initially when the virus was accidentally released, that it was the wrong time of year (too damp, I think it was during our autumn break).

    I do know that calicivirus has been around in the UK and Europe naturally for a long time, but because of the different climate, it doesn't thrive there to the same extent.

    Can you tell I read you often? I really enjoy your take on life and, needless to say, your knitting adventures!


  2. A harmless calicivirus was already present in some European rabbit populations; it's thought that exposure to this has provided some protection against RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease). Google also found papers suggesting that the virus can exist in both a pathogenic and non-pathogenic form; the rabbits sampled by the study ( White, Trout et al, Epidemiol Infect.2004Jun;132(3):555-67 15188725) were carrying the non-pathogenic variety.

    I don't know whether or not that helps! Myxomatosis also kills fewer rabbits because some populations have changed their behaviour; individuals spend more time in relative isolation above ground and are less likely to contract the disease.

  3. Truthfully, Jean, I had a tough time with the Thinking Blogger deal and almost didn't do it myself, except that Carol, a dear friend, tagged me. Otherwise, I find lists such as favorite books far more useful and interesting.

    You might like to know that both Franklin and I adore Middlemarch and have read it many times. And of course, I love Jane Austen. Every book.

  4. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I am enjoying thinking about my favourite books but so far only one stands out above many - The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. I am going to do a blog later today about favourite authors whose books have remained on my shelves for many years.

    Meanwhile I'm going to sew up the black gansey and will post a picture accordingly.