Thursday, October 11, 2007

Big day, yesterday.

Postal services were restored, perhaps briefly. I’ll have more to say below, but here, this:

beautiful bookmark which Nurhanne sent me from Kuala Lumpur. Fine wooden veneer. A pure, unexpected present, utterly beautiful.

And I’ll tell you the book it’s in: “The Dark of Summer”, by Eric Linklater. My husband and I read to each other at bedtime – I read, he listens; I couldn’t stay awake otherwise. We’ve covered most of English literature in our half-century of married life, including “Ulysses” – that book was made to be read aloud.

I don’t know where he stumbled on a reference to The D. of S. We got it through good old Abebooks. It’s wonderful – a rattling good read, as they say; remarkable prose. Set in Shetland. How many other 20th century books of this calibre are lying around unremembered?

Back to yesterday:

We bought a third-millennium television set, albeit a rather small one. It hasn’t been delivered yet.

We decided on dates for the dreaded art-trip to London (Oct 24-30) and bought our tickets.

We learned the date and time of a godless crematorium funeral we ought to (and will) go to next week. Maybe it won’t be as bad as I fear and it should at least, my husband says, be brief. Religion, however improbable the narrative, does give a certain structure and dignity to death.

Yesterday’s post also brought a book order from Schoolhouse Press: Simply Shetland 4, the one with the famous sexy Fair Isle by Eunny Jang; Pam Allen’s Lace Style; and “Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition” by Terri Shea, all about those mittens. Maybe I should knit some mittens – gloves, no.

I noticed that two big, easy-fitting sweaters for men in the Simply Shetland book were 53” around. I have done my initial calculations for Theo’s gansey at 50”, which turned out to be exactly the size he asked for when he sent measurements yesterday. Theo is tall and strong, and I want a slightly easier fit than you see here, where he is wearing his Striped Koigu. I’ve got my notes for that, and could tell you how many stitches are in it – but not the finished dimemsions.

Moral: write everything down.


  1. We do godless crematorium funerals a lot in our family. (I'll have God though). The two latest ones were held by a Humanist celebrant and I must say they were considerably more uplifting than the rent-a-minister know, the ones where the deceased and the minister had never met. I came out from both thinking that the funeral had really managed to connect with the person whose life we had been talking about. They were "good" funerals, in that I sat and thought about the person involved.

    No hymns though, which was wierd....!

  2. Anonymous9:29 AM

    I certainly agree with your moral: write everything down......but I have trouble keeping track of all those little notebooks and scraps of paper and backs of envelopes! Maybe keeping notes on Ravelry will be a help.

  3. Anonymous10:50 AM

    I think we godless types are getting better at funerals - having gone to a couple of dire crematorium ones, which were utterly bereft of atmosphere. My mum chose to be buried at a beautiful woodland burial ground in the new forest, carpeted with bluebells, and the ceremony was very touching, with music and readings. It's a beautiful place to go & visit afterwards too.

  4. "Write everything down" wise advise!
    I am glad to hear that the postal services have been restored. I hope it will be long enough for J&S to ship my order of Shetland Supreme. I want to knit Princess with it. But then....if postal services are not fully restored then it might be while before we get the pattens. Hopefully everything will be OK by November when Sharon will release them....

  5. Right, Dark of Summer is now on my list. You had me at "set in Shetland". First, though, I have a book by my grandmother's cousin (set here in Maine) to read.

  6. I looked through a copy of Lace Style on the weekend and wasn't terribly entranced with it; I'll be interested in your impressions. I'm still waiting for VLT and Meg Swansen's collection to make it across the ocean to a bookshop here or my LYS. I think I'll have to bite the bullet and order it myself via the interwebs.

    Did you get an LCD or a plasma screen television? We're sticking with the bent screen for the time being.