Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I’ve found “Joan J” raspberries without difficulty, Fishwife. But does “spineless” mean that the rabbits’ll get 'em? I’m planning to put them outside the protected area.

Follow that link for views of a vegetable garden to beggar belief. How could one woman do it?

Part of the idea of thinking-raspberries, apart from deliciousness, is the wish to make more of the garden permanent and therefore less work. I’m thinking of a patch of sorrel, and perhaps trying Good King Henry again, and extending the herbs. Sea kale?

This thought segues rather neatly back into politics. The Sunday Times remarked this week that the Republicans are just beginning to realise that each of their candidates is seriously flawed, one way or another. I find that hard to believe: I’ve seen it coming for months. I respect and admire Mr McCain, and I think he’d not make an entirely bad president – but he’s too old. The drawbacks of each of the others are too obvious to need rehearsal.

One of my Theories of Life, based on recent experience, is that after 70 the individual years begin to count again, as they did in childhood and youth. If he’s 72 when he’s inaugurated, he’ll be 76 by the end of his term, and at that age strength of body (at the very least) is waning and you’re thinking of maybe planting fewer potatoes.

Mel, I am heartened by your assurance that I’ll get a “personal” email from Senator Obama one day, as the result of my contribution. I’ll let you know when it happens.

Manic Knitter, I am much encouraged that you regard Theo’s gansey as talismanic [=get Obama elected]. I had begun to regard the notion as rather silly, but will now knit on with renewed vigour. I didn’t get much done yesterday as I had to wind a new skein, and for some reason they keep tangling, although this one wasn’t quite as bad as the last. I’ll do the next one on the swift instead of arranging it around my knees.

[I read the account of your Christmas visit, which puts ours well in the shade. We had some sniffles, and Thomas-the-Younger was sick, off-stage, but that’s nothing compared to your experience.]

Two further non-knit thoughts: I corresponded with the seller of my new postcard yesterday. He referred to the building as a distillery. Was he just extrapolating from my guess that it was a mill, or is there something I don’t yet know in the message? It went through the mail in 1907. I await its arrival with great excitement.

Today is the true end of the holidays – our fishmonger should be back from his annual post-New-Year holiday. It’s a very sensible time of year for him to go, with the weather often limiting the amount of fish landed. But, oh! we miss him, just when lighter meals are wanted. Happy New Year and welcome home, Margaret and John.


  1. Anonymous2:34 PM

    I don't know if you've seen this book - Gardening with the enemy, about living with the rabbit pest
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gardening-Enemy-Guide-Rabbit-proof/dp/095300130X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200407522&sr=1-1 - might be worth a read

  2. i think it is a lovely idea that you knit this sweater. it is fun and may prove to be in obama's favour. i watch him on television and think of you every time. i like his personality a lot.

    oh and about age. i have noticed that may father is more and more accurate about his age 83 and one month that is.

  3. One thing that I respectfully disagree with you on is John McCain. I thought the same thing 4 years ago, but no longer. I completely lost respect for him after his own party swift boated him (and his wife) and yet he remainded a loyal party member.

    Take a look at http://therealmccain.com

    Frightening. McCain really is Bush, version 2.0.

    Word on the media here regarding Michigan primary is the possibility that dems are so mad that Hillary is the only dem on the ballot that they'll check uncommitted - and the pundits are already talking about what an embarassment it would be for her campaign if the the uncommitted far outnumber those who vote for her.

    I also see the gansey as Manic Knitter does - hope that serves more as inspiration rather than pressure.

  4. Oh, I don't think that spiny vs. spineless matters to rabbits one bit, hence the tale of Br'er Rabbit and the tarbaby. I will say that the wild variety we have growing here in Maine is only mildly spiny, but I've never seen any signs of serious predation by rabbits. Of course, I suppose the Brit rabbit could be a zebra of a different stripe, so to speak, but I doubt it.

  5. Like any allotment we have a fair number of rabbits but I don't recall them ever going for the rasps. Possibly because there's plenty other nicer foods on the menu? There's the ocassional bit of bird damage, but I get that on my spiney rasps as well.

    Thanks for the compliment on the allotment, btw. It is a big area (80' x 40') for one person, but that's why I have fixed beds. No digging. And I have child labour availible, of course! Not Hubby though...his idea of gardening is concrete.

    (And the photos are "best" photos...it's a grey damp mess at the moment, alas.)