Friday, January 11, 2008

Sort of low this morning, weighed down by trivial misfortunes.

--- Our new television set doesn’t work. No picture.

--- Rachel says she hasn’t had a New Yorker since December 17, and is forced to read books. I subscribe for ourselves and for all four of our children, and over the years my struggles with the subscription department – somewhere way out west – have been titanic. For any lesser magazine I would have given up long ago. This year I renewed early, and when they sent me the list of subscriptions with all the zip codes stripped out, I sent it back and told them to put them back in. I’ve heard nothing since. Our subscription and the Thessaloniki one are OK.

--- It rained all day yesterday.

--- We're going to London at the end of the month to look at art.

--- I read an article by Karl Rove yesterday which brushed some of the lustre off Obama. It was nothing to compare to Gennifer Flowers or Whitewater, just using a teleprompter for a “spontaneous” speech and bluffing when he didn’t entirely know his stuff.

This all sounds pretty trivial. My friend Helen is coming round this afternoon and will cheer me up.

Or I could buy some yarn. I like the Yarn Yard's “Fegrig” colourway a lot, and feel that I ought to have “Perthshire Berries” out of regional loyalty. Our market town, Blairgowrie, is a big raspberry-producing centre. The fields are hideous with polytunnels. For personal consumption, we seek out the roadside stall of the man who doesn’t have tunnels and I don’t know why I don’t get someone to put up some supports so that I could grow some rasps myself.

Here’s where I am with the gansey. I will press remorselessly on at least until a couple more primaries have been settled. We need to recover some momentum before Tsunami Tuesday. The pattern and even the initials are unusually legible in this picture.


  1. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Dear Jean,

    Sorry to hear you are feeling a bit down today, I hope Helen and the Yarn Club do the trick.

    I am enjoying a day off work. Knitting will fill the afternoon nicely.

    All the best,

  2. Anonymous10:26 AM

    It's hard not to have an attack of the glums in January, when it's raining and the 'high' of Xmas is all over. Still, time spent with good friends and yarn is a good medicine for anything, so I hope it works!

    I enjoy reading your info on the US elections - I normally don't follow them but I feel like I'm learning a little every day this time round, so thanks!

  3. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Don't believe Carl Rove! That was a brilliant bit of down-putting but he's a nasty, divisive and dishonest man and shouldn't be believed. Notice that the piece even uses the word "lazy"--a hook back into racial stereotypes that is clearly untrue here.
    There's nothing wrong with teleprompters--they can equally be seen as a disciplined and organized way to be sure the crucial new speech is on target.
    But I am very frustrated this morning because I can find neither that piece nor a much more interesting one on the same topic in the online times. The second one noted how thrilling he can be even when he's really talking about politeness.
    I think Obama speaks to a very deep hunger here for calmer and more civilized politics. And, in its way, it may be a compliment that the conservatives have to pull out Rove, one of their biggest guns, to trash him.

  4. I do love your term: Tsunami Tuesday. Yikes. It's all scary! MaryjoO

  5. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Found it! The balancing column in the NY Times was by Gail Collins, you can read it here if the link works. (This is my very first tiny URL so I'm not entirely confident). Searching for Collins on the NY Times website should do the same.
    Among other things she calls him "probably the only politician in American history who can get a crowd all worked up with a call to politeness."
    A very good read; an understandable explanation for NH--and a warning to Hillary.

  6. I hope Natalie's yarn does the trick - a blue bag from her always makes my day (and often my week). Have you tried her new bamboo blend yet?

    Raspberries are easy to grow - and after a few years they become self-supporting if you don't prune out the dead canes (tried this). They're not as easy to pick though. I highly recommend Autumn Bliss, nice size, great flavour and fruit from June to September onward in Stockport.

  7. I couldn't get sisterhelen's link to work, but I think this is the article

  8. My New Yorker sub works well but I keep getting billed even when it's paid. I have a few rasp. bushes some early some fall bearing and prefer the taste of the later ones. I don't use supports at all, just never thought of it.

  9. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Thanks, Helen; I clearly need to work on my tiny URL skills; yours does work.

  10. I second Sister Helen on Karl Rove. He and a bunch of other politicos got out of the business to get past the laws about lobbying so that when the next president is elected they can get their grubby little selves over to influence Congress. He should talk about someone using a Teleprompter, considering his minion sounded like a blithering idiot when not using one.

    Nice going on the gansey!

  11. I really envy you the museums of London. Really, really, envy. A lot.

    The gansey is looking lovely. Love the initials - great personalizing touch.

    And yeah, I'd take anything Karl Rove says with a grain of salt. A big one. The size of my head.

  12. Jean,
    I love the gansey- it is so lovely. I have been wanting to make a gansey for a while now.... and I understand about those blue days. There are some days when everything is eh... and usually they just go by and things get better

  13. Anonymous8:34 PM

    A Thornless Tayberry or thornless blackberry is a great compromise to Autumn fruiting raspberries.They are easy to look after, take up a more compact space. They fruit on new cane each year so all you need to do is cut back the current years old growth and tie in the new ones that are sprouting up each summer/autumn. Contrary wise they usually start fruiting in July and carry on through to September.I had one of each and curled them round a sort of arch structure and they produced many good canes each year.Just needed a feed of Potash each spring.

  14. Sorry you've got the blues, Jean.

    I agree with everything Sister Helen said about Karl Rove - consider the source. That thing (I don't even like to admit he may be human) makes my skin crawl. And Julie's remark about the grain of salt - brilliant. I'm still chuckling.

    Interesting to see how the conservatives are starting to attack him - they must be finally seeing that Hillary is not the main threat.

    Theo's blog entry had interesting links to both right and left sites.

  15. Anonymous6:10 AM

    The gansey looks lovely.
    Do not plant raspberries unless you have time every week to cut the canes down as they sprout from the roots, from the tips, from the leaves... and did I mention the thorns? If you consider thornless, do find someone who has them so you can see the actual plant, not just a catalog description.