Monday, July 28, 2008

I’ve finished tidying the dinosaurs – today I’ll begin joining the pieces. I’m going to use a three-needle bind-off for the shoulders and to set in the sleeves. Not because I am entirely persuaded that it’s appropriate, but because it’s more fun than sewing.

And I’m having a nice time reading “Dear Preceptor”. I’m sure you’re right, sisterHelen (comment yesterday), that it’s not going to turn in to a “sweeping cultural and political history of the US” but it’s very interesting on the Boston of its time. (Higginson was 20 years older than Henry James.) It’s well-written and therefore easy reading – that I expected. But there is also an attention to well-researched detail of which I hadn't entirely thought my mother capable.

(Kate, you’ll enjoy “Down and Out in Paris and London” when you get there.)

I had a good time at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday – although you did better there than I, Emily. Nobody was roasting whole animals. I saw some people eating samples of cheese, but since I wasn’t there to buy cheese I thought it would be cheating to join in. The homespun yarn and objects-knit-of that I saw didn’t look very inviting.

The pork chops I bought were good, but were they that good? I still have two Gloucester Old Spot chops in the freezer. Maybe they will be the revelation I am waiting for. I got some mutton – my husband is always pestering me for mutton – and we had a very pleasant casserole of it yesterday, with carrots and neeps.

And some venison, which is also in the freezer, from the Scottish Deer Farm. The woman who runs it with her husband is the daughter of a man who taught me Greek at the University of Glasgow many decades ago, but she wasn’t there herself so I kept that tidbit to myself.

And two French tarragon plants. It may be too late to get them fully established this year, but it wasn’t a major expenditure and if they disappear, I’ll try again next spring.

The problem of accomodation for the Games remains to be solved, but I have one more avenue to explore before I have to set up a tent on the lawn -- or cast myself into the Ardle.


  1. Your farmers' market sounds like the business. I enjoy buying venison from a farmer's wife from Ingatestone. Asked whether they reared it on the farm, she revealed that it was wild venison from a herd which crossed their land, just as the rabbit she had was wild rabbit. Hereabouts there can be 70 animals in a herd - That's a lot of mouths to feed

  2. Your comments about the farmer's market have fired me with enthusiasm. Our flat is just round the corner, and after our years in Southern California where we've had to get in the car to go and buy everything, it'll be nice to nip out of a Saturday morning and get some groceries.

    I always find it slightly disconcerting (usually in a pleasant way) to read published work by people I know well. I like the excitement of finding the turns of phrase or styles of argument that mark them out as the person I know, when others will only see the learned expert.

  3. Oh, I'd have had no problem queueing up for the cheese. In that regard, I have no shame.

  4. Perhaps they've stopped the roasts? What a shame! It was about 4-5 years ago that we spent time in Edinburgh.

    Stewed mutton, yum! I remember hogget as a kid, getting a whole (pieced) sheep for the big chest freezer, form one of those tiny abbatoirs that are no more. I miss Welsh lamb/hogget, as much because I always felt pretty sure they had an enjoyable life wandering those green hills, meandering in front of cars and generally not having much to do with people.

    Which may be entirely in my imagination.