Sunday, September 21, 2008

Safely home. Mercifully, the Bad Neighbours were quiet last night. Perhaps exhausted – the Good Neighbours say that the previous two nights, while we were away, were hellish.

We can get knitting out of the way briskly: the barrister’s wig is coming along nicely. It’s extremely slow and fiddly. I can guarantee I won’t knit another one. But I like the way it looks. I’ve started the crown shaping, and if I’ve judged it right, I might have a picture tomorrow of the bear in his full costume. And even if it’s wrong, I’ll have time to frog it and try again before he needs to set off for London on Thursday.

His head-size is a remarkably high proportion of an adult human one. I’ll nearly finish the ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino or whatever it’s called.

Obama Donations

Phyllis emailed me about a donation she made, not through the thermometer – I’ve matched it, and mine doesn’t show up either. Since Obama’s nomination became official, I’ve had to donate through an “Abroad” screen, and type in my passport number. Even if I go in through the thermometer, by the time I’ve finished, the software has forgotten where I came from. If the campaign team weren’t so busy with other things, I’d write to them about it.

That means – don’t tell Theo, or he’d raise the bar – that we’ve reached our goal, although it doesn’t show. You will see the action I have taken – the thermometer is still there, but I’ve removed the promise to match contributions.

Maybe I’ll go on doing it, but it’s no fun any more. It used to be jolly for me, and presumably for the donors I was matching, to see the red bar rise.

Chicken Little section

I’ve learned something in the last 24 hours.

The television news said last night that Bush’s rescue plan would be the biggest bailout since the Depression. My mental map of the Depression didn’t include bailouts – I knew about the Wall Street Crash of ’29, bank failures, mass unemployment [my father, a young newspaperman, twice took 10% pay cuts, but was never out of work], Roosevelt, the New Deal, deficit spending, the Civilian Construction Corps, the Boulder Dam, work [astonishingly] created even for artists.

But not bailouts.

However, I learned this morning, from this interesting article, that “The 1932 Reconstruction Finance Corp. lent $9 billion to ailing banks, thrifts, railroads, insurance companies and farm mortgage associations.” That was Hoover, not Roosevelt.

The HBOS takeover

People are fussing about the implications for jobs if the Lloyds Bank takeover of Halifax-Bank of Scotland goes through smoothly. Mostly they are thinking of big data-processing centers in Edinburgh and Halifax.

In Blairgowrie, Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland are within spitting distance of each other, if you’re good at spitting: on the corners of Bank Street where it joins the High Street. One or the other will surely close, and it won’t be Lloyds. I wonder – this for British readers – how the branches are arranged in Glenrothes.


  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    How are you going to keep the wig on the bear? Knit holes to go around his ears, pin it on, baste it on, or just set it on and hope for the best? I'd go for basting, myself, to prevent the "upside-down wig" potential.

  2. I watched Witness for the Prosecution last night and paid particular attention to Charles Laughton's wig, wondering how a knitted version might look.