Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We’ll start cheerful, despite the weather and the news – I’ve got the Barrister’s Wig pattern. Helen and I have a date for a pub lunch today, followed not so much by a Yarn Crawl as a Happy Hour at K1 Yarns. I don’t suppose even they stock horsehair (which I believe is traditionally used for barristers’ wigs) but I’ll find something and get to work tonight.

This happy outcome is due to Shan who a) energetically pursued the designer, who was therefore properly paid last night; and b) remembered a conversation on the subject with her last summer and wrote me a detailed description of the process, in case the pattern failed to arrive in time.

And Karen found that she had the pattern, and sent me a copy. So I’m well provided, and it’s all perfectly legal and above-board, and I’m very happy.

A few more rows of Princess were navigated successfully yesterday. The 46-row pattern repeat at least ensures that there are significant milestones on this long journey. I’m at about row 30 of the 6th repeat just at the moment – in the end, there will be 13.7 of them. But never forget the drip, drip, drip of extra stitches – I’m nowhere near half-way through, knitting-wise.


I was disappointed with Obama’s response yesterday – I think McCain did better. But I gather Obama made an important speech about Wall Street last March; maybe he’ll return to the subject in the next couple of days.

Memory here is imperfect, but what follows is essentially right.

In this country, believe it or not, political parties are not allowed to buy advertising time on television. They are, instead, assigned small packages of air time, quite frequently during an election period and occasionally at other times. All British television viewers are skilled at seizing the zapper when the announcer says, “Here is a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the…”

In the months when Mrs Thatcher was head of the Conservative party but not yet Prime Minister, bad things happened. Strikes, the three-day week, rubbish piling up in the streets. It happened to be time for a Conservative PPB at a point when something really bad was going on, a strike, probably. She tossed aside whatever the PR boys had prepared for the broadcast and went on television live, behaving as if she had called us all into the headmistress’ study: “This really won’t do.”

Like her or loathe her, it was a defining moment.

And it was something like that I was hoping for from Obama yesterday. But if Mr Paulson and Mr Bernacke don’t know what to say, it’s asking a lot of him.


  1. I'm not quite certain anyone knows what to say at the moment. It does seem that there's plenty of potential, though, for things to become Very Bad Indeed. Worse so if McSame (and therefore, heaven help us, Palin) gains the White House.

    Then again, that may be what it really takes to shock the majority of the American populace out of complacency. Either that or this country may just go the way of ancient Athens and Rome.

  2. I must agree with Mel. I am very worried obout the country a McC win would bring about. esp for my young daughter. Also it will likely cause war with russia and that will mean draft of all under 42. I really hope Obama steps it up.

  3. Thanks for the explanation of the British rules on political ads. I now fully understand the "Here is a Political Party Broadcast on behalf of the ______ Party" parodied on Monty Python.

    Congrats on the Barrister Wig pattern! It will make your bear appear very very important.

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  5. I'm happy you got the pattern and all's right with the world.

    And I'm glad to be Canadian, too, although the little I've heard about the American Republican hopefuls makes me pray fervently for a turn of the tide, White-House-occupation-wise.

  6. Anonymous11:18 PM

    I live in a battleground state (Ohio) and the ads are getting really ugly (especially McCain's.)

    My mom said something to me the other day. She feels that Americans are very "tribal" meaning they prefer to vote for someone who they feel is "like" them. She said for a lot of Americans, Obama is seen as "exotic"- very urban and sophisticated and that is why people are wary of him, especially if they are not from the big melting-pot cities. She says that is why so many people are like "yay Palin!" because they see her as "like them." (The whole idea of voting for someone because they are "like me" astounds me-- wouldn't you want the person who seems most capable?) But then again, I think my mom may be on to something. After all, I think that is why Bush got elected.