Tuesday, October 07, 2008

World Affairs

The leader in yesterday’s Telegraph (the “Waffy”, here) led off with the remark: “There is an unsettling air of unreality about this stage of the banking crisis, not unlike the Phoney War in 1939-40. Something extremely unpleasant is about to hit us, but we don’t quite know what.”

That sent me back to Evelyn Waugh’s “Put Out More Flags”, the book of the Phoney War. I envy those who haven’t read it yet, but the rest of us can at least read it again.

What is going to happen to Iceland? You can’t very well close down a whole country, can you? It has been a delight, in all this gloom, to learn that the chain of cheap food shops in Britain called “Iceland” is in fact owned by Iceland.

Tonight’s debate will be uncommonly interesting. They say McCain is particularly good at Town Hall style debating. They say Obama is much better on economics, but since nobody seems to know how we got here (Clinton’s housing policies? deregulation? greed? China?) or what to do next, that may not help him much. I hope there will be somebody in charge who will try to make them answer the questions.

Knitting is a great comfort at times like these (and at most others).

I finished off the 7th pattern repeat of the Princess centre, and am by now well-embarked on the 8th. The stitches on the needle are even, left and right. I attempted a rough count of the ones remaining to be picked up – they’re hard to count, but my general impression is that the numbers are pretty evenly matched.

I applied Cynthia’s formula and found that I have knit 27.3% of the centre so far. Will four more balls of yarn be enough? I’ll try again on that one at the end of each repeat. Each repeat will contribute a larger percentage than the one before it.


  1. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Although I love having something named after me, it's actually the sum of sequential numbers ( you can use "Cynthia's formula" if you want). 27% sounds about right for half of the repeats.

    I didn't get a chance to enthuse properly yesterday about Erskine. You did a great job and the wig completes the effect. He's a treasure, and is obviously appreciated.

    Like you ( I assume) I grew up listening to Gilbert and Sullivan, and saw many productions during my childhood. Those days seem to be gone. I don't remember the last time I saw an actual play, and all of my CDs are original D'Oyly Carte ( John Reed as Bunthorpe, for example).

    How is the next repeat coming along?


  2. Put out More Flags is on my list -- you've pushed it to the top. I'm off to the library, I need something. I recently saw a production of Pinafore where the sound was so over amplified that if i didn't know the words i would have missed most of it.