Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Strathardle today. I can’t believe it myself, and fear we’re pushing our luck too far.

A local tradesman was engaged last summer, under Helen’s energetic influence, to put up some shelves in the kitchen and do a couple of other small jobs around the place. He rang up yesterday, ready to start but having forgotten most of his instructions. My husband talked him through it, but we think it prudent to go back up and make sure of things.

Snow is forecast. Not much, but some.

But if all goes well, I’ll be back here Saturday or Sunday.


Perpetual Strawberries: I think I’ll have to proceed on the principle of try-it-and-you-may-I-say. I grew alpine strawberries in our garden in Birmingham. They are lovely, trouble-free plants, and are probably the ones your parents grew, Julie. “Slow-motion invasive” is the perfect phrase for them. They bear fruit all summer, very small and utterly delicious – hard to gather enough to put on the table, great for eating while gardening. That’s what Mel is going to grow from seed.

My interest however is focussed on something with bigger fruit, more like store-boughten strawberries. Do they retain the trouble-free qualities of (what must be) their Alpine ancestors? There are books I can consult on that subject, when we get back to Strathardle.

Don’t miss the pic my sister has posted of the rehearsal for the inauguration.

Else, thank you for the reference to the Wikipedia entry for salsola soda. There are lots of words in there which I can try on Sturtevant’s index. The book lives in Strathardle. He – Sturtevant – worked at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Edible Plants of the World were a life-long obsession. The book was actually put together after his death from his notes and from articles he had published. I love it.

I went to see my optician yesterday – the suggestion, and a good one, of Helen when we were having our Christmas lunch. Nothing has changed, but I’m glad I went. There’s no magic he can work with lenses to improve the sight in my left eye. He agrees that the damage is permanent. He is perfectly confident (as am I) that I am fit to drive. I came home feeling cheerful.

So I have yet to get to the references about knitting magazines. I will, without fail. Here, in the meantime, is a picture of the current state of Ketki’s sweater. Another evening should polish off that sleeve. And since the Calcutta Cup match comes late in the season this year, as is proper, I may even finish the sweater while the cup itself is still in Edinburgh.


  1. Anonymous10:53 AM

    On strawberries: there's a variety called Mara des Bois, which is just lovely. They taste like wild strawberries but are only slightly smaller that the "store-bought". I don't know about growing them, though, but if you can they are definitely worth it! /Anna

  2. Anonymous6:43 PM

    One of my uncles had a bad eye and the only requirement was that he had to have side mirrors on both sides of the car before this was normal for all cars.

  3. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Jean, you mentioned Perri Klass a few days ago. I noticed she has had a column in the NYTimes Science section the last few Tuesdays. Perhaps that is taking over her writing time? It is called "18 and under" (I think) and fits with her other career as a pediatrician.

    I hope you enjoy your long weekend. The sweater looks lovely.

    Barbara M.

  4. Was going to leave you a link for the Perri Klass column on Children and Manners, but see Barbara beat me to the punch:

  5. Anonymous8:51 AM

    We're discussing the Kitchener stitch again on HistoricKnit, and I've been using Google Books. Apparently it was originally (ca.1916) "the Queen Mary toe and the Kitchener heel", both recommended by the organization that Kitchener asked Queen Mary to set up in WWI to get women to knit things for the military. Then it became Kitchener toe by 1917. I haven't yet tracked when it became Kitchener _stitch_.