Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good progress yesterday – but today is the Last One before It All Starts (= the Greeks arrive tomorrow), and that doesn’t allow time to do a third of what needs doing.

Yesterday’s great achievement was to equip my husband with a source of money while I’m away. London is an expensive city, and of course I will provide him with a wad of readies before I leave. But what if he runs out?

In normal life, he never uses an ATM. Lest that make him sound more imbecilic than is the case, I should add that he regularly and successfully uses a chip-and-pin credit card. I vaguely thot that when the bank issued his bank card, two or three years ago now, we changed the number so that it was the same as the credit card number.

But I wasn't sure, maybe that was just a good intention, and we didn’t want to try a machine which might laugh at us and swallow the card. So we went up to the Royal Bank in the big, beautifully overblown former town house they inhabit in St Andrew Square, and tried it in one of those little machines on the counter, with an employee watching. It worked.

But I think I’ll tell Rachel the number, just for insurance.

The other step forward – but this has to count as failure, on my part – was to book Amtrak from Old Saybrook to Newark Airport on Monday the 27th, to take me and Lizzie home. I got that all done, but at the end Amtrak wanted to know the billing address to which my credit card statements are sent. Fair enough. And I was allowed to choose “United Kingdom” from a drop-down list of countries. Good!

But I wasn’t allowed to proceed without choosing an American state or Canadian province from another drop-down list. “Other” or “none” were not options. Stalemate.

So my sister has made the booking and I’ll pay her back when I get there. I had a feeling, not a new one, of being trapped by American we’re-the-centre-of-the-universe-ness. That’s silly – I use the card regularly to order books and knitting materials from the US. It’s Amtrak’s fault, not the nation’s.

Anyway, knitting

I’ve come to another row in the jabot pattern where there aren’t enough stitches. This time I’m ready.

Fiberqat and Stash haus, sorry to disappoint, but no, under no circumstances will I unpick that graft and try to re-do the finishing of the Princess. I am looking forward to the blocking, which is firmly scheduled for the afternoon of the day I get back from CT. Sleep can wait.

My husband won’t get back from London until the end of Wednesday afternoon. I wonder if I could fit in a jabot-viewing expedition to Kinloch Anderson on Wednesday morning? I really can’t progress until I’ve seen one. I dropped into a junky tourist kilt shop in central Edinburgh the other day, since I happened to be passing the door. The man had never heard of a jabot.


  1. Interesting post. You are having quite the journey around. ATM machines can be a good thing.

  2. Jean - I've had that "Amtrak credit card experience" on other U.S. sites also. Frustrating isn't it. Lucky we have U.S. relatives to help us out.

  3. Dawn in NL11:15 AM

    Re these annoying, poorly set up forms for addresses; if it allows something entered manually I enter an x, if not, I enter the first compulsory state and in the comment box ask them to remove 'Alaska' or whatever from the otherwise British address. It also signals to them that their form doesn't work.

    Congratulations on finishing Princess. I am looking forward to seeing it in all its glory.

    All the best,

  4. =Tamar5:54 PM

    I wonder whether the man in the shop would have understood "the fancy thing they wear on the front of their shirts".

  5. I give you much credit for planning on blocking it the day you get back. For myself, I wouldn't want to attempt it on no sleep and jet lagged. I'm assuming it has to be blocked and dry before Mr. Miles returns home from his London expedition.

  6. Considering that Amtrak's run by the government, it amazes me that you were able to choose UK.

    I'm with Stashhaus -- you're brave to tackle blocking the day after coming home.