Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Safely back. We were lucky in our weather – three warm, get-something-done-outdoors days. Yesterday we drove back through serious rain.

On Saturday my husband went off to a stand of larches he planted many years ago, now towering trees of which a couple came down in last year’s storms. He was tidying the whiskers off one such, to make it ready for the sawing-up of the trunk.

I went to fetch him home for tea. When he (eventually) agreed to come, he tripped over the very tree he was working on, and fell. No harm was done, on the soft forest floor – except that he couldn’t get up again. His lower legs don’t function at all well these days.

We struggled for half an hour or more, trying various ploys. Eventually the light began to fail, and I said I thought I should go for help. The notion made him angry enough to supply the needed adrenalin, and he got to his feet.

No harm done. He went back to his larches on Sunday morning. But it was scary.


There is a good deal to report on the knitterly and vegetable-grower-ly fronts but I shall stick to the iPad for today.

I got knit.wear into it at the very last moment on Thursday. I’m not really very impressed, except that I like Annie Modesitt’s kimono.Again, I’m glad not to have it adding to the piles of knitting magazines in the bedroom.

My resources for the iPad are “iPad for Dummies” and  “The 2012 iPad Handbook”. And you guys, probably best of all.

The Handbook is one of those things that you find on a newsstand, looking like a magazine, and – like Interweave’s Holiday Knits – you only realise when you get to the checkout that it’s priced like a book, and not a cheap one. It has its uses, though, and it’s British.

While I was floundering, I noticed something in it about Zite. Zite is a free app, from the App Store, which will make a magazine for you. You get three pages of all the things there are magazines for – cars and cookery and celebrity gossip and gardening, on and on. At the end is a box into which you can type “knitting”. (You can have as many sections as you like in your magazine, and change them any time.)

And then you have a knitting magazine. It’s simply brilliant. We have come to take Google for granted as if it were a force of nature – it is salutary to re-discover how clever an algorithm can be. Unless there really is a roomful of old ladies in Florida or California, scanning the internet all day long and saying to each other, “Do you think Jean would like this?”

Articles are drawn from blogs, journalism, and commercial pages. I learned about  “Jane Austin Knits” from Zite before I had the email from Interweave.

There’s a separate free app that lets you cut things out and keep them. I’ve done that with (among other things) an article about “Craft Activism” which has a clothes-line full of Mary Lou Egan’s mittens on the cover. Hey! I know her!


  1. seems you aren't the only one doing two colour brioche in the round!


    glad to hear you got back safe in all that wet/sleet. not a good day for driving...

  2. It's amazing what pride can get us to do when we need to, but that's a bit scary.

  3. =Tamar9:36 PM

    Very scary. My husband had a fall and refused my help for half an hour. When he finally let me help (I got under him on all fours and lifted), his blood pressure had gone up so high that he had a stroke.

    I'm glad your results were better.

  4. I'm a bit of a Luddite on the electronic gadget front, but you're winning me round to the idea of an iPad Jean !

  5. Thanks for the shout out, Jean. I guess the adrenaline from anger has its uses!

  6. We have a (now) 83-year-old next-door neighbor who was in the same predicament as your husband a couple of summers ago -- he fell down in the garden (he and his wife are great vegetable gardeners) and, while he wasn't hurt, he couldn't rise on his own, and his wife wasn't strong enough to lift him. She and I together were able to do the trick. He refused to let me take him to the doctor afterwards, or even to make an appointment. The only subversive thing I did was to call his daughter (who lives nearby) and report the incident. Maybe he was right not to make a fuss -- their garden is bigger than ever this year.

    That neighbor is of German ancestry, but I met one notable octogenarian Scotsman last summer when M. and I climbed Ben-Y-Vrackie. We were just commenting that, although we had been there 25 years ago as well, we probably weren't going to make it up those 2,700 feet 25 years from now -- when someone told us that another fellow at the summit, the one who was pointing out the mountains over by Dundee where he was from, was 83 years old (even older than I will be in 25 years). He wasn't climbing as fast as we were, but he, unlike us, went home the long way: to Pitlochry via Killiecrankie, since you know the area. (-: So there is hope for all of us.