Sunday, January 01, 2012

Here we are – 2012. New years acquire a certain piquancy in old age.

Yesterday I made the list of knitting-I’d-like to-get-done, and this time there’s plenty there. Today it is my practice to write down the first two headlines of the first news broadcast I hear; even the most boring examples, of which this year provides two, acquire some interest as time goes by. And I note what I have achieved/what has happened in the year just past, and what I hope to achieve in the new one.

Some years I also try to notice and write down the main topics of my internal monologue today.

We don’t stay up for “the bells” – rarely have. But I like the idea of eating 12 grapes, Angel, and will put it into practice if I’m ever there again.

As for 2012: the Greeks will arrive late this evening, so today I must wrap their Christmas presents and make ready their beds. Helen wrote yesterday:

We'll put the boys in the spare room and sleep in the dining room ourselves - if you leave the stuff out we can make up the beds when we get there. Remember it will be two hours earlier for us so we'll be pretty sprightly.

But it wont be two hours earlier: itll be two hours later.  They won’t be sprightly at all. The whole subject remains intensely confusing. The Chinese flew home to Beijing yesterday. I asked Cathy (over the phone, the evening before) whether that meant they would be flying towards or away from the New Year and we were hard put to work it out.

So I probably won’t be here for the next week. The weather is remarkably open for the time of year, and Helen is game, and we’re thinking of going to Strathardle. If I can find anyone awake at the insurance company, I can put her on our policy for three days, she says, and she’ll even drive. Barring a typhoon or the dreaded snow, even one full day would let me get some serious things done for my poor vegetables. And a few rows knit on the Japanese shirt.

As for knitting here, I pressed on with the anthracite ribbing. Nearly done. At midday, at a south-facing window, the stripes are wonderful; still barely perceptible in the evening.

Miscellaneous, knitting-related

Diana, thank you for probing deeper into the Moray Firth Gansey Project. You’re quite right, the pictures of the Ganseyfest show lots of colour. I would very much welcome some serious comment on this subject.

I meant to tell you yesterday: Lord Kitchener is dead. He was the great-nephew, I believe, of the original title-holder, the eponymous inspirer (presumably) of grafted toes on socks. He was in his 90’s. This will be the man I wrote to a decade or so ago, who replied eventually that he had never heard of “Kitchener stitch”. He had no heir, so I think the title lapses.


  1. I was having my own internal monologue this morning Jean, which I won't go into in detail, but thinking that in mid life New Year's Eve seem to be sadder, somehow. I am bit melancholy this morning. Here's hoping the weather holds out for a useful trip for you.

  2. Christine5:46 PM

    Happy New Year Jean, and thank you for another year of blog posts which brighten my days, and also give me so many good ideas for knitting, among other things. Having been fortunate enough to be at Ganseyfest I can assure you that there was colour aplenty!! The trade stands were awash with gorgeous yarn of every hue you can imagine, the delegates were mostly knitting/spinning/crocheting etc in just as many different shades. and I even came home with a free ball of bright red gansey yarn to make a swatch of the motif I designed in Liz Lovick's workshop, and which will become a hat for our grandson sometime when I've finished knitting for the 2 new grandchildren due before June! Ganseyfest was great and worth every minute of the 10 hour (each way) train journey.

  3. I'm always sad to hear of a title lapsing. How many pieces of history have we lost that way, hrm? (Enough, I suppose.)

  4. =Tamar5:16 AM

    From the photographs, it seems that much of the colour was in skeins of yarn, with relatively little in the completed full-sized ganseys on display. However, there was at least one adult gansey in maroon, a few greens, quite a lot of lighter blues and grays, and I think two bright red children's ganseys. The image of the invariably-dark-blue-black gansey seems to have controlled the reporters.

  5. Happy New Year to you and your family, Jean.

    The 2 hours earlier/later story, made me smile since I always have problems with that myself (and with converting currency, just as well I did not go into a bank is all I can say).

  6. Happy New Year to you and your family, Jean.

    The 2 hours earlier/later story, made me smile since I always have problems with that myself (and with converting currency, just as well I did not go into a bank is all I can say).

  7. Happy New Year Jean! I don't often comment here but I read every post ... you have one of the best seats in my Coffeehouse ;D May 2012 bring peace, health and prosperity to you and all who you hold dear x