Thursday, April 26, 2012

I finally heard from Imperial Consultants. After a brief telephone consultation, they said they are awarding us what sounds like a large sum of money to take the ceiling down and replace it. It is a curiously specific sum, down to the penny, like a previous payment for redecorating only. They must feed data through a computer program.

I was plunged into deep gloom for some reason, but, as always, things seem better this morning. I will phone ChemDry. We can plan it all out. (How long with the ceiling down, to dry the timbers and a layer above  called the Deafening? How long to let the new ceiling dry?) Maybe we can forget about Van Dyke at Dulwich and plan a week in Strathardle in the middle of May to get my seeds in.

HelenC.K.S. says this morning that we can go stay in Inspector Montalbano’s house. Never mind Montalbano. Just wait until you see il Commissario Manara, girls.

I subscribe to an on-line “Italian immersion” site where I get to watch bits of him over and over, with the Italian text printed beneath. They all talk fast and elliptically and I can understand very little, even after repeated watchings. The story I am painfully pursuing bit by bit is pretty silly, and extravagantly acted, so it will probably never make it to British television. But I love Manara.


Lou, I think you’ve saved the Sky Scarf.

I’ve reached stripe CCC of the snood, on the return journey. I am widening the stripes slightly, as projected yesterday. I fear the smallest ball is going to give out before I finish CCC. Yarn can be supplied from the other balls, but it will be a nuisance. Bad management on my part.

Last night I got into a muddle. I am a skilled and patient untangler, but it was too much for me. Everything was fuzzed together and finally I cut it. It was like getting chewing gum out of a child’s hair. All well now.


Mary Lou, I think my “Perennial Vegetable” book might well be useful in the northern US. Many British gardening books assume we all live in Sussex. This one has a chart at the beginning giving minimum winter temperatures and assigning a number to each, like the “zones” in American gardening books. Then every plant listed later in the book is shown with its “hardiness zone” number.

That leaves other climatic differences. Many things grow more vigorously in steamy American summers, after surviving the same or worse winter temperatures. Some things, like the primulas, prefer life cold and damp, and do better here. But there is very considerable overlap. The author of my book is Martin Crawford, for what that’s worth.


  1. Thanks for the tip, Jean. And thank you so much for ordering the book. I am honored.

  2. I have been searching for an online program to learn Canadian French, but suddenly find myself more interested in learning Italian. :-)

  3. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I think there will be a sudden rush of knitters to your Italian immersion site.

    So glad to know the insurers are offering a reasonable sum to get the ceiling fixed.

    Beverly in NJ

  4. I'm glad to hear that you've been approved to have your ceiling replaced. That will be one less worry.