Monday, October 22, 2012

Little to report, so I’ll add some Thots.


I left the hat and its many loose ends yesterday, and knit peacefully on with the Wingspan. It’s just what’s wanted, easy and soothing.

And I booked my train journeys to and from London for next month. (That counts as “knitting” because of course I am going down there for Franklin’s classes at Loop.) Shandy has booked our lunch at the Elk in the Woods. Catdownunder, this is unknown territory to me. For many years now, all my movements around London have been in pursuit of art. All that is to be found in Islington is the Estorick Collection. Well worth a visit, but it offers neither yarn nor (I think) lunch.

I’ll have to get to work with Google maps and the subway map soon. But I can assure you, cat, that Loop is one of the very best LYS’s in Britain, and the Elk in the Woods isn’t far away. (I’m trusting Shandy on that one.) Definitely worth pencilling in for your next visit to London, sight-unseen.

Thot (1)

There was a long and interesting profile of Mr. Romney in a recent New Yorker – I read it in Strathardle the other day.  I’m not going to vote this time – it’s sort of hard work extracting a ballot from Monmouth County, NJ, and I’m not as fired up as I was last time. Reading the New Yorker, I found myself not at all sure that a businessman might not be a good idea, for President, just now.

He’s certainly not as odious (or as stupid?) as GW Bush. He may be awfully rich, but at least it seems to be largely money he’s made himself. Unlike Bush, again. He sounds like an honourable man, and that counts for something. His lack of success as a demagogue might even be counted as an asset.

I have timidly advanced these thoughts to Rachel and to my hairdresser, both of whom slapped them down with vigour.

Thot (2)

A great British horse, Frankel by name, has just retired from flat racing after his 14th successive victory. They’re saying greatest-of-all-time, up there with Seabiscuit and Man o’War. He was trained by Henry Cecil, a big name in British racing, now near death but he was there for Frankel’s last race on Saturday, able to whisper to the microphone that he had never seen a horse like this one.

What I wonder is, does an animal enjoy being that good? Surely he must. And secondly, when the race is going on and he is galloping along happily in fourth place, how does the jockey tell him that it’s time to make the move? Use of the whip is much restricted these days. He’s standing up in the stirrups, so can’t signal with his legs as in the equestrian novels of my girlhood. Flapping the reins and shouting “giddy-up” doesn’t quite seem appropriate. But horse and man clearly know each other’s minds.

Here’s Saturday’s race. You’ll see. Frankel leaves it so late I got worried even watching again this morning.

Now he retires to stud. We had an interesting article in the New Yorker on that subject a couple of years ago. Artificial insemination is not allowed for thoroughbred horses. Frankel will be busy all day every day. He must be worth as much as a Picasso.


  1. Ah, I have no doubt that, in due course, all will be revealed! Thankyou. I don't know the Estorick Collection at university days were spent adjacent to the old location of the Courtald Collection instead.

  2. I visited Loop last month, while on vacation in England. Lovely yarn. Have a look at the Wollmeise Twin. I like it even more than Tosh Sock.

    Loop also has a great selection of Addi-Lace needles in 100 cm if you're comtemplating trying socks a la Magic Loop method. I like the Lace tip on the Addis when doing socks - very sharp tips for getting into tiny stitches.

    As I recall, the Elk in the Woods is about 30 meters from Loop.

    I'm quite jealous that you are going to be with Franklin. I've been missing him lately as it's been nearly 3 months since his last blog post. I've worried that the Black Dog was chasing him, but surely it can't swim the Atlantic to follow him to Britain.

    Enjoy the London excursion!

  3. rosesmama11:53 AM

    "I have timidly advanced these thoughts to Rachel and to my hairdresser, both of whom slapped them down with vigour."

    As they should. With supreme court decisions and the Affordable Health Care Act on the line, every vote counts. I'm hoping you reconsider.

  4. The misogyny of Romney should be enough to make you reconsider. Please do vote

  5. Barbara M in NH12:42 PM

    I agree with Rosesmama.....not so much worried about how Romney would actually run the country as in who he would send to the Supreme Court. That could change this country's course in a very serious way.

    I'm putting Loop and the Estorick in my list for a quick visit next spring.....I am doing a tour of Shetland then a quick day in London and on to meet my husband in Amsterdam for a conference he needs to attend. Since we normally travel together, LYSs (no matter how lovely) are seldom on our list of places to visit!

    Barbara M. In NH

  6. not going into politics - but do you actually think that race horses or others (e.g.dressage,show jumping) etc. enjoy any of what they are forced to do? seeing horses in freedom - makes me think that they'd rather do something else than trying to outrun each other with a maniac on their back or jumping over very high timber poles with no purpose whatsoever:( all just to make money for humans....

  7. Oh Jean, please do vote! If only, as Theresa says "The misogyny of Romney should be enough to make you reconsider." He is lacking in humanity, generosity of spirit and is totally out of touch with "the common man".

  8. I am with you Jean. This year I will not be voting in the US presidential election. There has only been one other time in my life I haven't voted, and that was a couple decades ago when I was in the thick of raising five young children. If I still lived in the US I would vote, but the reality is an absentee ballot makes no difference one way or another. Having said that, if I was Australian (meaning someone was going to fine me for not voting) I would cast my ballot for Obama. But not without severe reservations.

  9. Gerri2:14 PM

    As Theresa said. If you're voting for Romney then I guess I won't encourage you to vote. If businessmen are so wonderful for the country, how did we get into this mess? Obama is doing a decent job of making change for the good within the hamstrings of politics.

  10. Here is a another article about Mr. Romney and how he made his money. It's a cogent explanation of leveraged buyouts and the damaged they have caused.

  11. Ahh the Great Frankel... Jean I think that truly great racehorses love to run...

    I remember watching the great American filly Zenyatta win the Breeder's Cup classic. I was at a conference in Montreal that weekend and my friend and I found a TV that was carrying the race. In the middle of that posh hotel, surrounded by scholars we started screaming and urging her on, jumping up and down. People must have thought we were mad-- two religion professors shouting at a racehorse... but an exciting race can make you lose composure...

  12. I was pointed to this editorial in the Salt Lake City paper ... quite interesting.

    Thank you for the link on Frankel. Beautiful, beautiful!