Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not much was achieved yesterday on the Christmas front.

But something domestically. In the afternoon, my husband and I put up those two plates. Meaning, I did, under his instruction. No geometry was involved this time, but much measuring as they had to be centred over the doors (and the door frames are slightly curved, which makes measuring that bit more difficult) and they had to be roughly at the same height as each other.

So that's the dining room "hang" complete".

In the morning, I had one of those Moments. Our sitting room is rarely (if ever) cleaned thoroughly. It’s a big room, full of stuff. I decided to start at one wall and do a strip at a time. Yesterday’s strip was rewarding: I found last year’s incoming Christmas cards, whose loss I had lamented the day before; and I found a book we have been looking for, literally, for years.

It is a shabby old copy of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, a collection of his newspaper pieces, with those old cartoons. If you’re my age, and American, you probably remember. I don’t know where we got it. We’ve always had it, and it has always been at Burnside (see sidebar), in the Boys’ Room. When they were 14 and 15 or so, James and Alexander added captions to the cartoons. Some of them are very funny.

I think it was Alexander who provoked the search. He and Helen and I have been through every bookcase in that little house, again and again.

Here, in the sitting room, stands the Glass-Fronted Bookcase, whose contents are family-related, one way or another. And underneath it – it stands up on legs – are piles of books worthy to be included but for which there is no room. That’s where Ripley was. A perfectly appropriate place. I'll give it to Alexander when we next see him.

I hope to get another yard or so of the sitting room cleaned today. What treasures await?


Another landmark on the “Reversible Cables”: I’ve passed five feet – i.e., exceeded the length of the tape measure. I put in a safety pin, so now I have only to measure from there.

That was an interesting comment of yours, Knitter007ca, about magazines. And thank you for mentioning Patternfish. I don’t think I knew about it.

I’m sure you’re right that magazines are in decline as we increasingly get our patterns directly from designers. Magazines have declined before – after the death of VK in the late 60’s, there was nothing or virtually nothing on British newsstands for some years. Even when Vogue came back to life, it was hard to find. Now, for the moment, they abound.

I keep a little list of FO’s in my electronic Filofax. It’s been a while since I knit anything from a magazine – a VK scarf in ’10 was the most recent. This year, I looked up the original article about the Strong heel (Knitter's) during my Sock Blitz, and I got out those old Knitter’s with Meg’s EPS articles only this week. That’s it, for magazines.


  1. Because of my caring responsibilities I've had to take the "half an hour at a time" approach to jobs in the house and garden. Having previously always seen a thing through from start to finish, I'm amazed at just what can be achieved in short bursts.

    I'm so glad your visit to London was worth all the worry and planning beforehand. I do so love that picture of you and Franklin!

  2. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Karma! Just as I was reading the bit about tidying and finding things, my husband shouted that he had found his little book of passwords, lost and deeply lamented for over a month. I had been sure it had gone out with the newspapers. Thanks, Jean, I think you helped magic it back into existance.

    Judith in Ottawa

  3. My husband and I are both hoarders. We were shocked and fascinated by that tv series on hoarders who could barely get into their houses. I began a campaign of turning out a cupboard or drawer at a time. This certainly gave a sense of achievement. Your dining room will have been thoroughly "bottomed", even if it was a traumatic experience.