Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Let’s start with knitting.

The Relax is far enough along that I can see another Sock Phase on the horizon, perhaps giving me a chance to recover some of the things I learned temporarily last year. I have heard from the Ravelry stash-seller who can let me have one of her Pakokku skeins – “Vampires of Venice” alas is gone. One of you wrote to me offering to send a skein she owns, just like that. I am deeply touched. And there’s your offer, Beverly, to look out for it at yarn festivals.

And, Holly, no, I didn’t know about the Planned Pooling website, and look forward to using it. I have added it to Evernote, after a bit of a struggle.

I admire your newly-installed public sculpture extravagantly. (I used to live in Salt Lake City, long enough ago that memories have faded. We went swimming in the GSL that Sunday in 1939 when the war started. My father told me, remember this day, and I have done so. I’m just coming up to it in Vol I of the Cazalets.)

Another evening or two will polish off the dolman increases of the Relax. I have resolved to leave half the stitches behind – for, from there, I’ll be knitting back and forth – on very thick yarn. I keep having trouble with left-behind stitches pulling so tight on their waste yarn that recovery becomes difficult.


We’re nearly half-way through. Day after tomorrow is the dividing line – and this coming Sunday is Laetare Sunday, when cider will be consumed. I’m not losing weight as fast as I did last year -- a bit of a disappointment. Four or five pounds, so far – not to be despised. I have one of those little cardboard collection boxes they hand out in the back of the church, and every morning I drop in three pound coins to represent (some of) the cider I didn’t drink the day before.

The box is getting nice and heavy and rattle-ly. At the end I will put all the pound coins back in the bank and send a donation to the Marie Curie hospice where my husband’s sister died two years ago. I read their bulletin board while we were there and learned that about half their funding comes from the NHS, per patient, and the rest from charitable donations. Their services are completely free at point-of-need, including home nursing.

It must be slightly different in the US, where those all-pervasive insurance companies are inevitably involved.


Cardinal O’Brien has left the country. A nice, hospitable Irish monastery is the temporary refuge I would choose for him if my opinion were asked. Will he ever be able to come back? It seems very hard to take Scotland away from the man, as well as all else.

I am sorry to have given the impression of being unsympathetic to his victims, if victims they were. We still don’t know, probably never will, whether we are talking about isolated incidents many years ago or a settled pattern of life, about drunken gropings or a habit of buggery. The mention of heavy drinking in this context distresses me as much as anything: crapulous priests are not uncommon.

We in the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh are suffering the additional indignity at the moment of being run from Glasgow.


  1. Just read the comments from yesterday. Golly Jean, it is your blog!! I think the beauty of the internet age is that we can read about people all over the world and learn about their lives and opinions. If I "unsubscribed" every friend that said something I didn't agree with I would be a very lonely person. The exchange of thoughts and opinions are what stimulates us to form our own. And mine do not have to agree with other people's. Hope you keep expressing your opinion, Jean.
    Ron in Mexico

  2. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Jean, I'm not very good at blogging; but, I feel I must introduce you to The National Catholic Reporter .. established by lay people in USA during Vatican II ...

    I prefer to get news of the Catholic Church from NCR rather than the usual diocesian or popular press. John Allen, a true journalist, has been the Vatican correspondent since 2000. http://ncronline.org/authors/john-l-allen-jr.
    I hope you and others will find this information helpful.

    Elizabeth (Boston (MA) Catholic born,(lo! these many years), bred ... who starts her day with your blog... thank you thank you

    1. Thanks for this. I didn't know about the NCR, and will visit regularly henceforth.

  3. Are you enjoying the Cazalets? I've been reading the books (inspired by the radio series) and am somewhere in volume 3 and utterly entranced. I can't start reading too early in the day or I get nothing done. Elizabeth Jane Howard's autobiography is also well worth a read.

    1. I'm pretty near the end of volume 1 and, like you, entranced, now that I've got the characters fairly straight. I'll remember the autobiography, for the sad day when I finish volume 3.

    2. There's four volumes, so finishing volume 3 shouldn't be so sad. I did come across one website that was talking about her writing a fifth volume too! I finished volume 3 this afternoon, I couldn't stop reading.

  4. Jean have you heard about the hate incidents that have occurred at Oberlin over the last month? The New York times had an article, as did the Guardian (I tried linking them but my iPad has been acting up, google "hate incidents at Oberlin" for details) it all culminated in classes being cancelled on Monday to address the problem. Heady stuff

  5. Anonymous8:26 AM

    Jean, what about a dp needle with twisted rubberbands on each end to keep those left behind stitches safe and unstrangled?