Friday, March 15, 2013

Welcome, new follower!

Papal comments

Jean is right, I think, about how the Vatican tailor has three papal costumes ready, sort of as Goldilocks might, ready for a small or medium or large pontiff. I even read yesterday that all three were displayed in that tailor’s window until the Conclave actually started. He was quoted in advance as saying that the new man would probably be one of his customers already. It doesn’t sound as if that is the case.

And I also think our new Pope isn’t quite as stout as I at first thought -- I should have had the screen-size set at 4:3.

Mary Lou, I’m a Jesuit fan like your father. For some years, when we lived in Birmingham, I taught very elementary New Testament Greek to the novices of the English province. They were delightful young men, and I loved them dearly.


We really came unstuck with the Surface yesterday. I am making considerable progress with Word-for-Windows-8-RT or whatever it calls itself, but my husband is not. He pretty well gave up in fury after a morning when the program kept producing message-boxes in mid-screen or removing his text altogether. Once he called me when he came across a paragraph unexpectedly double-spaced. I tracked down “line spacing” in the on-line help -- but the technique specified wasn’t available. (I eventually solved the problem by applying a single-spaced template to the whole document and then changing the font back to Times New Roman.)

I sent him back to his old computer, and spent my afternoon trying free, simple word processors on my own desktop. OpenOffice proved heavy and slow -- not its fault, I am sure, but that of my old slow computer which lacks much free disk space. (Archie says I don’t need a new computer, just an external hard disk. He could be right.) I then tried AbiWord, a much smaller and lighter program -- and after all, we don’t need a whole Office suite, just a word processor.

And it seems to work fine. I am composing in it this morning. I don’t see an icon for adding a hyperlink, but I can do that after I copy and paste into Blogger. It’s not a feature my husband needs. It does notes, although the one I inserted didn't come through to Blogger correctly when I copied-and-pasted.

I then looked at the John Lewis website for possible laptops to run it on -- I feel I want actual salesmen to talk to this time. The three candidates I identified -- two Asus's and an HP -- were all marked “out of stock”. I figure that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t on display in St James Centre, and I may go up there this afternoon.

Here -- still a "technical" subject, although a different one -- is our future television cable, curled up on the area wall just inside the railing, under the lamp post.


I’m about half-way from underarm to shoulder shaping on the front of the Relax.

That's the back view. The sides are quite straight until stitches are added at the underarm. The trapezoidal effect is created by the unseen needle which holds the front stitches.


  1. I saw a picture of the small, medium and large garments laid out. Pope Francis is apparently not going to require many of the more lavish robes used by his predecessors. It makes one wonder what the tailors will do with their time. They would normally have been frantically busy with alterations one assumes.

  2. My husband, a staunch Catholic, but with a wonderful sense of humour, says he has a vision of all the candidates for the papacy lining up and trying on the white robes and, when somebody shouts 'It fits, it fits! the white smoke is allowed to rise. Hope nobody is offended by the irreverence, it isn't meant that way.
    Is there anything known about the needleworkers of the Vatican? The work is often exquisite. I trained with the Royal School of Needlework many years ago and, though my hands are now too arthritic to do fine work (knitting may soon follow :( )I do love to see the work of others.
    I love the photo re your cable. I used to live in London and loved the basement entrance stepped area of the many Georgian town houses there. I quite miss it now I'm back in the country and all houses are without a basement or cellar.

    1. I'm a non-Catholic but fiber-crazy North American who has been following the selection of a new Pope with interest. I love your husband's concept of choosing the Pope based on whether the prepared garments fit. Delightful!

      Now about those red shoes. . .I wonder if they also have 3 pairs of those ready before the conclave.

  3. I've been thinking for sometime that what your husband actually needs is a netbook. I don't know if they are around anymore. I have one and took it on a trip with my MIL who didn't want a computer and in three days she bought one. They are small and have a full operating system usually Windows XP

  4. The reason a program runs slowly has to do with the processor speed and the amount of RAM on your computer more than the amount of space on your hard drive. RAM can be found by looking at MY COMPUTER (right click and choose PROPERTIES (for xp) or COMPUTER (for Vista and Win 7 - same process). Find the installed memory or RAM and see. these days you need at last 3 GB RAM and ideally 4-6 (esp for win 7 )

    Was there a reason a small laptop was not considered? it will have the advantages of having a full windows operating system -and internet access etc ... i imagine you could sell your surface on ebay or even here ;o ...

    as an IT professional with years of desktop support - i would advise you to cut your losses and go with a small laptop - a 14 inch or even 11 inch - they are incredibly light now. please reach out if you want help offline.

  5. To BlueLoom: They have a wider range of papal slippers at the ready. One of the broadcasts on Wednesday -- I think it was BBC World TV -- had a shot of the clothes rack with the S/M/L cassocks, the ermine(?)-trimmed cloak, and I think nine or ten shoe boxes piled at the base of the rack. Shoes are less forgiving than cassocks, although I bet the shoes in question are of lovely supple Italian leather. Here is a recent NY Times article about Gammarelli, the papal tailors -- I hope the link works:

  6. Get a mac. If you have an apple store near you they provide tech support and lessons. I am a teacher in a store in NY. Some og the formatting you are seeking may be available in your right click menu.
    good luck.