Thursday, May 30, 2013

Archie is safely here. He says the weather is even worse in England, and seems to have mastered travel by rail. My husband has a picture in mind for us to hang this morning, and this afternoon I’ll drive him back to school. He’ll be here again soon, for a weekend, to escape a paint-balling experience. So if we can’t find the hooks or do the simple geometry this morning, all is not lost.

I spent a happy half-hour gardening on the doorstep yesterday, thinning and weeding the sorrel and huauzontle and adding thyme to the herb trough. The Welsh onions have not germinated (yet) in sufficient quantity to need thinning, but they’re there. It is a great pleasure to know that everybody is safe from deer and rabbits.

What should I find in Tesco’s yesterday but chilli plants? Not garden ones, at the front door, which is where I got my little Apaches in April, but bigger plants, with chillis on them, amongst the herbs. Clearly, this year’s supermarket feature.  I was sorely tempted, much as if they had started selling kittens. But a) the variety wasn’t identified on the label which takes away ¾’s of the fun and b) there’s no more room on the windowsill.

And I knit more Relax2. I think I’ll be able to add another round of eyelets today.

This turned up on Zite this morning, an article about stashes from the Twist Collective Problem Ladies, with an illustration by Franklin. Some sound advice there. I like the concept of “flour and sugar yarns”.


Anonymous, your Barber Institute days must have been during the days when my husband was Director. I can’t remember exactly when he retired (and I started having to cook lunch every day) but he was certainly in position then. They are celebrating 80 years now – he was in charge for the 50-year celebration, which must therefore have been in ’83. We had fun. Thank you for writing.

Barbara M., yes, there was a big story in the Sunday Times this very week about the possibility of the sell-off of the Detroit pictures. And wonderful as they are, a sale would scarcely dent the city’s debts, I gather. I grew up in Detroit, during the war years. Wet Sunday afternoons at that museum were my first experience of art. It will be dreadful if they are sold. 

I would like to go back to Detroit, in its present ruinous state, and look at the houses we lived in, on Virginia Park and Parkside, and the school I went to, Hampton Elementary. It probably won’t happen. We moved to New Jersey in '46. 

Mary Lou, thank you. I didn’t know about Jane Brocket, and am an instant fan. I haven’t figured out, on a five-minute acquaintance, how to leave a comment on her blog. She mentions Ford Madox Brown’s famous picture “Work”. The woman in the upper left of that picture is wearing a Shetland shawl – clearly a specific one, which Brown had in front of him as he painted. This was in the early days, I think, of Shetland fashion-ability, deriving from the Great Exhibition. Was he thinking of the many, many hours of work which went into its knitting? Quite likely so. On my next passage through life, I’d like to do some research on that picture.

And, Judith, thank you for the RNIB link. I think it will prove useful, and I will save it. My husband is perhaps doing a bit better these days with modern computing, although he still thinks that if I were any use I would be able to simplify things and get rid of the myriad features he doesn't need.


  1. Jean, can you 'visit' Detroit via Google Street? I can see the house in Evanston I'll where my son and his family live. Also, you might like Victoria Lochhead's blog.

    1. Annette, You beat me to it! My son loves the fact that he can look at the street we lived on when we were living on Okinawa.

  2. I like Jane Brocket too - but I think she's turned off comments on her blog, although you can email her instead....

  3. Anonymous12:37 PM

    "he still thinks that if I were any use I would be able to simplify things and get rid of the myriad features he doesn't need." - I love your husband's optimism, but I honestly doubt if even Bill Gates has this power anymore over the creations he has wrought! - cheers!

  4. Jane has turned off comments after a spate of nastiness. Too bad people have to do that.