Friday, May 31, 2013

I spent far too much time yesterday and this morning with Google Street View. I can’t quite seem to make it work for Detroit and for West Allenhurst, NJ, the way it used to for Drummond Place and that street in South London where EZ used to live. That is, I can’t seem to walk along looking from house to house. But I got the idea. Maybe I’ll sneak in and try my husband’s Toshiba – Archie was impressed with the specs.

All three American sites look much grander than I remember them, manicured lawns and perpetual sunshine. My grammar school (Hampton) seems to have morphed into the Barbara Jordan Elementary School.

But the exciting moment was reading about Virginia Park, our first Detroit address, on Wikipedia. It said that everybody on Virginia Park goes to Thirkill Elementary.

I haven’t thought of that word for more than 70 years. I have only the sketchiest memory of my brief time there. But Thirkill! Yes! I was there!

It wasn’t a success.  I can’t remember why. I was taken to what must have been an Educational Psychologist who advised Hampton. For a while, I made quite a long journey there and back by bus, until the whole family moved to Parkside. What one puts one’s parents through (and takes for granted)!

My mother made the bus journey with me for a while, then trusted me to do it. The street before Virginia Park is Euclid, she said. When I saw that, I would know to get off at the next stop. After being carried on an extra bus stop for several days, I  told her that it wasn’t Euclid – she had her coat on and we were nearly out the door to check on this before I added – “It’s something beginning with E”.

And I’m glad to see that both Virginia Park and Euclid are still there. Many of the main arteries have been re-named things like Rosa M. Parks.

We had a successful time yesterday with the picture-hanging, although it still needs to be adjusted. I should have let Archie – who claims to a bit of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – climb down from the steps and survey the situation from afar. He would have seen the problem. I did all that myself, and lengthened and shortened the string as I thought appropriate, while he remained perched aloft. He’ll be back on Sunday, to avoid paint-balling. We’ll nail it.

And I knit on with Relax2, including the next round of eyelets. I must attempt a picture soon. I’m afraid it won’t do justice to the beautiful madelinetosh fabric.

There was an interview with Alison Steadman – British readers will know; she’s brilliant – in the Telegraph yesterday about a new television series coming up next week, on the general theme of marriages breaking up in later life. “Life doesn’t stop,” Steadman said. “Women are no longer looking after husbands and knitting, they are going out and living.”

Elsewhere in the article my idol Penelope Keith is quoted as saying, “All these women in their fifties and sixties who suddenly want their own space, to be their own people. To do what?”

There is an inscription which, I gather, is found not infrequently on the tombs of the women of ancient Rome: Domi mansit lanam fecit vale. Ronald Knox translated, “She stayed at home and got on with her knitting.” Maybe I should have that on mine?


  1. Speaking personally, I am very pleased to be retired and able to stay at home and get on with my knitting - and sewing, and reading,and cooking, and just thinking my own thoughts!

  2. Domi mansit lanam fecit vale -- I think I may knit that into the hem of my next sweater! What a great epitaph.

  3. LOVE IT. How about :she came. she knit. she ???

  4. Anonymous2:26 PM

    When I was young, the only long "P" word I knew was "Presbyterian". When I saw the sign near my house that said "Pedestrian crossing" I thought, "How do they know??"
    Marilyn in Minneapolis

  5. Oh that quote from Roman graves is the best thing EVER! I must share with my husband :D

  6. Kimberly Sorokiwsky3:53 PM

    There is a Euclid Ave. very near the elementary school where I hold court (as the Office Administrator). Funny how many cities have common place names, I often mistake what I read for a different location of the same name. As far as my street pronunciation learning curve goes, I had to discover that Strachan Ave. was not "straw-chan", but "straun".

  7. Whereabouts in South London did Elizabeth Zimmermann live? It's time someone wrote her biography surely?

    1. Ah found it from your previous posts - it's off the same road I used to live off til I was 12!

  8. Sarah JS7:38 PM

    Martha B: How about "She came. She knit. She was content."

  9. Another blogger posted a picture of different heels, and I thought you'd be interested because of your sock project. Have you tried all of these? Golly.


    for the Steadman article