Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rachel’s 55th birthday.

We had been out to supper with friends, on the 22nd of June, 1958, and walked home along the tram tracks (on Great Western Road? where was the traffic?) talking about a scheme which, alas, we never executed, to buy a record of a popular song once a year. I think if we had done it, we would have started with Debbie Reynolds singing “Tammy’s in Love”.

We got to bed, but not to sleep. The light of a midsummer morning was beginning to illuminate Glasgow as my husband drove me to the hospital. I had an easy time of it, and was in the ward with my baby girl in time for breakfast – a large bowl of unsweetened porridge, completely inedible to me then.

I wondered that day if the newly dead sit about on the further shore, like new mothers, telling each other what sort of time they had. “Fell under a bus? You were lucky!” 


Kristieinbc, I harvest the jalapenos as they ripen and freeze them in a little plastic poke, to be used one-by-one when needed. I put a couple yesterday in a fish soup for lunch. Jamie Oliver often adds a chilli as an accent to all sorts of recipes. The jalapenos aren’t very strong – their nature? or because they are being grown in less-then-ideal conditions? But that suits us.

The Apaches should be much hotter, according to my books. And the Scotch Bonnets, if I get any, very much hotter again.

It is irritating when a recipe – and it often happens – specifies a “red” chilli with no other information, as if degrees-of-hotness were irrelevant.


Not much happened yesterday, and presumably there won’t be much today. I reached the row in the West shawl in which a whole new set of slipped-stitch stripes are introduced, to go off at angles to the first set. This operation requires (as well as considerable concentration) more stitch markers than I’ve got (and Kathy’s Knits isn’t open on Mondays). So I had to confect them out of little lengths of yarn, like Stephen himself, and that took time.

I had a session in the stash cupboard in the morning, though, and have set aside a substantial amount to go to the knitters of Strathardle. Don’t worry – an unconscionable amount remains. A lot of what is going out are the just-in-case skeins. I can’t bear worrying about whether I’ve got enough yarn, absolutely can’t stand it, so I always order too much – especially when it’s coming from abroad.

That’s another nice thing about sock-knitting: one 100-gram skein is enough. If I’m knitting for a gent, he might need to have the toes finished off with something from the sock odd-ball bag. But I don’t need to order extra, just-in-case.


  1. Beware the Scotch Bonnets!

  2. Jean, I've been wondering if you"re following the Lions escapades in Australia? If nothing else you must be enjoying the posters of BOD (brian o'driscoll) which are frequenting some of Edinburgh's bus shelters...

  3. That's interesting that your jalapenos aren't very hot. I have grown them a couple of times in my garden and they were piping hot! I have noticed Jamie Oliver seems to have a fondness for chillies. When I am making one of his recipes I use those non-descript little red ones from the grocery store. I don't know what their official name is. I think of them as "Jamie Oliver Chillies."

    I am just like you about ordering extra yarn. Worrying about not having enough yarn to finish a project drains every ounce of enjoyment out of knitting a project.

  4. And, of course, if you are unsure whether you have enough yarn, you find yourself needing to knit faster, to get to the end of the jumper before you get to the end of the yarn.