Friday, December 06, 2013

Well, the yarn turned up.

The box had a little Royal Mail sticker on it saying, Redeliver Thursday. They might have added, “Make her sweat a bit”. “Redeliver” is inappropriate, since it had never been delivered before. "Thursday" is inappropriate, since I had paid the fee at a post office the preceding Saturday. Still, here it is. Nice yarn. And there should still be plenty of time. I cast on and knit about an inch. It will need seaming in the end and I can use the mattress stitch I learned in Franklin's Craftsy class.

I got into town yesterday for my first (and probably only) on-foot experience of Christmas shopping, 2013. It nearly killed me, but I was successful. I went to Mr. Wood's Fossils, an Edinburgh institution. It does what it says on the tin, to coin a phrase. It sells fossils, and – what would be the word? – pebbles, amongst the latter, fragments of meteorites. No Christmas crowds. A pleasant and knowledgeable young man, who is off to Namibia this weekend for a fortnight of serious geology.

I bought a cheap fossilised bug for a young grandson, and a more expensive, beautiful, split-and-polished ammonite for an older one. The young man wrote a card for each, saying how old it is and where from.

The whole business of evolution seems even more mysterious in such a place, than in a museum with bigger and more extraordinary fossils. There are bugs and little fish and ferns, millions of years old, looking just like 21st century ones. Why did anyone bother to go to all the trouble of evolving into giraffes?

I love this paragraph by A.E. Housman, from his Introductory Lecture to University College, London, in 1892. You don't make much of a living as a poet – he was also a Professor of Latin.

“It is the glory of God, says Solomon, to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Kings have long abdicated that province; and we students are come into their inheritance: it is our honour to search out the things which God has concealed. In Germany at Easter time they hide coloured eggs about the house and the garden that the children may amuse themselves in hunting after them and finding them. It is to some such game of hide-and-seek that we are invited by that power which planted in us the desire to find out what is concealed, and stored the universe with hidden things that we might delight ourselves in discovering them.”

Abrupt change of subject

Etsy, this morning, offers a life-sized hand-knit nativity scene, and a woman (she clearly doesn't have to cook lunch very often) who has knit 28 Christmas sweaters for members of her family, including the dog.

There are some good things (and some brilliant photography) in the new Twist Collective. No surprise there. I think this is my favourite.

And Zite also produced this recipe for a cabbage soup which makes me want to go cook lunch right away.


  1. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Any and all of Marcella Hazan's recipes are wonderful. Hers was the second cookbook I bought, after Joy of Cookong, and I'm still using it 25+ years later. Simlpe recipes but oh-so-good.

    Beverly in NJ.

  2. My grandchildren love fossils, shells and stones of all kinds.

    That soup made me feel hungry. I think I may alter my next organic veg box order to include a savoy cabbage.