Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We're safely back. We had a grand time.

If your heart isn't otherwise engaged, I'd be grateful if you'd root for Liverpool to win the league. They are well placed at the moment, with three matches to go. I'll explain later.

We had a whole weekend of amazing weather – Alexander and Ketki claimed they hadn't seen the sun since October. We enjoyed it al the more because of reports of rain in London. Since then, the normal gloomy damp has resumed service.

On Saturday Alexander had booked most of us in to have lunch (delicious!) at Loch Fyne Oyster. He and Ketki and Rachel stayed home to look after my husband. Afterwards the lunchers walked to a local brewery where some members of the party wanted to buy cases of beer to take home. Here some of us are on the way, on the bridge over the River What's-Its-Name where it flows into the very tip of Loch Fyne. My pace was slow; they were waiting for me to catch up.

And here are Hellie's boyfriend Matt and I, on the road along to the brewery. Crazy old woman:

Later that afternoon, the water back at the house started to fail, and by Easter morning, was completely gone. Alexander and Ketki share a private supply with half a dozen others in the vicinity. It was inconvenient, to say the least, with nine house guests in addition to the basic four members of the household. Ketki's Hindu calm was unaffected. Eventually the water was restored.

Alexander has given me three little chilli plants from the ones he has raised from seed. Two have names I recognise, the third is labelled X-FH and is, he says, “Chinese”. I think that means he has planted seeds from dried chillis purchased there. Exciting. We also came away with some duck eggs -- rather like the dreadful Mrs Norris in "Mansfield Park", "having fidgetted about, and obtained a few pheasant's eggs and a cream cheese from the housekeeper..."


I toiled away on the Unst Bridal Shawl, as addictive as a 1500-piece jigsaw, as I think I've said before. I am now nearly finished (not without a good sprinkling of mistakes) with that motif which is so rich in k3tog's, and I will be glad to see the back of it.  I tried every approach Google could find for me. I was seriously tempted to throw in the sponge and work them as p3tog, which is perfectly easy. Would it have mattered?

I've also handed over the mended Princess to the bride-to-be.

I am thinking about the Queen Ring Shawl, and also that framed one from Heirloom Knitting. Life is too short to be spent on anything except elaborate lace.

But now Jared has published a new edition of Wool People, vaguely Japanese-based and absolutely chock-a-block with delectable things.

What is one to do? Knit on, with confidence and hope.


  1. Hi, Jean! You sound more cheerful. I'm so pleased that you were able to enjoy a break at last.

    Re water failures. We rarely have house guests but, over the years,our water has played up as soon as visitors are in sight. - eg water dripping on to bed in guest room from boiler in loft, on Christmas Eve. More recently, an airlock developing as soon as Canadians entered the house.

    After several days of unreliable service, the husband commented that the house was like an aged retainer grumbling over the perceived extra work caused by guests. Some truth in this, I thought.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful visit full of family and adventure. I wonder, was there an egg hunt? I hope you enjoy your chili plants. I think they look so festive once the little peppers get growing.

  3. Yes, shandy has it right; the house knows. Our former house had the opposite response; as soon as company was in sight the kitchen sink became totally stopped up. Extra points if the food from last night's meal began floating up into the sink from god-knows-where. Double points if it was spaghetti.

    Glad your trip went well, Jean, and welcome back. You were missed.

  4. Anonymous6:16 PM

    I absolutely love the comparison of household plumbing to a grumbling retainer chafing at the extra burden! Now just imagine if only one could use that as a reason to decline houseguests - "I'm sorry, the pipes simply will not allow it." - Happy Easter & happy continuation! - cheers.