Thursday, May 08, 2014

Manchester City won 4-0 yesterday – goal difference comes into the story, as well as wins and losses. They've won the league, barring a miracle.

I've reached round 82 of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl and thereby embarked on the third and final chart. The next set of motifs begins on round 84. I might get there today.

My sheep book arrived yesterday, and promises very well. “Counting Sheep” by Philip Walling. We all know a sheep when we see one, and we share these islands with 25 million of them. Mr Walling's thesis is that they might as well exist in another dimension, for all most of us know about them. And he writes well. His sheep-farming roots are in the north of England.

I started with the index and “Shetland”, but there is little there. It is not a systematic breed-by-breed sheep book. I've got other books that do that.


I found those remarkable pictures of cuckoo eggs (link yesterday) on a website promoting a book called "Why Evolution is True”. Maybe I should read it – the author must have some theory about how cuckoos evolved their remarkable way of life if he mentions them at all. Your hypothesis, Tamar, gets us some way along the path although it doesn't entirely address the question of why any cuckoo should abandon her egg in the first place, contrary to all other warm-blooded behaviors. Or am I wrong about that?

There are certainly birds that lay on bare ground, or at least in the grass. Pheasants do. But they sit on their eggs and try to take care of their chicks. They're not very bright.

I was very interested to learn, Anonymous, that cuckoos in PA only sometimes lay in other people's nests. I hope teams of ornithologists around the world are hard at work studying cuckoo behaviour. They are rather elusive birds, I believe. I don't think I've ever seen one.

Other non-knit

Today's excitement is a trip to the optician. I am experiencing a certain loss of visual acuity. Fine lace knitting and driving are perfectly comfortable, reading and television-watching more problematic. Can he fix things with new lenses? Or is this the beginning of the end of driving?


  1. I share your disappointment about Liverpool. I didnt know you were a fan - how come? I have been a red since childhood, when Kevin Keegan et al were all the rage, and then I spent 5 years in Liverpool doing a couple of degrees.

    Anyways, I just came across a reference to sea beet, and it made me think of you and your good king henry, Sea beet is also a perennial and apparently it tastes *good*!

  2. Counting Sheep sounds like it is worth pursuing. I just watched this trailer-promo for a documentary called Addicted to Sheep that looks promising as well -

    Sorry that Liverpool lost - I hope you didn't have too much money riding on them....