Thursday, May 22, 2014


FIVE courgettes came up in the pots on my front step yesterday! I put in eight seeds, in all. It's a chilly, grey Edinburgh morning today. They'll wish they'd stayed in bed.

Hellie says that Eeny Meeny will be 6th, not 8th, on that Sunday Times best-seller list this weekend. She also says that newspaper reviews can make a difference if you are – say – in the running for the Booker, but don't greatly affect “commercial books”.

Everybody must be potting on their chillis – B&Q had no flowerpots of the size I wanted, earthenware or plastic. I have been given some by a neighbour who came upon me searching for flowerpots in the boot of the car. Hers are plastic, somewhat chewed by her dogs. I hope to get the potting-on done today.

But today's real excitement will be getting my husband to the polling station to cast his vote for the European parliament. It's one of those unexciting elections with lists of candidates and votes distributed among them by a system too complicated for anyone to understand. Here in Scotland, it seems to be regarded as a dry run for the Referendum. If I had the franchise, I would be tempted to vote UKIP, just this once: a plague on all their houses.

“Pudding”: you're right, it means what Americans mean by “dessert” but it also means pudding, as in Yorkshire pudding and Guards pudding (there's a good one) and Christmas pudding. As for Summer Pudding, all the recipes I've ever seen say to make it with a mixture of red fruit – raspberries, strawberries, and red currents. My husband is emphatic that it must be made with red currents only so that's the way I do it.

Ebay hasn't emailed me with news of the hacker and instructions to change my password. I'll probably do it anyway but so far, at least, am not greatly agitated. As long as PayPal is secure. That's the scary one.

The Scotsman has been advertising a tour devoted to the gardens and wildflowers of Shetland. That would be fun. I read about an interesting garden, not long before we went, and took the clipping with me, but there was no time to be spared from kntting.


I've reached round 103 – just – of the borders of the Unst Bridal Shawl and am beginning to establish the Tree of Life motifs. There's a slight oddity in the chart – some trees begin YO, k2tog and others k2tog, YO. I can't see any point in the distinction and think it may be a peculiarity – one couldn't even call it a mistake – in the charting.

Sure enough, there was trouble at one point (only) with the trellises in round 101. I didn't try to correct it. The stitch count was unaffected, and I figured that a temporarily errant trellis would be less conspicuous than the dropped stitch all too likely to emerge if I tried to unpick a k3tog.


  1. KarenE9:24 AM

    Summer pudding when I was a child was made from whatever soft fruit was in season (though not gooseberries as my mother didn't like them). A mix of redcurrants, whitecurrants and blackcurrants is tasy.

  2. I believe summer pudding is one of those things where you use what you like - or can lay your hands on. There is no right or wrong - as with knitting - it is down to what you are accustomed to, or family tradition.

  3. I don't think the European elections are that confusing are they? It's proportional representation, with 6 seats on offer for Scotland. You vote for a party, not an individual, and successful parties select members from their party list, starting at the top. Last time the SNP got 2 seats; Labour got 2; the Conservatives 1 and Lib Dems 1.

    In 2009 UKIP got 5% of the Scottish vote - behind the Greens with 7%. I will never vote for UKIP because of their regressive, racist and downright objectionable approach to everything.

  4. Queen of Puddings is my favourite! And Voting: why not register for a postal vote to assist with the struggle in case you cannot get out on a bad day? Here in England it is very easy to set up so I would hope it would be as easy to set up in Scotland. You get wonderful long voting slips about a week ahead and envelopes and full instructions so you can take your time and not worry about struggling out.

  5. I found the UKIP 'Election' Broadcast last week quite scary. Full of thugs and bouncer-types. Yes, they have a way of getting things done but it's the way they go about it that worries me and since I was married to a man of foreign extraction and my sons now have his name (although they look for all the world like Vikings) as do their children which means they would come under the UKIP racist umbrella too should the worst ever happen. Off to check my email - hopefully there's none from Ebay!

    1. We've been warned here in the US that if you do get an email from Ebay, don't click on the link! Since the hackers took all your personal information, they can easily create an email that looks official. Best idea is just change your password (and if you used the same password elsewhere, change it on every site), and if you get an email, type in the URL yourself rather than clicking the link.

  6. eBay wants everyone to change their passwords as a precaution. It is a good idea to change your passwords periodically in any case.

  7. Oh, I am enjoying garden talk again. Finally, we have some action here. I grilled asparagus last night and it was lovely. I was thinking of you, Jean, when my husband gave me his tour-of-what-was-planted-today. Several rows of sorrel, because he read that it is a 'tangy garden green' and is perennial. I'll have to do a sear on your blog for some of those sorrel posts gone by.

  8. Anonymous2:07 AM

    I don't think I have ever seen white currants but maybe I just missed them? I have seen red and black currants in Ontario.
    Will keep my eyes open at the farmer markets!