Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No cosseting, after all. Alexander has decided to postpone his visit to Strathardle until next week, largely because Helen and her boys are likely to be late tonight, so the first evening of his visit would be wasted. At least in that respect.

We are planning to proceed on our own. But I've just had an email from Helen's husband (in Thessaloniki, I presume) suggesting that we wait until tomorrow so that we don't have to open the house or to be there alone. Helen herself, he says, is on a train from somewhere to Paris at the moment and out of email contact – fancy French trains being inferior to British in any respect! She will join her sons somewhere in Cheshire, where they are staying with their other grandmother, and set off from there by hired car in mid-afternoon. She fears that the Commonwealth Games may interfere with traffic.

I am undecided. However late, wouldn't they be glad of Nigella's braised chicken with vegetables in broth? [You're right about teen-aged boys and their proclivity for eating, Mary Lou – and Helen has three of them!] The sooner someone gets started picking those red currents, the better – I fear it may be almost too late. Opening the house is scarcely arduous in the summer. On the other hand, I am slightly nervous about the drive, and it is always tempting to put off until tomorrow what you could perfectly well do today.

On a happier, or at least, more decisive, note – Alexander and Ketki's elder son James is in DC. He flew out on Monday, all by himself. This carries on a tradition established by my mother who invited each of our children to the US for a fortnight when they were 11. My sister has nobly extended it to our grandchildren. She has nearly reached the end of the list. I'll probably be cold in my grave by the time Ted is 11, but I am sure he will be made welcome on this side of the pond.

Here are the first pictures of James in the UsofA – with my sister and, of course, Ted.

As for knitting, another good day. The fourth and final rank of yowes are established on the Rams&Yowes blankie. I've done 50 bumps of the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl, a quarter of the job – and I've finally attached that 7th (and surely last) ball of yarn.

I've just been reading the Socklady'sblog, a frequent pleasure and constant inspiration. If she can laugh off a black bear, I can drive to Strathardle. You'll know what I decide by whether or not I'm here tomorrow.


  1. Whichever way you decide you will just fine!

  2. So glad you are on the next ball of shawl yarn - I was catching myself holding my breath!
    I hope you find the courage (or foolhardiness) to go today - I I feel daunted by the distance to go and return, to see the grandchildren but the reward of being there is worth it. And the other reward is increasing my courage to do it again next time!
    I am fully aware that their Mother will be reading this, so I don't mind her knowing.

  3. I can't wait to see some pictures of that shawl.

  4. Such a great family tradition you have. I had a little gasp when you mentioned the age of 11 though. I'm just being silly - 11 is a perfectly good age to travel. Especially when you have such willing family on both ends. I'm just getting ready to send my young lady off - at the advanced age of 16.5 - for her first independent travel adventure. I hope James has a wonderful time and collects lots of stories to tell and memories to keep.

  5. Jean, you might find some patterns of interest here: