Sunday, October 26, 2014

Well, here we go – with panic approaching a state of meltdown. The wedding guests are beginning to gather frae a' the airts.. Theo and Jenni and baby Ted are already in Paris, getting over the jet-lag bit. Greek Helen and her youngest son Fergus will be here tonight. Everybody else will be on the move soon. Rachel and Ed and their son the bridegroom will drive north on Wednesday. I think I won't try to write tomorrow – back here Monday, November 3, insh'Allah.

As if I wasn't spooked enough already, I looked at the calendar just now, in happy anticipation of a visit from one of you in early November, and find that on the 12th we have an appt at 10:40 -- that's early enough that getting my husband there won't be easy: and I don't know where it is or what it's for. “squiggle DS” my handwriting seems to say. Not podiatry, that's on the 6th. Not flu injections, the nurse is going to make a house call on a date as yet undisclosed; not dentistry, his teeth are better and we are to ring up if there is further difficulty; not diabetes or rheumatology or respiratory, those are all somewhat in the future. What else is there? If the Good Lord had meant us to worry, He'd have given us things to worry about – my very favourite line from Fawlty Towers.


All well again yesterday. I did a scallop on the Bridal Shawl. Perhaps I will record the event here, the next time I do one that I regard as perfect. It was pretty good last night, but on row 6, an inward row, I found only one stitch before the half-way faggoting, where I was supposed to do a k2tog. Twelve little rows – perfection must be possible.

And Archie's sweater progresses nicely. Should I take it along to Strathardle tomorrow? It is very satisfactory, after all this lace, and even after Rams and Yowes, to be knitting something that progresses. The button bands for the front placket have been established, and the first buttonhole knit.

“Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook” turned up in the post yesterday. It's brilliant on colours, translating things you like looking at, into knitting. I am less convinced by the parts about charting, but maybe I need to study them more closely. The book is beautifully photographed and produced. Kate Davies was involved as editor and friend-of-the-author. Her blog post on the subject is delightful, and will certainly send me back to work a bit harder before I consign it to its pile on the floor.

Life's Problems

Ivy, I love your idea that agitation and anxiety are to old age as surliness and bad decision-making to adolescence. I don't know what SSRI is, but I will ask my GP. And I love your account of the Haiti Benefit Dinner (link above)– please, please blog some more.

Beverly, I think you may well be right that occasional help for my husband would be a good idea. If someone could come even once a fortnight to help with a bath, that would advance things a lot. It's a very precarious and tricky business, because of the constant danger of falling, and we don't tackle it as often as we should. I will discuss this with Greek Helen, who is nothing if not energetic and organised. She doesn't get it from her mother.

Ellen, you're absolutely right that Seasonal Affective Disorder comes into the story. Vitamin D is meant to help with that, I think. And, Knitalot, your suggestions are all good. Rachel and Alexander and their families decided when holiday-ing together this year that we would stop giving Christmas presents to each other. Wonderful! But unfortunately the parameters were never discussed. Surely it's all right to renew magazine subscriptions if I know the recipients enjoy them? And I wouldn't dream of not sending them all the New Yorker, which doesn't even count as a magazine subscription or as a Christmas present. And surely the Little Boys on Loch Fyne deserve a little something? But there's the nucleus of a helpful notion there.

And FoggyKnitter, thank you for reminding me of the Jesus Prayer.

There was some unexpected and rather interesting knitting in the Financial Times yesterday (in the magazine) but I have been here too long and must leave that for next time.  


  1. Have a wonderful time at the wedding. I hope that the anxiety will abate sufficiently for you to enjoy having your family around you and celebrating.

    1. Exactly!
      I'll miss your daily notes but will imagine a wonderful time for you!

  2. Vitamin D is to improve your bone strength, it helps your body better metabolize calcium. There are many other claims for it, but most of them have been disproven (this is my physician husbands area of specialty). Full spectrum daylight is the medically proven treatment for SADD, and there is nothing simpler than sitting in front of a bright light for an hour a day, it just has to be the right, full spectrum daylight lightbulb, and these are easily gotten. SSRI's are commonly prescribed anti depressants, and they certainly help, but the daylight bulb (most people use them in the morning, I believe) is something you could do while you write for us, or knit or read, and it's really a matter of why not?

    Please allow yourself to put all the worries aside, and have a wonderful time at the wedding; let the rest of the family assume all of the rest of these worries, and enjoy the moment.

  3. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Enjoy your time with your family Jean and have a wonderful time at the wedding. I trust that your husband and James will also have a happy time together.

    And thank you for your daily blog which provides me, and I'm sure many others, a good deal of comfort and joy...

    ....pax tecum

    Jan, North Yorkshire

    1. Jan, my email is, shoot me a note and I'll see what I find for the Barbara Walker material.

  4. Have a grand time at the Wedding! Let others do for you and take care of you!

  5. Have a wonderful time, Jean! seeing the Princess in action; that has to be a highlight!
    Maybe cast on a Fair Isle swatch, using your brightest colours, would help on the dark days.

  6. =Tamar7:03 PM

    Full-spectrum lamps shed a lovely light, make it easy to judge colors, and can be bought to fit almost all light fixtures. SADD or not, I think more people should use them.

    Fred Astaire said, "The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

  7. SSRIs can affect balance in the elderly, I'd be cautious about that. A low dosage of an anti-anxiety drug for just when you feel panicky might be the best way to go instead of an SSRI (which you take daily to build up serotonin levels in your brain). Also, these drugs can work very differently in different people so figuring out which ones are right for you atm can be a long and arduous process of trying different meds.
    Note, not a doctor, just way too much experience with clinical depression and the drugs used to treat it. Stupid brain, not liking serotonin :)

  8. Anonymous1:12 AM

    eagerly awaiting the next installment.