Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not much to report, I'm glad to say. No disasters last night. I did 2 1/3 scallops on the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl. I haven't yet threaded Archie's sweater onto waste yarn – that's this morning's second job. The first was to sort my husband's pills into those little plastic boxes for the coming week, and I must say I found it a rather entertaining task. No doubt it will become less appealing as the novelty wears off. It has the additional advantage of keeping me closely in touch with the level of supplies.

Sister Helen, I tried to pursue your link to the NY Times recipe – indeed, got a brief glimpse of it and was interested in the title, “slow-cooked albicore and...” in connection with what I said yesterday – but then it disappeared in an absolute thunderstorm of pop-up ads. It looked perhaps a bit complicated for my purposes. I failed to find the recipe I wanted among my books, but all I really need is a bean-salad recipe since the tuna requires only slapping in a pan. And I did remember to put beans on to soak.


Knitlass, I think you and I are in the same place on feminism and differ only on technique. I think the long, slow climb from the horrors of the fifties has been best served by women achieving their positions on merit and then getting on with the job. I think of the surgeon who saved Thomas' life with a lengthy night-time operation on his gut when he was three days old – and that was 30 years ago. I think of the first time I saw a woman driving a bus. Just do the job.

I haven't spent much time in the world, really, but what time I did spend never made me feel (even though it was the fifties) that sex was against me. Oberlin was the first institution in the world to give degrees to women – that is, it was fully co-educational from its foundation – and the spirit lingers on. Maybe that was a factor.

(There was a delicious moment during my early days in Glasgow when I made the claim in the paragraph above, about the world's first degrees for women, to somebody at one of those embarrassing academic parties, and she said, “Are you sure? We were giving degrees to women before the Great War.” And I said, “1833”.)

Mrs Thatcher never claimed to be a woman, and – love her or hate her – nobody has ever accused her of it, any more than commentators feel it necessary to point out now that David Cameron is a man. She was Leader of the Opposition, and after that she was Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I still think Nicola Sturgeon is letting the side down, very slightly, by making such a fuss about being a woman. She was at it again yesterday.

Valerie, I love your idea that we might have a Mr. Trout or Miss Tuna waiting in the wings as First Minister of Scotland. It hadn't occurred to me.

Non-knit. non-feminism

Since I started writing this, Archie has phoned to say he doesn't feel well and will come to lunch tomorrow instead. Can I keep the tuna another day? I don't like the idea. But that makes it very good news that his sweater is still on the needles, and I won't have to push myself beyond the prudent limit on edging-knitting tonight.

Sometimes (not often) things work out for the best.


  1. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Mrs Thatcher was responsible for a new verb entering the Oxford dictionary - 'to handbag'.

    I say ask the victims/survivors of her handbagging how she used/misused her gender in the way she got on with the job.

  2. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Janet writing - your post today prompted me to look up the history of Middlebury College - women were not admitted until 1883. Um. And as to sexist encounters in the 1950's - that will be the subject of a future post on my blog.