Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here we are. I've missed you guys.

The big knitting news is that I have turned the Messy Corner – the final corner – with the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl, and am now on the home straight. Today's job is to count the stitches between where-I-am and where-I-began to see how much fudge is necessay to make things come out even for the final graft.

There's a bit more to tell you on the knitting front, but I'll leave it for now. Here is some family news:

  • Ketki was working at home recently, as she often does. The Little Boys were at school and Alexander off somewhere. She heard an unusual noise from their ducks, which are allowed to wander about the premisses by day, and got up from her desk to investigate. She found one of them in the jaws of a fox. Ketki is formidable behind – perhaps, indeed, because of – her Hindu calm. I have never heard her raise her voice, but she says she shouted at that fox. He was not happy to let go but recognised that he had met his match. The duck was badly shaken but has now recovered.
It means that the ducks are no longer allowed to wander unless someone can keep them under close observation, and rush out to shoo them home every time they try to march down the driveway towards the loch. The rest of the time they must be in their pen, and they don't like it.
  • Ketki and the little boys were on Queen Street in Glasgow when that bin lorry careered out of control. They were finishing off lunch in a pizzeria and would actually have been out on the street if the waiter had been a bit faster with their bill. They were kept penned up inside for a while, as the pavement was occupied by the dead and injured and confusion. They were eventually let out the back by the fire exit.
  • The house were struck by lightening on Christmas Eve. This has happened before, indeed once before while we were there. This time it happened while Alexander was driving over to fetch us. He had just heard the news when he arrived. They were without electricity or telephone. He was nearly in tears.
However, the electricity board came up unexpectedly trumps. Power had been restored by the time we got there. British Telecom promised that the telephone line would be restored “within three working days”. Given that disaster had struck on Christmas Eve, that meant “within a fortnight if you're lucky”.

So we had no phone calls, no internet, no email. They don't have television anyway. The effect was extraordinarily peaceful.

So that's that for 2014. I have high hopes for next year. I must spend today thinking of ways to simplify life, and laying out papers as a preliminary to tackling the income tax. There seem to be an awful lot of medical appts in January, each demanding a full day of time and nervous energy. And there's also a weekend when Archie and his cousin Alistair will be here. So the income tax must not be allowed to drift.

Knitting news tomorrow, plus an account of books given and received for Christmas. Meanwhile, a very happy New Year to all.


  1. How fortunate your family weren't out in the street in Glascow when the tragedy happened. Not so fortunate about the lighting but at least it is fixable and the few days of peace isn't too bad. Happy New Year.

  2. Oops - Glasgow. Sorry about the typo.

  3. skeindalous10:59 AM

    Such a pleasure to hear from you once again! May the New Year indeed be a very fine one.

  4. Happy, happy New Year, Jean! It's wonderful to read your morning post again on the last day of the year. Looking forward to much commentary on knitting and life in 2015!

  5. A Happy New Year to you and yours. You are 8 hours closer to the ringing of the bells and the fireworks etc. As for us, we plan to drive north to see the Snow Geese (in daylight).


  6. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Happy New Year, Jean
    - Beth in Ontario

  7. Jean, it's good to hear from you again! Good luck on your counting today! I'm so glad your family was not more closely involved in that terrible accident in Glasgow -- I followed the news much more closely than I might have, looking for the names of the injured, hoping not to find you or yours listed. A very happy New Year to you, and great knitting in 2015!

  8. =Tamar8:58 PM

    Happy New Year to all. It's good to hear from you.

  9. You are such a bad influence with your multiple projects going. I now have on the needles the Fox Paws shawl, the Wartime Farm fair isle vest for my husband, and a knitted hood for myself. I am tending to just rotate through them. :)

  10. Happy New Year 2015! I am so happy you are back, Jean. I love starting my day with your post.

  11. Anonymous1:50 AM

    Best wishes for a very healthy and happy 2015!
    Thanks for the hard work on the blog. Your readers do appreciate it!
    Lisa R-R