Thursday, December 11, 2014

If I were not so happy and relieved about the outcome of the Scottish referendum, I could wish it had gone the other way for the pleasure of watching Mr Salmond squirm as the world oil price falls and falls. I wonder what he's thinking, in his quiet moments? His whole premise was what a rich little nation Scotland would be – based on North Sea Oil. Greed and stupidity having already brought down Scotland's two great banks and much diminished Edinburgh as a major financial centre.

Malwarebytes claims to be hard at work again this morning, blocking things every few seconds, this time unprompted by me. And it's working, to some extent. Things are a bit better. But why am I being persecuted like ths?

Thank you for your Christmas comfort. Shandy, that's a good idea, to blog every other day – I may need to employ it in January, to get the tax done. But for now, I need this morning time with you guys to keep me sane. And you're right, in general – relax! It doesn't matter! I love the idea of sending the cards in April, Tamar – and what pleasure they must have brought the recipients.

I had two years off, after all, and the world didn't stop revolving. In 1991 or so, I broke my right arm during the last week of November. No cards that year. (We were in Strathardle. I was wandering around in the late afternoon gloom, looking for my husband, with a diabetic snack in one hand, or possibly both. I slipped on a rock concealed in the damp grass. At least, nowadays, I know where he is.)

And in 1995, Helen's and David's first child – a boy, like all the subsequent ones – died during the first week of December, after a little lifetime spent entirely in hospital (in Edinburgh, where he was born). I remember walking along Princes Street during that December, looking at all the tense and miserable faces, and thinking, not me; I'm exempt, this time.

One thing I can certainly do is answer the important cards as they come in, instead of writing a message now based on the sender's last-year card. You're right, Shandy, that it is depressing to regard the swathe death has cut through one's address book. And, no doubt, this year's crop of incoming cards will bring more bad news.

Then there is the related problem, which I have mentioned here before, of losing touch with the rest of a family when death removes one's main point of contact. I've got a couple of those, to whom I have been sturdily sending cards ever since the bereavement. Time to give up.

Knitting continued well last night, except that one of my beloved Cubics – I'm not going to stop to look up the spelling – broke in my hand, for no particular reason. And with no loss of stitches. The stitches of the Unst Bridal Shawl are on a long circular, being knit off one by one into the edging. I am using a short sock needle – the unfortunate Cubic – as the other needle.

Archie will be here this afternoon, school having given up for the term. I'll drive him to the airport tomorrow, a job I much enjoy, to send him off to Athens. I hope my husband is not too hard on him. What shall we eat?


  1. The lower oil price does actually affect the UK too and I have to disagree with your interpretation of Salmond's stance. Oil is a bonus for Scotland, not the be all and end all.
    I enjoy your knitting blog but find your frequent anti-Scottish stance quite tiring. I leave with some small regrets.

    1. Jean is NOT anti-Scottish, she is realistic. And Alec Salmond is a puffed up little troublemaker who's like I have seen in many walks of life.So don't bother to look at my website either - you would probably find nothing to your taste.
      Each to his own, as the saying goes.

    2. Jean, I have never found you to be "anti-Scottish". Pro-common-sense, maybe! Let the disagreers disagree but keep to your path; I always enjoy what you have to say.

    3. Anonymous9:10 PM

      What??? Is it me??? Anti Scottish???

      A difference in style or approach does not necessarily equate to a difference in aspirations or objectives.

      Jean is so obviously PRO SCOTTISH in so many ways and in ways which transcend politics. She voted NO to safeguard its future. How can that be anti Scottish.

      Is it me?

  2. I like Jean and agree with jeanfromcornwall. Also, why do people have to announce they are leaving? In real life they wouldn't say, 'I don't like when you talk about X so I'm not going to visit with you anymore.' would they?

    1. Somehow the internet encourages the 'announce and flounce' drama of leaving. I've never understood it either.

  3. The Other Kristen2:36 PM

    Ah, the rest of us will happily remain. The tendency to dismiss social contact with those whose opinions differ from ours in any respect seems to be growing stronger. How shortsighted.

  4. Yes, true, The Other Kristen! Perhaps it's largely related to the way in which we commonly interact these days. We can seek out only like-minded people online, and watch only super blustery (I am being tremendously charitable) news programs that tell us we're all right and everyone else is wrong and we'd better be more strident about it unless we want the world to end. We don't need to read an article and talk with the people in our community.

  5. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Alythborn was also unhappy here on 21st November - I remembered that an earlier comment seemed somewhat churlish but I didn't hold it against her/him as it is part of the territory of the immediacy and intimacy of blogging and such like.

    Jean is very generous with her time here and part of the joy of her blog is that she is willing to be candid in sharing her views on a wide range of issues and current affairs. She can't possibly please everyone all of the time.

    I for one feel enormously privileged to be part of Jean's world and have an insight into her daily life, her views, opinions, frustrations and moods. And of course her commentary about her knitting is a delight.

    Please don't change a thing Jean. If you start to feel constrained then blogging will lose its therapeutic quality. Blog on the days you want to. On the days when you feel less inclined to do so or have other pressures on your time just put out a 'strapline' so we don't worry about you.

    Jan xxx

  6. Anonymous12:29 PM

    It's Friday and you aren't here. I hope it it because you've decided on every-other-day blogging until the cards are gone, rather than Alythborn's rude comment, or, worse a crisis at home.

    Miss you!

    Beverly in NJ

    1. Anonymous5:23 PM

      Taking Archie to the airport took precedence today, I think.

      Elaine in NYC

  7. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Me too, miss you, hope you're just busy doing something to decrease the pre-Christmas panic. Yes, yes, yes to respectfully airing our differences and keeping up connections with those who don't see everything our way. With so many political/economic topics, it's perilously easy to label someone else and attribute a whole set of attitudes to them on the basis of an opinion on one topic. Let's leave room for the nuances.
    - Beth in Ontario

  8. I am an American from Connecticut who went on a 2-week tour of Scotland last year and fell in love with the country. I read Jean's blog because she is my link with Scotland and I love her comments - all of them because they are real and heartfelt and her sense of humor is delightful.