Saturday, April 11, 2015

New follower -- hi!

The Kaffe pattern I was thinking of yesterday when I showed you that mosaic at Corinth, is simply called “Mosaic Vest”. It's a sleeveless vest of Rowan Donegal Lambswool – which I strongly suspect they don't do any more – in (indeed, on the cover of) “Kaffe's Colour Book”. That's a paperback, not-much-more-than-pamphlet, a Rowan publication, with a lot of good things in it. I've actually got a kit of the Mosaic Vest. Maybe I should actually knit it.

The striped sweater Helen was wearing in yesterday's photos was perhaps known as Relax 3 when I was knitting it not long ago. The stripes are Carol Sunday, but I think I knit them to the Relax pattern. It's all here in the blog somewhere. Her premature grey hair is a characteristic that has turned up elsewhere in the family. My husband's mother had it, and his own hair was dashingly marked with grey when he married aet. 31. I have read that it is an auto-immune symptom in the same spectrum as Type I diabetes (Helen's brother James) and thyroid deficiency (too many to count, including Helen herself).

Nothing to do with my genes.

I got on well with the Tokyo shawl yesterday. I'm within one row of finishing the current stripe and turning around – reversing the st st – for the next. It's deliciously soft, like knitting the cat – I think that's a comparison I've made before. I will carry on, in the hopes of mastering the pattern thoroughly in both directions. My current thought for the pocket squares is to knit one every time I switch from Tokyo to Sous Sous.

Wednesday in Greece

We took things a bit easy, after Tuesday's heavy archaeology. We started out in the local market:

You can blame Helen for that artistic triangular shot. We had great fun. There were piles of “horta”, looking suspiciously like dandelions.

"Horta" appeared on most of the cafe menus as we were lunching during the week. In the cafe in Distomo on Friday (see Wednesday's blog, for that) the proprietor told us he had gathered it himself that morning, and it was particularly good.

Helen has a cookery book called “Vefa's Kitchen” which we gave her some Christmasses ago – an English translation of what must be the Greek Mrs.-Beeton-cum-Delia-Smith. It's good. I may want a copy for myself. For horta, she says to braise it for 15 minutes or so, until tender, and then season and dress with a bit of oil and lemon juice.

After the market, we went to Marathon. There is nothing there except the battlefield, now dotted with olive trees, and the tumulus where the Athenian dead are buried. It is bigger than I remembered. Several busloads of unruly schoolchildren were there when we arrived. Their teachers hadn't much control, and there wasn't much policing of the site. Nobody climbed on the tumulus.

Where the mountains look on Marathon/ and Marathon looks on the sea.


  1. My visit to Greece was at the same time of year, and the 'horta' seemed to be all sorts of greens. We spotted some women gathering greens near the Epidavrous and they were happy to show us what they were. Except of course, I don't speak Greek. That the the biggest frustration of my trip, so many people to speak to, so few words. Lucky you with Helen along.

  2. During long hot summer days in Greece, having horta in the way you describe with some salad or dakos on the side was often the only lunch I could bring myself to have. I sometimes use kale in the same way to try to recreate that here but of course it's not the same..

    I'm enjoying your posts from Greece very much- I have commented on your blog a couple of times before but have never mentioned that I am a born and bred Greek living in the UK and always enjoy reading Helen's stories from Greece. I will be sad to see them stop when they move back here.

  3. I thought that jumper looked wonderful alongside the mosaic. Just enjoying reminding myself about Byron, and "The Isles of Greece." Thank you.

  4. I knew thyroid issues could cause graying (once the thyroid's back in tune it should stop), but I hadn't heard about anything autoimmune. Interesting, I'll have to see what more info I can find.
    The pictures of Greece have been lovely, btw. Glad you got to go and have a wonderful time.