Friday, May 08, 2015

All continues well. Greek Helen is safely here. My anxiety now focuses on the possibility that the hospital will discharge my husband before an adequate care plan is in place, but I am assured that that won't happen. He continues better, but he's very weak and I couldn't cope.

End of War

There was memorable story in the New Yorker a few years ago by William Styron, ostensibly a first-person account of his experience on a Pacific island being prepared for the invasion of mainland Japan. It would have been awful; it is as well to be reminded. Old women would have met them in the streets with their knitting needles. At the end of the story he decides to shoot himself when the order comes to move. There the story ends. He doesn't explain why that didn't happen, why he lived to be an old man. But we all know why.

I looked Styron up after reading it. I think he never got further than California himself, about to embark. The story was fiction.

And speaking of the war, I am currently reading Kate Atkinson's new book, A God in Ruins. Very highly recommended. The thesis is a simple one, has no one done it before? (Don't worry: no spoilers here.) The hero is a good man, born in the 20's, growing up in the 30's, wanting to be a writer, knocking about Europe a bit, finally, reluctantly, following his father into The Bank.

Then the War, and he embraces with enthusiasm the chance to leave the Bank and join the RAF. Where he spends the next few years smashing up Europe and expecting every day to be his last, but none of them are. The book is about Afterwards. I think Atkinson must have talked to pilots who survived, it is so vivid.


Susan, thank you for the link to the Dreambird shawl. Gosh, yes. And, Syd, thanks for the thumbs-up on Carol Fuller's short-rows class. I'll remember. I didn't do any knitting yesterday, but I did watch Lesson Two in my yarn course. The instructor is Clara Parkes, and she's very good – like all Craftsy instructors, in my experience.

Yesterday we did protein fibres – everything emanating from sheep, goats, camelids, and rabbits.


I'm really rather pleased about the outcome of the election. It looks as if the Conservatives have a precarious but real majority – not a hung parliament after all. I wonder if it was fear of the SNP which prompted people in England to vote Conservative in greater numbers than the polls predicted. I lost my bet about Alex Salmond. Our thoroughly satisfactory local Labour MP lost his seat to a toothy girl. God knows what will happen to Scotland now.


  1. I'm afraid I don't share your pleasure at the election outcome. I feel very glum about it - much as I did in 1992, when the Tories snuck back in.

    As an academic social scientist it isn't much of a surprise that my sympathies lie rather to the left of Mr Cameron and his party.

    As you say - Goodness knows what will happen given the SNP results in Scotland. My MP is now the only Labour MP in Scotland! At least there is knitting to keep us going!

    Glad to hear your husband is making progress.

  2. I have the Kate Atkinson book on hold at the library, and look forward to it. HAppy to hear that your daughter is at hand and your husband is holding his own. I've been knitting in cotton and realize that I prefer wool so much more. I can see why you want to shift to the Madelinetosh between pocket squares.

  3. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Very pleased to hear of good progress on all fronts. You have hit the nail on the head with your first paragraph. That is exactly the message to give to the hospital doctors, your GP and the Occupational therapist. Do not mince your words. Though in my experience, occupational therapists are really helpful.

    Re knitting: Dreambird fires the imagination! It has so many possibilities. At the very least it could use up much sock stash. If I start now I might just finish it in time for Christmas!
    Best wishes
    anonymous Helen

  4. Glad things are going well! Looks like the bonnet Charlotte was wearing was on wrong, the part round her face goes round the neck, according to the Daily Mail. Also according to them it comes from a Spanish shop and is hand-made.
    Best of luck getting things sorted so that both you and your husband can be comfortable at home as long as possible.

  5. Good to hear that your husband is recovering well. In the case of my husband's stepmother the system worked: She was discharged and within twenty minutes a care coordinator was at the house to discuss the three days of interim care - she lives alone. This was followed by potentially six weeks of local authority care, during which she was seen to be able to cope by herself, and the care withdrew.

    She said later that she would have liked a week or so in a nursing home; this is something you might want to consider for your husband, to allow him to recover some strength.

  6. adding my wishes for your husband's continued recovery. talk advantage of all the help you can get - you both have paid taxes for years to be able to get something back!

    knitting. ah a memory - not much going on these days with work so busy but i drool over all the links and did you see Kate has a NEW SHAWL!!!!

    link to the new FANTOOSH by Kate Davies

  8. Anonymous2:43 AM

    Not knitting but most interesting 'take' on the election.