Monday, June 29, 2015


Helen and her family are safely ensconced on Mt Pelion. “We drove past long lines of people waiting at the cash machines in Volos but that was before capital controls were imposed an hour or so ago.” Volos, as I remember, is the substantial town at the foot of the mountain. That message yesterday evening was the first I had heard about currency controls.

However, it turns out they're not all on Pelion: “Fergus is off on a permanently staffed sail boat owned by friends for a trip around the Cyclades for a week oblivious to Greece's financial woes.” Fergus is her youngest son, who recently left his Athenian school for the last time

and will join Archie at Merchiston next term.

I don't know whether a “permanently staffed sail boat” qualifies one as an oligarch. Whether or no, I feel pretty sure that its owner has bank deposits well outside of Greece. Helen drove me and C. through the part of Athens inhabited by oligarchs on our way to Marathon that happy day (amongst other happy days). Not manicured lawns and Palladian mansions, but high walls and guard posts.


She didn't join me in bed last night. I felt rather hurt. It turned out that she had somehow managed to get herself shut into the outer hall. We had a rapturous reunion this morning, and I won't to to bed again without knowing exactly where she is. This is a picture taken from the outer hall – she knows that people who go out there, often go on out the front door and don't come back to their cat for hours.

I have also learned, from her original owner, that she is 10 days younger than we had previously thought. It won't make much difference through life, but it does now. She was 7 ½ weeks old when I brought her home, not 9 weeks. That conforms with my own impression of her then.


My husband has resumed pressing for immediate release. His tone is less desperate than it was in the urology ward, but still sufficiently urgent that I must try to find a programme of action to present to him today. He is much better than he was, but serious problems remain. I have every confidence in the NHS to get him out of this wonderful facility as soon as possible. It wouldn't work, otherwise. Should I point out to him that every day he endures there saves us – what? – a couple of hundred pounds?


I'm halfway through the final rank of lozenges on the Fantoosh shawl, at least row-wise. Every right-side row adds four stitches, but by now they are so small a proportion of the whole that it scarcely matters. The yarn still looks all right, but there won't be much to spare. And Wimbledon starts today.

You would think that my present regime, two hours or so of hospital visiting daily and otherwise my “time is my own”, would result in much productive activity. Virtually no cooking or washing-up. It doesn't seem to work out like that.


  1. Poor kitty! She looks so very tiny through the door and must have wondered if she was ever going to be rescued! This has happened with our lot the odd time and it's so sad for them.

  2. My silly boy cat has been shut in the closet many times, and yet when he has the opportunity he darts in there with a very pleased look on his face. He's always happy to be rescued but he seems to enjoy being shut in as well. Crazy. I'm so glad you have Perdita to keep you company. And as for not getting things done, well, in retirement I have often wondered how I ever found time to work, since I never seem to accomplish much even though my days are my own now.

  3. Perdita is so sweet, looking through the glass and wondering. The sailing adventure for your cute grandson sounds wonderful.

  4. "Permanently staffed sail boat" certainly puts one in a category just below oligarch at least. I'm sure that some of the time that is your own is used just rebuilding some energy reserves. It's been a stress filled month or so for you. Perdita does look very tiny behind that door.

  5. The sailing adventure sounds so exciting....wish I liked water. Perdita with that sweet little face looking at you brings smiles. I'm sure she will be tucked in with you tonight. Poor husband,,,,how long out of home for him now?