Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sorry I’m late.

I had to go up to St James’s, and thought I had better do it first thing, while my strength allowed and before the crowds got there. I accomplished what I set out to do, plus a delicious anti-Tony-Blair poster for whichever grandchild wants it; a nice change from Che Guevara.

I got some stuffing for the dog. Kapok is out — the woman’s tone implied that it violated Health & Safety, but perhaps I was being over-sensitive. I’ve got a bag of poly-something-or-other, which I am sure will do fine.

I finished the left side of the dog, and the neck, which (obviously) involved joining the two sides. Tonight, the head. Very fiddly, lots of short rows, but I’m moving forward, scoring out the pattern row by row.

I looked at the list I make at the start of every year, to see if there were any ideas there for the Next Big Thing. No, is the answer; the things I hoped to do, are done, or being done — unless I want to get seriously to work on the Queen Ring Shawl, which is perhaps not a bad idea. The longer I leave it, the nearer the grave.

I’ll re-browse Brooklyn Tweed and the Twist Collective, and wait for inspiration to strike.


I didn’t mention the Games to my husband when I saw him yesterday, for fear of plunging him deeper into gloom at the thought of still being in hospital at the end of next week. But if that proves to be the case, Perdita and I will definitely go. I think we could safely drive there by ourselves — I think she would cringe on the floor of the car, the way our Dear Old Cat used to do. In madcap-mode, she could be dangerous.

The Dear Old Cat didn’t like motor travel at all, but she knew, as my husband put it once, that it was a thing that happened to cats from time to time. She put up with it. And she always knew, winter or summer, when the long journey was nearly over, Bridge of Cally or Spaghetti Junction as the case might be. She would emerge from the floor at that point and walk with increasing excitement from one shoulder to the next.

Indeed, if this ordeal stretches on to the crack of doom, I might even go to Hellie and Matt’s wedding on the 19th of September. But surely my husband will be home by then. 

He is better, but diarrhoea continues. The physiotherapists haven’t yet begun to assess how much weaker he is.


I don’t think there’s any hope of a temporary reprieve — my blood has been carefully thinned, and is being closely monitored. Drink combines ill with that state of affairs.

The booklet I have been given says to have no more than 2 units a day — half a bottle of Weston’s Vintage; not worth bothering with. It also says, in bold type, that binge drinking is dangerous, combined with Warfarin. There is nothing about the dangers or otherwise of the considerable range in between. What about Christmas? Perhaps a glass of champagne and a single glass of red wine with the goose, wouldn’t take one too far past two units.


  1. Active cat in car, one human....Perdita needs to be restrained lest she do a run when the door opens, as there won't be another human to keep track of her.
    So either a carrier or leash.
    We had one that enjoyed the car, she would watch the world go by.

  2. Next Big Thing: what about the Fair Isle projects? You have the yarn already?
    Cat Travel: I heartily second the cat carrier suggestion. Keeps the driver and the cat safe. Especially for the unexpected: you don't want her jumping out when you stop, and so on.

  3. Anonymous11:56 AM

    As someone who once had to chase the(collar-and-lead-wearing) family cat through the centre of Corbridge and round the graveyard on a busy July day, I would vote for a cat carrier. She would need one anyway, for vet visits for regular jabs and so on?


  4. Adding my vote fir a cat carrier! Perhaps placed high up to allow Perdita to peer out at the sights?

    Fair isle or queens lace? What a wealth of choices!

    1. For not fir. (Not enough caffeine yet for copy editing)

  5. I was visiting my brother years ago and he asked if I would take their kitten to the vet while he was at work. Lacking experience, or common sense, I just put her in the car and got on with it. At one point she was under the brake pedal mewing pathetically while I panicked. All ended well and the vet gave me a loaner carrier to get back home.

  6. Another vote here for a cat carrier, especially if you will be alone driving with Perdita. Never mind the idea of escape when you get out, there are safety issues....what if she decides to get down by your feet while you are trying to negotiate in traffic, things like that. Mine only go out to the vet, but always in a carrier.

    If you want to keep Perdita as an indoors cat in town you need to think long and hard about letting her outside at all. My Elouise, the Siamese, started her life with my mother, who decided to let her explore the back patio one day. The next time out E ventured out onto the lawn and before she knew it Mom at 83 years old was chasing her around the yard. Once captured, E constantly tried to get back outside, driving Mom crazy every time she tried to open the door. That and several other things eventually led to E's move to Fargo with our adoption of her, back in 2010. To this day she still tries to get outside and has succeeded several times. I have developed the habit of giving treats when I am heading out to sidetrack her.......

  7. Cat carrier with her favorite blanket, small treat at the far end to tempt her in, a small toy to play all around.

  8. I'm also all about the cat carrier. And I have rules for cats in the car-cats may come out of the carrier once it's highway/not getting in and out opening gates driving, but, there is no going on the floor board! On my lap, on my shoulders, on top of the carrier but nothing that could lead to being under my feet.

    And the extra pipe cleaners from the dog project can be a fun toy for Perdita-twist 3 or 4 together in the middle and splay out the 'legs' and you have an excellent spider.

  9. Seconding the cat-restraint votes!
    When I knitted a cow (my one attempt at intarsia) the polyester wadding filled it very well - but it needed to be packed tighter than I wouuld have thought right. The pattern for that recommended unsharpened pencils to stiffen the legs. They needed a small circle of card in the bottom of the hoof, to stop them pokig through the fabric. Of course that means that the cow can stand up, but not sit down, so might not be a good idea for your dog!

  10. I see many have beaten me to it, but I will go ahead and add my vote for a cat carrier. Your attention needs to be 100% on the driving, and if Perdita is safely tucked away in a carrier you will know no matter how pitiful she sounds that all is well with her.

    As for the knitting, wasn't there a Fair Isle vest and a Northmavine Hap on your list?

  11. Apart from anything else if she's up say on the back of the seat and you have to make an emergency stop, she'll be jam on the windscreen...that's if she doesn't knock you out by hitting your skull at 30+ mph.

    I think also there's something in the highway code about restraining pets in cars for safety. Dogs can travel in a harness that clips onto the read seatbelt attachment but for small animals, get a proper carrier. Get a rigid sided one and either put it in the foot well or, if you put it on the seat, thread the seatbelt through the handle and immobilise it.

  12. Starting with a cat carrier now will train her for being in it in the future for vet visits, etc. Also, heaven forbid, an auto accident can open car doors and release a pet.

  13. Definitely a vote for the cat carrier, and the Shetland vest . . . isn't that on top of your list?

  14. Cat carrier AND harness!!!!! Believe me I know from EXPERIENCE

  15. =Tamar11:01 PM

    Cat carrier, and start now to get her used to it. I am aware of a cat that was tricked into the carrier with treats; once it was shut on him the first time, he never voluntarily entered it again. If you start now, maybe by putting her food dishes in it, and make it a 'sometimes the door closes but it opens again' thing, maybe even carry her across the room in it and then let her out again, she might not take against it.

  16. annec in Maryland1:20 AM

    Another vote for a carrier for Perdita. We make a twice-yearly, 9-hour car ride to and from our summer home, and all cats have been in carriers. Archie, the current kitty, knows when suitcases come out that something is up, and he doesn't willingly get into his carrier, but once there, he settles down and tolerates the trip. Oh, and I put one of my t-shirts, recently worn, in as a comfort (he likes to sleep on them during the day anyway).

  17. The carrier I had for my Lester was rigid plastic and had a removable door and top portion. I made a bed for him in the open bottom and he took to sleeping in it. After he was comfortable with it, I snapped the top on to make a house. He loved it (all cats love boxes) and it became his favourite spot. To travel in the car, I just had to pop the door on, and away we went. I could take him anywhere, as long as he had his house he felt safe.