Thursday, October 22, 2015

Another reasonably good day yesterday, but this is tough. The GP swung by and struck two medicaments off my husband's long list – one a painkiller for pain he doesn't seem to have, and one a vitamin (?thiamine) for alcohol-withdrawal which is also something he is not suffering from. (He drinks one 330ml bottle of beer, 1.8 units, with lunch and another with supper, and never anything else.)

My husband hopes that without the painkiller, which the dr said was rather strong, he might feel peppy enough to skip a nap. I dread the thot. I need that hour when he is safely lying down, to re-charge and even knit.

Alexander also dropped by. It was good to see him. The conversation turned to Lockerbie. I knew, and indeed I'm sure I have mentioned here before, that he had a ticket for Pam Am 103 five days after the event. He was working in NYC at the time, and had come home for Christmas. That was to be his return flight.

What I think I didn't know was that on the NYC-Heathrow leg of this journey, before Christmas, he flew on Maid of the Seas. He saw her name painted on the fusilage as he disembarked, and a few days later there it was in the news photographs of Lockerbie. (The nose of the plane was relatively intact.)

I don't know about the timing. Was there another round trip to NYC between Alexander's arrival in London, and Lockerbie? Or was he on the doomed plane's last successful flight? She was an old one, who had crossed the Atlantic thousands of times.


I launched the front of the v-neck vest. I've finished the underarm shaping and am ready to divide for the v-neck itself. That has involved winding the last skein of madtosh Whiskey Barrel. It is time to order some more. I think I have enough to finish the vest. It is therefore mostly a matter of deciding how much more the Sous Sous will require, and trying to strike a nice balance between not having baskets-ful left over, and having enough that there is no need to worry.

Not much was achieved on the Thinking front. But Flipboard did come up with Joseph's Asymmetric Off-the-Shoulder sweater. All yours for $295. It looks fun. Ribbing winds cleverly around the body.  


  1. Jean, I spent 1988-89 at Cambridge, and traveled home to the States to spend Christmas with my mother, who was quite ill, and younger brother. I had been at home for two weeks before Lockerbie, and hadn't flown Pan Am, but I remember clearly the intensive questioning at airport check-in in London, unlike anything I'd experienced before, and all the anxious phone calls from friends and relatives after Lockerbie, checking to see...just in case (in those pre-Facebook and e-mail days, when the world did not always know one's whereabouts). One of my closest friends (to this day) lost a number of classmates. Alexander's miss was obviously much nearer than mine, but I, too, carry a sense of the unknowable workings of fate when I think of that flight.

  2. Can you have some You time when the carers are there? Can you pick a half hour, twice a day, when nothing urgent needs to be done for your husband, to go into another room and shut the door. He is old enough to understand that you dont need to be on duty 24/7

    Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I have been a long term carer and you will burn out quickly if you dont set boundaries to recharge yourself. And its easier to start off the right way than to change set patterns.

    If your husband can understand that you need this time for your own health, I am sure he will be alright with this.

    1. I agree. If he's feeling well enough to do without a nap or pain meds he's well enough to do without you for a few minutes several times a day. After all, you would not be much help to him if you LOST YOUR MIND from not knitting!

  3. The most recent NYTimes Think Like a Doctor column was on thiamine deficiency and the effect on the brain. I never think like a doctor but I enjoy reading about it. As KayT says, knitting is your thiamine.

  4. I hope your husband still wants a bit of a nap. Naps are restorative. Prayers for you, Jean. Cheer and inspiration. Can you take a photo of the vest?

  5. Doesn't have to be a nap, a lie down with a book or DVD on a tablet would suffice. And you could make a point of "doing the same" but somewhere else, no?

  6. Of course, you could always give him a task of his own, say, keeping Perdita entertained for a bit while you knit. Then you could all be in the same room, but with different activities.

  7. The painkiller removal might not pep him up. I take painkillers that give me a bit of energy and remove my ability to feel tired (obvs I'm not taking them for that, but for chronic pain, it's just a nice side effect), but the exact same drug at the same dosage wipes my mom out and she's exhausted and can't get anything done.
    I agree on needing to carve time out for yourself. Maybe take the hour he was/is using to nap and call it "Jean's Sanity Hour" and make it quite clear that unless it's an emergency (of the fell down type, not the I can't find this book I want type), this hour is your time and he needs to entertain himself and leave you alone. He may not like it, but that's his problem, not yours.