Friday, August 26, 2016

Not quite so cheerful and energetic today – on with real life.

Beverly, do include Duddingston in your next Edinburgh visit. It’s picturesque in a way that Scottish villages so often aren’t, and it’s practically in the city.

I am determined to try to find out from the hospital today, how they see our future. My husband still needs two nurses to move from chair to bed. I tried to find out yesterday, and was told that they were having a meeting at that very moment – consultants, drs, physiotherapists. It’s a rehabilitation ward. They won’t put up with him forever.

And – Beverly, again – your thought was mine. I got in touch with Gosia, my Polish friend and former cleaner, and she’s coming for a blitz at midday on Sunday. I’ll leave the spare room for her, and line up other jobs. The mattress on our bed needs turning, for instance. She’s no longer working nights at Morrisons, but instead at Costa Coffee in Edinburgh Airport. Is the airport open all night? Even if it isn’t, there may be sandwiches to be made.

And Greek Helen is coming this evening. I stumbled across a rather wonderful-sounding recipe yesterday for roasted aubergines, onions and peppers wirh a tahini sauce. I’ll have that ready for her to pick at.

Still no knitting to speak of, although I may finish the ribbing for the first Whiskey Barrel sock today. A gent’s sock involves so much ribbing – 50 rounds, over 64 stitches – that it’s no use even thinking about finishing; you’ve just got to sit there and do it. With the result that it seems to get done with less stress than the lesser knitting on a lady’s sock.

I discovered with great pleasure yesterday that there’s a new Twist Collective available. There’s even an article in it about loss of mojo, but I don’t think that’s my problem. I’ve got a fair amount of mojo, but no strength.

I wondered, thinking back over life, how closely connected are television and knitting? I’m not watching any at the moment, and therefore not knitting.  But that’s not it. We came to television relatively late, to our children’s distress: in the early 70’s. And I was knitting away, long before then, isolated of course from the world.

I can remember finding Odham’s Encyclopedia of Knitting in the Leicester Public Library (in the late 60's) and equally remember the friend who told me that what I needed was Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book. It was from the latter that I learned how to hold yarn in both hands for Fair Isle. I own both texts now, and they will make the cut when the house is broken up.  I often think with admiration-beyond-expression, of EZ, even more isolated but calmly ploughing her straight furrow.

So the problem isn’t lack-of-television. “Life is a moderately good play with a badly-written third act.” Truman Capote.


  1. Oh Jean, I wish I could send you a small packet of oomph, but I can't seem to find my own at the moment.
    As I seem to remember, knitting frequently happened while listening to the radio, but I was usually in bed by then. When we finally got The Goggle Box, both Mum and I found it easy enough to watch and knit at the same time - and with a carefully placed cushion, or a cooperative cat, have a book propped on the knees as well. This was fine until Dad had one of his moments and took agin it -the noise of the needles and the slight movements spoiled his concentration. He was ever a fun-spoiler.

  2. Anonymous11:53 AM

    I'm glad to hear Gosia will be coming. I detest cleaning, but do like a clean and tidy home. I always feel more cheerful when I can look around and see everything looking its best.

    The aubergine dish sounds a bit like an un-mashed-together baba ghanoush. Let us know how it is.

    Have fun with Helen (and gang?) Is the pooch coming too? If so, what will Perdita think of that?

    Beverly in NJ

  3. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I hope you and your children will be involved in some of those meetings at the hospital.
    If the eggplant dish is a hit do post a link to the recipe!
    It is really tomato season in Ontario right now.
    take care

  4. I'd never heard/read that Capote quote and like it very much--thanks for expanding my horizon! All good thoughts and hopes for a home care plan that works for you and your family.


    PS I too think the tahini/roasted veggies dish sounds yummy.

  5. It is good to hear that there are people coming in to help. It can sometimes be hard to know how or when to ask for enough help, especially if one has been used to being independent. We are facing that situation with my father as he is beginning to slow down, but isn't quite ready to admit that some things are better to have help with. Instead, he gets more and more annoyed and frustrated that what used to be simple is harder to manage these days. It calls for a very very gentle touch indeed!
    Tahini sauce on almost anything is a good idea, I think. I made one roasted cauliflower dish with tahini sauce and it was very well received, indeed. I have put together the recipes our children grew up eating and made a surprising number of copies on request from siblings, friends and friends of my children. I add to it from time to time as I try out recipes and that is one that got a good enough rating to be included.

  6. =Tamar5:58 PM

    Lack of oomph reminded me of a friend who had complained of that for months, and who has just developed Bell's Palsy and as a result she has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. There is a version of Lyme that occurs in Scotland. Perhaps you should ask your doctor about it. It doesn't always produce the bullseye rash, nor does it always produce the sagging face of Bell's palsy. But it does affect neurology, energy level, brain, etc etc.

  7. No knitting??? Maybe because you're lost in a 'sea of uncertainty'. Other people are making the decisions that will affect the rest of your life, I'd be bloody adrift too. Good for you for calling for help! And make sure the Hospital includes your voice in the decision-making. Is there such a thing in Scotland where one spouse is in Care while the other lives independently in an attached apartment complex???

  8. Oh Jean - I do hope you are given The Plan soon. The not-knowing is often the worst. As for knitting time - I am finding I can knit and listen to audio books and podcasts about knitting - the latter could be a whole new world for you to explore. The company of other knitters (virtual or real) is so motivating :)

  9. I do so understand all this. I have no idea how I would cope if my father needed that much help. As it is I need to constantly watch out for him or have someone check if I need to go out. The hospital should be involving you and your family.