Tuesday, August 29, 2017

JeanfromCornwall – yes!  I had seen that picture advertising Victoria and Abdul, and had admired the shawl around her shoulders, and, indeed, it was all I had thought of to write about today – or indeed, yesterday.

What follows is memory, and unreliable, but I think there was an exhibition of Victoria’s clothes (?in Kensington Palace) some years ago. I wrote to the curator – on paper; with a stamp; that’s how long ago it was – asking if there were Shetland shawls in the expo, and eventually had a reply saying, as I remember, that they had none in the collection. If there is any truth in the memory, I must have that letter somewhere. But if I can’t find Lucy Hague’s Celtic Shawl book, what hope for that letter?

But Victoria certainly had Shetland shawls, and it is good to see the costume people acknowledging the fact.

I have knit happily on. There are things I want to watch on television these days: that helps. Inspector Montalbano isn’t doing much for my Italian, but I’m sticking with him. Endless Diana, as the 20th anniversary looms, and I find her endlessly fascinating.

What I keep thinking is this: it was essential (or so it seems in retrospect) that Prince Charles went to Paris that day to escort her body back to London. He was at Balmoral with his sons. He and Diana were thoroughly divorced. They hated each other. She was entangled with Dodi el Fayed, (who has been air-brushed out of the current commemorations, as far as that is possible). Prince Charles didn’t have much time to make the decision. But he got it right, to the extent that it passes without comment while people still fuss about flags that did or didn’t fly at half-mast. Maybe his mother advised him.

And I am also watching Jamie’s programmes about his new book – my husband absolutely forbade cookery programmes. And the new biopic series about Victoria. And I have recorded, but not yet watched, BBC 4 on “The Normans”. Mustn’t giggle.

When we got back from Strathardle last week, I sloppily consigned the half-brioche sweater to the floor for a bit. Perdita loved it. Cats like wool, of course, but she seemed particularly attached to half-brioche.


  1. I would love to hear more about that shawl! I watched the first season of Victoria and was disappointed in the lack of historical accuracy. Costumes, of course, were fabulous.

  2. How beautifully Pedita has curled herself round to fit into the knitting! Every garment should incorporate a little extra animal hair - in this house, dog, and in yours cat, of course.

  3. I find Diana very fascinating, too. Oh, Perdita! Pop over to my most recent post and see my kitty and my mom!

  4. Anonymous12:40 PM

    So many questions about Diana. Maybe that is why she fascinates us. Perdita seems to love your half-brioche as much as you do. I just hope her sharp little claws don't love it too. Speaking of claws, now that Perdita is a semi-outside cat (ours was too) never let anyone talk you into de-clawing her. It's one of her main defenses. You probably already realize that, Jean. Just a PSA in general. Chloe

  5. Perdita needs one of those felted wool cat baskets.