Friday, August 18, 2017

Miss Rachel’s Yoke goes forward merrily. We’d better have a picture soon, although there’s nothing much to see. Perdita and I are going to Strathardle next week with Helen and her family – I trust I will there recover the pattern for Wallin’s Lovage.


I’ve heard from USS – I’ve got my pension, and they’ve sent the documents back. I have put them where they ought to have been in the first place. I’m doing well with keeping accounts in an old version of Quicken on an old computer. I think everything will be all right -- I'll have enough to live on.  The difficulty, with accounting, is figuring out how to deal with the extraordinary. I recently had a dental implant.


I have nearly finished Dinshaw on Runciman. A New Yorker profile is cited, near the end – and I managed to read it! I have re-subscribed. I do not understand the cover of my first issue (Aug 21), there’s no Ros Chast cartoon, I’m not interested in strawberries or Julian Assange (I tried both) – but I’m glad to have it back. And I succeeded in logging in and gaining access to the archives – that was an achievement.

Dinshaw has a good story, about Runciman’s first visit to Mount Athos, in 1937, that peninsula in the north of Greece where monasteries perch precariously on the rocks. The whole area is sacred to the Mother of God, and no other female creature is allowed. Runciman was surprised to see a cat with a litter of kittens.

It was explained to him that a hundred years before, Athos had been much plagued with mice. The monks bought in tom-cats from Thessaloniki not far away, but soon the cat-merchants there began to hike up the price. The monks devoted an evening of prayer to the subject – and found in the morning that some of their tom-cats had given birth to kittens.

Presumably what Runciman saw were the descendants of those miraculous cats. “'Which was the sex of the cats I subsequently saw,’ he notes soberly, ‘I had no means of telling.’”


  1. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Three cheers for getting administrative things sorted.
    The New Yorker archive is a treasure trove.
    Enjoy the weekend of knitting!

  2. Re accounting. Good news about your pension, especially given the parlous state of that scheme nationally. Do you not keep some of your capital in an instant access deposit account for sudden larger expenses? Interest is poor on such accounts, but it provides security.

  3. Jean, I have been following your Quicken frustrations with interest, since I shared them -- I am a Mac user who has been feeling increasingly left high and dry by Intuit --, don't even get me started on TurboTax. Anyway, I researched alternatives, including a homegrown Excel I reluctantly abandoned, and finally settled on Moneydance. It costs about the same as my useless Quicken upgrade last spring, $50 U.S., and after a few hours transferring the Quicken files into it and figuring out its logic, I am very happy. I only ever wanted a private electronic checkbook, not something that wanted to be uploaded and synced with my online bank account, so this is perfect. If you ever need to replace your ancient Quicken, I recommend you look into it. Cheers!

  4. I think the NYer cover is referring to fear of ticks carrying Lyme disease, but I had to look at it a while before that came to me. Glad the pension is all sorted!

  5. moneydance is a good sort of program... it will be familiar to you with many quicken similarities.

    glad your pension is sorted out!