Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A good day, but not entirely a productive one.

I went for a walk this morning along the Water of Leith with a dear friend who is determined to get me into shape for Palermo. I’m sure it did some good.

But when I sat down at the computer, not all that long ago, it fired up all right and then made a little pfffft noise rather like an expiring light bulb, and expired. I went back to the old computer, and even managed to write a couple of paragraphs for you, but couldn’t figure out how to upload them (although I must have been on-line, in some sense).

Then I came back in here and found a loose connection and tightened it, and all is – it would seem – well.

I find I can’t even remember how to connect a computer to the Internet. It just connects, by itself. But goodness! how important that connection is for one’s mental well-being.

Anyway – I think all that distress is excuse enough for not having got much of anything done today.

Knitting has advanced. I’ve picked up the stitches from the flat edge of the lace, and am beginning to knit inwards. The numbers aren’t perfect yet, but nearly. It has been much more of an effort than I remember from Mrs Hunter’s shawl for the last great-granddaughter, not all that long ago. Was that one substantially smaller? I’ll look tomorrow.

The Japanese Stitch Dictionary is here, and is as wonderful as expected. There seem to be a couple more promising-sounding Japanese-derived books promised for next year. This one has more bobbles than I entirely like, but is otherwise entrancing. The only thing to do is to swatch.

Utterly non-knit

Archie came for supper last night, and I asked him about this business of trigger warnings, or whatever they’re called, when Unsuitable Material is about to be discussed in class. I had heard on the radio in the night that Ovid’s Metamorphoses had been so flagged somewhere.

I thought of that delicious passage in Metamorphoses I where Apollo is pursuing Daphne along the Peneus River. Clearly, harassment. The ground is rough, and he is worried that she will trip and fall. He calls out, begging her to run more slowly, and promising that he will, too.

Archie knew the story, but didn’t know that it happened at the very spot, in the Vale of Tempe, where we used to stop on the journey from Thessaloniki to their house on Mount Pelion, to eat delicious barbecued corn cobs and walk for a while beside the river. The path is much smoother these days. 


  1. It is hard to remember when you had to work to connect to the internet. Many steps and the "hardware handshake" sound. A trigger warning for Ovid?

  2. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Writing as a trained Classicist and sometime professor of the subject, yes, trigger warnings for Ovid. It is because of the rape and violence. On the whole subject of trigger warnings, there is now a shift away from them at some schools - a trend starting, as I recall, with Swarthmore. Students there held that the point of college was precisely to stretch one’s horizons and expose oneself to uncomfortable topics. Perhaps that will become the “new normal.” Meanwhile, Ovid is still taught, it is just fraught.

  3. Trigger warnings come out of not wanting to trigger flashbacks or panic attacks for those who've been assaulted. I always used them when I wrote fanfic so that anyone who was a survivor could avoid stuff that could really be bad for them at that time. Of course, that also allowed people to skip stuff that made them uncomfortable, and that's sadly where trigger warnings seem to have gone.