Sunday, March 04, 2018

The weather eased a bit more today. I wonder if the Mindful Chef will deliver my week’s food tomorrow. I haven’t had any mail since Wednesday. Much longer, and bad weather will threaten to overlap the EYF.

I am toying with the idea of cutting Nancy Marchant’s class on the Sunday – a fortnight from today. It’s about tuck stitches, and involves knitting a cowl. There’s lots to be brought along – two colours of DK wool, three sizes of needle, and a lot of stitches to be cast on with both colours in a manner I don’t entirely understand.

I suppose I could turn up in the role of Ethel the Unready.

The Marchant classes I wanted, about brioche, were the ones I missed by sitting there poised at the required moment and not realising, for a full, fatal 90 seconds, that I had to refresh the screen. They were sold out.

I’ve got a Thursday class on drop spinning – NO preparation, nothing to bring – which will get me into the market early and also will let me admire Andrew and Andrea from afar in the podcast lounge, where they hope to be from 12 until 2 that day. Maybe that’s enough. I’m greatly looking forward to it.

Today’s session with the Soutache was fraught with difficulties. Marchant’s Craftsy class has a whole lesson on troubleshooting, but the troubles she deals with are obvious, conspicuous ones, not my Messy Places which mysteriously involve the disappearance of some stitches. But I’ve reached Chart 2 and will soon join in the penultimate gradient shade.


Roger Bannister is dead; you’ll have heard. I am old enough to remember articles in the press speculating about whether it was physiologically possible for a man to run a mile in four minutes. It was a goal much discussed at the time.

My father was sports editor of the Associated Press then. For some reason long forgotten he had me visit the AP office in London when I got here (late summer, ’54) to start my studies in Glasgow. A man in the office told me about being there, that day in May, when Roger Bannister ran the mile in four minutes.

It was known in advance that he was making a serious attempt at it. The AP man took the trouble to locate the nearest phone booth before the race. Afterwards, he sprinted there and found, to his dismay, that a woman was occupying it who seemed determined to go on talking.

A few minutes later the United Press man sauntered up, thanked his wife for securing the phone, and called in the scoop.


  1. Could you check class registration again for the class you wanted? Perhaps they have had cancellations.

  2. Great story about the "scoop"!

    I have just been to a Knitting Retreat here in Texas and believe me there were several "Ethel the Unreadies" in every class I took. The instructors didn't seem troubled as long as some of us were mostly prepared. I expect they are used to it.

  3. I well remember the "Miracle Mile" in 1954 at the Commonwealth games in Vancouver when John Landy looked over his shoulder and Roger Bannister "scooped" him. I see the statue frequently in East Vancouver near the site of the race.