Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A day of massive inactivity. I’ll have to do better tomorrow. I tell myself that I’m saving up strength for Godot, but that doesn’t entirely work.

Here are Archie’s socks:

And Rachel’s first one:

I am, in fact, a bit further on with that one by now. And this evening offers a whole TV hour on probiotics and sauerkraut, which ought to advance things still further. I haven’t abandoned fermentation. It’s just somewhat in abeyance as I still need to eat up the kimchi in the refrigerator.

However, I’m out of homemade hot sauce, so I need to ferment some more chillis. I hope that will happen soon. Tesco has better and hotter chillis than Waitrose, but access is impeded by roadworks at the moment.

Sylvia Plath: I just meant that the early trajectories of our lives were similar, apart from my not being a genius. Clever girls, scholarships to British universities. I fancy we looked similar, but maybe everybody looked like that in 1954. She was certainly prettier. She met Ted Hughes in February, 1956 and married him in June. I met my husband in February, 1957, but we weren’t married until August.

There’s a big difference between living in Britain and just being here. She may have found it as tough as I certainly did. She died at the end of that savagely cold winter which was preceded (in November?) by the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tough few days for those of us with small children. In my case, that winter also (in January) produced Greek Helen.

Jamie Oliver’s new Italy book arrived today. Modified rapture. There are some good things in it, and I very much look forward to his new television series based on it, starting next week. Jeanfromcornwall, I will make an effort to find and watch Nadiya. She is a most engaging character, but I have never watched her actually cook.


  1. The Cuban middle crisis went on for about two weeks, I think, in October of 1962. I didn't understand, at the time, why all the grown-ups were so tense. Was the winter of 1963 especially cold? The polar vortex and mammoth snows of 2014/15 have made every other winter of my memory seem not too bad at all!

  2. I remember having “drills” where we practiced sheltering under our desks. Though how this was supposed to keep us safe from fallout I can’t imagine, I guess it just made the authorities feel they were doing something.

  3. Anonymous1:54 AM

    Love Archie's socks! He will meet many interesting people wearing those!

    Sylvia Plath was certainly a genius. That doesn't diminish your own talents, which are formidable, and we probably don't even know the half of them. And what an unhappy life she had! I certainly hope yours has been better.

    Beverly in NJ

  4. I met Ted Hughes several times, first in 1973. Sylvia Plath may have been a genius but she was clearly almost impossible to live with and Hughes still largely blamed himself for her death.
    I don't think she could knit - things might have been better if she could.

  5. Anonymous12:43 PM

    It's funny how we can easily relate to someone who has had what I think of as parallel experiences. Luckily for you, Jean, your life seems to have been much happier. At least I hope so. And those are lovely socks. I wish I liked knitting socks. So portable. Oh well, so are hats! Chloe