Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I have little to report. Archie is still here, mornings, toiling through piles of paper and making useful discoveries. Today’s was a book I had wanted to show Rachel at the weekend. Now it’s safely back in the first place I looked, and where I will surely expect to find it again. It could have been years before I found it in that pile.

But he still hasn’t come across Lucy Hague’s “Celtic Cable Shawls”.

I have continued to knit Rachel’s sock. Things have improved since that tedious evening spent untangling. It is rather luxurious just to carry on ribbing, with no concern as to how many rounds one has done, until the yarn changes colour. (This is the “Pairfect” system.) But I must get back to that vest. I think I’m feeling strong enough.

Beverly (comment yesterday), that is an interesting thought about my pursuit of Il Gattopardo and achieving my goal in Manaba’s headpiece. An interesting thing I learned, however, that day “Cooking with the Duchess” in Palermo, is that “gattopardo” is not the Italian word for “leopard”. That is “leopardo”, as one might expect. “Gattopardo” is an heraldic, cat-like animal, as best I can tell you.

It is a difficult subject to google, as one keeps being brought back to the book. I’ll try to ask my tutor.

There is an interesting-sounding programme on television tonight about the “Spanish flu” which killed millions in the wake of WW I. For many years I wondered whether, if such a thing should happen again, medical science would be able to mount a better defence. I gather the answer is, no. The programme should advance the sock nicely.


  1. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Very interesting about Gattopardo.

    I think there are two ways in which we, in the developed world at least, would be better prepared to deal with a flu pandemic. First, we have better communications, and orobably better knowledge about how it spreads. So might be able to get quarantines in place more quickly. Second, supportive therapies are surely better. Oxygen for those having trouble breathing; IV fluid if people are dehydrated; antibiotics for secondary infections. I also suspect, but don't know, that more might have some partial immunity because so many have received immunizations over the years - they would still get sick but not as sick. And I also suspect that we might be able to develop a vaccine, even partially effective, before the second wave.

    At least, I hope. My husband's great-aunt died as a young child in the 1918 pandemic.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. It's both yes and no, I think. No, in that we can't do much except palliative care once you've got it, yes in that we can develop a vaccine, and I believe the lead time on a flu vaccine's a year or so (I know they decide what's going to be in each year's shot at least a year ahead of time, but I'm not sure how much more time would be needed to come up with a new vaccine). Plus we know how it spreads, though trying to quarantine in the age of easy and quick worldwide travel is rather like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

    Ebola's a bit different in that it's a disease we hadn't had a lot of prior experience with. We know the flu, we have a lot of various strains cultivated and vaccines already developed for those strains. Even if it's a new flu, it's mutated from something we've already seen and probably already have a vaccine for so we have a good starting point. Ebola we had nothing.

  3. Have just now seen the post with the pic of you and others at the wedding. You look lovely and the dress seems perfect.

  4. =Tamar5:52 PM

    Wikipedia says that gattopardo originally referred to a serval (now gattopardo africano), but it now means ocelot (gattopardo americano). I suspect that it originally meant "pard", which in medieval heraldry is a panther, now usually assumed to be a leopard because it was spotted and very fast. (Also, "black panther" is still a common term for a black leopard.) The name Leo-pard was from the belief that they were a cross between a lion and a pard.