Sunday, September 30, 2018

My sister and brother-in-law are probably losing height over Edinburgh at this very moment. Greek Helen is going to pick them up at the airport and bring them here. I have done the blanching and tossing for my favourite stand-by Jamie Oliver recipe – tray-bake salmon with various things, going all the way back to “The Naked Chef”. I’ll be able to feed them within 20 minutes of arrival, if need be.

I may not re-appear here until Thursday, when they’re going south, although I’ll try. I’m hoping to have lunch with Maureen on Tuesday, she fresh from the Shetland Wool Festival. I’ll bring you her news if I can.

I’m feeling a bit more cheerful about Italy (although not about computer printers). I’ve booked everything except our car-and-driver from Catania to Piazza Armerina, to see the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale nearby. Much googling, and even some emails, have produced nothing better than a small-group tour, pick-you-up-at-your-hotel (that’s good), going to Agrigento in the morning and on to the mosaics in the afternoon.

Alas, I’m not at my best in the afternoon. And I feel – I know I’m wrong; don’t correct me – that when you’ve seen one Greek temple, you’ve seen them all. (That’s what they have at Agrigento – Greek temples.) I’ve been to the Parthenon, in the days when you could get up close and personal. I’ve been to Paestum. This time, I want my strength for those mosaics.

So today I emailed our hotel in Catania. And had a prompt answer, offering a car and a price – not cheap, that wasn’t to be expected, but within the anticipated ballpark. There is no logical reason this should make me feel so cheerful – the anxiety is about old age and weakness, not mosaics. But it does. There are actual people living in Italy, many of them kind and helpful.

I have re-connected my computer to its printer, and, even with the new ink cartridge, the result is as impossible as before. I am tempted to throw it -- the printer -- away (3-4 years old) and get a new one, which is what you’re supposed to do these days.

No knitting news at all.


  1. Jean, you may be interested in an article I wrote on Calabria that has just been published in PLY Magazine. It describes Cangiari, an ethical high-fashion design collective based there. There are some nice (IMO) photos, and perhaps the article will be more enjoyable in the context of your trip! The article is in PLY Autumn 2018, “Power.” Here is the website; I have no financial stake in subscriptions or single-issue purchases!

  2. Unwanted advice as I prowl in from Downunder - have you looked at the settings for your printer? I had a similar problem once and it turned out that I was using the setting which was supposed to save ink.
    My greetings to your most excellent sister. Cat

  3. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Put the printer aside and enjoy your trip and family and the new people you meet. Have fun and return safe. and perhaps the print heads need cleaning but will surely be waiting for you to come home as will we.

  4. =Tamar3:45 PM

    What catdownunder said - especially if there's been some kind of update of programs recently, that might have included a well-meaning reset of defaults.

  5. At this point, i suggest buying a new printer. Four years is ancient in terms of operating system updates... and printers are extremely cheap these days. i would get a wireless printer and one of the big brands canon or epson. i have had canon for years and find them well made.

    that article has good recommendations
    you cant go wrong with any of them .

    if you are not printing tons of photos, dont get one that has that as the Plus in the review. Another website to look at...

    note they are not as comprehensive and tend to focus on higher end items (they were bought out by NYT and had been created by former NYT writers!)

    anyway, good luck! if you are undecided between several lMK and i will give you my advice.

    1. A great comfort to see this message, as that’s what we did today. Archie has installed the new one, and we’ve printed out Foldlines and our Italian rail tickets. Problems remain.

  6. I just bought a new printer (my old one was at least 8 years old) and am surprised and the speed and efficiency. HAve a wonderful visit with your sister. I have made your tray bake on several occasions with great success.