Monday, October 08, 2018

Another day of not-much-forward, but a bit. (Allegro ma non troppo, solo un poco ) I found a nice pink plastic folder and arranged all our print-outs into it, in order, starting with “speedy boarding” for our EasyJet flight on Thursday. Archie looked up our hotels and says I haven’t done very well in Naples, but the other two are much better.

But the Naples one is very near the station, and that’s good, as we will want to leave from there on the Circumvesuviana to see Herculaneum, and we will want it again, two days later, for the train to Reggio Calabria. Archie says he was taken to Herculaneum as a sulky teen-ager and stayed in the car reading his book. Now he’d like to see it.

And I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

Andy Goldsworthy is one of my favourite artists, and I have seen something like this one framed in a doorway. God has achieved much the same effect, as I remember it, in a doorway in the public baths in Herculaneum, through which the lava is about to roll. I’d like to see that again. (Herculaneum was buried in lava, Pompeii only in ash and therefore much easier to excavate.) There is also an upper room in Herculaneum with the only Christian symbol – a Greek cross sunk in the wall – found in either city. (Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.) I talked my way up there once, and am very glad to have seen it. I wonder if it’s on show, these days.

It will be interesting, too, to compare Naples, next door to Vesuvius, with Catania, where we end up, over which Etna looms.

As for knitting, I made good progress with Rachel’s sock today, thanks to Pointless, and should finish by Wednesday. My difficulty these days is that I tend to huddle in the nice cosy kitchen with my cats, after writing to you and having supper, instead of going back into the sitting room to watch television and knit. But tonight there’s a must-see programme about TS Eliot so I may do better.

Mary Lou: Gaughan does those cross-overs like this: Left to right: K2tog, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; knit the first one again; move everything to right-hand needle. Right to left: slip first two stitches on left-hand needle to right-hand needle one at a time, slipping as if to knit; replace on left-hand needle in new orientation; knit the second stitch on left-hand needle tbl; knit both stitches on left-hand needle together tbl; move all to right-hand needle.

Margaret Stove’s admirable principle – the stitch the needle enters first will wind up on top – applies as well here as it does to decreases.


  1. Anonymous9:43 PM

    I really look forward to hearing about your Italy trip!
    Enjoy the time in Italy and with Archie.
    I will try to recreate this trip some time.

  2. I wonder what you made of the A.N. Wilson. That wonderful put-down about mediocre people and elitism early on. Helen will doubtless recall that he was once married to one of the English tutors at Somerville - I think of that every time he appears on tv.

  3. Anonymous10:49 PM

    For Herculaneum, you might want to pre-book and see the Villa dei Papiri. It is locked and the guards have to open it. Pre-booking might get you a guide, but I think the fact that we were led through by the archaeologist was sheer dumb luck. Still, worth trying! And if you have time in the vicinity of Piazza Armerina, do check out the town of Aidone, whose museum houses finds from the nearby Greek colony of Morgantina.

  4. Thank you - I do the left to right that way, but not the right to left. I will have a lot of stitches to test it out with on this cowl. I look forward to seeing if Archie's take on the hotel proves true.

  5. Anonymous2:07 PM

    Looks like left cross-over is part of the 4-row Baby Cable pattern which I glommed onto quickly years ago so I wouldn't have to actually learn to knit a real cable. A hat full of Baby Cables looks very cute. It also is a lot of fun to work, which is a big plus to me. Like Mary Lou I have never done the reverse. Glad to learn about it! I do love Norah Gaughan. Chloe