Saturday, January 05, 2019

Not much of a day. Italian lessons always leave me gasping, but I think perhaps I’m not back up to full strength since last week’s misfortune, as well. You are absolutely right, Chloe, that Italians are wonderfully tolerant of one’s fumbling attempts to speak their language, as long as they can make any sense at all of what one is saying. I will have to work hard on my verbs for next week. Today we just talked.

“intossicazione alimentare” turns out to be right, for food poisoning. A scallop is “cappa santa”.

Further progress with Stronachlachar, but, alas! still no picture. I agree, Mary Lou, that with lots of stitches and complicated crosses, a cable needle is a handy instrument. One of my pleasures, at this time of year – a delicious time, now that the festivities are over and the light has been returning for a whole fortnight – is to plan the next Calcutta Cup knitting. (It won’t be needed for a while.)

Next time, it is to be some wonderful Gaughan-esque cables. Much remains to be thought out, including the name of the recipient. Rachel is loyal to Scotland, but she lives in a nest of passionate English rugby supporters. Joe, this year’s bridegroom, actually works for the English Rugby Union at Twickenham. James and Helen and their families are totally indifferent.

And I’m glad to hear, Mary Lou, that you know Lady Gainford’s book about kilt hose. One or both of the pairs you see my sons wearing in that picture in the sidebar, derive from her work. I am delighted to discover my own connection to her, under the seven-degrees-of-separation rule. (Alexander knows the author of the “Ardkinglas” book, indeed is acknowledged in it; Lady Gainford must have been the author’s second cousin once removed, or something like that.)


  1. "A scallop is cappa santa" - is this a link to the scallop shell being the badge of the pilgrim? Fascinating how these threads run through language.

  2. =Tamar9:26 PM

    The scallop is specifically the badge of the pilgrim who has been to Compostela, sacred to St. James. Each saint and site had a specific badge. During the heyday of pilgrimages, Compostela was the place to begin or end your travels. Or so I read.

  3. Jean, I was curious about the kilt hose book, and the references to Ardkinglas. I will never in my life knit kilt hose, even though I think they are amazing, but Scottish houses are something else, so I found a wonderful short film on Youtube about Ardkinglas. No narration, very short, but lovely music. Living or visiting in that beautiful area would be breath-taking.

  4. What a beautiful place to live! Are those the gardens where the wedding was held a few years ago?