Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A better day. Yesterday I booked myself onto a Majestic Line cruise for May, 2020. My niece C., often mentioned here, has agreed to come with me. We’re going to the upper left-hand corner of mainland Scotland. It’s called a Wilderness Cruise.

Since my happy cruise with them to the Outer Hebrides last summer, I have clicked hither and yon and not found anything that appeals half as much. In the real world, 250 passengers are considered a “small” cruise ship. (On the Majestic Line, we are 12.)

There’s something along the west coast of Turkey – an area I would much like to explore – in small boats called gulags, or kayaks, or something like that. But the cruise is expensive to begin with, and you are responsible for getting yourself to the west coast of Turkey and back, and the website winded up specifying how much you were expected to tip each crew member for each day of the cruise. No, that won’t do.

So it’s back to the Majestic Line. (Think of it: an interesting exploration to regions unknown, involving no passports, no foreign currency, no airports!) And now I have got to stay alive for 18 months or so, and not only alive, but capable of walking up and down short flights of stairs. I feel better already, and began this morning by walking twice around Drummond Place Gardens. The newspaper article which drew me to the Majestic Line in the first place mentioned a fellow-passenger who was a retired High Court judge in her 90’s. I can do it too!

As for knitting, I have finished the 3-needle bind-off for the first Stronachlachar shoulder, transferred the stitches for the other one from waste yarn to needle, and wound the final skein. And have started thinking happily about Foldlines. The madtosh colour I wanted is out of stock at Jimmy Bean’s. There are other possibilities. Or what about going for Jared’s “Arbor” for which the pattern was written? There are some nice colours there too.

The only drawback on that one is that I am swatching (me! swatching!) in leftover madtosh, trying to get the repeated pattern square to something like the right size. And when I achieve that – and can therefore calculate pretty closely what size the finished sweater will be – is it wise to switch to another yarn. ?

The new IK turned up today. Lots of nice things. Nothing that quite makes me want to drop the needles and rush down to the LYS.

A dear friend came and solved my computer-printer problem. It was a matter, apparently, of pushing a “Join Network” slider from Off to On. Perdita often walks on the keyboard when I am here, and she knows a lot of key combinations which are beyond me. I suspect her agency here.

I always sleep with the radio on. I woke up from my nap today to find myself in the middle of that excellent Radio Four program, A Good Read. As a result of which, I am now very happily re-reading Kate Atkinson’s “Case Histories”. Not trash, but it goes down smoothly.


  1. You can buy Madtosh from Madelinetosh's own store. They'll dye it if it's not in stock I think. You might also take a look on Ravelry and see if anyone has the color you want for sale.

    Your cruise sounds wonderful and it seems to have had a very positive effect on your attitudes! I think having a plan like this is very cheering. Yes, for sure you can do this!

    1. Yes, something to look forward to, and what a thing this cruise is too!

  2. I have downloaded a number of episodes of 'A Good Read' onto the computer and thence to MP3 player for listening to in what I call 'non sleeping nights', especially when the radio is not good company.
    This afternoon I learned how to do German longtail twisted cast on and joining knitting on dpns and how to avoid ladders. Thank you, every one who encouraged me in the comments! I have started a hat. So far so good.

  3. Anonymous10:14 PM

    The cruise sounds really lovely!
    Great idea
    Lisa RR

  4. Great cruise idea ! You had me at your last line - made me laugh out loud: Not trash, but it goes down smoothly.
    thanks for all the inspiration.

  5. The majestic cruise sounds wonderful! I have no Madeline Tosh, but access to all the colors of Arbor, if that helps. I enjoyed Kate Atkinson's Case Histories, and also her newer stand-alone books, especially Life After Life and Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I had been to the museum in York, so it seemed more real.

  6. Meant to add, yes! for walking in the morning.

  7. I have at last discovered that this is the challenge I am following but this one!
    Ah well. By the time one has googled around for a while it is easy to get confused. I'll make a note now of the page and the books.
    Anne Elliot was 'electrified' by something Mrs Musgrove said - that has immediately send me on a hunt to discover the first use of this word; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology_of_electricity - as early as 1600. It derives from the Latin for amber. Well I never.

    1. Yet another reason why the comments section of Jean's blog are as much of a must-read as her posts!

  8. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Thrilled about your trip Jean! Traveling Anywhere is the best. Don't know if you can do business with WEBS in the U.K. They sometimes have discounts. Oh good, Kirsten. It's all Google's fault. Not my addled aging brain. I like your thinking:). Chloe

  9. I think the word is 'gulet' and it is something that I fantasize about too. I went on my first cruise last fall on one of those immense ships. Probably would not do it again with the possible exception of a transatlantic cruise, Southampton to NY.

  10. How exciting a cruise sounds for you! Brightens up the day for sure to hear you sounding so well. Good luck with the swatching, I remember how much you love knitting with madtosh. Anna in Toronto

  11. =Tamar5:18 PM

    It sounds as though the cruise may go near Caithness. Perhaps you could wave to Gordon Reid, whose blog has just shown that he is capable of knitting two ganseys at once, one as a rest from the complexities of the other.