Sunday, June 09, 2019

Another quiet day. I moved successfully forward with the Spring Shawl, keeping track of progress on two separate charts. Enlargement helps a lot, and if I make too much of a mess with my keep-track markings, I can print another copy.

No Calcutta Cup scarf – I don’t like Pointless Celebrities, Helen (comment yesterday). Famous people are too full of themselves.


Today is Pentecost, a favourite holiday. I love that list of the people in Jerusalem who heard the apostles speaking each in his own language – Medes and Elemites, the parts of Libya around Cyrene. Like the old woman who told her priest what comfort she derived from that blessed word Mesopotamia. Every year I approach the moment in a state of nervous excitement – some readers obviously have never seen the list before and stumble through it in panic. Today’s man was pretty good, although I would have preferred a soft “g” in “Phrygia”. (I don’t know why I should assume that my pronunciation is right in all cases.)

Perdita is going to see her primary care physician tomorrow. She won't enjoy it, but at least can't worry in advance. I shall have a sleepless night.


I am delighted at your mother’s idea Tamar, of reading an entire book backwards. My beloved “Gattopardo” would be very good that way, first the chapter about the prince’s elderly, spinster daughters; then his own death; then…

My husband and I always read aloud at bedtime (or rather, I read to him). When we went to London, we didn’t take our book along. Our daughter Rachel was trained as a librarian (although life has taken her far from that career) – her books were all in order by author, and within authors, by title.

We started at the beginning, and read a random chapter in each book. I think the rule was that if there were multiple titles by the same author (a) we were free to choose any one of them and (b) one was enough; we could then go on to the next author.

It was remarkably interesting. The last note I can find in my Filofax, dated 26 September, 2011 (which seems about right), is “Garnett done, Gaskell next”.


  1. Pentecost - a favourite of mine too. Our reader today, alas, although good in other ways, clearly had not asked for help on the place names, from Google or human, in advance.

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  3. Rachel would not approve of my shelving system. Or lack thereof. Isn’t it odd that I can remember clearly learning about Mesopotamia being located between the Tigris and Euphrates. I must have been about 10 and it seemed so exotic.

    1. So agree with you!! I remember the same!

    2. I can remember the face of the teacher who taught us this in my first history lesson at secondary school! Our reader in church got right through without a stumble including a soft 'g'. So impressed.

  4. Today I completely forgot to wear red for Pentecost, but had the wonderful privilege of attending services at the Washington National Cathedral with dear friends from my former church. It was a wonderful day. We were all members of the church choir and picked out our favorite note from every hymn (LOL!). There were a number of baptisms that took place. It was so lovely to see - each baby had a distinct personality:). One made it VERY clear he was having nothing to do with this, bless his heart. Of course the music was incredibly beautiful. Wish you could have seen and heard it. Hope all is well with you, Jean:)!

  5. Anonymous12:28 PM

    What is it about Pentecost to make so many of us love it so much? Another mother at my daughter's school and I kind of bonded over it. The National Cathedral service sounded wonderful. I like to see if I can detect a glimmer of intelligence in celebrity interviews. As they get older some of them can defy the "script" laid out for them and actually sound interesting. Of course if they get even worse I can always switch channels. Chloe

  6. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Just read that Pointless is a quiz show. So my previous comment is irrelevant since no real conversation is involved. Looks like a fun show, though! Chloe

  7. In our Pentecost service they skipped the place names! I was disappointed.