Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Little to report, as so often. But the day was not without accomplishment. I wrote an anecdote in Italian for my tutor and sent it to her. The idea was to  practice the tenses of verbs.

[When Archie and I, last October, were travelling from Reggio Calabria in the toe of Italy to Catania on Sicily, we took a train which made the crossing by ferry. I have since learned that there is only one other train in Europe that can do that, although I have forgotten where it is. The train arrived from Rome. We got on it. We sat for an hour. No buffet. Then it began to move slowly slowly towards the ferry. The man opposite said “Eppure! Si muove!”

That is probably a joke that Italians make all the time, but it was new to me and I was enchanted. I have never yet told the story to anyone who recognised the words. We’ll see how my tutor does with it. I told Archie what little I know about Galileo.]

Writing and dispatching that took quite a while. Then I made a batch of “my” chilli sauce which is really Jamie Oliver’s (on Youtube) except that I use a recent batch of fermented chillis instead of fresh. I have still to liquidise and bottle it.

And as for knitting, I have gone on with the new Dathan, which is nothing if not soothing. I have about 150 stitches now, and rows are feeling slow. It’s looking good.


I am pressing forward with “The Small House at Allington”. Again, as in “Framley Parsonage” where the author leads off with a handsome vicar already happily married, I think maybe Trollope is deliberately confounding expectations. We have a pair of pretty sisters, portionless. We have two suitable(ish) proposals early in the book, one for each sister,  one accepted, the other refused. That’s where things begin to get interesting.

I have been having some trouble charging my iPad. I needn’t panic. I have my laptop on which I can keep in touch with the world, and there are plenty of books here including in fact “The Small House at Allington”. But I do panic. I depend utterly on my iPad.


  1. We have taken a train that goes on a boat, and that was across the Storebelt in Denmark. This was in the late '80s and they have a bridge now so I have no idea if the ferry/train still runs.

  2. It does indeed move - but, in Italy, that can be a wondrous thing. I once heard it said here when I was on a train from Melbourne to Canberra and we had been stuck in a siding for almost three hours. After that the Italian tourists and I had a wonderful chat.

  3. Funnily enough we were due to take the ferry from Germany to Denmark this September - but then we discovered that there was a long replacement bus service on the other side through to Copenhagen, so the point of taking the train on to the ferry disappeared. We booked Ryanair flights instead.

  4. Jean, have you tried another cable for charging the iPad? Our experience has been that cables fail after a time, it’s always the first thing we try when we have any charging problems with our iPhones or iPads. Hopefully the problem is as simple as that, fingers crossed!

  5. I second Maureen's suggestion. The ipad takes a lot of juice, I find that I have some cables that charge my phone with no problem but don't work properly with the ipad any longer.

  6. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Well, I recognized the Galileo quip when you first recounted it to us here, but perhaps that's not the same as telling it to someone in person.

    About train ferries: in the '70s I took a train from Paris to Stockholm. The cars that made the full trip rolled onto the ferry in Copenhagen in the wee hours, and we woke up in the brisk morning aboard a swaying boat, with time to go above deck to see our arrival by sea. Then back to our cars below, to be joined to another train to finish the journey. This was before the bridge from Copenhagen to Malmo, of course, so no more ferry, I suppose.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  7. I second this. And also oddly enough sometimes one side of the plug you put into your iPad will work when the other side won’t. So try plugging it both ways. Cables do wear out and may have had little chinks that may have damaged some of the internal wires causing them to break.

  8. I've had the same experiences with printer cables, charging cables and others and agree, it could very well be a worn out charging cable. Hopefully that's all it is!

  9. I've also taken the Night Express from Malmo, Sweden, to Berlin. I was so overwhelmed and exhausted by the whole adventure that I just stayed in my berth and read a book.

    I absolutely regret not going topside to see the Baltic, mostly because I don't know when I'll make the hop across the pond again next to visit again.