Saturday, November 23, 2019

I called up my Italian essay this morning before the lesson, and Word offered to translate it for me! I felt irrationally flattered. My problem, I find, is not so much the passato remoto as prepositions: in 2017, at Palermo, at the palazzo, etc.

Kirsten, yes, I heard Middlemarch this afternoon during my nap, and it was rather good. Radio 4 at or before 3 p.m. I mean, it might have started before: I didn’t hear the beginning.

Beth, I have heard Rebecca Mead’s book “My Life in Middlemarch” recommended before. The New Yorker sends me cartoons and articles every morning (sometimes from the current issue, sometimes not) and today there was something by her, suggesting that perhaps in 30 or 40 years’ time someone will write a panoramic novel about modern Britain with Brexit simmering in the background, the way Reform simmers in Middlemarch. I’m continuing to enjoy it.

Yesterday was the 200th anniversary of George Eliot’s birth although I didn’t know that until this morning.


Very little. I must make more effort to fit knitting in earlier in the day. I’m too weary for it otherwise, even in the early evening, even after a nap.

Mary Lou, KD calls the bind-off she uses for the Dathan hap a two-stitch i-cord: *K1, K2tog tbl, replace both stitches on the left hand needle*. Repeat as necessary. It doesn’t sound particularly slow – maybe it’s the 597 stitches which are the problem.

I think, last time, I didn’t find disposing of the ends as arduous as I had feared. But it wasn’t exactly quick.


I have a long-standing tradition of giving Helen’s husband David a Boring Book for Christmas. Today, as I hoped, the Financial Times had its annual recapitulation of the year’s Boring Books, although they didn’t phrase it quite like that. I was tempted by Mark Diacono’s “Sour” for myself – that’s the trouble with thinking about Christmas presents.


  1. That bind off sounds intriguing, does it make a sort of ridge-type edge with a bit of 'structure'? I think I might have to do a little swatchy thing to see.
    Thanks for the Middlrmarch drama time. I'll see if I can listen on catchup tomorrow. I'm intent on having a pyjama day after a truly tiring week.

  2. If you’re too weary for knitting, would you prefer to tidy up the ends of the hap as you go? Then it isn’t such a big job at the end of the project.

  3. I do use that bind-off when I need stretchy edging. Kirsten it doesn’t give structure, but flexibility. I generally bind off quite tightly, and need to use a larger needle. This particular bind-off is quite the opposite. I I don’t use a smaller needles, it flares in a very unattractive way.

    1. Thanks, I've had to redo many a bind off in the past because it was ttoo tight. I'll give this one a go.

  4. Italian prepositions are astonishingly difficult. I bought a book devoted to them at the end of our first semester in Rome, but have not had the discipline to work through it. I’m now studying — with the goal of achieving just very basic conversational skills — Gaeilge (Irish). It’s the most difficult language I’ve tried thus far, and leaps and bounds more difficult then Russian (the language I teach).

  5. “THAN” Russian, of course. I do indeed blame autocorrect.

  6. Jean, I have a rule about Christmas presents - you must buy yourself one early on, and something fairly outlandish that no one else would think about buying for you. That way you can shop for others without thinking "oh, I would like that!"