Friday, November 22, 2019

I finished my Italian essay, tried to polish it – I even got the trapassato remoto in there – dispatched it to Rome. A titanic struggle. I have accomplished little else. I didn’t go out – that was naughty. I’ve knit a bit and done my Duolingo.

I must think this knitting business through. I need to pause the Dathan hap soon to knit that pocket square in time for Christmas: shouldn’t take long. I don’t think there’s much hope of having the hap by Christmas – the individual rows are now unbelievably long, and, all else apart, the finishing will take a while. Binding off KD's way is slow (and necessary) -- and then there are the loose ends.

 How long will it take to knit a basic hap for the late April baby? Perhaps allow three months – the baby won’t go away. I could be a few days late, although of course would prefer not.

I was trotting through November in fairly good order, but the seasonal gloom has suddenly descended and caught me in its teeth. Only a month until the solstice! but that seems a long time.


I have tossed aside “The Claverings” in irritation at my own stupidity. Amazon has often saved me, too, from duplicate Kindle purchases – presumably they didn’t bother this time since it’s free. It felt familiar in the first pages, but I was still distressed to find that I had read it as recently as March.

Tamar, Shandy, and all other duplicate-buyers: I learned yesterday that an 18th century bibliophile named Richard Heber filled eight houses with his books. He remarked once that “no gentleman can be without three copies of a book: one for show, one for use and one for borrowers.”

I have started re-reading “Middlemarch”. But I’ve also bought “This Golden Fleece” for the Kindle and may switch to it, trusting it not to include a sentimentalised account of a suicide.


  1. Middlemarch is on my list to read. One of my dearest friends from college recommended it - in fact, she felt it was symbolic in many ways of her own life at the time, I think sadly. Maybe that's why I have taken so long to get around to reading it.

  2. Middlemarch is one to reread every few years. Re-readers might also enjoy Rebecca Mead's "My Life in Middlemarch" about how it spoke differently to successive phases in her own life.

  3. I keep meaning to revisit Middlemarch. One of these days. What sort of a bind-off does KD use on the hap? The weaving-in of ends always takes longer than I think it should. I was at a baroque concert in a small venue recently, and there was a woman sitting at a table away from everyone else, weaving in ends on a project.

  4. I think I heard a trailerfor a radio dramatisation this morning; I wasn't really listening so will have to hunt it down to see if I was dreaming rather than listening.