Sunday, December 08, 2019

Some knitting to report at last!

Sunday morning is the Andrew Marr show, of course. And the first thing I had to do when I sat down to watch it, was to finish winding that skein of merino-silk-cashmere for the new pocket square.

The so-far-wound ball and the unwound-skein were on the chair where I had left them. They were detached from each other. A great big fierce moth, in the last four days? I don’t think so. And the skein was in something of a tangle.

I knew that if I abandoned it again, it would be completely un-wind-able the next time I tried. So I spent the whole of the Andrew Marr show untangling and winding, and got it done. And the resulting ball was a bit larger than the first one. So I used it to cast on, and have made a good start. Barring catastrophe, there’s plenty of time to finish before Christmas.


I’m still missing Middlemarch. I have attempted Susan Hill’s “Howard’s End is on the Landing” – about spending a whole year reading the books one already has. I’m not getting on very well with it. She doesn’t like Jane Austen. How is that possible?

I have also embarked on Tessa Hadley’s much-recommended “Late in the Day”, and am not getting on very well there either. It’s too gloomy for these darkest of days.

Yesterday I tried Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” which for some reason I had been avoiding, although I am a passionate Atkinson fan. And it’s fine. Even funny, in places.

Should I be reading Wodehouse? My husband and I never succeeded with him, for our bedtime reading, although we covered great swathes of literature, from “Ulysses” to “War and Peace”. (“Ulysses” needs to be read aloud.) But Wodehouse makes one laugh out loud, and that isn’t conducive to the sort of repose needed at bedtime.


My sister (comment yesterday) points out that the sort of scams I have been talking about are less common in the US, where digital banking is less common. It’s a point worth making.


  1. =Tamar7:25 PM

    I could probably spend a year reading the books I already have that I haven't read yet... Web searching tells me that Susan Hill was born in 1942, so she's not too young to understand Jane Austen. Maybe she was put off by the first one she tried and never read the ones she might have liked.

    Yarn: maybe the cat was purring an apology?

  2. I'm slowly savouring Fay Weldon's book about Jane Austen. It was a bit slow at first for me but now there is more about JA in each chapter. I hugely enjoyed Transcription; it's very sly!
    Our cats are usually too old to interfere with my knitting and then one of them will unexpectedly have a rush of blood to the head with unsettling consequences to whatever I am working on.

  3. It's not that digital banking is uncommon here--it's that account to account transfer is uncommon. One of my great pleasures is being able to deposit checks by taking a picture of them with my phone; makes me feel like I belong in the modern world. And it's possible/easy to authorize withdrawals from a checking account to pay regular bills. But sending money on request to builders or estate agents or whoever else requires a third party to assist. I used to think our banks were being crusty and old fashioned but I now realize that they've kept us safe.

  4. I'm just re-reading "Sense and Sensibility". Many watchings of the Emma Thompson film make one forget how much else there is in the book itself.

  5. I did really enjoy Transcription. I bought both “Howard’s End is on the Landing” and Fay Weldon’s book but haven’t looked at either once since purchasing. I am not a Tessa Hadley fan, I’ve tried several times.

  6. Anonymous12:23 AM

    In Canada one gets automated calls from would-be scammers multiple times per day. Many people have just stopped answering their phones altogether - a real person would leave a message, the love scammers do not.
    There is now an iphone setting to not hear any ring from unknown numbers. Apparently the software can tell if you just called a shop, for example, and will let those calls through.
    There are many phone scams targeting Chinese or other minority groups in North America.
    There was an opinion article recently in the New York Times about the writer's grandmother in China - who lost all of her savings because the scammer was so effective at saying what resonated with her.
    Deep sigh!
    I agree with the commenter who said don't engage, don't say anything, just hang up.

    It's really getting dark in Toronto.
    Knitting bright-coloured yarn helps!

    Thanks for the posts!
    Lisa RR

  7. Anonymous12:23 AM

    ha ha - the "love scammers" was supposed to be "LIVE" scammers
    Lisa RR

  8. I never liked Jane Austen. The twitty manners crap turned me off.

  9. I've heard that there are Jane Austen readers on one side and Bronte readers on the other, so maybe Hill is one of the latter? I listened to a BBC dramatization of Transcription but had to stop at a certain point in the plot that I could not accept.

  10. Transcription was a wonderful read. Atkinson is a genius.