Sunday, January 19, 2020

Onward! As EZ used to say. I have still not finished that ball of yarn, and am embarrassed for the fuss I have made about it. I have now done six scallops of edging on the third side of Gudrun’s “Hansel” shawl, and expect to join in the second blue ball very soon. I keep saying that.

I knit successfully on through the Andrew Marr show this morning. It’s all about politics, and doesn’t demand the word-for-word attention that tends to interfere with lace knitting.

JeanfromCornwall posted a comment to Friday’s blog about the article in the Travel section of Saturday’s Times about the day of “Cooking with the Duchess” which Archie and I so enjoyed in Palermo in January, 2018. I wrote a reply at once, and as soon as I clicked “Publish” it vanished into the ether, as has happened to so many of you.

The writer claims that Lampedusa is her literary hero, but doesn’t mention that the Duke of Palma (the Duchess’s husband, whom she met, whom I sat next to at lunch) was the model for Tancred in “Il Gattopardo”. She refers to the author twice as “Lampedusa”, three times as “Di Lampedusa”, once with his full name. I don’t think “Di Lampedusa” is permissible, especially not with a capital D. The title (he was a Prince, like the hero of his book) was “Tomasi di Lampedusa”. His first name was Giuseppe. “Lampedusa” is the usual way of referring to him.

I’m enjoying the Nine Tailors, I guess, although it’s awfully dated. Tamar, if you ever recall the source you read that said that that form of death is unlikely, I’d like to see it. I believe in it, implicitly. It would be easy enough to test with a laboratory rat, but that would constitute totally unacceptable cruelty to an animal, whichever answer the experiment produced.

I haven’t learned much yet about bellringing. The BBC plays a brief passage of “bells on Sunday” every week (this morning, from Australia). I love the sound, but can’t even detect the bells changing position.


  1. I rang church bells a lot when I was young. Change ringing is really all about maths. Plain rounds mean that the bells ring in order from highest (the treble) down in pitch to the lowest (the tenor) like this 123456. Towers usually have a 6 bells, but some have 8, 10 or even 12 bells (cathedrals). In change ringing, the order of the bells changes - but by no more than one place at a time. So 123456 could become 132456 (2 and 3 change places) or all bells move places at the same time and the order becomes 214365. Depending on which direction you are moving, you might need to ring a little faster or a little slower to get your bell into the right place in the sequence. Done well it can sound wonderful - done badly, not so much!

    Some of the changes are very simple, and some are very complex - with 'methods' that ringers learn and set out in a little book! The methods have wonderful names, including Stedman and Grandsire. We had a cat called Stedman Caters in honour of our ringing interest (Stedman was her Sunday name). I've got a copy of the Nine Tailors - but I dont think I've ever read it. If I have, I seem to have expunged any recollection of it!

  2. I love “The Nine Tailors” — I think it’s my favorite Sayers. I embarked on a campaign to re-read them all a few years ago and enjoyed the experience until I got to “Unnatural Death,” which shone a strong postcolonial light on my beloved Lord Peter. (I wrote in my reading log: “First published 1927, a year when it was apparently OK to let even your most beloved characters descend, jarringly, into gratuitous racism.”) But “The Nine Tailors” still shines, especially the flood scene. My most memorable re-reading was of a copy I bought in Salisbury in 2011 — I read bits of it out loud to my husband-driver as we made our way across the fens.

    There was a BBC adaptation that made its way to the American “Masterpiece Theatre” in the 1970s. I loved it at the time and went to the trouble, years later, of finding the series on DVD. Now _that_ was a disappointment. Dated and slow-moving, and the actor who played Lord Peter — Ian Carmichael — was way too old for the part.

  3. I have a knitting book that suggests using the ringing the changes formula for stripes. I think it is the Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee, from a zillion years ago.

    1. Ann Paltridge7:47 PM

      Yes, that book, plus EZ of course, opened up my knitting world.

  4. =Tamar7:54 PM

    I just scoured through the Goodreads reviews and found one that mentioned why it was unlikely:
    "Mayten: [excerpt]
    The threshold for death is usually pegged at around 185-200 dB. A loud enough sound could cause an air embolism in the lungs, which then travels to the heart and kills. Alternatively, the lungs might simply burst from the increased air pressure. As far as I could find, church bells only reach 125-135 dB. Even sustained for nine hours, they might rupture eardrums (as they did Wimsey's ears although he seemed to hear perfectly well afterwards) but not lungs."

    I think my original source was in an introduction to an edition.

  5. Loved bellringing at my previous church - but we had handbells, not the type pulled by a large rope!