Thursday, March 26, 2020


All well here, I guess. I could wish that the BBC news told me more about New York than it does, but that seems an unreasonable cavil. How steadying and reassuring are those calm voices, no matter how dreadful the news. So it must have been during the war.

My mother taught me the word "an-genga", "lone-goer", an epithet -- perhaps the epithet -- of Beowulf. I have no syllable of Anglo-Saxon. She applied it to herself, and offered it to me. And I have been glad to embrace it, especially, perhaps, now. I like being alone.

I have reached row 29 of the Cameron Shawl borders (counting down to zero from 110). This is the row in which the final filler patterns begin, as the Trees of Life slim down into nothing. AND I am within a few feet of the end of the second ball of yarn. That’s real progress, in lace knitting.

The new VK turned up yesterday – well timed, in this vale of tears. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,  as we say in Italian. There’s nothing that grabs me, alas. Had I but world enough and time, No. 7, The Grandfather or No. 9, The Gradient. But I’m short of both.

I still haven’t pushed the button for Foldlines, but I probably will.

We’ve had our first perhaps-casuality. Helen and David’s youngest son Fergus was stricken with vomiting and a fever last night. Vomiting, of course, is not a COVID syndrome, but fever is. To what extent do the rest of the household need to isolate themselves from the world even more severely than they are already doing?

My niece C. (with whom I went to Kirkmichael last week) is contemplating joining forces with her daughter, another C., different name. The younger C., of course, is the one who is expecting a baby soon, and would be glad of her mother’s company while her husband is at work. The husband, also of course, is the point of danger, potentially bringing the virus home to wife and mother-in-law.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:09 PM

    NHS 111 or Scottish equivalent has an online form you fill in which tells you what you and your household must do based on the symptoms you have.

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  2. I am sorry to tell you that some people have digestive issues with this virus, including diarrhea and vomiting. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-digestive-symptoms-are-common#Digestive-symptoms-in-50.5%-of-patients
    Also, for news about New York, the New York Times,as are most papers, is making all corona virus information free. Keep knitting, keep well

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  3. I love being alone too. So does my husband. We both have our own interests so our days mostly don’t disturb one another. Evenings we spend together. It’s the best of both worlds. I bought two plaques that makes both of us laugh: ‘I love you more today than yesterday...yesterday you really pissed me off”. . .and . . . “ Marriage is like a deck of cards. You start with a heart and a diamond and by the end you wish you had a club and a spade”. Humour is very important.
    I hope Fergus just has the flu. Whatever it is I hope it doesn’t hit his family too hard.

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    1. Love this, thanks for the laugh!

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  4. What do you mean, you don't have a syllable of Anglo-Saxon? Modern English is obviously a palimpsest of borrowings from other tongues but Anglo-Saxon is still its basis. One small example: "Nostril" - from the words for "nose" and "hole".

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  5. I like ‘an-genga’ - my mother called the eldest of my siblings The Cat Who Walks by Himself. I am happy being alone, as well. While walking today I people out in their garages or driveways doing all sorts of projects. They must be happy to have something to do. I am still working, even thought at home, so I don’t feel as though time hangs heavy on my hands.

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  6. Working at home is taking about three times the effort as working not at home:) But I am happy to do it if it keeps my clients, myself, and others safe:)!

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  8. "an-genga" is "eneg├Žnger" in my native Danish, the definition being someone who like to keep to themselves or has their own very definite opinions on a subject.The first definitely applies to me, and on occasion, the second too.

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    1. Anonymous3:39 PM

      So Danish has a word for me! Good to know!
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

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    2. Anonymous5:19 AM

      I think the German word "Einzelgaenger" has the same origin. It means literally someone who walks alone, or someone who likes to be alone.
      Hilde in Germany

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  9. Apropos of nothing, I've just read this paen to cider... from and Anglican Priest.

    https://glordinary.blogspot.com/2020/03/on-cider.html

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  10. =Tamar5:40 PM

    An-genga... I think I've just learned my family's True Name. :-) Mum once said to me "You were all only children."

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  11. I'm enjoying all these words for "loner" - not surprised there's something in many languages, as I'm sure there have always been people who are "happy with their own company," everywhere in the world :)

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