Friday, March 13, 2020

The world keeps on getting odder and odder, and scarier and scarier. Everything is closing. Grand-niece C., expecting that baby at the end of April, finds herself with some extra maternity leave (paid, I hope, but who knows). Her office has closed altogether. It’s something financial. Grandson Alistair, the computer whiz who works for a game-writing company here in Edinburgh, is working from home. Archie’s university has closed. And so forth.

He and I went to Waitrose this morning, for the first time in quite a while. I am glad to report that things were close to normal. There was even some lavatory paper on the shelves. The panic which leads to stockpiling lavatory paper started in Australia, I think, and has swept the world.

He brought me “House of Leaves”. I’ve made a start. I’ll report back eventually, even if it’s only to report failure.

Shandy, I am desperately sorry to hear of your plaster. Thank goodness you can knit, however clumsily. I couldn’t at all, when I broke my arms. (Both arms have been broken, but not at once.) And if ever there were a situation in which knitting might help, it’s this one.

I did quite a bit of it today. I’ve reached row 52 on those Cameron Shawl borders – nearly time to move on to the next chart. I established a new motif today (it starts with a k3tog, of course): this time, it’s the Tree of Life, the central motif of the borders. So that’s something.

I think I am beginning to feel the benefit of the stitches which are being steadily decreased at the beginning and end of every pattern row. It’s like the light coming back after the horrors of Christmas. At first, nothing; then am-I-imagining-it? And suddenly here we are in March and it's the equinox and light is everywhere.

C. and I are hoping to go to Kirkmichael next week. I am half-inclined just to huddle here with my cats, but I know that all three of us will enjoy the country air. It is brave of C. to take responsibility for my enfeebled state. I think I’ll take the Carol Sunday “Oak Park” scarf along. The shawl is too complicated for social knitting.

And guess what? I found the key to the garden! Archie and I went and harvested some wild garlic and in a moment I will make some pesto with it and toss it through some pasta for my supper.


  1. Anonymous8:59 PM

    No toilet rolls to be had this side of Bath, and a certain supermarket is whipping up the frenzy with money off deals when you buy 4 tins of soup or beans!
    Be prepared Jean, cat litter is running low in
    the SW at least.


  2. Thank you for your concern. At first I thought it was just a bad sprain as all my fingers were moving and it did not swell up. An X-ray this week confirmed a break and hence the plaster. This kind of thing gives you pause. I've got a special can-opener, jar opener and ring-pull on order. I can't drive, of course, and to begin with I could not manage the key for the house either. Life shrinks down under thee circumstances. The Hilary Mantel has been a godsend.

  3. The stockpiling seems irrational, but perhaps we just need to find something to help us feel like we are protected. And the news frenzy in't helping. Photos of empty store shelves creates more panic. I think an outing to Kirchmichael sounds perfect. I am hoping to hang out with the horses this weekend if the weather cooperates. They have their own coronavirus and won't catch ours.

  4. Do you follow Mason-Dixon Knitting? They do a "March Mayhem" every year where they list 16 patterns in 4 categories set up as brackets like a sports tournament. It's a great way to see patterns that were published in 2019. They've got the brackets up on their website with links to Ravelry for all the patterns, plus comments. And then you can vote! It's a fun thing every year but this year it's even more welcome.

    1. I think I'm going to knit one of the hats.

  5. =Tamar5:31 AM

    Hooray for finding things! Yes, the light has come back. I hadn't noticed over-buying here until tonight, when the bottled water shelves were empty. The large containers of dry milk were also sold out, though there was plenty of the one-quart-packet kind and plenty of what I think of as wet milk. Big sale on the kind of canned soup I like, so I got a bunch of that. I can't fault people for doing what the government has been telling us to do for three years: keep a week's worth in stock, only now they're saying two week' worth.
    Kirkmichael should be lovely at this time of year.

  6. I've been trying to remember to add an extra item or three to the foodbank collection point at the supermarket. Apparently one man was seen loading his trolley with the last 50 bags of rice! Perhaps he is running a hostel, or perhaps he plans to sell it for a higher price on amazon? It's Lent so I am trying to think the best of people...
    I'd quite like to stay at home for a couple of months. I've gardening and knitting and a pile of books to be getting on with. All this piano teaching work just gets in the way!