Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Helen came over again this morning and we did two circuits of the Gardens. My Oberlin friend Sylvia – I’ve mentioned her before – writes a private blog for about 30 of us. She spent some of her early childhood in Japan. Today she told us that the thing to do with cherry blossom is to stand under the tree and look up at the blue sky through the branches. So we did that. Wonderful!

I’m pushing forward happily with the virus scarf, and enjoying thinking about What Next. Shall I return to Real Life? Or go on knitting on impulse? At the moment, I’m mired in a vast base-colour section, perhaps the biggest one of all. Each time, I find the colours for the next stripes and lay them on the table in front of me, for inspiration.

Andrew and Andrea have written to say that they are mired in a copyright problem with Youtube, which has involved them in much tedious re-editing. But the new issue is promised for tomorrow.


Mary Lou, I forgot to thank you for the suggestion of kimchi soup for my Wrong Cabbage Kimchi. I’ve found Melissa Clerk’s recipe, and it sounds good, very relaxed about ingredients. So that’s on the menu. I’ll probably order some gochujang paste, since that’s so easy to do; and fetch a piece of chicken out of the freezer instead of asking someone to bring me pork belly. The kimchi has been quiet since that first night – clearly dark-leaved, tough cabbage doesn’t bubble the way napa cabbage (=Chinese leaves) does.

A big excitement for later in the week is going to be a “webinar” led by my sister on various interesting topics: Older Adults and the Pandemic; Congregate Living in the Coronavirus Era; Can Nursing Homes be Safe? I’ll report back.

I’ve always been vaguely interested in the 1918 “Spanish flu”. Today I started reading a recent book about it, “Pale Rider” by Laura Spinney. It’s well-written – good prose, I mean. It was written before we were embroiled in the current mess. I’ll be interested to see her conclusion.


  1. I'll have to look for that book. There is an excellent radio program out of Utah called Radio West. 1-hour interviews with authors, experts. Not a sound bite show. There was fascinating program about a month ago with Jeremy Brown, a reasearcher (MD?) who wrote Influenza: The 100-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History. Also, I'll try to remember to look up at the blue sky through my crabapple blossoms and see if I get the same effect.

  2. Kimchi soup, or kimchi jjigae is delicious.
    Here is a link to a Korean cooking website.

    Maangchi is very funny and has excellent recipes. Having lived in Seoul, I enjoy an occasional venture into Korean cooking. Both of our adult daughters are Korean, adopted as infants, so we always tried to have kimchi in the house and other Korean foods. I have made kimchi and you are inspiring me to find some good Napa cabbage and try again. The main issue is that in New York City it is easy to buy good kimchi in the Korean supermarket. But with the current lockdown, we seldom go that far from our house.
    I will find Pale Rider and read it next. Sounds suitable for virus reading. Thanks, as always for the book suggestion.

  3. I forgot to mention that Radio West is available online and as a podcast.