Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Today I heard some statistics I had been wondering about: how much does the current death rate (from all causes) exceed – if at all – the average? The answer is, by lots. So this is a real epidemic. 

I didn’t get out for a walk today, but that was due to intention rather than idleness. I have been making kimchi. I needed both the time and the strength for that purpose. And the job is not quite finished. All the component parts are ready – the salted cabbage; the chopped vegetables; the rice flour porridge; the garlic-ginger-onion-gochugaru sludge. I have still to put them all together and press into jars.

This is the batch for which I don’t have proper napa cabbage (Chinese leaves). What I’ve got (Sunday’s Tesco delivery) is labelled “Organic Seasonal Cabbage” – not very informative. It’s much darker and tougher than Chinese leaves. In fact, all they would seem to share is brassicacious-ness.

I cut the Tesco cabbages up and salted them this morning, hoping that a little extra time at that stage would soften them somewhat. It doesn’t seem to have done so. I’ll keep you posted.

Happier news: Manaba came by after work today to pick up the shawl for his soon-to-be-born son or daughter (they know, but they’re not saying). I picture them being photographed on the steps of the hospital like a royal couple but I don’t suppose that will happen.

So, not much knitting.


This may not be quite right, but I think (a) that it was in 2015 or so that C. and I went off to Athens at Easter and (b) that it was therefore in the winter of ’15-16 that I gave James and Cathy an apple tree, in thanks for their very considerable role in looking after my husband. James sent me this picture this morning:

Alexander drove my husband door-to-door (and back), Drummond Place to Sydenham. James and Cathy, Rachel and Ed provided an interesting and varied week of entertainment – my husband could still walk at that stage, although not very well. And Helen looked after me and C. in Greece, and took us to Marathon.


  1. Nice apple blossom photo, Jean. My apple tree is just thinking about it, but the pear tree is looking lovely.

    Regarding Tamar's comment about different books on the Australian Gutenberg project site, I believe it is because they have different laws on copyright.

  2. =Tamar8:58 PM

    Maryland appears to have survived the annual mid-April high winds. There was a brief spell of summer warmth yesterday but for now it's back to spring temperatures.
    The cherry blossoms have pretty much fallen now. Pollen increases (achoo).

  3. Yes, the death rate does exceed the average, but it was interesting to see how high a toll the flu outbreak in 2015 exacted, and I don't remember that one at all. The thing with this one is how safe or otherwise we will all feel when the social distancing rules are relaxed. Will one ever feel safe on a crowded Tube, or in a cinema or concert-hall even?

  4. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Social distancing has hit hard today. This morning was my cousin's funeral, and of course none of us could go. We're planning a family event to remember her when all this over though.


  5. Not at all cheerful that I read in today's NYT that the death toll in New York City "soars past 10,000 as count is revised."
    and that the death toll nation wide is considered to be more than 26,000. Epidemic indeed!
    Here in southwestern Vermont life is a little easier as we live on a small farm at the end of a dirt road. No need to mask up when we go outside.
    Your gifted apple tree looks lovely and very much at home. No apple blossoms for us yet but my small Jane magnolia is ready to burst into bloom. Be well!

  6. Lovely blossoms on the apple tree. We have flowering crabs in front of the house, right now they are full of robins feasting on the fruit that held on all winter. The cold snap here after several weeks of mild weather has me worried about the garden, but that doesn’t help much. I look forward to seeing the new baby in her shawl.