Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A good day, I guess. Helen came, and we got twice around the garden. Something rather alarming is wrong with some of their roses. (My Gertrude Jekyll is in vigorous health, showing colour.)

And I pressed on with the EPS sleeve. Here’s the present state of play:

And here -- a subject rather neglected of late – is my avocado tree. It was re-potted at Christmas, you may remember, when I discovered that Perdita had been using it as her lavatory. Rachel’s husband Ed, who did most of the work, held out little hope for it. And for months, it just stood there, losing one leaf after another. And then, suddenly…

I’m all revved up to make another sourdough loaf tomorrow, maybe with olives and rosemary. My starter is bubbling away, rarin’ to go. I’ve been revisiting my favourite YouTube instructional videos, and adding new ones. I will increase the hydration slightly this time (=put in more water).


“A Legacy” is an odd and interesting book, sort of Brideshead-Through-the-Looking-glass. More to come, on this subject.

Here are the books I would insist on taking along, if they were to come and take me to a care home tomorrow. I would in fact insist on taking my iPad (I think at least the better care homes are well-furnished with wi-fi these days) and tell them that they could have all my other assets but I need PayPal and the account that feeds it so that in fact I can go on reading whatever I fancy.

Here they are:

Il Gattopardo
Mansfield Park
Brideshead Revisited
Vikram Seth: A Suitable Boy
Alice in Wonderland
Trollope: Barchester Towers
Edith Wharton: Age of Innocence
Horace: Odes and Epodes (in my beloved old Shorey-Laing edition)
Virgil: Aeneid
Knitting Without Tears


  1. A Suitable Boy is on my list. I might even have purchased it for Kindle. I'll move it up. Right now I am reading Pale Rider, abut the 1918 flu. The avocado complements the sweater colors.

  2. Now I know why the book isn't there. Not available on Kindle in US. I'll try the trick someone here suggested.

  3. Love the choice of colors for your sweater:)! It will look wonderful on you:)! That list is amazing. I am putting them on my list of books to read. If I could only take one knitting book with me I think it would be June Hemmons Hiatt's book.

  4. Anonymous2:41 AM

    I will have to find most of those books.

    But I confess, I would swap Pride and Prejudice for Mansfield Park and House of Mirth for Age of Innocence.

    Love the sweater!

    Beverly in NJ.

  5. Since I can't use a device, I woould add to the list - Wrist supports - for A Suitable Boy.

  6. I used a Stanley knife on my copy of "A suitable Boy", the first and only time I've done this. It split neatly into two smaller volumes.

  7. Anonymous12:23 PM

    You will have me reading Trollope yet, Jean, and it looks like I should start with Barchester Towers. The sweater is looking good, and from this angle, very well-proportioned. You make me want to cut out a muslin using EPS to see what I get. Not quite the same as cloth does not stretch like knitting, but it would be fun to do. Chloe.

  8. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Your mention yesterday of a top-ten favorites reading list has me considering my own. Austen is on it twice, with Persuasion and Emma rather than MP. Ursula LeGuin is on with Always Coming Home, and Kim Stanley Robinson with The Years of Rice and Salt. Other titles remain to be determined, though Alice in Wonderland is a contender. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness will probably appear; Barbara Pym may feature with A Glass of Blessings, or Some Tame Gazelle, or both. I need room for non-fiction, too, however, so will have to make two lists. Or more! - non-fiction could be divided by topic.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  9. So many additional votes for A Suitable Boy! (I wonder if he'll ever publish A Suitable Girl.) My Austen would be Persuasion. Good to see the avocado flourishing. Would it benefit from a summer outdoors?

  10. My goodness, it seems as though I have read all the books on your list, Jean, with the exception of Horace. I took Great Books in college (University of Michigan) and read many of the Greek and Roman greats. I still have my annotated dog-eared Penguin paperbacks from 1960! I can't let them go.
    I started reading Trollope when you mentioned him. And presently I am listening to Pale Rider on Audible and reading Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which is an excellent account of Varien Fry and his work rescuing artists from Vichy France in the early days of WWII. It is fiction but based on a true story. Thanks for your list!!!