Tuesday, August 18, 2020


Woolly Bits, thank you – for Andrew and Andrea. I had the usual little clutch of announcements from Patreon about discounts-for-patrons, and expected the usual announcement of the new episode, but either didn’t get it or, much more likely, overlooked it through own carelessness. So now I’ve watched it, and got a good deal more of the stretchy bind-off done.


And my mental sluggishness has meant that the first week of the four-week hiatus is gone without my noticing!


Your idea for reducing the agony of blocking by half is extremely interesting, too.


Helen came, and we got my circuit of the garden done. Her boys are arriving at the airport at 1 a.m. tonight– she’ll be there. I’ve been shown a fairly horrific picture of Fergus’s stitches, in an arc across his forehead. The stitches look very healthy, though. No redness, no puffiness.


Christina and Manaba, with their son Hamish and their cat Poe, are in Kirkmichael this week:


You can just see, in the first picture, the burn from which our house takes its name, “Burnside”. Pliny the Younger, I believe, somewhere in his Letters, says that the sound of water is a desirable feature of a country house. One notices it at Burnside when one arrives and first gets out of the car, and then one forgets. But Pliny was certainly right; and we’d miss it if it were gone.


And I agree with Hamish that’s it’s very pleasant to stretch out one’s hand in bed, and find fur.


I watched Bill Gates being interviewed today by the editor of the Economist, a special for subscribers. I had expected live, but it turned out to have been recorded a day or so ago, and the sound was badly synched, for some reason, so I didn’t stay until the end. It was all about the pandemic, of course.


His refusal to criticise Mr Trump was rather striking. But he’s a man who must move among princes – I’m a t’riffic fan – and was presumably being very careful not to make enemies.


  1. Jean - you have sent me on a (wild) goose chase looking for my friend Woolly Bits. I thought she was on Clare Island west of Westport. But now I find she has moved to Ballyhaunis, between Westport and Ballina. I wish she would write on her blog! Glad she is reading yours. Janet in Seattle

  2. =Tamar11:06 PM

    The cat carrying the spatula is not on Youtube. Here's the URL:

  3. Anonymous1:13 AM

    Very glad to hear Fergus seems to healing up well and quickly - a definite boon of the young! What a relief.
    It's been such a hot summer in Southern Ontario that it is hard to imagine a baby wearing a wooly suit with long arms and legs. But he is so charming in it!
    Peaches, tomatoes, apricots, eggplants, zucchini, plums - all of a sudden everything is ripe in the Toronto farmers' (physically distanced, one-way path) markets. My local one just re-opened at last two weeks ago and it was so good to see the farmers and their bounty.
    have a good week
    Lisa RR in Toronto

  4. Adorable pictures of little Hamish. Poe is wise to tuck his tail in, just in case.

  5. I see that being an ailurophile runs in the family. Adorable! I need a model for a baby vest, how I wish I could pop over and have him model!

  6. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Best cat-and-baby picture ever.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  7. Anne C. in Bethesda MD6:27 PM

    That's a very sweet picture of little Hamish and Poe!