Tuesday, December 22, 2020


A better day. Chloe, it’s a strange idea, but I wonder if you’re right, that my enervation yesterday was connected with the solstice? Helen came for my walk today. I had her stop at the fishmonger at the top of Broughton Street and bring me a fillet of smoked haddock. I made myself some kedgeree and ate a great deal of it.


And speaking of food, I have been worrying about my Christmas dinner. My “black chicken” is French. Was it festering in a lorry at Dover? But today we had Fred’s usual Tuesday message, and he describes himself as “surrounded by poultry of many shapes and sizes in the kitchen today, getting them ready for all the Christmas orders.” That sounds all right. I think it will be delivered tomorrow.


And I got back to hap-knitting. I counted 94 stitches this morning. I knit more after that, and hope to add a bit this evening. I’m aiming for 144. Each row adds one. Then, of course, I start decreasing one per row until I'm back where I started.


Kate Davies’ new book came in this morning’s post. Sure enough, as one of you told me: the essays about technique aren’t included, although there is a reference to a website where they can be found. I like “Carbeth” although I’d want it six inches longer.


VK also arrived. I haven’t spent much time with it yet. I flew into a panic when I failed to find Meg’s name among the contents, but she’s there, all right, if one perseveres. She’s writing about hems, and it could be interesting. I see we are to have a new editor. Who is it? But I almost certainly wouldn’t recognise the name even if you told me.


And as for reading, I’m doing a rapid re-read of “The Little Drummer Girl”, and enjoying it, although I think I need something more cheerful than le Carre.


The weather continues rather good, in a December-y way. 2021 is well advanced in Drummond Place Gardens – snowdrops in bloom, winter aconites likewise, daffodils growing strongly. Nature is rather wonderful.

On Thursday, Christmas Eve, the animals can talk, I am told, although unfortunately, only in Polish which is more than Perdita or Paradox or I can manage. 


  1. Sounds as though you'll get your chicken. Carbeth - I made mine (almost 3 years ago) half an inch longer than the pattern specified, and then decided it would have been fine at the pattern length. Cropped was definitely a new look and feel for me and I continue to really like it as an extra layer to pop on around the house.

  2. Anonymous9:26 PM

    We know what the animals say on Christmas Eve, because we have this song! No need to learn Polish!


    Beverly in NJ

  3. Do you remember the early TV show “I Remember Mama”? I loved that show but as a small child, I was really frightened by their “animals talking on Christmas Eve”episode.

  4. My husband says for all we know our cats are already speaking Polish and we just don't understand it.

    I had to look up kedgeree and it sounds good. The recipe I saw called for cardamom and I love the smell and the taste of that spice. Do you put it in yours? Not sure where I can get smoked haddock in Texas but then, this is the 21st century and anything is possible I guess. I have been eating mince pies and shortbread from the UK all fall.

    I can't wait to hear all about the chicken and accompaniments.

    1. Anonymous4:37 PM

      Try making your kedgeree with smoked salmon, which is the only way I've known it. It's delightful. I'd never heard of making it with haddock until your comment here. ;)
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  5. Anonymous12:18 PM

    So many fun topics! Can't wait to hear about the black chicken. And will have to revisit my new copy of Vogue. Glad you are feeling stronger today. It would be great to have an answer to your weakness, Jean. I was thinking about the moon affecting tides, the secretion of particular hormones by those affected by SAD, and other recent scientific discoveries when I suggested the solstice. Can't hurt to theorize:-). Chloe

  6. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Vogue KNITTING. C.

  7. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Ti auguro un Natale pieno di amore, pace e gioia sincera. Felice Anno Nuovo!
    I was having fun looking up greetings in Italian.
    Keep well for 2021 - it has to be different!
    I hope the COVID-19 vaccine can be rolled out very soon.
    (and yes I am in favour of the shingles vaccine too. I had it lightly, but I don't want a bad case with lingering effects)
    Lisa R-R
    another reader in Toronto

  8. =Tamar4:47 PM

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling stronger. Having seen a diagram on a video that showed Jupiter's electric field blown by the solar wind so that it extended out past Saturn, I can believe that we do not know all there is to know about the physics of the solar system and how that may affect us. I wonder, if you used a calendar to make a diary of what days you felt weaker or stronger than usual, whether it would show a cycle.
    Oh, and what? daffodils in December? Here we have to wait until spring.