Thursday, December 17, 2020


Even less to report. It was a nice day out there. Helen couldn’t get here, and I, in cowardly fashion, seized the opportunity to stay indoors. Not much knitting, either. Nor did the yarn arrive for the hap.


Oh, dear. I ought to be able to do better than that. My last grocery delivery arrived (=last, before Christmas) with cranberries, so tomorrow’s job is to make the sauce.


I’m getting on fine with “The Honourable Schoolboy” although it remains rather dense. I never attempted “Little Drummer Girl” as a movie – did I know it was one? – although I do remember it as a not-good-at-all TV adaptation. Anyway, Mary Lou (and anybody else) – do read it. It’s an exciting read, and the most even-handed Israel-Palestine treatment I have ever encountered.


I’m glad to hear that shingles vaccination is possible. I didn’t know that. We had a Christmas at Loch Fyne once – the James Mileses from Sydenham were there – where almost everybody got sick with the norovirus (including me), and just as we were getting ourselves organized for departure on the final morning, Alexander trumped us all by hiking up his shirt and revealing that he had shingles. He had a number of uncomfortable weeks to follow.


It’s very odd, at this time of year when normally there is no news and all the reporters have gone home, to have both Brexit and Covid to keep us on tenterhooks.


I have gone on delving into the archives, and was distinctly taken aback, last night, to discover how sprightly I was in late ’17.  I don’t think anything I can do would make much difference, but I mean to try a dry January again this year (like last), as a last throw of the dice.

And -- I forgot to say -- I am sorry to hear that eastern USofA is submerged in snow. It usually gets here about two weeks later -- in time for the New Year, therefore, 


  1. Do get the shingles vaccination. You might still get shingles, but much milder.

  2. =Tamar12:44 AM

    I have never been able to find out whether the chicken pox vaccination is the same as the shingles vaccination. Logically it should be.

    I ventured out today, mainly because I have been out of apples for too long and the snow had melted (as expected, in Maryland) and the road dried off. It was a "now's my chance" mood. It was cold enough that there is still snow in patches that didn't receive direct sun for long enough today.

  3. More about shingles. Apparently even if you've had shingles, they still recommend you get vaccinated. Besides discomfort, it can affect your eyesight if it gets bad and goes untreated. Tamar must be in a different part of Maryland than I am, since 2 days after the storm, there's still plenty of snow here.

    1. Anonymous4:37 PM

      Yes, I had shingles on my face and in my eye, fortunately no lasting damage to it. My GP said I'd be "safe" for about 5 yrs, and then I should get the vaccine. Did my first shot in Oct, due for the second in the next week or so.

      Anne C. in Bethesda, MD

  4. I had a mild reaction to the first shingles shot, but have been laid low by the second. Fever, headache, chills. By tomorrow (they say) I'll be fine. Worth it if I don't get shingles! We have no snow here in Minnesota at all. Strange.

    1. I have had both types of shingles shots, ( the first type isn’t as effective as the later type), and it was the second shot that put me to bed for 24 hours. Nothing awful but something to consider when scheduling the shots

  5. The shingles vaccine was only introduced recently to Scotland, and there is no routine chicken pox vaccination in childhood here. The shingles vaccine is offered to eligible seniors, aged 70-79. The vaccine is not being offered to older people (80+), because it is less effective for them.

    I know all this because I had an annoying conversation with a senior I know, who maintains that they have never had chicken pox in their life (and wouldnt visit grandchild with CP) but wasnt going to have the shingles vaccine because they heard there are some side-effects.