Thursday, December 31, 2020


Well, here we are. I think my trouble is that I have been skipping along, believing that everything would be better in 2021 – I would be rejuvenated, and Covid-19 would go away. Not so. I am weaker than ever, and the virus stronger.


Usually there would be tens of thousands of people in the streets of Edinburgh tonight, with pop concerts from one end of Princes Street to the other and a wonderful firework display over the Castle at midnight. None of that this time. But the radio says that a lone piper will pipe the year in. I wonder if I could hear him, if I went out on the doorstep? It’s a penetrating sound, and I do love the pipes. But I won’t attempt it. It’s a cold night.


No walking again today. The weather was pretty filthy. I think it should be manageable tomorrow, and would certainly be good for me. Archie and Helen were both briefly here. I am planning a “dry January” again this year, but found myself a couple of bottles of cider short for today. They came to the rescue. That was partly why I recently re-read this blog for January, to see if dry-ness had restored any energy. If so, there’s no mention of it.


Kirsten, I love your walk story (comment yesterday)! This morning I did a modest amount of tidying, and found myself at one point trying to insert a book into its place on a bottom shelf. Something was wrong, and I had to get down on one knee to complete the operation. And then I couldn’t get up. I finally succeeded, but it was scary, and I won’t go down on one knee again.


Knitting has progressed. Shandy, I found “Orley Farm” with no difficulty on your instructions, and knit away while listening. On the ascending slope, I marked out 100 stitches in the middle of the hap so that all I had to do was count the two “ears” to see when I had achieved 144 stitches. And so far both “ears” are still there, although of course diminishing.




Janet, thank you for the link (comment yesterday) to the article by the Toronto doctor about her friendship with John le Carre: the link worked fine, and I enjoyed it. I loved the bit at the beginning, where she confessed that she had never read him, and he marched her across the street to a bookshop and bought the lot and signed them for her – a valuable present indeed.


I’m doing fine with “Rachel Ray” – curious and interesting.


I am very grateful indeed for all your kind messages. Happy New Year to all.


  1. Hello Jean , I read your blog every day and enjoy it so much . here's to a better year and thankfully this one is about to end . My brother is a re.enactor and dresses in British attire . He said to tell you , Happy Hogmanay !!!

  2. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Catching up with yesterday and adding my best wishes for Cathy and James around COVID. Asthmatic friends here are especially worried as our numbers climb. Best New Year wishes, Jean.

  3. Happy New Year, dear Jean,
    I wrote a long message yesterday and then it disappeared! I was so discouraged I didn't try to recreate it. But today, I want to let you know how much I enjoy your blog every day. Thanks to you I have discovered Trollope and other good books. And of course I admire your knitting.
    It is New Year's Eve in New York City; and very quiet here, although I do think the fireworks will commence at midnight in the Park as usual. It has been a strange and worrisome year, and I'm not sure it will be totally over come tomorrow. We should get our jabs fairly soon, as we fit the elderly group, but confusion reigns in our government.
    I wish your family well, and hope your daughter in law recovers easily. Please stay safe.

  4. Anonymous9:20 PM

    No pipers here, but plenty of fireworks already. The local church is floodlit and looks lovely across the fields, especially with all the Christmas lights behind it. Happy New Year Jean and everyone, lets hope better days will be here soon.

    Sarah(in Somerset)

  5. Happy New Year Jean. May 2021 find you rejuvenated! My sister in laws MD had them taking extra D3 for several months, now. He belies studies that show a lessening of symptoms and impact. Take your vitamins...

  6. Hello Jean I enjoy reading your blog. All best wishes for 2021.

  7. Happy New Year Jean and fellow readers. I know it won't instantly be better but I hope we see a lessening of lockdowns by the late summer or fall. I hope the government at all levels here in the states (I'm in So. California) gets their act together and gets the vaccine to us ASAP. In the mean time, keep yourselves safe.

  8. Anonymous2:21 AM

    Happy New Year, Jean. I don't know how it was that I came across your blog some years ago. I haven't held a pair of knitting needles in my hands for around 60 years. My mother taught me when I was a little girl but I wasn't keen on it. Neither was she - during the war, when other women were knitting away for the troops, she wove scarves for soldiers on a box loom. I am very thankful for whatever led me here, for you have been a wise and wonderful companion.
    Anne (in Winnipeg)

  9. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Happy New Year, Jean. All is quiet here too. So happy, though, that your blog is impervious to the pandemic. It means a lot. Chloe

  10. Happy New Year, Jean! It is always a pleasure to read about your knitting, your family, your reading, and of course, about Perdita and Paradox. May 2021 bring the safe arrival of the new great-grandchildren and good health to you all. (From Kristen in the Finger Lakes)

  11. Happy New year, Jean. I hope 2021 is full of good health, happiness, and adventures.

  12. Happy New Year, Jean! 2021 will be better, eventually, I’m sure of it. I’ve been following you for a long time, thanks for being here and sharing your life with us.