Saturday, January 16, 2021


General gloom.


Not here, so much. It was a lovely, sunny day. Helen came, and we got around the garden twice, and my step count, as a result, stands at 3052 and I haven’t even gone to bed yet. I’m knitting round 44 of the 50 border rounds of Gudrun’s hap. The next round will be the final pattern round and then I can take out all those markers.


No, I am gloomy because my favourite columnist, Melanie Reid, who is quadriplegic after falling from her horse, has abandoned for a moment her usual cheerful cynicism and confessed in this morning’s Times how frightened she is. What if her carer gets Covid-19? Or her husband? Or what if she gets it herself? – paralysis requires specialist nursing to avoid bedsores. (My parallel anxieties are: what if I have a heart attack? or a stroke? or a bad fall? now that hospitals are choc-a-bloc.)


And then came the promised report on Andrew Doig’s health. He’s Andrew, as in Andrew and Andrea. You probably know already. He got a lot worse around Christmas. The best that doctors could offer – and I suspect German doctors are rather good – was treatment which would prolong life by a few months. So Andrea picked him up and drove him to a clinic in the Black Forest where they are free to use treatments that haven’t been approved and released on the world. (She has been doing a lot of research into possibilities, in the last few months.) She is staying there too, and helping to nurse him. It’s very expensive. She appealed to us for funds.


Hence, gloom.




Helen is reading Candia McWilliam’s autobiography “What to Look for in Winter”. (What a good title!) I thought I had read it, but none of the passages Helen described sounded familiar. I checked with Amazon, and sure enough I bought it for my Kindle a few years ago. So I think I’ll go there when I finish “Barchester Towers”. I’m increasingly inclined to agree with you, Shandy: Charlotte Stanhope is a bit of a Mary Crawford (from “Mansfield Park”) although I still hope she will prove to be less of a villainess.


  1. Yes, superficially sensible: dresses her age, does the accounts, fills in the gaps of that useless mother, but ... watch this space. and keep looking out for ivy reappearing as an image.
    What of Madeline?

  2. this is for a post you wrote a few days ago.. i saw that post today and wanted to make sure you see this... so i am copying it here .. you will understand when you read further

    Just a note re scams.. you may want to delete the number you wrote in this post which also has the words d*te *f b*rth in it and your n*me is on the blog

    bots (automated programs) scrap websites...

    fyi from a techie

  3. Gloomy weather here, and the promised snow turned into 'wintry mix' that left the roads and sidewalks treacherous. I'm reading a couple of Catriona McPherson mysteries, on the cozy side, set in Perthshire. The author is a PhD in linguistics, so there are frequent forays into Scots vs. English. I think they are well written and entertaining. Not Trollope, certainly. I've been cranking out some striped hats and mittens in a new pattern, Strobus, that are in bright colors and fall into the same cozy category. Fun and require very little thinking.

    1. Ann Paltridge6:16 PM

      I saw (and bought) your Strobus pattern in the MDK Saturday newsletter. Congrats, Mary Lou! It looks bright and cheery and easy on my rattled brain.

    2. Anonymous6:22 PM

      I bought your pattern, too, Mary Lou, after seeing it in Snippets. Looks just the ticket for battling the gloominess.

      Anne in Bethesda, MD