Wednesday, January 27, 2021


I thought this morning that maybe I was  “feeling tired” which is one of the possible side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the leaflet they gave me, and Helen had a busy morning anyway so we would have had to zip around the garden fast, and as a result we stayed in. I’ve done 941 steps, which at least provides us with a baseline for days on which I do nothing but shuffle about and cook a simple lunch. My arm feels perfectly normal, to such an extent that I wonder whether I’ve had a vaccine at all.


I did a bit more knitting. Only one scallop to go before the edging of Gudrun’s hap goes around its second corner.


James rang up. No news, really. His wife Cathy is thoroughly recovered from her second does of COVID. Neither has been vaccinated yet – he a type 1 diabetic, she asthmatic. He’s enjoying working from home – and he couldn’t go to China anyway, in the circumstances. He has never been away so long, in his adult life. Their younger daughter Kirsty is at home, pursuing her Oxford career digitally. It’s rotten luck, for her and thousands of others. She worked so hard to get there – and now university is a laptop in the bedroom.




I’ve gone on with Tomalin on Austen. She has done a wonderful job of conjuring up the extended family and the village, to the extent that you scarcely miss direct information about Jane in the early chapters. I have given up trying to keep the characters straight. All the men in the family are named Edward, and the women either Jane or Elizabeth.


I like the idea of your book group, Mary Lou. I suppose we have something like that here.


I didn’t try to listen to “Mansfield Park”, Shandy, partly for not knowing how to reach Radio 4 Extra on my radio – but I suppose I could have managed that; mostly for preferring it as it plays in my head. Thank you very much for the thought. How was it?


  1. It turns out that "Mansfield Park" is in three episodes, with the others tomorrow and Friday. It's an old production, of course. The Edmund was a touch too loud and Mrs Norris, played by Jane Lapotaire, not loud enough. but it was a treat to have something that was not a repair shop type programme to listen to as I finished a Fair Isle hat.

  2. Anonymous8:07 PM

    I was able to find Mansfield Park here:

    I'm going to give it a listen.

    Beverly in NJ

  3. We do have a sort of book club here, don't we? I get some excellent recommendations.

    1. Ann Paltridge6:50 PM

      Your past recommendation of Tim Pears' West Country trilogy has kept me reading happily this month, Mary Lou. I would add it to a list of my all time favorite reads.

  4. =Tamar1:17 AM

    I found I had to take extensive notes as I read Mansfield Park, to keep the characters straight.

    In one branch of my extended family almost everybody is named Sally or Bobby. I gave up on telling any of them apart.

  5. Jean you can listen to bbc radio on your computer ... or your phone. there is an app bbc sounds that you can download on your phone or get Archie to do that and register you. and then on your computer just go to and you have access to live and any program that has aired for the last 30 days (and often longer) and when you start one episode you can choose to have the next one play automatically.

    i listen to mainly bbc radio any questions just holler