Thursday, March 18, 2021


1745 steps – but I left the telefonino behind a couple of times, so that’s not quite as bad as it sounds. Helen and I got once around the garden. It was another beautiful day, and I spent much of the afternoon dozing in the sunshine in my chair like an elderly cat. C. is my appointed walker for tomorrow. We will talk about what to do about cruising. At least this way, with the May 1 cruise cancelled, she will be here for wee Hamish’s first birthday; and we will both be here to vote in person in the Scottish election.


I’m pretty sure I booked my first (and, so far, only) Majestic Line cruise before my husband’s funeral. That was to the Outer Hebrides, in the summer of 2018, and it was wonderful. I already had my eye on the Wilderness Cruise, to the upper left-hand corner of Scotland, but thought it would be wiser not to book until I had experience of a Majestic Line cruise. And by that time, there were no single places left for ’19.


Then C. agreed to come with me – and we missed our chance to book the last place on a Wilderness cruise for ’19 by 24 hours. That’s fine, we thought: gives us more time to enjoy looking forward to it. As indeed we did.


When that was cancelled, we moved the booking forward to May, 2021 -- surely everything would be back to normal by then -- and also booked a “Captain’s Choice” cruise for October, ’20, in order to have something more immediate to continue looking forward to. We got pretty close on that one. Quite a few Majestic Line cruises sailed last summer. I had ordered my cruise wardrobe from Toast. It hangs here unworn. But that cruise was cancelled at the last moment as the second wave of the virus hit. We transferred that booking, too – I’ve forgotten what our new choice is called. I’ve done quite a lot of virtual window-shopping at Toast for the cruise that was cancelled yesterday, but haven’t actually bought anything.


So now we must decide what to do. All the other Wildernesses and St Kildas are booked up for this year. As I said yesterday, I fear my declining strength isn’t up to waiting much longer.


Knitting: I made a good start on the first sleeve of the Polliwog, but not much more than that. The pattern consists of three-row stripes, which makes it easy to remember what to do when the decreases come every six rows.


Reading: Metropolitan Rebecca, “The Cold Summer” seems much more like a second book to me, being longer and denser and with more back-story for the hero. Never mind: I’m glad that’s the one you ordered. I made some headway with it. The other is perhaps too short and thin. 


Life: I meant to say yesterday – I went back through the text messages on my telephone (there aren’t all that many) and found the phoney one from the bank, about a new payee having been added. It identified itself as phoney by coming from Natwest, where I don’t have an account. But I was also interested to note that it asked me to get in touch (if I didn’t want to add Mr Mohammed to my payees) by clicking on a website. Whereas the genuine one – which identified itself as genuine by mentioning a payee whom I had that morning indeed added – just said to get in touch at once, if this wasn’t right.


  1. It is disappointing you can't get on one of the other cruises. If only we could all get together and hire one for ourselves!

    1. Anonymous3:23 PM

      Oh, Mary Lou, if only!
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  2. Loved your story yesterday about penances in Lent. I'm just writing series of articles for our volunteers' newsletter, about life in the 1500s. I've found it fascinating to read a book about Sir William Petre of Ingatestone Hall whose steward kept very detailed records of expenditure during the 1550s. From these it is possible to see what was eaten during Lent - that's fish, fish, fish for forty days solid.