Saturday, March 27, 2021


That was a most invigorating rugby match, last night. Scotland won by a whisker, in the final seconds.


Today is the 150th anniversary of the first ever international rugby match. It was Scotland v. England, played very near the spot where I am sitting. We won that one, too. Princess Anne is patron of Scottish rugby (a very dutiful and supportive patron). She has made a little video about the anniversary, which I am sure you could find on the SRU website. She refers to Scotland’s victory at Twickenham this year, and allows herself a very small Princess-Anne-y smile as she does so. The Calcutta Cup itself isn’t mentioned. Wikipedia says that it was first awarded in 1879, eight years later.


Last night’s match was against France, which is always fun. We learned to sing the Marseillaise at Hampton Elementary School in Detroit during the war, and I always enjoy singing it silently along with the French team at the beginning. It’s complicated, and there are passages of which I still don’t know the meaning. I have tried to teach myself the Scottish anthem “Flower of Scotland” but find that it doesn’t stick. Essentially, it’s the speech of Macbeth’s which opens Act V, Scene 5. (“Were they not forced with those that should be ours/ We might have met them dareful, beard to beard/ And beat them backward home.”)


C. came this morning, I did my new up-and-down-the-steps thing. We got once around the garden. 2230 steps.


But still no knitting. I must pull myself together.


I had a good Italian lesson this morning. The weather is a bit cooler in Rome, too.




I have turned to “Wives and Daughters”, finding that there is nowt so soothing as Mrs Gaskell.




Thank you for the scam alert yesterday, Helen(anon). Rachel’s husband Ed got caught by that one a few days ago. He didn’t transfer his life’s savings, but he did give them his bank details which they then made use of.


Peggy (comment Wednesday), Toast clothes are indeed preposterously expensive – but they are very well made, and they last. I have two cotton skirts which I wear all the time, and wash constantly because I am always dropping food on myself. They stand up to it brilliantly.


  1. There is a wonderful film version of "Wives and Daughters" - all the actors are their younger selves of course. It is on You tube.

  2. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Wives and Daughters is my favorite of her novels. I too found re-reading Gaskell to be particularly steadying during these sad times. I chose to read the novels in the order of writing, which shows the author going from strength to strength. See if you can find collections of her short stories as well - published by Oxford or Penguin or perhaps some other house - interesting and worthwhile. I found them in my local library system.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  3. =Tamar5:35 PM

    scammers use many forms. I got one this morning claiming to be a receipt for a purchase made ten minutes previously, at a store five miles away that I haven't used for at least two years. I haven't even left the house for days. It was full of clickbait ("coupon", "survey", etc) - most likely to download malware as well as trying to collect my information.
    Be wary!

  4. Jean, you're tempting me to wander over to the Toast website. Perhaps when shipping times from the UK improve I might splurge! Re: scammers, I saw a terrifying movie "I Care a Lot"--would not recommend to anyone of retirement age or approaching retirement age.