Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Another chill but glorious day. I hobbled around the garden all by myself. 1892 steps – not very good. Helen and her family are safely in Kirkmichael. She sent me a little video of the quince tree which used to live in a pot on the doorstep here. It went to Kirkmichael last year, since it was obviously failing here. It looks very well indeed, at the moment.


I made a little list this morning of Things I Must Do, and got them all done except for watering the doorstep plants. That will have to be top of tomorrow’s list.


And I’m nearly halfway through the Calcutta Cup band on wee Hamish’s vest. I carefully put the knitting away when Michaela was here yesterday, so that she wouldn’t tidy it away in a fashion that confused its yarn with all the other yarns lying about, but I neglected to secure MacGregor’s “Fair Isle Knitting” in the same way, and it has disappeared, presumably into a pile of books. I want it for the overall pattern upon which I will soon embark. I have other works on my shelves which would probably offer something, and Michaela might be back anyway before I need it.


And speaking of works on my shelves, I had a look at Mary Thomas, both vols. She has “corrugated knitting” in the indices of both – but that’s something different. Vertical stripes of two colours; she suggests three stitches each. With the floats in the back pulled fairly snug, so that the fabric actually corrugates. But there’s no purling involved. She may have corrugated ribbing in there somewhere but I’m not going to spend time looking for it.




Tamar, that’s quite a good idea, to write out a family tree in the case of long, well-populated novels. Except that if the author is good enough, there’s no need. I never feel any confusion in Mansfield Park. I’m making some progress with this new attempt at “I Vicere”. In the first pages, the old princess has just died, and there’s a lot of coming and going and confusion until after the funeral. Then the author sets to work telling us about each of her six children, and there are some cousins, too – and things are becoming clearer.


Cats: my husband said that his cat Plush was touchingly glad to see him when he came home from the war, although the cat had been living peacefully in the country with my husband’s mother and his sister all the while. It’s worth worrying about what will happen when the cat’s household is broken up by death. I think Perdita will be all right – stout and disagreeable as she is, Archie loves her and the rest of Helen’s family is well disposed (including the dog). Paradox is more of a problem, pretty and furry and affectionate though she is.


  1. =Tamar2:51 PM

    I found the Price family tree to be interesting in Mansfield Park, simple as it is. All the Price children are named and their ages and jobs given, though two must be guessed from the order in which the jobs are listed. Working it out told me that Sir Thomas had been in frequent communication with them for years, even though Fanny apparently knew nothing of it, as he paid for her brothers to be educated and got them jobs as they grew old enough. The naming patterns hinted that Mrs Norris's first name must be Elizabeth. (Austen hides information, e.g., Mrs Norris practices witchcraft and Fanny knew it but nobody comments on it.)

    1. I'd be fascinated to hear your evidence for this, given that she was a vicar's wife!
      When Fanny visits Portsmouth we learn the names of her siblings, and of the little girl who had died, leaving the disputed silver knife.