Wednesday, April 07, 2021


No score today: I neglected to plug the telephone in last night.


It’s still bitterly cold. Archie and I got once around the garden.


I did, however, fulfil my resolution to get started on wee Hamish’s Calcutta Cup vest. I’ve done the preliminary calculations, and am ready to cast on, fully prepared to start again if the first attempt doesn’t work. My most recent, and most successful, Calcutta Cup vest – for Alexander, in what must have been 2018 – was preceded by much industrious swatching (resulting in a “swatch scarf” for Ketki). And despite all that, my first attempt was grotesquely too large. I took out a whole pattern repeat, and started again from the beginning. Much better.


Chloe, yes, I have a knitting app of some sort – I’ve forgotten its name, and haven’t used it for a long time. But I think I’d rather engage mind and hand on this problem. There were moments this morning, indeed, when I realised I should have left one more blank column between the Cup and the date, when I would have been glad to just slide one or the other over a space. But it’s done now.


For the rest of the time today, I just knit stripes.




Kristen, yes, I read “Speak, Memory” long ago, and enjoyed it very much. It was in my Christmas stocking one year in Kirkmichael – because I had put it there myself. All I can specifically remember was my surprise at the fact that when he was forced into exile – this is Nabokov we are talking about – in his late teens or even early twenties, he was afraid of losing his grasp of the Russian language. I wonder if the book is still on the shelf in Kirkmichael?


Yesterday I settled for the most recent volume of Roy Strong’s diaries, but I’m not enjoying it as much as I did the preceding volume (and also it was much more expensive). All of his posh friends keep dying of unpleasant diseases, and he has lots of posh friends. Often the diaries seem little more than lists of them, attending one grand function after another.


Thank you for May Sarton. The name is completely unfamiliar to me (I think). I’ll have a look.


  1. Jean has anyone mentioned the Cazalet chronicles? Elizabeth Jane Howard. I really enjoyed them

  2. May Sarton gets my vote.

  3. I enjoyed the Herb of Grace series by Elizabeth Goudge. The Little White Horse by her was one of my favourite books when I was just a teenager, and it was the last book I read aloud to my daughter when she was about 12.
    I have finished the 'real' Osaka teacosy and christened it yesterday. It is just perfect (in spite of my mistakes)!

  4. Anonymous10:10 AM

    I prefer to do some things by hand, too, Jean. Glad you are doing it out of enjoyment and not just merely a sense of duty. I still love writing Thank You notes by hand. Chloe

  5. I commented yesterday and it disappeared. I do like reading May Sarto, especially her memoirs. Plant Dreaming Deep is a wonderful book. Re. Speak Memory, I had a French professor who was Russian and said he didn't consider Nabokov to be a Russian writer, as he wrote primarily in English.