Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Sorry about yesterday. We were all assembled, from around the world, at blog-writing time, to watch a film about Helen and her mosaics and then she would answer questions. It was a disaster. First ten minutes when we couldn’t get in because the previous zoom session was running late. Then we got in and had ten minutes of a woman poking ineffectively at her keyboard. Then, finally, Helen answering questions – but the film was over.


Here it is, I hope. I think it’s excellent. It begins with a minute or two of the ineffective woman, but rapidly gets better:


Today’s big excitement was that Alexander came to see us. I haven’t seen him since something like October – we sat out on the step that day, I remember, so it’s unlikely to have been too late in the year. I gave him his Christmas present, and we walked around the garden together. 2518 steps so far today – not enuf to aspire to 3000 before bedtime, really. I showed him the Jamieson & Smith pattern I’ve got (with a kit) for knitting Calcutta Cup leg-warmers, and he approved.

The weather is grey and cool. It has been the coldest April in umpteen years. A good thing it wasn't the hottest -- we'd all be fainting in coils. It has been consistently cold, at night anyway, so nature hasn't been coaxed forward in any untoward way.


Not much was done today on wee Hamish’s Calcutta Cup vest – I had unwisely left it within reach of the cats last night, and they had set upon it like furry Rumplestiltskins but with less success. No great harm was done – Shetland yarn really is “sticky” – but it took a while to untangle.


Comment: Shandy, that is an excellent idea, to listen to the Barbara Pym biography while I knit. I hope tomorrow. And Mary Lou, your most recent comment seems to have made it through.


Meanwhile I continue to read “I Vicere” but still haven’t achieved 40%, and am plunged into an historical event I don’t understand. Conversation for my next Italian lesson, if I can figure out what year it is meant to be happening in.


  1. Just watched Helen's video - thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you for the link.

  2. The film was wonderful and so informing. Learned a lot from it! Also enjoyed seeing some of her mosaics. I've seen so many bird bath's made out of mosaics, beautiful !

  3. How wonderful to see Alexander in the flesh! Also, I did get in to watch Helen's video and enjoyed it. I had seen her do a presentation a few months ago, I feel like I would recognize her on the street!

  4. Thank you for sharing Helen's video. It took me back to Art History class in college. Will we get a sneak peek at the one she is working on at your house at some point?

  5. Thanks for sharing the video, Jean. Very enjoyable and informative.

  6. Really enjoyed Helen's video, she is clearly passionate about her work. Some while ago I recall you mentioning a mosaic she made for a family member which displayed Peel tower on Holcombe Hill which is very near to where I live.

  7. I love the video; Helen's studio looks like a treasure store. I hope she manages to put the little mosaics up in Edinburgh. I've never visited the city and the thought of playing 'hunt for Helen's mosaics' sounds great fun.

    1. Yes — Helen is the “mystery mosaicist” of the Second New Town, and there are several examples of her work to be found here and there.

  8. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Loved the video, Jean! Chloe