Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Ella Ogden is now safely with us, after a long labour and an emergency Caesarean. Joe and Becca’s daughter. I’ll send pics soon.

My friend Sylvia is overjoyed to have her cat back. She says he looks fine but seems somewhat subdued. She has ordered a cat-tracker for him.


Again, a better day here than forecast. 1865 steps – one of the days when the step-counter isn’t really trying. Archie and I got around the garden once.


Helen is going to take me to a GARDEN CENTRE tomorrow. I think we think we might as well do it properly, and go to Hopetoun House. It will be exciting. I don’t know what I want, except for some small flowerpots.


I’m a bit further forward with sock-knitting. Thank you for the reminder about negative ease, Tamar. I have recently bought myself some bamboo-and-cotton socks for my cruise: very smart-looking and comfortable. Does anyone really want hand-knit woolly socks any more?


I knit this morning while watching “Pursuit of Love”. I wasn’t tremendously impressed. I spent much of the rest of the day reading it. It’s not an easy book to translate to the screen. My main objection to the early scenes – which is all, in fact, I saw – was that they didn’t get the 14-year-old balance of innocence and curiosity and sophistication right: the girls were 21st century girls. But the book requires them to age a full 15 years or more, so it would be hard to get actresses who could do that, and also be 14. But we started off on the wrong foot: the scene was Christmas-time, and the light and the green countryside were wrong. Also we saw one of our heroines coming home from a day of hunting, riding astride. Mitford makes a point of how uncomfortable it was to trot home while riding side saddle. Walking was all right – but the horse would get too cold. Cantering was fine –but the horse would get too hot. It’s a small point; why bother; no one will notice. But it irritated me.


I am not always so carping. I loved the BBC “Pride and Prejudice” and have re-watched it a couple of times.


Now I really must re-engage with Italian.


  1. I did notice that they were riding astride! The first of many disconnects with my memory of the books... I found it was best to watch with the memories firmly shut away.

    1. I should have said how happy I was to read of Ella's safe (if alarming) arrival.

  2. Welcome Ella! And a garden center!! What fun, even if you buy nothing.

  3. I had forgotten how racy and fun the book was. The film is trying a bit too hard - the reviews had warned of the Baz Lurman effect and I don't think it was a good idea. The interlude with Lord Merlin's house party arriving belonged to a completely different film, stylish though it was. But the girls at Kroesig's lunch-party did seem like gawky teens out of their depth. When you look at the usual offer on the evening schedules this made a welcome change, side-saddles notwithstanding.

  4. I would assume there are not many horses trained to carry someone side-saddle any more, perhaps that was a consideration?

  5. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Welcome Ella!
    Lisa RR