Wednesday, May 05, 2021


Not too bad a day. I’m feeling brighter. We’ve had a bit of hail, and it’s bitter cold – par for the course, this May. Alexander came, bringing me an interesting bottle of Thai pickled fish sauce. We walked around the garden. 2885 steps – I’ll pace up and down the house, as needed, to reach 3000 before bedtime. Helen says she has finished her mosaic (brilliant news!) and that I am not allowed to show it to you until it has been installed, somewhere in Aberdeenshire. She hopes she’ll be invited.


However, all this is piffle before the wind, as I think Daisy Ashford once said, compared to my big day tomorrow: I’m going to vote. The current plan is that Archie will come, as scheduled for Thursday; a dear friend will drive us up the hill; and we’ll walk back – downhill is easier. If it’s allowed, I’ll have Archie take a picture of me dropping the ballot into the box. I’m still not absolutely sure how to vote – the object is to obstruct Scottish independence. How best to achieve that? I live in Ruth Davidson’s constituency. If she were standing again, there would be no problem (and no doubt of her victory). But she has deserted us for the House of Lords. Both the Conservative and the Labour party leaders in Scotland have something to be said for them; both of their candidates in this constituency seem on the feeble side. It’s pleasant to have the problem to think about. There was no such interesting issue when I voted recently for Biden rather than Trump. In New Jersey, where it didn't matter.


As for knitting, I’m afraid the cats had been at it again. I will be more careful, henceforth. Paradox has started carrying my tee-shirts around the house at night as if she were a puppy. I spent my knitting time disentangling. Wee Hamish’s Calcutta Cup vest has four colours attached; the brioche swatch I had been working on has two. They were entwined. I sorted that out – I think, secretly, I rather enjoy disentangling, especially when multiple colours are involved rather than a single-colour skein-winding gone wrong. Then, as promised here yesterday, I tackled those ¾-knit socks, which involved more disentangling, and I got that done too, I think the sensible thing would be to go ahead and finish those socks right now.




Thinking along your lines, Robin (comment yesterday, for which I am grateful), I am re-reading “Lucky Jim”. Even that is sort of depressing, in its way. A new biography of Monica Jones is much discussed at the moment – she was Philip Larkin’s lover, and said to be the inspiration for the wonderfully awful Margaret in “Lucky Jim”. My husband knew her, somewhat, when we were at Leicester in the late 60’s. I never met her. It is Margaret who makes the book live. The rest of the characters, including Jim himself, are pretty cardboard.


But here it is Wednesday. The week moves on. I had better have a look at Moravia.


  1. =Tamar8:00 PM

    I once demonstrated to someone that a book she thought was depressing was actually funny by reading it aloud in the enthusiastic, comedy "tone of voice" I used in my head, She agreed that when I read it aloud that way, it was funny. Many books can be either funny or depressing, depending on your mental tone of voice at the time.
    Maybe it would help to imagine it being spoken by your favorite comedian.

  2. Congratulations to Helen on finishing the mosaic. I hope the installation goes well and it would be a shame if the creator wasn't invited to the unveiling.

  3. My goodness, Jean! I read the Monica Jones biography last week while away for a few days. Larkin is a poet I really admire, but he was not an admirable person with regards to women. Monica remains an enigma. But then I just had to read "Lucky Jim", which I have just finished. Misogyny pervades the whole thing. How could Larkin have collaborated with Amis in characterising Monica in this way - and how could she forgive him once he had done it? There's a very telling passage where Jim reflects on how Christine is out of his league, his "Womenfolk" being those like Margaret who is not really attractive but just passable.

  4. Anonymous10:22 PM

    You are not allowed to take photographs in a polling station, as it risks the secrecy of the vote. There are also two voting forms to complete:one for an individual in the constituency and another for the party in the region, as we have a form of proportional representation.

  5. Goodness, your cats and your knitting! Maybe you need to provide them with their own 'knitting' to 'work' at when you are asleep, and keep yours in a trunk with a lid!
    We did postal voting - for 'anyone except this current party', but it will have no effect on the overall result in this constituency. This used to be one of the 'rotten boroughs' before the reforms (in the 1800s - I'll have to look it up now); at least we only return one MP for the Conmen instead of a gaggle.

  6. I have listened to several new stories about the Scottish election. And the article in the recent New Yorker thinking of you while I did so. I have lost every comment again this week so here’s hoping this will post!