Sunday, May 23, 2021


Peggy, yes, I am frightened about leaving home, although I don’t know what I’m frightened of. Worried about the cats, of course. I don’t need to worry about reading. I will have my iPad, from which I am never separated, and can whistle down anything I want from the heavens. It’s a pity one can’t do that with yarn. I think I have read all of Kate Atkinson – that was a good idea.


Shandy, I have never heard of the bonxsie and will certainly look out for them. I believe that Gladys Amedro and her husband only moved to Shetland in retirement, for the love of bird watching. I think if I were God creating the world, 40 different birds would have been plenty for Scotland. But there are in fact hundreds. That’s a good idea, to photograph them. I have ordered a pack of reporter’s notebooks, which should arrive tomorrow.


Tomorrow I think I’ll pack. That might cheer me up. And start a list. I’ve got two geranium cuttings here in the Catalogue Room – they seem to have struck. They must go out on the step at the last moment. For now, the weather is still chilly and rather unpleasant. That's the sort of thing I will hope to remember in the final flurry. 


As for knitting, I have finished the first Pairfect sock and started the second. I have never suffered from Second Sock Syndrome. Casting on over four needles – which I haven’t done for a while – seems very difficult and clumsy. I must remember to pack a darning needle so that if I finish a sock, mid-cruise, I can kitchener it. Another one for the list.


For reading, at the moment I have attached myself to Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalets. I find the whole series on my iPad. Have I read them? There are moments when it feels familiar. I’ve finished “Dove Mi Trovo” and must start another something in Italian.

Current affairs

There used to be a rumour -- you can easily find it if you google -- that Prince Harry was James Hewitt's son and not Prince Charles's. The rumour has been largely discounted, and Hewitt denies it. However, it must be known to both men, and painful for both, and perhaps affects their relationship. And yet Harry, baring all to Oprah, doesn't mention it. The elephant in the room?






  1. I am currently reading Marking Time, the 2nd volume in the Cazalet series. I loved the 1st volume and could hardly wait for the 2nd book in the series.

  2. Jenny8:15 PM

    Is someone staying with your cats Jean?

  3. I've always needed lists for going away. What to pack, what needs to be done before going.... Have you read The Little World of Don Camillo? The author is Giovannino Guaresci, so I suppose the original was Italian? Or maybe he was an American Italian! Perhaps you would be amused by an Italian cookery book. In Italian, I meant!
    I have knitted a tiny sock (only 20 stitches round) and Turned My First Ever Heel. I reckoned that was worthy of a minor celebration.

  4. I am scared before every trip I take. There is a basic fear of leaving home. I imagine that the pandemic has made this worse. The fear disappears once I get underway. I find it helps to put the things I want to take on a spare bed or table as I think of them. I keep a list of all the things that need to be done or added to the suitcase at the last minute.

  5. =Tamar3:25 PM

    They say that it takes two weeks to form a habit. We've been in various levels of lockdown with Dire Warnings for over a year, to the point that simply going shopping raises fears. But with the vaccinations, we are free to break the habit of fear and go out.

    When sock knitting, if possible, I cast on all the stitches on one needle and then transfer them to the others. It might be easier to cast on to a short circular needle and then transfer the stitches to the double points.

  6. Bonxies are Great Skuas. They are like a giant brown seagull and they will divebomb walkers if they feel threatened. You can easily see forty birds in one morning in the right place. The trick is to record even the common or garden species as well as the rareties.

  7. Anonymous8:21 PM

    I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip. I also urge you to read the Little World series by Guareschi. Great fun and originally in Italian. I fell in love with the series in the late 1960s and reread then - in translation - every few years. I think you would enjoy them. As for socks, I usually cast onto one needle then transfer to the other dpns as I begin the sock. Take care. Joe-inWyoming