Saturday, July 24, 2021


Not an entirely successful day. I slept badly, to begin with – that’s unusual. I’m normally very good at sleeping. Then I got up too late to make breakfast before my 8 a.m. Italian lesson. When C. came to walk me around the garden, I couldn’t even make it to the garden gate. The weather is still sizzling hot here, although it has dissolved into thunderstorms in the south of England. It’s hot in Rome, too, and my tutor had had her second vaccination yesterday. We didn’t exactly sparkle.


Helen is urging me to get another trainer. I’m resisting. It takes up a whole morning of every week. It’s fairly expensive.


Helen’s husband David is here from Greece. He’s finished quarantining and they have all gone off to Kikrmichael. He will be going back to Thessaloniki with a couple of his sons next week – but will be here again in September. They came to call on their way north. They are going on to the Glenlivet distillery (wherever that is: somewhere north) on Monday to see and photograph Helen’s big mosaic in place.




I’m glad to hear that Elsie Dinsmore hasn’t been entirely forgotten. It is interesting that she is free to download on Amazon – her family were slaveowners. I would have thought the books were about as Incorrect as it was possible to be, in 2021. Perhaps things aren’t as bad (censorship-wise) as I imagined, or maybe Amazon doesn’t know what’s inside.


Tamar, my bath has excellent handrails, and isn’t – like many another bath, like the one Helen has installed in Kirkmichael – too steep to get into. The problem is more my lack of flexibility.


Andrea has posted another episode of Fruity Knitting. It’s time I picked up those socks again (at least) and spent an hour with her.




  1. Maybe Jean, you are not drinking enough water in this hot weather and you are dehydrating a little bit. My neighbour is late seventies and “went off her legs” very quickly after 3 days of the heat, even though her house was cool.

  2. I vote for the trainer. Mobility, strength and balance are so necessary to remaining independent. If you're not using all those muscles, you will lose them.

  3. Here is another voice for a trainer - aren't we good at spending your money? I am planning to do the same thing. I have spent the lockdowns on my backside, and I know that I am so much weaker and more feeble. My balance is shot, and it wasn't anything to brag about before. I have a history of falls, so I must do something! Let's take the step together!

  4. Jenny1:51 AM

    Me too! I think a trainer is a excellent use of your money.
    Also make sure you're drinking enough water.
    I hope your weakness passes soon.

  5. Maybe chairexercise YouTubes are a way to start
    I've enjoyed Ballet Based Movement; it's a mother and daughter team; daughter started teaching her 70+ mother ballet to improve balance and mobility. I was doing the easiest video every day for a while. I should start again! I've got so lazy this past year.
    Have just finished knitting a weird and wonderful square spiral potholder (garn studios) so am ready to embark upon a sock adventure... So many yarns to choose from. Are 'sock wonder' needles a good idea?

  6. =Tamar12:31 PM

    I'm glad you have handrails and I'll try to stop nagging.
    This past year of inactivity has left me less flexible too, and the lack of just going out and walking around seems to have made me less accustomed to the little motions that balance. But I think the heat is a big problem too. Our bodies warn us not to over-exert in heat. Also, I wonder - is Scotland still getting smoke blowing over from Iceland's volcanoes? I swear the fine haze from the fires in our West is causing me problems. I know my eyes sting and everything looks grey outside. I keep looking at bright-colored things to check that it's not my eyes going bad. That stuff's not good to breathe either.

  7. Those small circumference needles have shorter tips than other circulars. I tried them and hated them. I suppose it depends on how you like to hold your needles. I had to use my fingertips mostly.

  8. You are worth the cost of a trainer if Helen thinks you need one. We all just want the best for you!