Thursday, September 30, 2021

 I’m home. I’ll do my best to write a full-ish account tomorrow. I’ve been re-hydrated and antibioticised and vitamined. I didn’t get much knitting done, although I did finish the gusset shaping of that second sock.

Friday, September 24, 2021

 I am now in the Royal Infirmary. I got weaker and weaker and finally they carried me off. Things are much as before. I have had lots of tests and nothing in particular is wrong. I’m having a saline drip to restore hydration, and have high hopes of that. I’m taking an antibiotic for “a wee chest infection” which no one seems to believe in. Also oxygen up my nose as the saturation level suddenly dropped yesterday. A little appetite but not much. I’m enjoying lying back and feeling drowsy and irresponsible.

See you soon, I hope. I’ve asked Helen to bring those Kaffe Fassett socks. I’m knitting the second foot. I ought to be able to finish.

Love to you all

Saturday, September 18, 2021


I hope you have guessed that life here is much as before. I feel very weak. Appetite is holding steady, on a low level. No knitting.


Helen and David were here this morning.  They are trying to put my affairs in order – an heroic endeavour. A little bit was accomplished. David is going back to Thessaloniki tomorrow, alas – Helen and an accountant will be here on Monday morning to take up the chase.


I had a letter from the NHS this morning, announcing that they have made an appt for me in Leith for the flu injection in a couple of weeks’ time. I am tremendously conscientious about flu injections and plan to have mine in my local pharmacy, as I did last year. It is one of the few destinations still within range – I can walk there. Leith is miles away and would involve taxis. But the thought of the effort needed to straighten this out is almost too much for me.




Tamar, your ideas are good: when are they ever less? I have switched to easy food – bananas and corn flakes and frozen ready meals. It’s helping somewhat. I wouldn’t know where to turn for anorexia therapy, but it might be worth looking for some. And getting tested for Covid is not a bad idea, either. I think C. will be here tomorrow, and I think she knows a cheap or even free source of the cheaper and less accurate Lateral Flow test. We’ll talk about it.


Audrey: a UTI or kidney infection is an alarming possibility. My husband was in and out of hospital in the last months of his life with exactly that. But he had symptoms – low oxygen saturation, at least. I don’t (Helen has one of those tester-things.). I feel fine, except for this appalling weakness.


Mary Lou, I’m sure your MD friend is right, about malnutrition in the elderly. But I’m trying hard. As soon as appetite collapsed – shortly after I returned from that cruise – I started (amongst other things) Complan, which I think is the “protein shake” you’re suggesting.


Well, I’ll keep your posted.


Ann, yes, I know I could support Franklin on Patreon but feel a reluctance which I couldn’t really explain to Patronise a grown, healthy man, dearly as I love him in this case. My Patron standing orders are for Knitty and Fruity Knitting. The latter started off like a subscription to a knitting magazine, and has of course morphed into something different due to unimaginably dreadful events,

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

 I've been very weak since Sunday's cheerful post -- no knitting, no more garden. I am working hard on dehydration. Archie, who was here yesterday, agrees with his mother than malnutrition is at the root of this. My sister thinks I am living on the calories in cider -- alas, no, to that one. I would welcome those calories, but lack of appetite is affecting cider-drinking like everything else.

I have gone so far as to suspend my Italian lessons.

Franklin is in Paris. He threatened to leave us for several days without the daily posts to Facebook which sustain us these days -- but he hasn't done it. I shall worry about him for a good while. Can he live without Rosamund? Does he have enough English-speaking and Paris-resident friends? I know he's been working hard on his French, but he'll need more, just at first. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Well, that was exciting. Too exciting for me, in the end – I went to bed with my radio, but even in that form had to turn the tennis off for fear I would never get to sleep afterwards. The match was much closer (as often in tennis) than the tame-sounding 6-4, 6-3 score would suggest. I don’t feel much of an emotional attachment to Djokovic – and it’s no longer 9/11. I ought to be able to drift off peacefully tonight, listening to that one. And if not, not.


Today was better, health-wise. C. came and at least we got to the Gardens and sat for a while on the nearest bench – better than sitting on my own doorstep. I’ll try to extend the walk tomorrow. And I have been working hard on dehydration, the most manageable of the amateur and long-distance diagnoses floating about here (alcoholism, lactose-intolerance, malnutrition).


It’s time to get back to work on knitting.

Saturday, September 11, 2021


I felt pretty low yesterday, as you no doubt guessed, and not much (if any) better today, but I’ve got to stay conscious for the tennis. Until today was quite well advanced there was going to be no way to watch it except on Google Prime Then Her Majesty’s Government went cap-in-hand to Mr Bezos – is that who I mean? – and now we are to have it on Regular Television and no doubt Mr. Bezos is a bit richer.


I wish it weren’t happening on so ill-omened a day.


Rachel, who is notoriously tender-hearted, wishes that they could both win since they are both so young. Neither was alive on 9/11/2001. I, however, shall be cheering unreservedly for Emma. Poor Mr. Djokovic often grumbles that we don’t love him as we should, and that’s certainly true this time.


My kefir is here, and it’s delicious.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

 I think perhaps I felt a bit better today. I spent less time in bed -- although I'm looking forward to getting back to it. 

I even did some knitting -- an hour of Coofle while listening to Arne and Carlos at Setesdal. It was fairly tedious. So indeed was the knitting -- the yarn is really pretty thin, and an hour accomplishes nothing. My next job is to resume wee Hamish's Calcutta Cup vest. Important.

I wonder if the World Service will broadcast tennis during the night?  I heard at least one of Andy Murray's US Open matches that way. We're all in a flutter over Emma Raducano over here. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2021


I will have to re-name this blog JeansDecliningHealth.


Today is James’s 60th birthday. We’re all feeling a bit solemn. That leaves only Helen.


I was very grateful for your suggestions. Kirsten, yours came in first and reminded me of how much I love ice cubes. I made some – I don’t have one of those wonderful modern refrigerators which spews them out at the touch of a button – put a couple in a glass, added a couple of slices of lemon, filled with water. Perfect. I don’t even need to replace the lemon when I refill the glass with water and ice.


And, Tamar, yes – Kefir! I bought some, years ago now, from a place called Chuckling Goat. It was delicious – tangier and more interesting than supermarket kefir. I haven’t gone on ordering it from them because it is so expensive, but I thought that this was an occasion which justified it. It should arrive on Friday if not tomorrow.


Helen came this morning. She has diagnosed malnutrition and has left me a little notebook in which to record what I eat.


Neither Daniela nor Archie can come tomorrow. I am expecting s substantial order from Cook. They make better-than-supermarket frozen meals. So I had to clean out the freezer drawers for myself, discarding everything un-identifiable and everything too old even by my relaxed standards. I think I’ve made enough room.


But I don’t feel well and have spent much of the day in bed.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

My appetite hit rock-bottom on Sunday evening. I sent a dear friend out yesterday for easy-eats: bananas and fruit yoghurt and one of those supplement things that you stir into milk. It has helped a bit. Dehydration? I am trying really hard to drink water.

So this is just to report that I am alive, although not particularly well. I look forward to knitting a bit while Arne and Carlos tell me all about Settesdal. Not yet, though. 

Sunday, September 05, 2021


I’m feebler than ever, but all’s well. C. came, but instead of walking we sat on the step in the sun while the happy cats went up and down to the pavement rejoicing in unaccustomed freedom. C. brought me a tonic called Floradix. It seems to be largely if not entirely an iron supplement – probably a very good idea. My appetite is very low these days, and what I do eat may well not contain much iron.


She brought news of the Majestic line – her friend J. (all of C.’s friends have names beginning with J) had been cruising with them last week, on our very boat, the Glen Tarsan. She  had a bishop among her fellow-passengers of whom I was rather jealous. However, towards the end of a happy cruise, two of the crew tested positive for you-know-what and the boat went haring back to Oban. Some of the passengers, including J.’s husband and the Bishop, were showing possible symptoms, coughing and such-like. All were double-vaccinated. The Glen Tarsan cruise for this week has been cancelled and it’s being deep-cleaned.


I need to show you some more pictures.


So I’m glad that didn’t happen to us.


No knitting, but Andrew Marr is back from his summer break, and recorded – so I may catch up both with him and a bit of knitting tomorrow.

Saturday, September 04, 2021


Have you heard?— you probably have – that Franklin is moving to Paris?  He promises to keep in touch via Facebook, where he posts almost daily. Rosamund is staying in Chicago, apparently in the apartment, with someone she knows. What a brave step to take!


I am sorry to have left you in the lurch the last two days. There is nothing specifically wrong with me, but absolutely no acceleration when I put my foot to the floor. I cancelled my Italian lesson for this weekend, and it turns out that my tutor will be away next weekend and I feel a bit as I did in sixth grade, when an infinity of summer stretched ahead. But I mustn’t move too far from the grindstone.


No knitting.


I have continued with Helen’s program of Steady Improvement – it’ll get tougher next week – and must apply the principle to other aspects of life. A bit of knitting, a bit of paperwork.