Friday, December 24, 2021


Here I still am, I’m afraid.


I was overtaken by something that felt like panic, and didn’t want to leave the familiar and the cats. I’ll be fine tomorrow by myself. I think Helen and David are coming to walk around the garden with me. They’ll ring the doorbell and stand well back. They’re also well-tested and clear. This damn disease is clearly getting out of hand. Rachel has got it, -- at any rate, has tested positive. She was planning to come up after Christmas with some family, to stay a couple of days at Loch Fyne and then come here overnight. But that’s off. She says her son Joe is much better. That’s something.


Loch Fyne: I signed up for Kate Davies’ new club yesterday. It’s called “The Secret Shore of Argyll” or something very like that. I was surprised to see that signing-up had started early in December. How had I missed it? The answer is, I hadn’t missed it. Yesterday’s membership was my second. I heard from Melanie this morning. I apologised, and have already got the refund. This is a worrying memory lapse. There were several reasons that that should have been memorable, including the fact that Loch Fyne is in Argyll, not far from the coast. (It is a sea loch.)


I’m having a wonderful time with my salad-maker. Here is a picture of it. 

The lights go off for eight hours out of the 24. It is watered by means of wicks drawing from a reservoir at the bottom. The lights will flash gently when I need to refill it, every fortnight or so. The photographs and instructional drawings show the lights at different heights. I am told that that will happen automatically. My first contribution (other than watering) will be to harvest/subdue the plants when they threaten to get too big.

That's not a real radiator (which would be ill-advised). It's an oil-filled plug-in thing, enormously heavy, which we inherited with the house. We managed to get rid of one or two. We have even, occasionally, in hard winters, plugged it in.


So now all I can do is to wait for Heaven’s contribution – the appearance of the little green plants.




  1. =Tamar9:08 PM

    Those oil-filled electric radiators can be very useful. I used one to spare my house pipes from freezing when the heating-oil man was late delivering.

    The salad garden sounds delightful. Just the right size for fun.
    Happy Christmas!

  2. Right now it is best to do what you think is safe and stay in your comfort zone. Enjoy all that food you brought in and talk to your family on the phone, zoom or whatever other means you have. Merry Christmas.

  3. Have a happy and peaceful Christmas watching over your seedlings... Every one's plans are in confusion to some degree. My father was going to my brother's for Christmas until they tested positive. Luckily the community kitchen at his flats will be able to do meals for him at short notice. I think he is relieved at not traveling, however much he was looking forward to s 'proper' family Christmas. He's 92!

  4. Happy Christmas, Jean.

  5. Enjoy your holiday season warm and secure in familiar surroundings with the cats.
    I find, as I age, that the disruptions of ‘holiday making’ are not that enjoyable. I prefer a slower pace and less angst.

  6. Jean - A Happy and Contented Christmas to you - I'm with you in familiar surroundings with your cats. And knitting of course.

  7. What fun - a salad machine!! Sometimes I, too, just prefer to stay home with my books, knitting, jigsaw puzzles, tv & my own food. I have my new-to-me electric blanket beside my chair to keep warm & Foyle's War to watch today. Merry Christmas Jean.