Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I've just discovered that I did everything yesterday except actually click "Publish". So there it is, wrongly dated, just below this one. 

It's been a good day., with a fair amount of sun. Daniela and I got to the garden, although we didn’t complete the circuit. The first chestnuts of autumn have fallen from the chestnut tree. Daniela was pleased with herself for remembering the words for “squirrel” and “pigeon”, neither entirely easy. We saw one of each.


Look what I forgot to show you yesterday:



That’s a version of the Baby Surprise, none too big for the newborn Quinn. I think it’s from the Schoolhouse Press book called The Complete Surprise.


As for current knitting, I did perhaps a stripe and a half, on the second sleeve of the second Evendoon. And I wound another skein, I think that's the last one I’ll have to do.


Reading: I still wouldn’t assign an A* to the new Robert Galbraith. The premise is a good one: the detective needs to identify the real people behind various on-line pseudonyms. But the process is almost as tedious for the reader as for the fictional detective.


Wordle: Mark and I are today’s dullards – five for me, six for him. But it’s because we both sank in the familiar Wordle swamp in which there are various possible solutions and nothing but luck to inform the choice. I got two greens and a brown from my starter words, thought of a qualifying answer and proudly typed it in – won’t it be nice to score three again! No such luck. That row got me one more green. Row four made it four greens. Finally success, in row five. Ketki and Alexander both scored four. Their clever son Thomas got it in three.


They’re hoping to drop in here in Saturday morning on their way to Lisbon.


Tamar and Ron and Mary Lou, I was terribly touched that you remember Sam the Ram. That must have been in 2007. I won not only the Knitted Toy class with him that year, but also the Glenisla Shield upon which my name is permanently inscribed, for best-ness in two or three categories overall. He has lived ever since on the shores of Loch Fyne – when we got back home at the end of that afternoon, one of Alexander’s sons asked me, “Can I have your sheep?” As with many of us, his legs aren’t as firm as they used to be. Otherwise he’s fine.


The categories were a bit different this time: Knitted Sheep, on the one hand, and Knitted Toy, on the other. There were only two sheep, smaller than Sam but cleverer, I thought.

Tamar, all I can tell you is that the hole you've got to get the pole through in Tilt the Bucket is not very big. The bucket is poised on top of a sort of gibbet arrangement, attached to a paddle in which the hole appears. That hangs down below the beam on which the bucket rests, and when disturbed, swings upward as the contents of the bucket swing down. 


Knitting moved forward today, too. I did two more stripes on the second sleeve of the Evendoon pullover.


And I had my Tuesday bath. I don’t know how much longer it will be possible for me to get in and out of that bathtub, but it’s grand while it lasts.


Reading: Robert Galbraith’s “The Ink Black Heart” turned up today. I had ordered it a few days previously. Galbraith is of course J.K. Rowling, a remarkable writer. Wellington lies neglected. So far I am not enjoying it as much as I did previous Galbraiths. Too much social media. In quantity, fictional social media can be as boring as the real-life sort. However, it’s a very long book and there’s plenty of time for it to improve. And in a few days’ time Richard Osman’s third “Thursday Murder Club” will be here.  


Wordle: I was the dunce today – I scored five. Four for Thomas and Mark, three for Alexander and Ketki. My started words gave me five brown tiles – a pure anagram to solve. That’s never happened before. And I thought of a possible answer – alas, a Jean-word because one of the browns was in the position it had occupied before, and that’s not allowed. It told me nothing, that word, except to provide positions that letters couldn’t occupy. Then I thought of another anagram of my five letters. This time I got a green, and by now I knew three places – plus the spot where the green tile was – where each letter couldn’t be. Except for the one that hadn’t moved in line three, and even for it I knew two wrong places. The answer was workable-outable from there.

Monday, August 29, 2022


I’m beginning to come round from the Games. I’ve picked up and counted and deployed the stitches for the second Evendoon sleeve, knit the first decrease round, and wound a skein for the next stripe.


Here I am in the Home Industries Tent, studying the “Knitted Toy” category. That’s Helen’s husband David behind me, pushing the wheelchair which I have temporarily deserted..


Here is Farouk, shortly before or after winning the prize for being the best old dog in the Golden Oldie category. That’s his brother Mungo with him.

Our only other competitive effort was in Tilt the Bucket. Mungo and Fergus competed, and got wet. One competitor rides in a wheelbarrow carrying a lance. The other pushes the wheelbarrow. The lance-carrier tries to throw it through a hole in an apparatus supporting a bucket of water. If he fails, which is usually the case, both get wet.


Wordle: three for Alexander and Mark, four for me, five for Ketki, six for Thomas. My starter words gave me three browns. I thought hard but finally entered a Jean-word. It proved very useful. It gave me a new letter – a green one. It turned two of my browns green as well. The Jean-ness of the word had consisted in leaving one of the browns out, but the guess nevertheless revealed what position it would occupy. So I had, in effect, four greens and the answer was easy (for once).

Sunday, August 28, 2022

 It was a grand day, but I was horrified to discover by experiment how dead a weight I have become, how heavy a burden therefore to whoever is responsible for me. Living here peacefully with my cats, and Daniella looking after me, and Helen and C. and Archie looking in, it is easy to overlook the brutal truth.


Anyway, we got there, and I was there in my wheelchair when the baronet came marching over the bridge, with a feather in his cap and drawn sword in his hand. He processed all the way around the field, too, before speaking to us. And after a few words urging us to enjoy ourselves, he said that, after 42 years, he was quitting as chieftain. I don’t know quite what he is chieftain of,  and certainly don’t know how you find another. He has a couple of sons, but whether or not one of them is willing to be perennially available on the fourth Saturday in August to march across the bridge with drawn sword in hand, remains to be seen.


Then I went to watch Helen’s dog Farouk compete in the Rescue Dogs class. He was unplaced. (But later, in my absence, came first in the Golden Oldies class, for elderly dogs). Helen was terribly pleased with that and trusts that his name will be in next week’s Blairgowrie Advertiser. Then we got across the field to the Home Industries Tent – our new, expensive wheelchair, as feared, doesn’t work very well on rough grass. There were some wonderful things there, most especially leeks and parsnips fully worthy of the annual Highland Show at Ingleston.


Then I went home (=got taken home). Later, Helen brought me all the way back here. A heavy day’s driving, for her. I think I perceived my cats, normally irretrievably hostile to each other,  saying, one to the other, “I told you she’d come back.”


No knitting, either day.


Wordle: we all disapproved of yesterday’s word, RUDER. Today’s is harder – it actually defeated Mark. But it is a perfectly fair word. I got three vowels with my starter words, two of them green. I was reduced to Jean-words for lines three and four, But line four gave me a consonant, and I thought of a word familiar to all knitters (sorry for the spoiler), typed it in confidently --  and it was wrong. I got it right on line six. Ketki was best with four. Alexander and Thomas had five.

Friday, August 26, 2022

 C. came, full of enthusiasm about Quinn, and we got to the Garden, although not around it in my case. That was a good deal better than yesterday or the day before.


Tomorrow is Games Day, when you won’t hear from me.


I finished that blasted ribbing (wrist of first Evendoon sleeve) and bound it off. That’s progress, if slow.


I’ve had a ridiculous idea, which will probably come to nothing: I’ll keep you posted:


Tipoo Sahib has a remarkable number of living descendants, no doubt as a result of having had a remarkable number of wives. Some of them are now pulling rickshaws for a living. But there is at least one prominent one, married to a woman who is also connected to the family. What if I wrote to him – his email address is actually available on Facebook – and suggested that he ask for the Tiger be repatriated to Mysore? There are other, splendid, objects which once belonged to Tipoo in the British Museum, but the Tiger is the one we all know and love. There is much agitation these days about sending things back – the Elgin marbles to Athens, Benin bronzes to Nigeria. Why not the Tiger? There seems to be no doubt that it was simply part of the spoils of war. At least Elgin had permission of some sort from the government of the day – which wasn’t, alas, Greek – to remove the Parthenon sculptures.

Part of the point would be to emphasize the silliness of repatriation, as it seems to me. That's a bit hard on the poor man. But maybe he would be successful, which would be a bit hard on me. 


Wordle: three for me and Ketki and Mark, four for Thomas, five for Alexander. I got one green, the second letter, and three browns from my starter words. And I stuck at it, rejecting various Jean-words. I can’t remember what they were, now, so I don’t know whether they would have helped (as Jean-words often do). Then there was a moment, which must be familiar to all Wordle players, when I thought of a word, and I heard the ball click into its slot on the roulette wheel, and the word was right. As it usually is, in such circumstances, but by no means always. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022


All well, although I didn’t get out. I must tomorrow. Archie was meant to come, but begged off for not feeling very well. I’ve got to get that Blue Badge application done, but I’m sure I’m not up to it this evening.


Mary Lou, I am glad to hear of your interest in Lady Longford. I continue to enjoy her biography of Wellington. And Gretchen, I will add her biography of Queen Victoria to my Possibles list.


I have been reading (as above) about the siege of Seringapatam and the death of Tipoo Sahib. If you have never seen it, or haven’t seen it recently, do go to the Victoria and Albert museum the next time you have a chance, and ask for Tipoo’s Tiger. It is a life-sized clockwork model of a tiger eating a life-sized clockwork Englishman. Vaut the voyage. I was very glad to learn that it was the future DukeofW himself who “liberated” it and sent it to his brother, then Governor-General of India, through whose hands it found its way to the V&A.


I’m about halfway through the ribbing of the first Evendoon sleeve. Not much by way of a day’s achievement.


Wordle: We all got three today (Mark back on form) except for poor Thomas, who got stuck in the familiar Wordle trap. He had the first three letters in solid green form by the second row, but that guess was wrong. As was his third, and fourth, and fifth. Mercifully his sixth line was right. I got one green – the final letter – and one brown from my starter words, and following my new, virtuous practice I found a word which a) had that letter in the final position; and (b) had the brown letter somewhere, not where it had been before; and (c) didn’t employ any of the eight letters already eliminated. I typed the word in diffidently, but it was right.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

 Not much in the way of achievement. It was raining vigorously this morning, much needed, very welcome, but still depressing. I didn’t get out. Archie came, and instead of advancing things that needed doing (that Blue Badge application) we sat and talked. He’s coming again tomorrow and we must do better.


He will be one of the party on Saturday, when we go to the Games. He said disconcertingly that it will probably be the last time, for me.


I have advanced the ribbing of the cuff of the first Evendoon sleeve somewhat, but not as much as I should.


I am reading Lady Longford’s biography of Wellington with much pleasure. I wonder why she didn’t qualify for Kindle-ization? I also find myself wondering about the picture the Duke commissioned from W*like. Who were the artists in London at that time (the year after Waterloo)? i.e., What was the choice? Which of them chose the subject – “The Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Waterloo Dispatch”? Wellington had already sat to Goya, before Waterloo. That picture is in the National Gallery. He may have felt that another portrait of himself was not required. My husband may have answered some of these questions, if I can find his account of the picture.


Wordle: four for me again today, along with Alexander and Thomas. Five for Mark – he’s having a bad week. Three for Ketki. My brother-in-law in DC was another five.



Tuesday, August 23, 2022



Quinn Siyamthanda Myeni, born last night, looking much like his brother Hamish at the same age. “Quinn” was a name they decided they liked (as do I). “Siyamthanda” means “we love him”, I am told, presumably in Zulu. In the olden days you needed a Christian name for baptism. I doubt if either of those qualifies. But I also suspect the rules have been relaxed. I hope the news has been properly relayed to the kittens.


Not much here. Daniela administered a bath and hair wash, and I am as a result cleaner than I have been since May. I was afraid I was now too feeble for the business of getting in and out of the bath, but it is not so, with Daniela’s firm help.


No knitting, which in the past has been a dismal symptom. I think today it is a symptom of no more than idleness.


I finished my Ruth Rendell and have moved on to a biography of the Duke of Wellington by Lady Longford. I thought there was a well-regarded biography of him by a woman, but Amazon’s Kindle list produced no such thing. Then I read something recently about Antonia Fraser, who has just turned 90. It mentioned that her mother was an historian and I thought ahah! And sure enough, although I have had to buy an actual physical book. It starts very well.


I love the Duke for many reasons but perhaps especially for the account of the day when he went to see D*vid W*lkie to commission a picture celebrating Waterloo. (The result was “The Chelsea Pensioners”, which still belongs to the Duke of Wellington.) When he left, he knew that the ladies of the house – W*lkie’s mother and sister and servants – would be watching at the windows. At the gate, he turned and made his bow to them. Napoleon is all very well, but I love him for that bow. Mrs W*like went to her son’s room and threaded a ribbon across the chair upon which the ducal bottom had rested so that it would never be profaned by further use.


Wordle: Ketki got it in three, Alexander and Thomas and I needed four, Mark was the class dunce with five. I fell into the Wordle swamp with an excellent guess for line three (I thought) – but the first letter was wrong. It was a much better word, too, than the eventual right answer. Alexander’s grid suggests that he made the same mistake. Mark had an answer, too, with four greens, but in his case the middle letter was missing. I still haven’t thought of what word that might have been.





Monday, August 22, 2022


Daniela’s back. She brought me flowers and chocolates. Ridiculous. But wonderful to see her. She’s looking very well, after three months in Romania.


The top of my Promotions screen, an hour ago, was what I thought was a brilliant business idea. It’s gone now. I’m sure I didn’t delete. It was for home-delivered ready-cooked meals – so far, so hum-drum. But the point was, they were cooked locally by local people, mostly ethnic, cooking their own food. Neither desperately expensive nor desperately cheap. I’ve forgotten the name, alas. Something slightly jocular. And it’s not in my computer rubbish bin. Where on earth could it be?


Amazon’s cider delivery came earlier than ever before, between 12 and 1. Most of the morning was spent on anxious study of the live map, as mentioned yesterday. I’m so slow on my feet these days that I am glad to be able to move to a position near the door when I know that the delivery, too, is near. Once it was here, I was able to have a civilised lunch with the first bottle, followed by a civilised nap. After that I caught up with the knitting a bit, and am ready for the ribbing on the first Evendoon sleeve. This is the point where one regrets top-down slightly – all that twirling it around in one’s lap.


Reading: I’ve just finished Le Carre’s “A Small Town in Germany” which I didn’t enjoy. I think he’s a near-great writer whom the 22nd century will read as we read Trollope. But I didn’t like that one. I went on to “O Caledonia” recommended in the Sunday Times this week and sounding just my sort of thing – decrepit castle somewhere in Scotland, large family. I’m not liking that one either.

     You praise the firm restraint with which they write.

         I’m with you there, of course.

    They use the snaffle and the bit, of course –

        But where’s the bloody horse?


That was part of our family vocabulary, whenever I tried to slip a vegetarian meal past my husband. “Where’s the bloody horse?”


So I’ve fished a Ruth Rendell out of my Kindle archives and am enjoying it enormously.


Wordle: I’m getting better, as a result of being a member of our little group. The secret is not to put in a “Jean word” but to hold out for one which might actually be right. I did it in three again today, joined by Ketki and Mark. Thomas and his father Alexander needed four.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

 I can’t be said to have accomplished anything, except a bit of knitting, but I would call it a good day. C. came – that means, no baby yet for Christina and Manaba – and we got across to the garden, at least. Perhaps I had better start setting myself daily goals such as finishing the application for the parking badge.


I have finished the sleeve decreases for the first sleeve of the Evendoon. As with the body, I am simply going to take the length from what I see on the example Kate Davies is wearing in the pattern illustration, as I know she is wearing the size I am knitting. As mentioned here before, it is a tremendous, unexpected pleasure to be knitting a sweater completely out of stash. And not even something that was bought as a sweater’s-worth: real left-over stash.  I’ve got several sweater's-worths, nay, an alarming number.


Franklin has posted a video of the water of Leith, which is within easy walking distance of my house for those who are not crippled by arthritic hips. He has gone back to Paris now. I did meet him once, when he was teaching at Loop in London. I met Shandy that same happy day. We had lunch together after the morning class. I am beginning to be tempted to sponsor him. I am sure he works very hard for his patrons.


Much of today’s nervous energy was devoted to a delivery of cat litter. I get a large box of it by standing order once a month from Amazon. I also get about a week’s supply of cider. (The point was, originally, that both items are heavy and therefore awkward to carry home.) They are usually delivered together, but this time today was devoted to cat litter whereas the cider is promised for tomorrow. I don’t know whether I love or hate those live maps that show you where the delivery van is and how many more stops before you.


Wordle: it was one of their specials today. Poor Alexander had a potentially right answer in line two, but the first letter was wrong. Same story for line three. And four. And five. He got it on the sixth. At least his winning streak wasn’t broken. Thomas also scored six, with three wrong guesses. Ketki and Mark each had two wrongs, and scored five. I was top of the class: by the time I was in a position to guess, I guessed right, and scored four. Sheer luck. I amused myself later by working out what the four other potential words were.

Saturday, August 20, 2022


A better day. I didn’t get out, because of having to wait for a Waitrose delivery and also not feeling entirely well in the morning. I’m much better now, and the effort of putting the groceries away has provided a fair amount of exercise. It’s not easy to carry anything when steps need to be supported by frame or even stick, and a lot of my groceries consist of bottles of water – heavy – standing in for cider.


Helen came, and it was good to see her. She is flying off tomorrow, well before dawn, for a few days’ get-together somewhere in France with a bevy of friends from school. She’ll get back 48 hours before the Games start.


She brought with her a wonderful bag which a clever seamstress friend has made for her from the previous Evendoon (which she murdered by washing in too-hot water):


Here is the next one, getting on nicely:


News from Kate Davies about her winter plans is enough to reconcile one to the fading of the light. I have forgotten the details, but there is to be another winter club, and a collection of travelling stitch patterns.

Comments: Kirsten, I will remember your suggestion of bouillon for low blood sugar, if it happens again. Tamar, I think you may well be right, that I didn't eat enough the evening before.

Wordle: I got it in three today, and proudly posted my result first of the group. Mark logged in half an hour later with a two. Thomas had four; Alexander had a three like me, and Ketki got it in two like Mark. Both Alexander and Thomas had one of those famous Wordle guesses where you get four letters right and fail for lack of the fifth. Alexander was missing the first letter, Thomas the last. It took me quite a while to figure out what those unsuccessful guesses might have been.



Friday, August 19, 2022


A less good day.


As soon as I put my feet on the floor this morning I felt that my blood pressure was low. I got dressed. I fed the cats. I didn’t faint. But that was about it. C. came and instead of walking she made me my breakfast – wilted spinach with an egg poached on top; same every day. That helped. Her expected grandchild – Christina and Manaba’s second child – is now officially full term. Poor C. can’t even sit down with a glass of wine after a long, hard day in case she suddenly needs to drive out to Roslyn and take over the care of wee Hamish.


So, with that, not much knitting. But some. The sleeve progresses.


Wordle: my starter words yielded four browns this morning, about as bad as it could be as I’m no good at anagrams. However this time I found an easy one and proudly typed my answer into line three. My four browns were now four greens, but my choice for the missing fifth letter was wrong. Thomas and Mark also scored four; Alexander and Ketki got three.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

 Progress, slow but steady. I did my exercises (except that the last few were interrupted by the doorbell); I got around the garden, prompted by Helen. I picked up stitches and started on the left sleeve of the Evendoon, because Kate Davies says to do the left sleeve first and I am a Blind Follower if anyone ever was. Compared to the body, it fairly sprints along.


I had forgotten that there was so much simultaneous counting to do. The coloured stripes are ten rounds wide, separated from each other by a two-round stripe of white. The decreases (because I’m knitting top-down) for the sleeve shaping happen every 8th round. And one is also responsible for the overall number of decreases. It’s going fairly well. We’re approaching the moment (mentioned somewhere around here previously) when I am going to try to substitute the medium shade of KD’s Ooskit yarn for white (as represented by Schehellion “Crowdie”) in the repeated narrow stripes. I had enough Crowdie for the top two white stripes on the sleeve – enough, that is, that I (think I) can do the same for the other sleeve.


Thank you for your help with the Shadow Stripe pullover. Beth (comment yesterday), the video KD links to makes it sound very easy to do garter stitch in the round, by simply turning around and heading off in the other direction at the end of every round. And it would be easier than ever to do it in two different colours, as here. But Phyllis (another comment yesterday), you are quite right that this particular sweater is knit flat so the problem doesn’t arise. And I’m inclined to agree with you that those shoulders are a bit butch for the average female figure.


It turns out that affixing photographs to my Blue Badge parking application is as easy as inserting them here. I’ll have that finished and off in a day or two.


Wordle: again it was a word I didn’t entirely approve of. Mark and I got it in three, Ketki and her son Thomas four, five for Alexander.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

 A good day. I did my exercises and got all the way around the garden with Helen. I finished the ribbing at the bottom of the body of the Evendoon, except that I haven’t bound it off. I made some progress last night with the Blue Badge application, and I’m ready to do some more in a moment.


We had ntermittent sunshine today, and how happy the world seemed for yesterday’s rain!


The next task Blue Badge-wise is to affix a photograph of my driving license to the on-line application. They promise to explain how to do that. Last night I was worried because Archie had taken a picture of the license standing on its short end, and I don’t know how to rotate it, although I used to do that sort of thing all the time. This morning I woke up with the solution in mind: take another picture of the license myself. So I’ve done that. I’ll let you know how I get on with affixing.


I had a message from the American Loop from which I learned that Brooklyn Tweed has brought out a lighter version of their Tones yarn. I was rather taken with the “Shadow Stripe (garter stitch) Tones Pullover” illustrated. That presumably means alternate rows, or rounds, of the two colours. And if the sweater is knit in the round, it means (tediously) purling alternate rounds in order to achieve garter stitch. . I’d be glad to know more about shadow stripe garter stitch.


Wordle: three for everybody today except Alexander. He got it in four. His third row had four greens, but he guessed wrong for the fifth letter.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Rain! I’ve advanced to the terminal ribbing on the Evendoon sweater body. Archie and I made good progress this morning with my application for a Blue Badge. Not a bad day.


A Blue Badge is a useful tool for disabled people – which is what I seem to have become. You put it on the dashboard of any car you happen to be riding in, and it lets you park in a lot of extra places. My husband had one. You have to turn it in when you register a death. Application is all on-line these days. Archie and I gathered a lot of the material needed to prove identity and address and I answered a lot of questions about infirmity. I must press on with the application.


Wordle: five for me and Ketki, four for each of the boys. I was cross at my own ineptitude this morning: my two starter words gave me two greens and a brown. For line 3 I put in a real Jean word – it couldn’t have been right, and it taught me next to nothing. For line four I persevered and got a potential winner, except that the initial letter was wrong. That’s a Wordle special; success is a matter of luck. If I had persevered earlier on, I might have had a four like the boys.


Monday, August 15, 2022

 The weather can’t be said to have broken, but it has cracked. Today was overcast, a bit cooler, and there has even been a bit of gentle-rain-from-heaven. Helen and I went to a wheelchair shop and bought a wheelchair with which we are both quite pleased. It’s certainly vastly better than the battered objects one finds waiting for passengers at hospital doors. I would like to recover the ability to walk with a stick, and am very cautiously practicing that.


Helen says that the Doocot Gallery is going to have a knitting show soon, and later on there will be a Kaffe show somewhere, so there will be plenty for the wheelchair to do.


Knitting: I finished the penultimate Evendoon stripe. There was enough yarn, but only just. And I’m more than halfway through the final stripe. The pattern says that the model – Kate Davies herself – is wearing the size I am knitting, so I am not going to struggle with the tape measure. I’ll just go by her stripes. I’m perfectly prepared to adjust the length, up or down, if that’s required, after Helen has tried it on. The only anxiety is: am I knitting the right size? And I think I’ll just have to forge ahead and stick the sleeves on and see. I spent a happy afternoon knitting and listening to Kaffe answering questions on a Fruity Knitting podcast for patrons.


Wordle: I was in the Advanced Group today. Thomas and Alexander and I did it in four, Mark five, Ketki six.


Sunday, August 14, 2022

 We’ve had several rumbles of thunder in the last few minutes! There’s another!


C. and I got perhaps nearly half of the way around the garden this morning. Better than yesterday’s total idleness.


Here is a picture of the kittens taken by Christina last week. In the background you see a neighbour, for some reason occupied in trying to extract the fourth kitten from under the furniture:

And here is the fourth kitten:


Knitting: that also went well. I am knitting the penultimate stripe. The dark colour required turns out to be the one colour I don’t have in abundance. I’ve got two very dark balls of Schiehellion: plenty for requirements, close enough to each other that there will be no difficulty in using both -- but I can’t change from one to the other in mid-stripe. This is the second dark stripe, and I decided to go for the ball with which I had knit the first one, although not absolutely sure I had enough to finish the stripe. It’s what we call living dangerously, and the experience has kept me knitting hard to see the result. I’ve now finished seven of the ten rounds, and am pretty sure I’ve got enough to get home. But not absolutely sure.

 Wordle: Very difficult today, but perfectly fair. I was delighted to get it in six. Alexander needed five, Thomas four, Mark (blast him) only three. Ketki hasn’t been heard from yet. Maybe it defeated her. I found it impossible, at the end, to think of a guess to finish out the grid, except for the right answer. Maybe she is just stuck.



Saturday, August 13, 2022


A good day, but idle, I’m afraid. It’s getting too hot even for me.


I saw both Archie and Kirstie, briefly. She has been struggling with the problem of getting back to London with the trains on strike. Archie (who is a serious reader) makes it sound as if I might enjoy Midnight’s Children. I have eschewed Rushdie altogether up until now.


Knitting: I’ve done eight (I think) of the ten rounds needed for the next Evendoon stripe. I will try to finish it this evening, but I do tend to wilt, this time of day.


Wordle: It’s a silly word again today, in my opinion. Mark and Thomas and I got it in four, Ketki needed five. Alexander, on the basis of two browns, did it in three. Too clever by half.

Friday, August 12, 2022


It’s still very hot.


I had a wonderful visit with the kittens. There are four of them, all black as pitch. When their black mother lies down with them, it is difficult to tell where cat ends and kittens begin. And impossible to tell the kittens apart. One of them is said to be a boy, but one can’t always be picking people up and turning them over to check on that point:


The cage is on loan from a neighbour, perfect for keeping kittens tidily out from underfoot in the sitting room.


Meanwhile Christina is full-term with her second baby, very uncomfortable in the heat.


So not much knitting has been done. I did finish the current broad stripe, however. The pattern is ten rounds of the current colour, followed by two rounds of white. I’ve done three such combinations since the sleeves were left behind on waste yarn, and there are three to go. I remember that the first time around I made it too long for Helen’s taste – she tends to like them nipped off at the waist, while my own preference verges towards knee-length. But I don’t remember the details. I’ll do this one the way it appears in the pattern pictures. It’s easily changed, either way.


Wordle: five for Alexander and Ketki, four for me and Mark and Thomas. And I wasted a guess – I must learn to be more careful. My starter words gave me only two brown vowels. I worked hard and found a word which employed them both, and didn’t use any forbidden letters, and proudly entered it. I had failed to notice that one of the brown vowels was in the same position as it had occupied in my starter word. Wasted guess, except for eliminating a couple more consonants. I worked even harder, and got it right on the next line.


Yes, Kirsten (comment yesterday): my usual practice is to compose in Word, save to Dropbox, copy and paste into Blogger. I don’t know what I think I am accomplishing, except that everything is saved twice. Pictures can be added at either end.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

I usually compose in Word and save and only then move over to Blogger. But today Word won't load. Is the poor computer suffering from the heat?

Kittens tomorrow! Poor C. is having trouble with her refrigerator -- right in the middle of the hottest Edinburgh days in history. A man  -- not the first -- is coming to address the problem at noon tomorrow, so we must get the kittens in early. My Oberlin friend Sylvia, in Binghampton, NY, even older than I am and living much more independently -- Sylvia is having trouble with her refrigerator, and like C. is on to her second repair man. She writes a private blog to friends and family.

I've had a good day. Kirsty came to see me again (James' and Cathy's daughter, here for some Fringe). We got all the way around the garden, and I got a whole set of exercises done this morning as well. 

It will be interesting, when we get to Kirkmichael in a fortnight, to see how our beloved burn is doing. When one goes there and switches off the engine and steps out of the car, the first thing one notices is the sound of the burn. The ancient Romans felt strongly that the sound of water was an important asset to country living. After that moment, one ceases to notice. It's just there. With all this news of the Rhine and the Thames running short of water, one feels a bit anxious about one's burn.

In my last two or three grocery orders I have asked for Dijon mustard and Waitrose has been unable to send it. I was gratified to learn in yesterday’s newspaper that there is a European shortage. France is suffering badly. The problem stems from a failure of the Canadian crop last year, or so they say.

Knitting went well. I'm going to have enough white to finish the Evendoon body. My plan at the moment is to switch to Ooskit – Kate Davies’ natural yarn – for the sleeves. It will at least look symmetrical. And if it fails, I can order another skein of white (Schehellion “Crowdie”) and it will be here promptly.

Wordle: four for everybody today except Ketki, who needed five. Mark and I both had the four final greens in line three, but guessed wrong for the first letter of the word. Ketki and Alexander similarly got the first four greens and guessed the final letter wrong. Thomas was off by himself, getting the middle three letters.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022


Helen and I got about a third of the way around the garden this morning. I seem to be largely restored. I wonder if I could learn to walk with a stick again?   I think it’s better than a frame in various respects. I am afraid to practise when I am alone in the house, for fear of falls. Thank you for your continued help with the wheelchair problem. Helen has found a specialist shop on-line which sounds promising. The Games field is fairly rough – it would be a shame to spend £200 for something that turned out to be unable to navigate it.


Knitting: not quite as much as yesterday, but distinct progress. Mary Lou, the answer will be that some of the colours are left over from the original, others from the recent Lilias Day. The Schehellion range is not very big. For Lilias Day, I bought a kit from Kate Davies’ website. Each of the yoke colours came in a complete 50 gram skein although not nearly that much was required. Schehellion oddballs had their own carrier bag in my stash cupboard. I am surprised myself at how abundant they are proving to be. I don’t seem to have the pattern printed out (and don’t feel that I have enough lifetime left to start arguing with my printer). When it’s time for a new colour, I look at the pattern in my Ravelry library and pick one that seems about right. So far so good.


I’m glad to hear that “I left the front door open. I’ll be right back” has proved so useful. My own top favourite however is one I learned from Margaret Stove herself: the stitch the needle enters first is the one that will wind up on top of the decrease. I used to have to look up the routine for a centered three-stitch decrease every time I wanted one, until I learned that.


Wordle: three for Thomas, Ketki and Mark, four for Alexander, an inexcusable five for me. I threw away one line with a really stupid guess – I should have had four. It’s interesting how many of you agree that the winning word is almost instantly forgotten as soon as it is achieved.


Tuesday, August 09, 2022


Helen came this morning. I was still feeling too flattened by Sunday’s brush with culture for much walking, but we went out and progressed along the pavement for a while. Kathy of Kathy’s Knits said hello as she whizzed past on her way to open the shop.


The knitting of the Evendoon has speeded up as hoped. I got quite a bit done today while catching up with Franklin-in-Paris. He must be supported by his Patreon patrons, like Andrea and Madeleine of Fruity Knitting. And, like them, I’m sure he gives good value.


Thank you for comments, as always, and especially for advice on wheelchairs. We had been about to order a basic one which Helen found on-line, but I think after reading your comments that we had better go down to the near-by stuff-for-the-disabled shop and discuss the matter with them. Even a basic one costs quite a bit.


Wordle: three for Alexander, four for Ketki and her son Thomas, five for me, and a most uncharacteristic six for Mark. I thought it was a particularly silly word today – there’s another broad hint for you. I was interested to learn from your comments that many of you share our difficulty in remembering the answer the next moment after solving the puzzle. I have started keeping a list among the Notes on my iPad although I don’t know what that will achieve.

Monday, August 08, 2022


C. came to see me, now recovered from Covid but not yet restored to full vigour. We attempted the garden, but I was the one, rather than she, who couldn’t make it. I am still suffering from yesterday’s exertions. We are giving serious thought to the purchase of a wheelchair. My zimmer frame and my new outdoor-walking-machine are both on loan from the NHS. It’s probably time I did something for myself. It would come in very handy on Games Day.


C and I are planning to go see Christina and Manaba’s kittens on Friday.


Knitting went well. I have indeed, as hoped, separated off the sleeve stitches, nearly 100 of them even when the new 10-stitch bridges over the sleeve-holes are taken into account. Simple as it looks, there has been a fair amount of fancy footwork up until now. Henceforth there is a completely straight run to the bottom ribbing. I am expecting things to move briskly.


Wordle: I was right in the middle today:  three for Ketki and her son Thomas; four for me; five for Mark and Alexander. Queer Joe often posts his result on Facebook. He conscientiously waits until the next day, and by then I have forgotten what yesterday’s word was. This isn’t entirely due to senility – lots of us seem to have this problem. Yesterday I had R,E,S, and A, all brown, from my starter words, and after profound reflection, came up with LASER. I was very proud of it, but it was wrong. And I can’t remember what the answer was.


Sunday, August 07, 2022

 We had a grand time at Jupiter Artland, although I am exhausted and my hip is complaining somewhat.  A sculpture park benefits greatly, we decided, from being set in a glade of trees as that one is. You discover the pieces of art one by one, and can never see the next or the previous one while standing with the one you are contemplating.


Helen says we are going to the Games! That will be on the 4th Saturday of this month. We’ll go up for the day, she says. All I really want to see is the opening ceremony, when the local baronet leads the pipe band across the bridge and onto the Bannerfield. He carries a drawn sword as he does so. I just looked him up and find that he is a whole five years younger than I am, so he may well still be able to get all the way across the bridge with a drawn sword. I do hope so:

It would be fun to get to the Home Industries tent if possible to see the knitting and the locally-grown courgettes. Maybe we could acquire a collapsible wheelchair by then. The Games themselves I would be happy to miss.


I got a wee bit of knitting done before we set out this morning, and may (or may not) do a bit more this evening. Surely I will be in a position to divide sleeves from body tomorrow.


Wordle: I struggled again today. My starter words gave me four brown tiles. It wasn’t easy, but finally I thought of a word which used all four in permissible slots, and introduced a new permissible letter. It was a real Wordly word, too. But it was wrong. That was line three. I struggled on, and got it in six. Alexander and Ketki scored four, Thomas and Mark three.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

 I got around the garden this morning with my granddaughter Kirsty, James and Cathy’s youngest. She is about to start her final year at Oxford, reading English. She is having a good time, I think, writing and producing student plays. When we got home, I had her try on the Lilias Day, which fits to perfection:


That’s Paradox you can see the back end of, to the left; and the Schehallion stash on the sofa to the right. Kirsty is very slight of build – the sweater might not fit anyone else. It doesn’t need to, now that it has been happily disposed of.


I didn’t get much knitting done. I’m very near the point at which the sleeve stitches will be left behind (top-down, remember), after which things will seem to go much faster. Measuring is difficult because there is no ribbing at the top – that is yet to come – so it curls. And it is difficult to persuade it to lie flat for measuring anyway, since I am knitting in the round.


Tomorrow Kirsty and Helen and I are going to Jupiter Artland. That unfortunate name – why on earth? – conceals the presence on the outskirts of Edinburgh of a truly remarkable sculpture park. At the moment they have also got a Tracey Emin expo. I can skip that if need be, but will greatly enjoy seeing the sculpture again.


Wordle: It’s easy to report today: everybody got four except me. I needed five. I’m not at all disappointed – I thought it was going to defeat me. My starter words gave me one green consonant and no fewer than three brown vowels. (There: I’ve violated my resolve never to say anything that affects today’s puzzle while it’s still in play. Help yourself to my three vowels.) Sometimes I think I hate vowels.