Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Dies atra

 Not much further forward, but perhaps a little. No knitting. Daniela administered a bath this morning and I spent the rest of the morning wondering whether that might not have been a step too far. I spent the afternoon in bed, dozing, and feel somewhat better. I recognise the truth of what you say, Tamar – that if an antibiotic has improved my condition, it must be due to something other than viral ailments. My sister also thought I needed an antibiotic although she seemed to think that the one chosen was a bit feeble. There’s only one more day of it. Sometimes one feels better simply because the course of antibiotics has ended. The doctor who came here said to phone again when the course was finished, if I wasn’t better. I’ll leave that until Monday. (GPs no longer work weekends – there’s an emergency service.)


Current affairs: I am not black, but I’m also not British, and I am often asked where I’m from. I’m not offended. It seems a reasonable conversation-starter.


It occurred to me as I was drifting back towards consciousness from my pleasant nap, that the King is updating the monarchy much as the Papacy has been updated. Except that in the latter case it was pleasantly gradual, starting perhaps with John XXIII. Whereas the monarchy has gone from Pius XII to Francis in a single leap.


Wordle: Five, today, my least-liked score. I got three greens at the beginning of the word, and guessed wrong twice. Four was the big score today. Ketki and Theo joined me with five. And Theo’s father Roger, now presumably safely although wearily back in DC, was today’s winner with a three.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Well, here we are. My guests have gone. And my cold is much better.


Both happened at once. The cold exploded last Tuesday evening, just after Helen and Roger and their friend Kinthi arrived. In the end daughter-Helen brought a mattress and slept on my bedroom floor, which was a great comfort. And a couple of days later she succeeded in getting a doctor to the house. An antibiotic was prescribed and it has done a lot of good. Two more days to go. I am still coughing like an operatic heroine in the final act, but the cough is no longer productive.


And apart from all that, she has fed and entertained my guests for the entire week.


Wordle: I kept it up the whole time. I failed the day the answer was ITCHY, and nearly failed (=scored six) today. Everybody found it on the tough side today, and Thomas who is so often the best, joined me with six. I’ve had a run of threes for the past three days.


No knitting whatsoever. I’m going to have a bath tomorrow, and hope I may also celebrate a return to near-health by dividing Fergus’ sweater for the armholes.

Monday, November 21, 2022


My cold has receded somewhat, leaving a bit of chesty cough behind. I turned the heat on today, and otherwise cosseted myself. No walking.


My sister and her husband will be here tomorrow. You may or may not hear from me during the following week


And, indeed, you won’t hear much today. No knitting – always an ominous symptom.


And I failed at Wordle. No excuse.

Sunday, November 20, 2022


Well, here we go. My sister and her husband will be here on Tuesday. Alexander hopes to pop in to see them on Wednesday. Thursday we will have our faux-Thanksgiving party at a local restaurant. I’m not absolutely sure I’m not developing a cold.


C. and I had a good time at Mass this morning again – another outing for my disabled badge. And knitting has progressed well – I’m on the very verge of reaching the point which I think may be right for the underarm break. I must bear in mind, when I next measure, that if I stretch the cables out a bit, to block for width, I may at the same time be diminishing the length.


I’m reading a Tana French called “In the Woods”. It’s here in the Kindle, open to the last page, so I must have read it before. I have no memory of it at all, except perhaps of the most vague. It’s got a brilliant McGiffin, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Mr Bezos would be twice as rich if Amazon stopped warning silly old fools like me, as they hoven over a title, that they bought it four years ago. Don’t tell him.


Wordle: A Wordle special, today. I scraped home in six. From the beginning I had greens in positions two, three and five. I kept guessing wrong, despite the diminishing stock of available consonants: and at the end there was at least one other possibility. I was lucky to scrape home. Theo, Ketki, and Daughter-Rachel had the same difficulty with the same configuration, but for the most part either got there sooner or guessed right sooner. Ketki scored four, Daughter-Rachel five, Theo six (like me). With different configurations, Thomas and Granddaughter-Rachel had five and Alexander four. Mark was tops with three.  


Saturday, November 19, 2022


I am touched at, and grateful for, your concern – but there’s no need to worry. I have an electric Aga and I would as soon turn it off as sell one of the cats. I don’t know yet how much it’s costing me this winter, but it means that the kitchen is always warm and dry. These days, I find I tend to stay in there from lunchtime onwards. The house itself is comfortable, too. In the days – they must be more than ten years ago, now – when my husband and I were able to go to Kirkmichael at all times of the year, we always turned off Aga and central heating when we were away and always found, when we got back, that the house, although of course cold, was never as bone-shatteringly cold as it might have been. 

C. has suggested that if I pushed the kitchen table a bit closer to the window, there would be room for a big comfortable chair. It’s an idea I must investigate. Meanwhile I find the wooden kitchen chairs very comfortable, and suitable for knitting.

 I’ve progressed a bit further. Today I finished a ball of yarn – always an event – but while I was winding the next one, Perdita appropriated the knitting itself, lying on the kitchen table. So I’m stymied. If it were Paradox, I’d just swipe her off.

 Wordle: I wonder if our scores have ever been so spread out. I scored five, my least-liked result. My starter words gave me four browns and I wrestled with the anagram for a while, and found an answer, and sat back – but it was wrong. Still four browns. I found another one – and realised, too late, that it was a Jean-word. One of the browns was in a position it had previously occupied and therefore inevitably  wrong. But, like many Jean-words before now, it was useful. Two of the browns turned green, and the position of a third could be deduced. That was the fourth line, and then I got it.

 My brother-in-law Roget scored six. His son Theo got five, like me. Alexander, Mark and Thomas got four. Three for Ketki and Daughter-Rachel. Today’s star was Granddaughter-Rachel, with two.

 Today would have been my husband’s 97th birthday, I think.

Friday, November 18, 2022

 It has been a filthy day, weather-wise, but since it was my bath-morning I not only didn’t go out, I didn’t even wonder if I should try. Helen came for a while. Archie came later, and we got through some paperwork. Daniela’s son Daniel is doing well after his procedure. My resolution not to turn the heating on is being put to the test. So far, so good. The real test will come next week: I’ll turn it on for my sister and her husband. Will I have the strength of character to turn it off when they go?


I got some knitting done, and measured seriously again. Progress is virtually undetectable since last time. I’ve calculated where I will be in the pattern when I hit the armholes. It looks extremely long already. But Fergus is extremely long. I wish KD said somewhere how tall her male model is – I know he’s wearing the size I’m knitting, but what with artistic photography he might be no bigger than the prime minister.


KD’s book “Sark” has arrived. It’s nice. It’s got some nice patterns. There’s not much text, but what there is, is interesting, including an interview with Norah Gaughan. Brooklyn Tweed has sent me an ad for their Kai Fella sweater which I like a lot. Big squares, connected as intarsia. That’s it, but it’s good.


Wordle: A tough word today. It took me six. But nobody else had that much trouble, so maybe it wasn’t as tough as all that. Daughter-Rachel needed five (that’s some comfort); four for Mark and Ketki and Theo; three for Thomas; an astonishing two for Alexander. Nothing from Granddaughter-Rachel or Brother-in-law Roger.





Thursday, November 17, 2022


Filthy weather, and I was glad not to get out. My physiotherapists came, anyway; I couldn’t have walked. However, the main excitement this morning was not bad weather but the fact that Daniela didn’t come. She wasn’t here yesterday because of taking her son Daniel to hospital for a straight-forward procedure to correct his tongue-tied-ness. I knew about that. But I thought she’d be here this morning. And eventually she was, and Daniel is OK. But meanwhile I had time to think about life without her, and it was not a pleasant prospect. Helen and I, and perhaps the others, live under the constant shadow of my next medical crisis – a fall, a chest infection, a stroke, whatever. I will be 90 next summer. One has to think of these things. But perhaps we haven’t been giving enough thought to Daniela.


Anyway, all is well. For now.


And I got a good deal of knitting done. The latest measurement – a good one, on the kitchen table – shows me 1½” short of the target. It is a 16-row pattern, centered on a huge six-over-six cable. I’ve just finished that round, and once I’ve calmed everybody down I can start thinking of where-to-break-for-the-armholes in terms of every-other-round. Helen is worried – and so am I, slightly – because the total product looks too narrow. But there are four cable panels, each 32 stitches or so – I’m not going to go look. They’ll expand. Norah Gaughan in her indispensable cable-pattern book, gives equivalent gauges.


Wordle: I was in the vanguard today: three. Joined there by Ketki, Mark, Daughter-Rachel, and Theo. A rather large vanguard, but at least nobody did any better. Alexander and Granddaughter-Rachel got four. Thomas and Roger needed five. Roger will soon be here and we can do it together over the breakfast table – not conferring, of course.


There was some Wordle-news in the paper this morning. HOMER has been proclaimed word-of-the-year by someone, because lots of (English) people looked it up. I don’t remember that one The NYT says I have played it 286 times. How far back does that take us? I don’t think I would have had much trouble with HOMER. My starters would have produced two greens – HO – and two browns. And I grew up with the Detroit Tigers. I know the word.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


A fine day, but distinctly cold. C. came and we got over to the garden, where I sat for a while as she circumnavigated. It was early. The sun hadn’t reached the garden yet. I thought of the winter when my husband’s sister was dying – C.’s mother. The streets from here to her house run north-south and every journey was an ordeal of dazzling, blinding sunshine straight in one’s eyes. My eyes – he had given up driving by then.


Much of the rest of the day was spent in the kitchen (where it’s warm) with the cats. I got quite a bit of knitting done, but Perdita got to sleep on it for quite a while, too. The armholes are getting closer. I feel things will go faster once I get there, although there is no reason why that should be.


Wordle: This was a tough one, although I can’t quite see why. Ketki and I and Theo and Thomas all needed six. Mark was the star, with four. Alexander had five. Daughter-Rachel, Roger, and Granddaughter-Rachel all failed. We’ve never had so catastrophic a word – not even EPOXY.


Yesterday’s word was SNARL, and the excitement was that several of us (see yesterday) guessed SNARK which Wordle accepted. Surely it is an invention of Lewis Carroll’s, although that is nothing to hold against it. The only other possibility which has occurred to me so far is SNARE and by that stage in the game most if not all Wordlers would have eliminated E.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022


I’m sorry about yesterday. Wasn’t well. Fine now. And so are my cats. I’ve taken to sitting in the kitchen, at least when it gets dark, because it’s warm in there. Cats like warm, too, and Perdita has taken to lying on my knitting on the kitchen table. I’ll have to move her soon. I’ve got to get on with this thing.


This week’s offering from Kate Davies’ Allover club is a pair of fingerless mitts, and very nice too. Also, I got a bank statement in the mail this morning which left me feeling a bit cheerful (that’s unexpected) so I ordered KD’s book, “Sark”. It’s about travelling stitches, which I am fond of. I often find, in these dark days, that it’s easier to think of Christmas presents for myself than for anyone else.


Wordle: I long to make an observation about today’s word, and I’m afraid that the characteristic Wordle oblivion will have descended and wiped my mind clean of it by tomorrow. Quite a few of us, with different final scores, had four greens and guessed wrong about the final letter. I can’t think of any other two words in the language which would fit except the one I can’t mention until tomorrow, and the right answer. Ah, but wait. Maybe other people who had used different starter words, had different options. I haven’t worked all the way through the alphabet on this one.


Anyway: Ketki and Theo and I got four today. My fours are pulling ahead.  The winners were Thomas and Daughter-Rachel with three. Mark and Alexander and Roger – who is presumably now in London – got five. Poor Granddaughter-Rachel failed, and then had to trudge off to work in the rain. Those who got the configuration I am bursting to talk about – four greens and the last letter wrong – were me and Alexander and Mark and Daughter-Rachel.


Mary Lou – about not watching The Crown. (comment probably Sunday): my mother was staying with us once (decades ago) when we were watching a series about Edward and Mrs Simpson. She felt about it just as you do about this one: been there, done that – or, at least, read about it – don’t need to go over it all again. It had a wonderful theme tune:

     ….the happiest of females.

             I’ve danced with a man

                Who danced with a girl

                    Who danced with the Prince of Wales.

Sunday, November 13, 2022


We had a grand time at Mass. It was a beautiful day, sunny and windless. The University chaplaincy, served by Dominicans, is approached through their small garden, and just outside the gate is a disabled parking space. It was empty when we got there so we bagged it, and displayed my new Disabled Badge. A great moment. It was good to be back there, after so long. C. has been going recently, and says that numbers were up today.


Not much else. I knit a bit, and indeed joined in another skein of yarn. I spent a lot of time with the FT, thinking about Christmas presents. When we were young and poor, those Christmas Suggestion pages in the paper always suggested things absurdly out of our financial reach. Now that I am old and relatively well off, the same thing is true. Which Queen was it, Red or White?, who had to run hard to stay in the same place? Still, I found one or two suggestions.


And there was a good article from Kate Davies about choosing colours for the slipper pattern she has just issued to the Allover club. Not in the FT, of course: in my inbox.


Wordle: Three for me and Theo. We were the best. Four for Ketki, Alexander and Thomas. Five for Mark. Daughter-Rachel failed, but it was worth it for the shape of her grid. I have never seen the like. Her starter word gave her two greens, both vowels. Her second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth guesses produced identical results. So the grid consists of those two green columns and absolutely nothing else. My two starter words gave me the same two greens, but I had two browns as well and found it easy from there.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

 I've been a bit feeble today. (And so is the computer. Word won't load.) The weather was warm and still. Daniella and I at least got across to the garden, where I sat for a while. C. and I are going to try to go to Mass tomorrow -- it's more than two years since I've been. My Disabled Badge can have its first outing. 


What have I achieved? Some knitting. No more information about the pronunciation of “horribilis”. I’ve finished watching The Crown – it stutters to an end – and won’t have to face that again for a couple of years at least. It’s lavishly done and will no doubt be much watched, but it’s not terribly good. Real life is too recalcitrant.


Wordle: It was a struggle again today. Five again for me, and also Alexander and Mark. Four for Thomas and Daughter-Rachel. Today’s winners were Ketki and Theo, with three. The starter word suggested by the Wordle bot (Mary Lou’s comment yesterday) would have yielded four brown tiles – not bad. I got that far by line three – a little bit farther, indeed, because by then one of my tiles was green.


Friday, November 11, 2022


Little to report. A blowy day. I had a nice bath. I didn’t go out. Perdita spent some time in the kitchen with me – maybe the Feliway is kicking in. I got some knitting done, and spent some time with The Crown. It continues to drag. I’m nearly up to the famous Panorama interview.


One thing, though. We’ve seen the initial stages of Diana’s affair with the heart surgeon  Hasnat Kahn. She calls him “Dr Kahn”. Perhaps for the benefit of Americans who might happen to watch? Surgeons here are not “Dr” but “Mr”, and proud of it, and Diana would have known that. It’s a curious anomaly which has (I am glad to say) never been ironed out. My appt at the Royal Infirmary next month to talk about my hip is with a “Mr Macpherson”.


“Horribilis”: It’s not a matter of church Latin here, but whether the first I is long or short. (My husband grew up on church Latin too, Mary Lou, and stuck to it obstinately.) With many words, longness or shortness can be determined by how they are used in poetry, which has rigid rules. I don’t know what the evidence is, for “horribilis”. It would be difficult to use it in poetry at all, if the first I is short (as it is). That would make three shorts in a row. Maybe I will put some small effort tomorrow into finding out what the evidence is for horribilis. .


Wordle: An odd thing happened today. I went back to it at lunchtime and found the grid empty, as if it were first thing in the morning. I typed in today’s answer, and got credit for a hole-in-one. But my Current Streak had been reduced to one, although I have not failed since the end of October. Has anything similar happened to any of you?


I got it today (at breakfast time, as usual) in five, my least favourite score. Daughter-Rachel and Theo were with me. Granddaughter-Rachel, Alexander, Thomas and Ketki all got four. Roger and Mark got three. Roger and my-sister-Helen are flying from DC to London tonight. She says the weather there is blowy, too.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

It sounds stormy out there tonight. 

I haven’t seen much of Perdita today, but what I’ve seen has been reassuring.

I’ve watched some more of The Crown, and knit some more. I did another rough measurement today, and what did I tell you? Five inches short of the underarm. 

I had a particular interest in The Crown, which is otherwise rather tedious. (Reviews say that this series gets more interesting later on.) But today I watched Part Four (I think) which is actually called “Annus Horribilis”.  I was listening to the radio as I cooked lunch that day— as  happened not uncommonly — and it reported the Queen’s speech at the Guildhall with a recording of her uttering that now-famous phrase. I was surprised at the way she pronounced “horribilis”,  and left off cooking to go look it up. Not surprisingly, she was right. Many who have quoted the phrase since have pronounced it the (wrong) way I expected. But The Crown puts the right pronunciation into the Queen’s mouth, I am glad to report.


Wordle: Yesterday’s word as RAINY. I got four brown tiles with my starter TRAIN. If I has just looked at it, I might have slid all four tiles one position to the left and got it right in three. But no. I struggled and came up with DINAR, which Wordle accepted but which did me no good.


Today I did get it in three, and was rather pleased with myself. I was the first to report. Then there were lots of fours – Alexander, Ketki, Theo. Thomas scored five. I was feeling very cheerful by mid-morning. But the later reporters did better – three (like me) for daughter-Rachel and Roger. And then Mark blew us all out of the water with a two. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2022


Perdita was sitting by the inner door when I came along the passage this morning, after a night half-devoted to lying awake worrying about her and half to dozing to the sound of the radio telling me about the American elections. I haven’t seen her since, although others have. Helen and I are forming a plan to take Paradox to live with her (Helen) for a week or so, to see if Perdita will revert to being my cat. I’m not quite sure I could bear to do it. Paradox has faults of character, undoubtedly,  but she is my cat, too.


Anyway, it was otherwise not much of a day. Helen and my accountant came in the morning and went off with a lot of tax files. I spent a rather dopey afternoon, inattentively watching The Crown on my iPad while slowly knitting. Still, I made some progress.


Kate Davies’ Allover club produced an interesting essay this morning by a Shetland designer about choosing colours. And I tackled Craftsy and found that I can, indeed, with perseverance, recover Gudrun Johnston’s hap lessons. So the moral is to press on briskly with Fergus’ sweater.


Wordle: another four! But today that was a rather laggard score. Theo got two (I told you he was good).   Everybody else got three except for Alexander, who joined me with four. I’ve got the nicest grid of them all, though. My two starter words gave me four brown tiles, in the last four places. I hate anagrams, but I thought of a rather superior and perfectly qualified word for line three. My brown tiles were still in the last four places. But it was wrong, and yielded nothing except to eliminate the new letter I had used and to give me, for each tile, one more place where it couldn’t appear. I lept from there to the right answer. I hope I’ll be able to remember that superior word. I have started keeping track of the answers and my daily scores, but not of my brilliant wrong answers. I’ll tell you tomorrow if I can.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022


I’m back to a state of worrying about Perdita. She’s an odd cat, as I’ve often said. But why all this disappearance? She was much in evidence when Rachel and Ed were here, not all that long ago. I have scarcely seen her today. Daniela found her – Daniela can find anything – in the hall cupboard, where we keep the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board and a lot of other miscellaneous things. She was in a box (with miscellaneous things) under one of the shelves. Her medical advisor once recommended Feliway, and I supply it to her at considerable expense. When C. and I were searching on Sunday, I discovered that the current vial was empty so I plugged in the next one. But it doesn’t seem to have made any difference.


Apart from that major anxiety, the day went smoothly enough. My physiotherapists came and administered some exercises.


And I got a bit forward with the knitting.


I got a tempting email from Meadow Yarns. In the old days, I looked there for tools. Ang could be counted on for a circular of any length and any gauge. She still sells some, but has been diverted by the joys of dyeing. Today she is offering a gorgeous merino-silk-yak. But the colours are all pretty dark – because yak is basically dark, I think is the reason. I couldn’t knit a baby’s hap in anything quite so gloomy. Could I?


Wordle: Four for nearly everybody today. The exceptions were Daughter-Rachel, with five. She got stuck in one of those Wordle Specials where she had four greens and kept guessing the second letter wrong. And Theo – he’s good, that boy – who nailed it in three. My two starter words yielded only two brown tiles. You’d think it would be easy to find something for line three, but it wasn’t. My starters include all the vowels except Y, and five consonants which come high in the letter-frequency alphabet. My two browns were a vowel and a consonant. But at last I thought of something, and it turned my two brown tiles into greens and added two more browns. From there to the answer wasn’t a great leap.

Sarah in Manhattan, I was particularly grateful for your comment yesterday. To think that this Wordle-ry is of any interest to anyone!

Monday, November 07, 2022


I didn’t get out, and I haven’t seen much of Perdita, but it’s been a pretty good day otherwise. I’ve got an appt, in just over a month’s time, to see a consultant about my hip.


I knit somewhat forward. One major thing to be said about all this cabling – four panels, joining eventually at the shoulders – is that one can measure one’s progress on the chart, instead of being mired forever 4 ½ inches below the armpits no matter now much one knits.


Thank you for your encouragement about knitting a hap for the April great-grandbaby. And if I knit it of Shetland jumper-weight, it could easily be done from stash. I’ve got a Craftsy class with Gudrun Johnson in which she teaches a basic Shetland hap. I think I’ve knit it twice. It’s been years since I’ve been to Craftsy but I ought to be able to figure out how to get in. When I went to visit Christina and Manaba’s kittens recently, I saw the hap I had knit for Hamish, in most of the colours of the South African flag. It was looking rather well, I thought.


Kate Davies’ Allover club continues, today with a pattern for some colourful slippers. Maybe she will inspire me with a brilliant colour combination. I’ve got a lot of Shetland jumper weight, what with one thing and another.


Wordle: I got another four, after a mighty struggle. My starter words gave me two greens and a brown, but I couldn’t think of any word, any word at all, that qualified. I finally gave up and put a Jean-word in line three, and that was no use except to eliminate two more consonants. It was early afternoon, as I was sitting there disconsolately, when I suddenly realised that it could be….. And as so often, in that situation, it was.


Theo and Ketki and daughter-Rachel knocked it off in three. Mark and Thomas and Theo’s father Roger joined me on four. Alexander had a uncharacteristically bad day: five.



Sunday, November 06, 2022


CATS: Daniela was touchingly unwilling to leave yesterday because she hadn’t seen Perdita. I wasn’t worried. I had seen her first thing in the morning, when I fed the cats. But Daniela persisted, and eventually found her, in the front passage, near the front door.


I didn’t see her again for the rest of the day (she is that sort of cat). I didn’t see her this morning when I fed Paradox. By then I was seriously worried. C. came this morning, thank goodness, and we searched together. Paradox was constantly at my ankles. “You call KittyKittyKitty. Here I AM. What’s the matter?” She said she was hungry, and had finished all her breakfast, so I fed her again. And it may have been the sound of the ring-pull that brought Perdita out of hiding. She was in the front passage again. All is well.


C. and I then got around the garden. I have been pretty idle otherwise – no knitting. That was an Ominous Symptom last September, before my first hospitalisation. If I am to knit a hap for that April baby, I can’t afford many such days.


Wordle: I scored three, like Mark and Ketki, and felt rather pleased with myself for a while. But Alexander and Roger (my brother-in-law in DC, who has reappeared) both got two. Theo and Thomas and Daughter-Rachel scored five. And Rachel had three greens in her starter word.

Saturday, November 05, 2022


I’ve had a fairly idle day, bnt at least I  had a bath, postponed from earlier in the week so as to leave the morning bathroom and the hot water for others. Rachel and Ed are safely back in London.


And I have knit somewhat forward on Fergus’ sweater. A rough measure on the knee suggests that I am about 2/3rds of the way to the armhole. In fact I’ll lengthen it a bit. Fergus is inordinately tall. I’ve bought enough yarn to knit the pattern as written, with a hood – which isn’t in fact wanted. That should give me enough yarn to add at least an inch.


I’ve been wondering what to knit for that April baby. Would I have time for a hap?


Wordle: a day of fours except for Alexander and Mark, who got three, and Ketki with a remarkable two. My brother-in-law hasn’t posted for the last couple of days. Too busy packing for London, perhaps: they will be there next week.

Friday, November 04, 2022


All being well, Rachel and Ed should be speeding towards London at this very moment. But you can’t trust the trains these days. They are much missed, already. They planned and shopped and cooked and washed up with great industry. Now Daniela and I have a fortnight or so to regroup before my sister and her husband arrive.


I have knit more of Fergus’ sweater. I finished a skein this morning, wound and attached the next. That always feels like progress. That is progress. I’ve had some problems today with mis-crossed cables. I haven’t frogged. Didn’t even consider it. They will have to go forward as features.


We had a most interesting essay on colour this morning from Kate Davies, as part of her current club-that-will-be-a-book called “Allover”. I think she is more sensitive to colour than I am. I do find, though, that it’s a good idea for me to knit cheering colours, preferably red, during these gloomy weeks as we approach the winter solstice. I cheer up of my own accord after that – especially when the returning light becomes perceptible around Groundhog Day.


Wordle: Three for Alexander and Mark today, four for the majority of us, five for Thomas. I am making some progress with my project of making my 4’s column longer than the 5’s. Currently, 84 to 79.

Thursday, November 03, 2022


Rachel and Ed are here, shopping and cooking as well as making themselves agreeable in other ways. They will be much missed when they catch their afternoon train tomorrow.


Thank you for all your kind comments. I’m feeling much brighter, and actually had a respectable Wordle score this morning – a four, following two sixes and the day I didn’t finish and the day before that when I failed. 

I’m knitting cheerfully on with Fergus’ sweater. Maybe I’ll go back to the MKAL shawl one day. Maybe I won’t. But meanwhile, although I try hard not to have deadlines for my knitting – it’s meant to be soothing, and deadlines are stressful – Life Itself has imposed a couple:


a)     Fergus’ sweater really ought to be finished in time for the next Calcutta Cup match, which is on February 4, I believe. In the Good Old Days – not so long ago, at that – it was always the last match of the spring series, when all the home nations play each other plus France and now Italy. But now they schedule it for any old time.

b)    There’s a new great-grandchild due in April. I’m tempted to say, a new great-granddaughter to join the seven little girls in that category already. I get emails from the American Loop – they’ve got a nice-sounding yarn of their own, with some cashmere in it, washable, and a sweet and simple little baby jacket one could knit with it. But ordering from the US would be absurd.

c)     Then there’s Helen’s stripey Kate Davies pullover. I’ve forgotten its name. The replacement for the one she put in the washing machine. The replacement was too snug so I blocked it firmly and now it’s a bit too short. It’s top-down, and will be easy enough to lengthen, and there’s no deadline attached, but I don’t want to leave it tying around forever.

So I really ought to be pressing forward with that list.


Wordle: four this morning, as I said. And Daughter-Rachel also got four. We did it – completely independently of each other of course – sitting together at the kitchen table, which was very nice. We felt pleased with ourselves, but then, as the day unfolded, everybody else, without exception, scored three, and we felt a bit deflated.


Anonymous and Kirsten, we all agree that PINEY was unworthy to be Wordle’s 500th word.  That was one of my sixes, but that’s no comfort.