Saturday, December 24, 2022


In another year, I would have interrupted blogging already, in favour of seasonal festivity. You don’t have time to read such trivia. But since I am here alone, I might as well write for one more evening. Americans, please take care of yourselves and keep warm. I hope you all have running water – that’s a hard one to do without.


All well here. Helen’s husband David has successfully arrived, and is here for a full two weeks. He came this morning and is in good form.


I got some more knitting done. Alas, the hat has ceased to be much fun. It’s the same problem I had recently with those Fair Isle leg warmers – small-circumference colour knitting is no longer pleasant. My fingers aren’t arthtitic (thank goodness) but they must be a bit stiff. The hat looks very well (also thank goodness), and it won’t take long. I’ve introduced the third colour out of order, but I don’t think it matters.


Kate Davies doesn’t wind special, small skeins for a hat kit. I suspect I’ll have enough yarn for two hats – easily determined by weighing the balls of yarn when I finish. But that’s no use if it’s no fun to knit.


Wordle: My starters served me very well today, and I got it in three, along with Alexander, Ketki, and little Rachel. Thomas beat us all with two. Roger and Theo, father and son, both got four. Poor Big Rachel panted home with six. She got stuck with *,gn,*,gn,gn and kept guessing wrong.


Now I will stop writing for a while. I’ll miss you guys, almost as much as I already miss Daniella. Happy hols all round. See you next year.

Friday, December 23, 2022

 Here I am back with my laptop in the Catalogue Room. The weather has eased considerably. I am anxious about you Americans, weather-wise.


But even more anxious about myself. Daniela is gone – she has left her key behind. She says she’ll be back in ten days.


Otherwise all is well, as we slide down into Christmas. Helen’s husband David is here, although I haven’t seen him yet. He was WFH today, a long way from Thessaloniki. I’ll see him tomorrow, I hope.


Knitting has gone well – the New Project boost (Kate Davies’ hat pattern based on the yoke of her Yomp sweater). I found suitable needles this morning, more easily than I expected. I wound the first skein, cast on, knit the 8-round k2 p2 hat brim, switched to the larger needle, increased the stitches by 20%, wound the next skein. If I go on at this pace I’ll have finished before the New Year (and no bad thing). The pattern is geometric and holds no fears for us Kaffe Fassett veterans. I learned long ago that I couldn’t handle his ungeometric patterns – either cloud-shaped (horrors!) or random (almost as bad). But geometric is fun. I’ll show you soon.


Wordle: I was with the crowd today, on four. My starter words gave me three browns and a green, and I should have stood with my resolve not to use Jean-words. But I put one in the third row (as so often) and it didn’t do me much good. Then I pulled myself together and solved it. (A Jean-word is one that has some merit, and often proves useful, but can’t be right for one reason or another.)


Little Rachel was today’s champion, with two. Big Rachel was not far behind with three. Both Mark and Roger, six. Everybody else, four.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

 Well, here we go. 

Daniela has to go back to Romania for a week to look after her stout mother-in-law who doesn’t, I am told, breakfast on wilted spinach and poached egg as I do. That’s fine as long as she comes back.

Otherwise all is well. I couldn’t go out today because the Post Office said they were bringing me things — and sure enough, eventually, they did. The hat kit, from Kate Davies. Some new “lingots” for my salad machine — ii’s been quiet for months, but this is the time of year when one appreciates new green life. Some actual, physical Christmas cards. They — the Post Office — will be on strike tomorrow and Saturday. Their effort today was much appreciated.

So I must search out needles for the hat. There was a Christmas, decades ago, when I knit hats for everybody, and the legacy was short dp’s in every imaginable size. They should still be here somewhere. If I can find them, it will be nice portable knitting to take along to Helen’s house on Christmas Day.

Wordle: consternation, this morning. My two starter words produced one brown vowel. A Jean-word in line three turned the brown vowel green. Another Jean-word, in line four, produced another brown tile. But then  as the Bard has it, Consideration like an angel came… and I got it right in line five.

Nobody had a very easy time. Fours for both Rachels, Thomas, Ketki and Mark. Alexander shared my five. Theo failed. I think you’re right, Chloe, about the difference between male and female brains. I need to think it through.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

 Today is the solstice — the word means something like “the standing-still of the sun”. We’ve done it again! Although we won’t really experience the advancing light until somewhere around Groundhog Day. 

There is little to report. I’ve knit industriously on. I think I’ve knit even more industriously these last two days, since ordering the hat kit. But I’m in one of those troughs, familiar to us all, when the more I knit, the less I seem to achieve.

There are still three more days for the hat-ingredients to arrive in, if I am to knit it in the Back End, unless the Royal Mail has more strikes scheduled. Attention has been drawn away by NHS strikes and, to a lesser extent, the rail network. It’s not worth worrying, as long as one can keep out of hospital. 

Wordle: Anonymous Janet in Seattle — you’re absolutely right that ease-of-solution is at least as important as score, if not more so. I do it in the morning, first thing after reading my emails and before starting on the papers, and much prefer the days when I can wrestle to a fall briskly, and don’t have to leave it behind while I tackle the headlines.

Like this morning. My starters gave me four browns. I couldn’t think of anything. I finally put in a Jean-word, which at least turned one of the browns, green. Then I had to leave it.

But C. came, and we went out for a short walk, and when I returned to the problem all refreshed, there was the answer! My favourite four! 

Theo, Thomas and Mark: three. They are the clever ones. Ketki and I: four. Alexander and his sister Big Rachel: five.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

 I am sorry to have left you in the lurch yesterday. All is well here. The weather has broken, as promised. I haven’t been out yet, but I had my bath today and C. is coming tomorrow, so maybe…

Today an old friend from Birmingham rang up. His family summary-of-the-year is normally one of the pleasures of this dismal season. It hasn’t arrived this year (nothing else has either) so it was a particular pleasure to hear from him. I have been writing greeting-type emails to old friends and as-of-now three have had no response which leaves me, of course, gloomier than ever.

I ordered that hat kit from Kate Davies, and heard today that it has been dispatched. So now it is up to the Post Office. Ha. I probably have enough Schiehallion left-overs to do it, but you may remember that Helen put her ????? striped sweater in the washing machine, and I was able to knit it again for her from my Schiehallion leftovers,  but that the new one was a bit narrow and when once blocked to fit, it’s a bit short. So that’s on my to-do list for when Fergus’ Calcutta Cup sweater is finished, and after that something for the new great-grandchild due in April. Sinks down in despair.

But that’s why I don’t want to diminish my supply of Schiehallion leftovers.

Wordle: how exciting, Mary Lou! Was that yesterday, no. 548, SLATE?  My brother-in-law in DC also had a hole-in-one. Obviously so, if we’re talking about the same day. I did it once, with TRAIN, and found it rather boring.

We all found it on the easy side today. Two for Little Rachel, four for Theo and Ketki. All the rest of us (including me) got it in three. Alexander says there needs to be a word in English to express the fleeting sense of smugness when you score three, before you realise that everybody else has done that well or better.


Sunday, December 18, 2022

 No change in the weather yet, but we are promised a dramatic rise in temperature tonight with many a burst pipe. 

Not much knitting. Kate Davies has given us Allover club members a pattern for a very jolly hat based on the yoke of the Yomp sweater I mentioned the other day. I am tempted to abandon all else and knit it in the week of the Back End, just to get things moving again. The Club is now on holiday until the 10th of January or so, after Harry’s book comes out. 

Helen came to see me, but there was no walking and no news to speak of. Her sons Fergus and Mungo are arriving this evening. Her husband David won’t be here until nearly the last moment. 

Wordle: I got another three. I was rather proud of myself. My starters gave me one green, in the first position, and three browns. I clung on grimly, resisting Jean-words, until I thought of something that qualified. Alexander got it in two, blast him. He and his wife Ketki score the same remarkably often, but today she failed altogether, due to insufficient caffein she thinks

Mark and Big Rachel were with me on three. Thomas had the only four. Five for Theo and Little Rachel.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The relief in the weather promised for the weekend has so far failed to show up. At least we still have only a powdering of snow. There’s more in the west.

No news. Helen came to see me. I did some knitting. 

When Rachel phoned yesterday she said she had’t had any Christmas cards in the post. The same is true of Helen (and of me, but in my case it’s understandable as so many of my old friends are dead). That could only be because the strike-bound postal service is collapsing into chaos.

Someone — I think it was you, Tamar, but I can’t find the comment — wrote to me about  the way the sun behaves at the solstice. I used to watch the Sunrise/Sunset numbers in the paper every day, this time of year, just until I was sure they had remembered to throw the switch. And the behaviour of the sun is indeed slightly odd. One is certainly aware of the opposite effect in June, however brightly the sun shines and however one may try to pretend it isn’t happening. Five more days.

Looking for that comment took me back through everything you have been saying about hip replacements. Again, thank you. 

My mother was in pretty good nick at my age — there was worse to come. I do want to have enough money for a REALLY good nursing home, when I get to that stage. Dare I blow it all on a hip replacement now?

Wordle: I did it in three— and the big news is that I have achieved my goal of having my percentage score equal my age. And I’ve got eight months or so before the next birthday. 

Thomas Miles and Big Rachel also got three — everybody else, four.  My starter words produced three browns. I’m no fan of anagrams, but today I persevered until I found a word that satisfied all requirements — and it was right. The moral is to eschew Jean-words, however useful they sometimes prove. I already knew that. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

 Still cold. The forecast of relief has now retreated to Sunday. On the other hand, we have had only a dusting of snow, not the three or four inches expected. So far. There’s still time.

But Daniella is back. All’s well.

Again, I have done much less knitting than I would like to be able to report. I have at least abandoned the back of Fergus’ sweater and embarked on the front. It is lower — that should help.

The pattern is written with a hood, which I won’t be doing, but I haven’t yet addressed the question of whether my decision on that point will involve any other modifications.

Rachel phoned. She has handed over the Christmas-dinner baton to her daughter Hellie. They all will be together — Rachel and Ed and their four children with spouses and seven granddaughters. Only Hellie, I gather, has space for the necessary trestle tables. Or maybe only Hellie has strength for the ordeal. But it also makes me older by a significant notch, to be two generations away from actually doing it.

Kate Davies logged in with a wonderful essay this morning for the Allover club, about carrots and the associated colour. I trust it will be in the book, as there are bits of it I want to go back to — including a wartime recipe for a steamed pudding involving, of course, carrots. 

Wordle: We’re nicely spread about today. I did it in four, my preferred score as you know, and better yet, I did it briskly. The starter words produced two greens and a brown. My first guess made it three greens and another brown.  The answer was easy from there. The secret is not to use Jean-words (which I know aren’t right). Yesterday I was swimming in a sea of browns and it took all day to post a dim result. 

We were spread everywhere today. Big Rachel (my daughter) beat us all with two. I’ve never scored two.Alexander, Ketki, and Little Rachel  had three. Mark and Theo and Roger and I were all four. Thomas, so often the best, struggled home with five. 


Thursday, December 15, 2022

 Little to report. It’s still cold. Relief is forecast for the weekend, but before that snow is forecast for tomorrow. Daniella didn’t come today because her small son Daniel is ill. Tomorrow — who knows?

So, general gloom. I did very little knitting despite a day’s binging on HarrynMeghan. You can skip it if you have the strength of character. You won’t learn anything about the Royal Family. They are rarely mentioned. You will learn all — or rather more than all — that you could ever want to know about HarrynMeghan. 

I’m ready to start the upper front of Fergus’ sweater. Again, I resolve to do better tomorrow. 

Thank you again for hip-help, especially Jenny, Chloe and Maureen (comments yesterday). What you say makes a lot of sense. I’ll see the solstice out — not much choice, now. — and then face up to it. Meanwhile I’ll keep moving about as much as possible (once it gets a tad warmer and danger of ice underfoot is removed).

Wordle: I had a terrible time today. The starter words gave me three browns. I limped on with some Jean-words, picked up a fourth brown, eventually crept home with a six. Three for Thomas and Theo, four for everybody else except Little Rachel who needed five. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 It’s still cold.

C. came this morning. I had my bath. I knit a bit. I think two more rows— the rows of the Big Cable — will finish off the back of Fergus’ sweater.

Thank you for your concern about my hip. My sister advises me to go ahead and have it done privately. I’m glad not to have to decide right this minute. I’m on the list. I’ll face up to the problem once we’re past the solstice and settled into the Sundays after Epiphany, when life always seems more hopeful. 

“Allover”has produced an interesting essay about Norwegian knitting — not by Kate but by a Norwegian designer. 

We’ve also got a tempting new pattern called Yomp. Shetland two-colour ribbing to start off with — what’s it called? can’t think of the word; corrugated ribbing, that’s it — Norwegian-type lice in the body, a colourful geometric-type yoke pattern. The total effect is very let’s-go-for-a-winter-walk. Schiehallion yarn which I’m thoroughly fond of. How I do enjoy these winter clubs.

Wordle: most of us scored four today (my fave). Theo needed six, Little Rachel five. Theo said that WordleBot told him after Line Four that there were no more possible words. Heroic of him to soldier on! We decided that WordleBot must be restricted to NYTimes subscribers. How does it work? Does it not constitute cheating? Surely not. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

 Bitter, bitter cold. And it’s interesting that the US seems to be having cold from coast to coast. Usually it’s one or the other, you or us. 

The hospital appt went well. A pleasant and confidence-inspiring orthopaedic surgeon answered most of our questions before we got to them. I’ve got osteo NECROSIS. How’s that for splendid? No particular reason. Nothing to be done except surgery, and the NHS can’t undertake that for another year. I’m just as glad. If he had said Jan or Feb I would probably have withdrawn on the spot. As I probably will when my name finally comes up. I’ve been sitting here reading the book he gave us called “Patient Guide for Hips” and I don’t think I’m up to a replacement operation. But maybe in a year’s time I’ll be in more pain and ready to face the knife.

Going private is a possibility. But do I want to spend all that money which could more usefully be devoted to cat food? And all that the book says about the surgery would still be true.

Helen wanted to blame it all on cider-drinking but Mr Macpherson (for such was his name) didn’t take up that idea with much enthusiasm. 

So now I can look forward to Part Two of HarrynMeghan with undiminished pleasure. 

Not much knitting. Tomorrow I must get down to business.

Wordle: We’re all  much on a level today, although it seemed to me a difficult word. Three for me, Thomas, Ketki, and Theo. Four for Mark, Alexander, Roger and Big Rachel. Little Rachel took six. There’s also a grid posted to our Signal group, showing three but not matching anyone else’s grid and not identified by initials as we usually are. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

 Not much tonight. I’ve got my appt tomorrow with the orthopaedic surgeon and am beginning already to suffer from stress. It’s still bitter cold, with no relief forecast until the weekend. 

Wordle: we’re all over the place today. Two for Little Rachel, three for Thomas, four for me, five for Theo and Mark, six for Ketki. Where’s Alexander? 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

 Peering anxiously out of the window, I would say that things are slightly better today. Slightly. I didn’t go to Mass  – C. came here afterwards and we had a nice time. And without her visit I wouldn’t have known that the new dramatization of another of JK Rowling’s Cameron Strikes starts this evening.


Knitting has progressed reasonably well. I measured Fergus’ sweater more or less properly on the kitchen table. I think I may need to go all the way to the next six-over-six cross before the back of the sweater is the right length. I’m halfway there.


Kate Davies has given us Allover-club members an essay on steeking. It can’t very well appear in the book since it is full of live links. That’s OK by me. Her standards for finishing a steek are a good deal higher than mine. We get a new pattern tomorrow – that’s always exciting.


Today’s newspapers are already full of photographs-of-the-year. And we’ve still got nearly a month to go before life resumes a peaceful course.


Listening to the radio as I was falling asleep last night – as I regularly do – I learned that Tom Lehrer wrote a Christmas carol (“Hark the Herald Tribune sings…”). You’ll  find it by typing in Youtube Lehrer Christmas Carol. I love him unreservedly, and am happy to be assured that he is still alive despite being measurably older than I am. Not many people are (both alive and that old). The Christmas carol is far from his best, but I am glad to have made its acquaintance. “Wernher von Braun” is my absolute fave. Devastating, but not a syllable that would have done Herr Braun any good in a libel court.

Wordle: I was the first to log in this morning, with a three which I was rather proud of, and for a while I thought I had beaten them all. But no — Thomas also scored three. Theo got four, Alexander and his wife Ketki and their friend Mark five, Big Rachel six.

KirstenM — comment Friday — I, too, would benefit greatly from some restriction on Freecell-playing. Other than strength of character, which I lack. If I update my computer, will I still have it? I insist on the Microsoft version. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

 I’m huddling again. Whatever happened to Global Warming?

Thank you for your help with INVER yesterday. The answer makes sense, although it doesn’t entirely explain why Wordle accepted it. I’ve never heard it by itself in speech, although it’s familiar enough as a prefix.  I scored an unimpressive five today — see below.

And, oh, Tamar, yes, that low winter sun. (Even lower, here) I think the winter when my husband’s dear sister was dying was the last time we had a hard winter. Her house — she was at home until the last fortnight — was due south of Drummond Place, along long, straight roads. The sun straight in one’s eyes and also bouncing back off the banked snow. 

She lived to see the beginning of spring.

The cable panels for Fergus’ sweater have a 16-row repeat of which the centrepiece is a massive six-over-six cable. Well, I’ve done the last one of those for the back. I’ve also finished another ball of yarn — I hope at least I’ll get the winding of the next one done this evening. So progress is being made, by however slow increments.

I’ve read all there is to read about H&M in the Saturday papers and am beginning to fear that there is nothing else there and that I will regret buying his book. Somewhere on our shelves we have a copy of  “The Little Princesses”, sensational in its day, when the Royal Nanny betrayed her employers and Told All. I’ll shelve “Spare” next

 to it, if I can find it.

Wordle: Everybody got four today except me and (remarkably) Theo. He usually leads the pack, but today joined me in scoring five. There’s still time to hear from his father Roger, and from Little Rachel.

Post scriptum: Roger has just clocked in with a three. Poof. 

And now Little Rachel, with a five, like me and Theo. 


Friday, December 09, 2022

 Cold, cold.

And little else to report. I have done some knitting, but not enough. But you’re right (as always) Tamar — comment, Pearl Harbor day — it won’t knit itself. 

We had another interesting essay about colour today in the Allover club, from Kate herself. About the man who discovered that people work more happily and efficiently in pleasantly-coloured surroundings. I have certainly learned, these last few years, to knit bright colours, especially red, during these most desolate weeks of the year. I will be glad to have these essays in the eventual book.

I am huddled in the kitchen again. Perdita is here, ostensibly sound asleep, on the shelf next to the Aga. I told her just now what a super cat she is. Most of the cat remained deep in sleep, but the right hind rear paw, which hangs over the edge of the shelf, flexed in acknowledgment.

The papers I read are full of HarrynMeghan today, and the consensus is in favour of yesterday’s judgement, that Netflix’ first instalment yesterday was more than a bit boring. Could they (I find myself wondering, however) bring the monarchy down, after a thousand years? If it could survive (as it triumphantly did) the Abdication…But things were different then. 

I have ordered “Spare”, on paper as opposed to Kindle. C. wants to read it. Helen was here this morning, she thinks she can give it a miss. Maybe the whole thing will be as boring as yesterday’s non-event and we can get on with the new reign.

Wordle: I got four today, the majority score. Ketki and Theo led the pack with three. Both Rachels needed five. I like getting four, best of all. My fours now lead my fives 93-86 but I am never sorry to improve the margin. Threes lag behind at 59 and I am sure they will never catch up. 

Yesterday’s word was INFER. I got it in six. On the way there I tried INVER (after failing with INNER) and Wordle accepted it.I have done a mild bit of research and can only find a well-regarded restaurant in Strachur, near Alexander and Ketki. I’ve been there with them a couple of times. Very nice. It’s now changed hands and gone all posh — I’m not sure it doesn’t have a Michelin star — and is altogether out of our league. But what was Wordle thinking of? Surely not a restaurant on the shores of Loch Fyne?

Thursday, December 08, 2022

 I’m back in the kitchen. I would even welcome a bit of global warming. The radio says that the weather won’t ease until next week. 

The first half of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series was released this morning, as I’m sure you know. I”ve watched it all while knitting, and agree with the one or two commentators brave enough to say that it’s boring.

Mrs Sakoolas has been given a suspended prison sentence by Zoom and also lost her (British) driving license. She’s the one who killed a youth on his motorbike by  driving on the wrong side of the road, and then skipped home to the US and claimed diplomatic immunity. The dead boy’s humble family have persued her remorselessly and are pleased with today’s result.

Wordle: I scraped home with six. Sometimes in the late stages of a poor show, I enter anything that  can be pronounced (and fulfills the other requirements), trusting that it will either be rejected or be right. And sometimes, as today, that doesn’t work. Wordle accepts it, it’s wrong, I’ve lost a guess and still don’t know what the word means. That happened today. I’ll try to remember the word and tell you tomorrow. I’ve tried to look it up, with no success. A well-regarded restaurant on the shores of Loch Fyne? Impossible. The same thing happened with my failure two or three days ago, but that one is irretrievably forgotten.

Big Rachel got a six like me today. Ketki and Alexander needed five. Thomas and Mark and Theo were the champs with threes. Theo also got three yesterday — I think I wrongly claimed to have been the only one. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

 Pearl Harbor day. I remember the original one vividly. It was as bad a tactical mistake as military history can offer. Churchill went to bed a very happy man.

I’m back in the Catalogue Room tonight with my antique laptop. It’s not really very cold. It’s time to pay Daniela and I don’t like to do that from the iPad, although I couldn’t say why.


Crochet66 (comment yesterday): yes, I think there would be room in the kitchen for a cosy chair. C. made the same suggestion, and I keep meaning to search Ikea. Meanwhile I find our folding slatted kitchen chairs very comfortable for huddling, and very knittable-on.


It’s still pretty cold out there in the real world. I’ve had the heat on all day.


Some knitting; not much. Kate Davies’ Allover Club is back – an essay from Ella Gordon at Jamieson & Smith today. Kate is suffering badly from the loss of her dog. Helen, who grew up with a dear cat and now lives with a very dear dog, thinks that attachment to a dog is stronger and deeper. I’m not absolutely convinced, but I’ve never loved a dog.


Wordle: I beat ‘em all today, a pleasant restoration of self-esteem after yesterday’s debacle. My starters did it all, really. I scored three. All the rest of them needed four. We didn’t hear from Little Rachel.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

 I think I will huddle here in the kitchen again. It’s turned rather seriously cold out there. And, yes, the rest of the house is not much colder, Tamar. Nothing to worry about. Thank you for your concern. I feel cosier here, is all.

I got some knitting done — more than on other recent days. The back-and-forth part of the back is a (small) measurable distance above the armhole division.

Thank you for your encouraging words about silk and wool, too, Tamar. Both take dye so well, too — the colours aren’t likely to disappoint. Unlike cashmere. This should be an incentive to press ahead briskly with Fergus’ sweater.

Amazon has delivered two of the Xmas presents I ordered yesterday. Mr Bezos, wisely, is not placing any faith in the Royal Mail. It is collapsing, just like the NHS and the rail network. Scary times. 

Wordle: I failed. Six for Mark and Ketki, five for Theo. The others don’t seem to have had much difficulty: four for Thomas and Big Rachel, three for Alexander. 

Yes, Tamar, the iPad is equally officious about  changing my spellings — including rendering your name twice this evening as “Tamra”.

Monday, December 05, 2022

 It’s now cold as well as dark. I am going to huddle in here in the kitchen and peck this out on the iPad.

I still haven’t been out, but today wasn’t a day to encourage such an effort. Alexander and Ketki came to see me. They seem well. I gave them their Christmas present. I’ve knit a bit. Kate Davies has released the new Allover pattern — a FairIsle jumper along pretty traditional lines. Very nice, too. 

“Knitting” magazine here today, as it faithfully is every month, I am taken with Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend yarn — semi-solid. Perhaps if I could get the present effort off the needles, I could use it for the baby shawl due in April. 30% silk, 70% merino. Yum. But perhaps not very practical. And the recent gap in industrious knitting has of course postponed the finishing of Fergus’ sweater.I had hoped for Christmas. I won’t come near.

Wordle: today every single one of us had a penultimate line which went gr, gr, *, gr, gr. But we got there at different speeds. Ketki and I and Big Rachel  scored four, Little Rachel and Mark five, Alexander and Thomas six, and poor Theo failed. No news from my brother-in-law Roger yet, but he often turns up late. 

The trouble is we’re all huddling in here. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to knit under so much feline supervision. 

Sunday, December 04, 2022


I continue to mend. Helen came, but I still didn’t want to attempt going out. I must do so soon, winter or no winter. How I hate the dark! But there’s only two and a half weeks to go now. C. has been spending a heroic weekend with her grandson Hamish while his parents and brother were off somewhere celebrating a wedding anniversary. They had two ceremonies – one in South Africa and one here in Edinburgh – and sometimes take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate twice.


Alexander is coming tomorrow. His is the only Christmas present I have so far acquired. I’ll give it to him. That will be something done.


I moved the knitting somewhat forward. The stitches are rearranged. I am knitting the back, back and forth. For some reason I hadn’t marked what was to become the underarm midpoint as the beginning of the round, so there was a certain amount of sliding of stitches back and forth involved. I hope I’ll do a bit more tonight, but that is an ambition with is rarely fulfilled.


Wordle: Everybody except the two Rachels scored three today. (I’ve had three threes in a row again.) Daughter-Rachel (“big Rachel”) got it in two, and Granddaughter-Rachel (“little Rachel”) scored a hole-in-one. That happened to me once. It’s curiously boring. You sit down to do Wordle and type in your starter-word, and suddenly there’s nothing more to do.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

I continue to mend, I think. I did a tiny bit of knitting today, and walked around the house with Daniela. I hope I’ll be more adventurous tomorrow.

 Kate Davies and her husband Tom are taking a few days off the “Allover” club because they are in mourning for their dear dog Bruce. It’s a tough time of year for mourning, with all this darkness.

Eileen, thank you for the reference to the New Statesman article about where-are-you-from. I read it with interest. I think I had better emulate the Palace and keep silent. 

 Wordle: we were split by sex today. The ladies all scored three. The gents were strung out between Thomas and Roger, with five, and Theo’s brilliant two.

Friday, December 02, 2022


I continue to improve, I think. I must start being more active. And I must certainly start knitting. So far, nothing there.


Current affairs: You are right, of course, (comments Wednesday) that Lady Susan was wrong to persist with her where-are-you-from?s in that recent episode at the Palace, when she sensed they were unwelcome. . However, a columnist in the Telegraph today says that the offended party was in African dress. That means, if true, that she was not only expecting to be asked, Where are you from? but also expecting the questioner to persevere when she replied, North London. It would almost have been rude of Lady Susan not to persevere. The victim is certainly having a whale of a time touring the radio and television studios.


And next week we get Harry and Meghan on Netflix.

Wordle: back on track. I did it in three today, joined by Mark and.both Rachels. Everybody else was four except for poor Alexander: five. No news from my brother-in-law, but we know he’s safely back in DC.  

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Oh, Mary Lou, thank you for the pointer to that Wordle hat (comment yesterday). We in my little group post our results to each other daily, so I could make individual hats using the recipient’s actual scores. What fun!


 I must get back to my knitting – again, a day has gone by with none. I continue to feel better. The antibiotic course finished today. I think Daniela and I hit the ideal moment for that bath: I am strong enough now to change into pyjamas at bedtime, and back into real clothes in the morning. I’ve been dragging myself around in the same rags, night and day, for the last week.


Roger and Helen are safely back in DC, much missed here. 

 Wordle: I was today’s dunce with the only five. Theo, Granddaughter-Rachel and Ketki shared the honours with three. Everybody else scored four. A lot of us, including me, had gr,*,gr,gr,gr for our penultimate row, but we got there at different speeds.