Monday, October 02, 2023

 Still no knitting, but continued recovery. We got the shawl out and found darning needle and scissors. Ready to start. Archie came by, between assignments — he supports autistic people in the community. The cat continues to relax and to sit on my lap. She even purrs. Archie (who loves her) said that she will continue to be attached to Wafa who feeds her.  Wafa continues to try to slim her down somewhat. I plead for my cat and sometimes secure another half-sachet for her.

I haven’t even read  (still Richard Cobb in Tunbridge Wells) but I feel that that, too, is drawing closer.

Much restorative sleep. Restorative , I hope.

Wordle: a tricky one, I thought, but most of us got four, including me. Rachel distinguished herself with a three. There was uncharacteristic trouble in DC, however. Roger scored five, and Theo failed.

Sunday, October 01, 2023

 Another good day. Still no knitting, but I think I am recovering my strength and hope to resume tomorrow. I had a bath, using a clever get-in-and-out-of-the-tub gadget that the Council gave us. The sun shone. A neighbour came around who wants to buy my house when I die or leave for other reasons. She already has one but wants to stay in Drummond Place and downsize a bit. She had some useful advice about wheelchairs.

Perdita is transferring her affections to Wafa who feeds her. I think she is relaxing a bit, too.

Wordle: we came close today to the day I always want, when we all score the same. But Thomas spoiled it with a five. The rest of us had fours.

Thank you for your help with Friday’s word. I think the answer is that I was indeed spelling ALURE wrong, but there is another word unknown to us all which is spelled like that and which Wordle accepted. The Bot wasn’t so wrong after all. 

Saturday, September 30, 2023

 I’m very droopy, as you predict, Mary Lou, much nap. But all is going well. Perdita remains jumpy and anxious. I wonder if she will eventually come back to my bed? We were inseparable from kittenhood until Paradox displaced her. Now she sleeps Wafa, who feeds her. She is trying to slim her down a bit. Perdita doesn’t like that. 

Wafa takes grand care of me, better perhaps than Cramond at bullying me into doing exercises. Certainly better at seasoning our food.

No knitting. Some attention to duty, but not much.

Wordle: I failed! Winning streak cut short in the early fifties.

Yesterday’s word was AZURE. My preceding word had been ALURE. That’s the one that provoked WordleBot into hinting that it wasn’t a word. Is there a different way to spell it?

Today I started with one brown tile from my two starters, and things never got much better. There were poor scores all round. Alexander and Thomas both needed six. Five for Roger. Then things get better. Four for Ketki, Mark, and Theo. A brilliant three for Rachel.

Friday, September 29, 2023

 Here I am, home. Wafa has made wonderful food, which I cannot do justice to. We have enough to eat for a week at least. Perdita is uneasy, probably worrying about That Other Cat. She looks very well.

   The actual homecoming went smoothly. A Cramond carer had done the packing. Alexander and Ketki came in the early afternoon. They were followed by a get-you-up-the-stairs firm, who brought us here. And managed that bit comfortably. And here we are.

   I haven’t done anything yet. I will see to it all in the morning. Famous Last Words.

   Wordle: Four for me. My two starters produced two green vowels, one brown one, and a brown consonant. An anagram, in fact, which I don’t like. My line three turned all of them green, but I guessed wrong for the fifth letter. Wordle told me after line two that there was only one more possibility. After my line three, it said “There was only one possible solution left, and this wasn’t it.” I’ll try to remember tomorrow to tell you  what my line three was. It wasn’t obscene or politically dubious., as far as I can see. It was the second letter I was missing. 

   Others had trouble too. Ketki and Theo  scored six, Alexander five, four for Thomas and Roger, a sensational two for Rachel. Silence so far from Mark.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

 Again, I seem to have omitted to post yesterday’s little essay. No wonder nobody commented on it.

   The weather continues gloomy and equinoctial, I got a lot done towards tomorrow’s home-going. It’s all rather exciting. Wafa and Perdita are already there. Much packing was done here. 

   I’ve heard from C. in Palermo. It sounds as if she is having a grand time. She is about to spend a day Cooking with the Duchess, as Archie and I did. Tomasi di Lampedusa’s adopted son, the Duke of Palma, is her husband. He was the model for Tancred in the book, appearance and mannerism-wise. The actual duke is a distinguished musicologist which there is no evidence of Tancred’s being.

   I’ve finished the 54-row pattern chart for Kate Davies’ Argyle vest, and embarked on the bit where you repeat the last 36 rows of it until you reach armhole-level (which won’t, in fact, be all that much further away).

   Wordle: I got yet another three, along with Thomas and Theo. Four for Roger and Mark. Five for Alrxander and Ketki. Rachel was today’s superstar with a two. 

 Weather gloomy, wet and dark. Worse in Greece, where Helen (and her pupils) sound as if they may be marooned on Mount Pelion when the mosaic course finishes.

   If all goes well, Wafa and Perdita will move into Drummond Place tomorrow. Paradox’ new owner has sent me a delicious picture of her, in the posture of a cat who completely trusts her housemates, flat  on her back, furry tummy available for scratching.

   I had a shower this morning and am ready for the new adventure, as far as cleanliness can take me. I also put in a grocery order, to be delivered on Friday, as I re-assume the responsibilities of life.

   And I’ve finished round 53 of the Argyll vest, and wound and attached a new ball of yarn, the fourth I think. It’s looking good.

   Comment yesterday: I don’t think kimchi-making would quite  do as an activity here. Too high a proportion of us are slightly demented or hard of hearing or both. It’s not like the retirement community where my mother used to live, Meadow Lakes, near Princeton. Nor like the English one Richard Osman imagines for his thrillers.

   Wordle: another three! This time the starters gave me one green vowel and two brown tile#, a vowel and a consonant. I struggled as before to think of anything, and, as before, when I succeeded, it was right. Again WordleBot was rude: there were 11 words to choose from, it said. I was lucky. I still can’t think of any others. It certainly pays off to hold out for a real entry, rather than a Jean-word, for line three.

    Rachel, Alexander and Theo were the other threes. Thomas and Ketki needed four, Mark five. Roger scored a brilliant two.



Tuesday, September 26, 2023

 Another day. Wet and blustery here.

   My home-going draws near. I’m worried about it. If I have to come back here, what will I bring? Perdita will be all right with Helen. I’ve already chosen three pictures. But what about books? Which  are the ones I can’t live without knowing they’re available at arm’s length?  And what about cooking? Can I face a future in which I never slice another onion? Wiser not to think ahead. I’m going home to cat and pictures and books and onions on Friday. That’s enuf for now.

   Knitting progresses, and looks better and better. I’ve now reached round 50 of KD’s Argyll vest, and have nearly finished the third skein of yarn. I’m confident that I have enough knitting (and yarn-winding) to last until I get back to Drummond Place. I meant to mention that KD showed us a very attractive coloured version, the other day, of a two-toned cardigan she had published previously. Unpronounceable and instantly forgettable Gaelic name, alas. I would find a cardigan useful if I have to come back here.

Wordle: My starters — as often, I feel — yielded one green and one brown tile, both vowels. It was extraordinarily difficult to think of ANY word for line three. My starters knock out the five commonest consonants, and all vowels except Y. I finally found a word, and it was right, so three for me. WordleBot in the Times was very scornful. There were a dozen or so possibilities. I was lucky, it said.

   Alexander, Mark and Thomas were fellow threes. Rachel and Roger both got stuck on ???, grn, ???, grn, grn. Rachel got out of it with five, Roger went the whole way with six. Ketki was the only four. Theo scored five but approached that score by a different route from the one just mentioned. 


Monday, September 25, 2023

 So, what happened today? Nothing much. The knitting has progressed to round 47 (of Kate Davies’ Argyll vest) and, despite occasional lapses, it’s looking good. I’ll need a few more tools once I reach the underarms — I think the timing will come out about right. I should be home before I need anything more. 

  I saw the physiotherapist today. She agreed with Alexander and Ketki that I will need help getting up the steps when I get home on Friday, and was glad to hear that that had been arranged. We talked about wheelchairs. She thinks I should aim at self-propelled, rather than electric such as everybody has in DC. 

  I think what I need now is a conference with a non-specialist doctor. I am being overwhelmed with lungs and heart and hip.

  Books: a pleasanter topic. Keeping a list of books-read is sort of fun. I was pleased to discover how many of us do it. I have separate pages for each calendar year, and at the bottom add a little list of books I might want to read, picked up from reviews and recommendations, today I started reading “Still Life: Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood” by Richard Cobb. I’m finding it a bit slow and heavy, but will persevere.

Wordle: yesterday was the day my great-grandson Lennie was born. My starters gave me four browns: H, I, T, R. Surely the answer was BIRTH? But it wasn’t.

Twos, threes and fours today. I had a four. Poor Thomas got stuck on ???, grn, grn, grn, grn and needed five. His father Alexander scored a brilliant two. No news from Roger. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

 C. was here this morning. She will be jetting off to Palermo tomorrow. Helen is already on the slopes of Mt. Pelion. Both will be back soon. Alexander and Ketki will be here for the great transfer — Cramond to Drummond Place— on Friday. And I’ll have Wafa, and my dear cat. I am nevertheless feeling slightly anxious and bereft.

   I have no more news for you of Lenny in London.

   Knitting progresses well. I have embarked on round 44. It’s looking wonderfully sculptural. 

   I have made a practice, for a good few years now, of making a note of the books I finish reading. It is depressing, looking back, to see how many of them I have no memory of at all. Never mind that, for the moment. Today I finished The Favour by Nicci French, and when I went to inscribe it, was horrified to find that I didn’t finish anything in September. I doubt if that has ever happened before. Most recent reading, according to the record, has been re-reading: Jane Austen and Ruth Rendell, primarily.

   Wordle: again I have something to say which I must suppress until tomorrow. We were three-four-five today. Threes for Mark, Thomas, Theo and Ketki.  Fours for me, Roger and Alexander. Poor Rachel needed five, bogged down, no doubt, by the responsibilities of additional grandmotherhood. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

 Today’s news: Lenny Edward William H. I’m sure, if I were only a bit more technologically inventive, I could show you pictures of him, but as it is you will have to wait until I get home next week. It is for him, of course, that that shawl is destined. 

   It was a brisk labour, but even so Lizzie says, never again. 

  And my more recent knitting, Kate Davies’ Argyll vest, has reached the beginning of round 42. I continue to improve, I think, in distinguishing left from right — never easy — and understanding how the pattern works. 

  Not much else to report. Helen has reached Mount Pelion and is busy arranging the materials for her mosaic class. C., bless her, has been to Drummond Place and has ensured that the key to the house is in the key safe. Wafa is arriving the day before I do, and will need it. So will I, indeed. I don’t have any keys with me. 

   I sat out in the garden for a while this morning. No one else was there. It was quiet. But there were no little birds, no sparrows. We are under an Edinburgh Airport flight path. Maybe that explains it. But I felt both saddened and alarmed.

Wordle: it was another easy one, I gather. Thomas, Theo, Alexander and Mark got threes. Four for Ketki, Rachel, and Roger. And I thoroughly un-distinguished myself with a five. No Jean-words, either. All of my entries were serious attempts.

Friday, September 22, 2023

 So, Wednesday I left Wordle out and yesterday it was knitting. I”d better start there. I have reached round 38. It’s looking well. It’s slow work, but since it’s a sleeveless pullover, it’ll be nearly finished (except for some ribbing) when it’s finished.

   A quiet day otherwise. C. came.. She’s busy packing for a holiday in Sicily.

   I had no nap today (own fault) and am suddenly overwhelmed with tired. I’d better go to bed once I’ve told you about Wordle.

   It was another pretty easy one. Thomas, Mark, and Rachel needed four. There were threes for me and Roger and Theo, twos for Alexander and Ketki. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

 I have just discovered that I never published yesterday’s blog entry, quite apart from having forgotten to include Wordle in its excitements. So now it’s up, and here is today’s.

   But nothing much happened today. Helen has gone to Thessaloniki, as a prelude to teaching mosaic-making on the slopes of Mt Pelion. I have realised that my departure for Drummond Place is really getting quite close — next Friday, in fact. Alexander and Ketki are in charge. And I think Wafa will be involved

  Wordle: I seem to be lacking a day in my record of Wordle results. My glorious  two was on Tuesday the 19th, as recorded here. Yesterday I scored three for a forgotten word. Today was another three. My starters gave me one green and four browns — i.e., no more letters to supply, just an anagram to solve. Alexander, Ketki, Mark and Roger were the other threes. Rachel, Thomas and Theo had the fours.

 I went to an “Italian afternoon” yesterday, expecting broken phrases and sips of Chianti. We had the latter, but no Italian conversation, just a famous film from the 50’s — “Three Coins in the Fountain”. It’s unbelievably bad. I think I was vaguely expecting “Roman Holiday”. It must be contemporaneous, but RH may be in black and white. Does that matter, when you’ve got Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck and an intelligent script?

   “Three Coins” was vaguely interesting as a sociological document. Offices with no trace of electronics. Smart, attractive women busy with their typewriters, interested only in getting married. The empty streets of Rome populated only by extras, looking awfully extra. 1952? I just looked it up — 1954.  “Roman Holiday” is 1953. Now I’ll have to contrive to see it again. Lots of things aren’t as good as one remembers, although few are as bad as “Three Coins in the Fountain”.

Otherwise there is little to report. Helen came for a last visit before her 10 days in Greece. Knitting moved forward. It’s slow work, especially in the rounds with lots of crosses. I’ve now reached round 28 and am advancing towards a passage which may produce more apparent progress tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

 More dull, wet and gloomy.

Helen came this morning, and went away with a bagful of Things I don’t immediately need. She’ll bring the empty bag back tomorrow, and go to Greece on Thursday. Alexander and Ketki came in the afternoon, full of plans for getting me home. They have no confidence in me to get up the six steps from the pavement (sidewalk) to my front door. I feel sure I can surmount that hazard in a bound.

   It turns out that this problem can be met either by a commercial firm or a charity. Either one meets you at hospital or care home or wherever and takes you home and gets you in. I suspect that they expect something more like a second-floor tenement rather than six steps up from the pavement, but never mind. Neither is available until next Friday, the 29th, so departure from Cramond has been postponed until then. 

   Knitting continues well. I have reached round 23 on the Argyle vest. That’s five rounds further than yesterday. And I continue to make progress with understanding forward and backward twists. 

Wordle: easy-peasy today. Mark was the dullard, with four, Ketki and I the stars with two. Threes elsewhere. 

Monday, September 18, 2023

 Dull, wet and gloomy changed into something quite pleasant-looking when it was too late in the day for any of us oldies to get out and enjoy it. I spent my time knitting when I wasn’t being bathed or otherwise attended to. I’ve reached round 18 of the Argyle vest.

   It’s going briskly and pleasantly except in a couple of spots where I took my mental eyes off it for a moment. You’re right, Mary Lou, that I’m coming to understand the pattern better. The first step forward was when I grasped that left twists and right twists weren’t quite the same as decreases, and that therefore the golden rule didn’t apply: the stitch the needle enters first doesn’t necessarily wind up on top.

   Arrangements continue to move forward towards my return to Drummond Place on Wednesday the 27th.  I don’t know how the others feel: neither Helen nor I is fully convinced that I’m up to it. But if I have to come back here in Forever Mode, it would change the scene drastically. A future with no cat and no cooking. 

   Wordle: it was a bit tougher today. Mark was the star with the only three. Fives for Thomas and Ketki. Fours elsewhere, including me. We h have n’t heard from Roger yet.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

 I’ve had a successful day’s knitting, at any rate. I’m now halfway around Round 11. It’s beginning to get a bit faster, and may even speed up a bit more when I understand the pattern more thoroughly. There are only two techniques, twist 2 right and twist two left. The former is dead easy, the latter not difficult. You’ve still got to keep them separate in your mind, and remember which one you’re supposed to be doing. Later on I hope it will be obvious which travelling stitch is headed where, and therefore obvious how to get it there.

   At the moment, I can’t even listen to a podcast as I knit.

Sundays are quiet, and mine was devoted to knitting, so I have nothing else to report. C. came to see me after Mass.  They have been remaking the garden, at the University chaplaincy where we go, and she says it’s still not possible to get a wheelchair in, so I’m not missing anything.

Wordle: all threes and fours today. I was in the former group, which narrowly predominated.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

 Sun, this evening, after a day of unremitting gloom. Helen and David stopped in to see me, with a friend I didn’t remember but should have, on their way to Glasgow to see the recently-reopened Burrell Collection.

Yesterday”s gas man claims to have been successful — Alexander knows no more than that. So things are in train to get me home to DP on Wednesday the 27th. I am eagerly looking forward to living  with my remaining cat, and to eating seasoned food and to having a second glass of cider if I fancy it. But nervous, too, after three months cushioned in care. And my hip is undoubtedly, very recently, worse. Can Wafa and I manage?

Knitting: I was tremendously grateful for your comment, Tamar — cheerfully assuming  I would rip out a round and a half. I went to bed last night hoping somebody would suggest a fudge. But there was nothing to be done — if I had knit on to the starting point and then turned, there would have been those two messy rounds at the beginning to haunt me forever. As it was, it didn’t really take all that long. Retrieving ribbed stitches is easy because you can see whether you’ve got them all. Once I had them, I put in an extra row of ribbing  to get everybody settled in the right direction and un-split. 

I’ve now reached round five. It’s going to be slow work.

Wordle: back to our usual spread today — threes and fours. Mark, Thomas and Rachel were the threes.

Yesterday”s word was EXERT. My starters gave me ERT, all brown. I can’t remember what I put in line three. I think it was an accidental Jean-word, re-using a letter already excluded. It gave me the second E, however. I was fiddling around with the anagram, typing in X for the unknown letter as is my wont, when I looked at the screen and saw that I had typed in the answer, X and all.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Eventful. Lousy-looking weather, though.

   A) Alexander says the gas leak has been fixed, and that therefore I can leave Cramond on the 21st. No details, about the leak. I am nervous about leaving, after being lapped in unseasoned luxury for two and a half months. Helen fears I need more care than a carer (Wafa) can provide, but I don’t think that is true at the moment. It probably will be soon.

   (B) and (C) suddenly the rest of the day doesn’t seem interesting
  (D) I’m in trouble with the knitting.

I finished the ribbing and embarked on the first pattern row. It was/is perfectly simple if you are familiar with travelling stitches. I should have practiced in advance. Towards the end of the round I counted ahead and saw that the pattern repeats were not going to coincide with the end of the round. So I ripped it all out and laboriously recaptured the stitches and knit the first round, pausing after every 18-stitch repeat to count and to move the marker. It came out even: 14 repeats.

I knit more than half of the second round. I feel I am beginning to get the hang of it.

I noticed that my beautiful, deep, twisted-stitch rib was now on the inside. Not a twist but a short round — somewhere or other I turned around and went in the other direction. I can’t find the place, so it’s probably at the beginning. I fear I’ll have to frog back to there and start the pattern again. I’ll leave it for tonight. Maybe by tomorrow morning I will have decided on an inferior fudge.

Wordle: it looks as if today we have achieved the nirvana I have long hoped for: we all have the same score, namely four. But Mark hasn’t been heard from so could still spoil it all. I have more to say about how I arrived at my four and will have to hope I can remember until tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

 Much feeling of new-season in the weather. Helen and David are still in Kirkmichael. I’ve had a pleasant day here in Cramond. We’ve been joined by a New Boy, 6’6” at least, whose presence means that we don’t all fit into the dining room any more — although the difficulty, of course, isn’t physical size. I’ve just had a very pleasant supper with three others in a lounge so close I could walk to it, or at least stagger.

And we talked to each other, which doesn’t often happen in the dining room. 

I need a physiotherapist to advise on walking. How do you do it most efficiently as your left hip collapses?  Perhaps a stick could serve as the left leg while I otherwise hop on the right foot? I need professional advice. A Zimmer frame doesn’t work very well any more.

Knitting has gone forward nicely, too. I’ve finished the wide ribbing, and have embarked, but only just, on the real pattern. 

Anonymous (comment yesterday): I have much sympathy with your comment, that I am knitting a moebius strip, once I have twisted it. And I have little confidence in my own acumen, these days. But I can see that it’s not twisted— the second twist must have undone the damage of  the first, as I meant it to. I can’t even test things out with strips of paper, as perhaps I could if I were at home with pins and things.

Wordle: I was the class dunce, with five, yet again. Four fours, three threes, and me. And I have pretty well weaned myself of Jean-words. It was certainly so today — every line was a serious possible answer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

 The weather really begins to feel as if the season has turned.

   Helen and David were here this morning, on their way to Kirkmichael, with plans to move the driveway-ditch-neighbour problem forward. Helen doesn’t think that the firm which has been hired to deal with my gas leak will necessarily be able to do the job on the day. We shall see. I certainly won’t make any concrete plans for going home until I have further news.

   But I have been reflecting on how much worse I have become since I came to Cramond sometime in July. In Drummond Place, even with Wafa there, I would get up and get dressed and walk (with Zimmer frame) the considerable length of the house in order  to feed my cats. I couldn’t do that now. I must start practising long walks tomorrow. On the other hand, I didn’t come here straight from Drummond Place — 10 days in hospital intervene. I’m better in many ways — except for walking.

   Knitting: oh, dear. When I was nearly back to where I was when I ripped it all out, I realised that it was, after all, twisted.

   There is a little gap in the smooth lower edge, just where I put in a halfway marker for the back. I think it probably happened when I was knitting the first joined-in-the-round round. Today, I knit on to the beginning of the round, and twisted it back. And I think I will be able to repair the bottom edge fairly successfully once I am at home with a darning needle.

   I also think I understand more clearly what has happened. The first mistake — the one that prompted me to rip everything out — was a “short round” as I said. Unless corrected with a corresponding turn in the other direction, it leaves me knitting inside-out. Whereas today’s error was a twist in the work. I’m still working right-side-out but with the whole thing twisted.

   I’m being very, very careful every time I pick it up — although another twist is pretty well impossible by now.

  Wordle: I was the class dunce again, with the only five. Ketki and Alexander both got two. Everybody else had three except Roger, who made me feel a bit better with a four. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

 Cool but largely sunny today.

Ketki and Alexander say that a man is coming to mend my gas leak on Friday — which rather contradicts what I had been told earlier, about how difficult it could be to locate it, with much ripping-up of floorboards. We shall see. I am so slow and unsteady on my pins these days that there can be no question of my leaving this dull and comfortable place until gas and floorboards and live-in help (and CAT) are back in place.

Knitting went well, spurred on by the sense of self-satisfaction gained from a necessary ripping-out. I’m not as far along as previously, but nearly so, and it certainly looks better with the twisted rib on the outside. I think the size is better, too. The main pattern, when I finally  get there, is twisted stitch, too. I did a course on it at Camp Stitches in (I think) 1999with Candace Strick. Although I went back to Camp Stitches the following year, and to Stitches itself a year or two later, Bavarian Twisted Stitches were the only subject I ever learned anything about.

Helen and David came to see me this morning. They are going to Kirkmichael soon, perhaps tomorrow — but Perdita will have Archie and Fergus to talk to, so that’s all right. It sounds as if they might have a breakthrough in the neighbour-problem there (involving driveway and ditch).

Wordle: Yesterday’s word was OLDER. By line four I had four letters, two of them green, and guessed OLLER, figuring, as I often do, that if it’s not a word, Wordle won’t accept. But it was accepted. I looked it up afterwards. It means “waste land” in some dialect or other. It left me with O, L, ???, E, R but even so I had toiled through most of the unused letters — mercifully, without Wordle accepting the result — before I found D.

Today: three for Ketki, Alexander and Mark; four for Theo, Thomas, and Rachel. An undistinguished five for me.

Monday, September 11, 2023

 The weather was a bit on and off today. I didn’t get out. Helen and her family should be back today. I eagerly look forward to hearing that they all are safely here, and that Perdita, who has been alone in the house all this while, fed by a neighbour, is OK

   My fall: no further repercussions. Tamar, they do have an alarm in the bathroom. I tugged and t ugged but it didn’t work. To their credit, it was put right this morning, and I have also been issued with a portable  alarm to wear on my wrist. Kirsten, you’re right, a stool or even the right sort of chair would help. Something to sit on while I brush my teeth and wash behind my ears. 

   Knitting: i started again. I was about halfway through the ribbing when it t looked to me as if I had somehow turned it inside out. The properly twisted rib seemed to be mostly on the inside, except for the last two rounds. (“Look at your knitting” — one of the most useful of EZ’s maxims.) This sort of thing can happen, has happened to me before, if I pick something up after a gap and set off in the wrong direction.

   But in that case — trying to force my age-fogged brain into action — I would have achieved a “short round”, and ought to be able to spot the parts that were two rounds deeper than other parts.

   But what if I had made the mistake at the starting point? I might have laid it aside  precisely there.

   I continued to be uneasy about size. I remembered another useful rule of life, this one taught me by a nun at the school where I used to teach: When in doubt, take it out.

   So I did, and started again with a substantially smaller size. Much stitch-counting, much careful attention  to not twisting. I am nearly finished with the second round.

   Wordle: again, I found it very hard, and again scraped home with six. And again have something to say about it, if I can hold it in memory until tomorrow.  Rachel joined me with six. Alexander had five. Ketki and her son Thomas scored four. Mark had a sensational three which he modestly attributes to luck.silence, so far, from across the pond.


Sunday, September 10, 2023

 And now it’s raining. That does put a different complexion on things.

I fell down last night, after writing to you. I had gone into the bathroom to get ready for bed. There are one or two operations connected with that process which require both hands. During one of them I subsided to the floor, rather than fell. No harm done, but I couldn’t get up. Eventually help came. That hip is definitely getting worse.

   Helen knew about this, early this morning. She’s still in England with her family, but will come back tomorrow.

   I am well embarked on the twisted rib at the beginning of the Argyll vest. Worried about size. Too soon to tell. I have never had much luck with gauge swatches, and often remember the major early in Evelyn Waugh’s. “Men at Arms” trilogy whose uniform never seemed to fit, not through any fault of his tailor but because the major seemed to change shape from time to time during the day.

   Franklin is trying to teach us to knit to fit at the moment.

   Thank you for your tip about not twisting a circular cast-on. Mary Lou. Who knows? if I have to re-start to improve the fit, I may use it very soon.

   Wordle: Everybody got three or four today except for Theo who needed five. Mine was one of the threes, I’m pleased to report. Makes up for two successive sixes earlier in the week.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

 The sun shone. It was pleasantly cool. I didn’t get out — my hip seems  to have given up walking, and I didn’t like bothering staff  to push me, although they would have done it cheerfully. What I did achieve, however, was knitting.

   The yarn still looked a bit funny in the morning, so I fished the two ball bands out of the waste paper basket. If anything is wrong it’s not my fault and presumably not KD’s. The dyelot numbers match up as they should.

   So I cast on. No swatching or anything like that. The instructions say to choose the size above your actual measurements “with the amount of ease required”. I’ve been generous and it looks huge. We shall see.

   It’s knit bottom-up, p1, k1b. I turned around, after casting on, and ribbed back to the beginning. If I had been doing plain-vanilla rib I would then have knit 3 or4 more rows in that fashion, before joining into a round. However, k1b changes the story somewhat. If I turn the work a second time, I am k1b’ing into stitches which were purled in the row before. Meaning that every stitch is twisted, in one row or the other. Whereas if I go steadily on around from the beginning, purls are always purled and (twisted) knits are twisted.

   And I’m not enough of a Zimmerman to judge whether it makes any difference.

   So, taking no chances, I joined into a circle for the second pattern row. If anyone has a secret method for getting that right, I would be beyond grateful to learn it. In the old days I knit many an Amedeo shawl. She often begins with the edging, then you pick up stitches for the four borders, then join into a circle. And it’s difficult because of the great quantity of stitches. I got it wrong once, and only realised it for sure after a couple of inches. 

   I took a pair of scissors to that corner. Nobody ever complained. And I think I’ve got it right this time.

    But if anybody has a twist-proof system…

   Wordle: another dismal six for me, starting with one brown vowel from my two starters. Ketki and Alexander had twos; Thomas, Theo, Mark, and Rachel scored three. No one else was as feeble as I was, but at least Roger (the other oldie in our little group) needed four.. 

Friday, September 08, 2023

    I got to the hospital. So did Alexander and Ketki. We talked to a nice anaestheologist. (Is that a word? Blogger doesn”t think so.) I have decided not  to have a hip replacement. If things change I could have one, he said, in reasonable time, not back-to-the-end-of-the-queue. 

   So that’s that,at least for the moment. On one point rather sore, but on the whole, delighted. 

   Among the nice doctor’s reasons for not recommending surgery to me was that I have — or have had — bronchiectasis. Nobody ever told me that. I’ve never even heard the word.

   There’s finishing I must do on the baby shawl when I get home, but when that’s done, it’s not at all a bad idea to ring the yarn shop and ask about blocking (comments yesterday). There  are still ends to be tidied away and — to my surprise - - a whole seam to be sewn. I knit the four borders at the same time, back and forth. Instead of joining them into a circle and purling alternate rounds

   So I set to winding the new yarn from KD, and promptly made a mess of it. Of TWO skeins. I’m not blaming the yarn here — it was my mess. I wound the third skein, no trouble, and then went back and successfully untangled and wound one of the others. I’ll leave the final mess until I need it (or not) at the end of the knitting. 

   The two balls I have wound look to be slightly different colours. Surely not.

   Wordle: I think four was the majority score today. Rachel was the star, with two. I was the dunce, with six. My grid was wonderful. My first starter word gave me ???, grn, grn, grn, grn. So I started guessing the  first letter, and, as I just said, finally got it on the sixth line. Wordle players can easily visualise my grid. It was pretty impressive.


Thursday, September 07, 2023

 I’ve had another bulletin from Paradox: all continues well. I think it must be true that she (and Perdita, too) is basically an Only Cat. It’s all my fault, for introducing her to the household because I thought she would be company for Perdita while I jetted around the world (or at least to Palermo) after my husband died.  I am lucky — as are both cats — that the story has so happy an ending.

  Alexander and Ketki came to see me — and will stay in Drummond Place tonight to escort me to a hospital appt tomorrow morning. This is the one where we get to grips with hip replacement, yes or no. They didn’t have anything substantial to report about the Drummond Place problems, plumbing and gas.

  Meanwhile I have finished knitting the shawl for the next great-grandson. Even granted a table here, which might be possible, I don’t think blocking could be done. It would also need something to cover the table with and to pin the shawl to; and lots of pins; and some scissors; and a darning needle; and a suitable sink; and towels. No, too much.

   I had wound plenty of yarn to knit the remaining edging. One of the staff here went off with the skein of yarn I mentioned yesterday,  to try her hand, but returned it today in exasperation. It is a very good thing that I didn’t choose it as the first or second ball. Its imperfections weren’t obvious to begin with. 

   The new yarn from Kate Davies turned up today, just when most needed. I hope to cast on tomorrow. The long, long circular with which I have been knitting the shawl is close enough to the right size to get me started.

Wordle: Ketki was today’s star, with the only three. The rest of us got fours and fives, with fours predominating. I was in that group.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

 I think perhaps my arthritic hip is worse. I can’t walk as far (with the Zimmer frame) as before. (I can’t walk any distance at all without it.) I have at appt at the Royal Infirmary on Friday morning to be further assessed for a hip-replacement operation. Alexander and Ketki will take me and remain in attendance. I look forward to discussing with a doctor the pros and cons of proceeding. I’m rather against, as I think is Alexander and also Helen. 

Nothing happened today. The sun shone. 

And I finally finished the second skein of yarn and prepared to wind the third. It is defective — lots of breaks — and I don’t, for once, think it’s my fault. The yarn was bought recently. The other two skeins — 100  grams (440 yards)  of sock yarn in each — were faultless. There’s no other sign of moth-infestation.

In any case, I must take what I’m given. When I came to the first break I thought ahah! I’ll just wind off what I need  and leave the rest of the skein. There’s the rub, of course. How much do I need? By the time I had struggled on to lunchtime, I had three small balls. I have attached the one I think is the largest. There are 3 1/2 scallops to go. Report tomorrow.

The KD package has been dispatched, they tell me, but has not yet arrived.

Wordle: a funny one. My starters served me well. I scored three, as did Theo, Thomas, and Mark. That’s half of us. Of the other four, Roger scored four, Alexander five, Ketki six, and Rachel failed. Alexander, Ketki, and poor Rachel spent a lot of time stuck on ???, ???, grn, grn, grn. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

 Mostly about cats, today, but first —

Knitting went well. Surely there can’t be more than one more scallop in that ball of yarn, so tomorrow will be yarn-winding day. KD has dispatched my package. What about needles?

Alexander and Ketki came this morning. Together we talked to someone from the City of Edinburgh (I think) about what they will provide: a hospital bed, a commode, a snazzy tool for getting in and out of a bath. Alexander and Ketki then went off to address my other problems but I won’t get a report on that until Thursday.

   Cats: I had a message today from Paradox’ new owner to say that she seemed to expect to be given water on the kitchen worktop. What a clever cat, to express that! That’s exactly where I gave her water, in a little machine called a Cat Mate which made a little waterfall as cats are said to like moving water. It had to be plugged in, hence the worktop. I’m sure Alexander and Ketki haven’t allowed her onto a worktop in the last two months.

   She has also been gathering balls of yarn, as she wanders about at night, and putting them with her cat-carrier.

   Anonymous (comment yesterday): I’m not convinced that Paradox and Perdita are alienated by each other’s looks, but it’s a very interesting idea. They have the same mother, about two years apart. Paradox is the glamorous sister — longer fur, a longer tail. She had the finest tail in the Second New Town —( now I suppose I’ve got to say “…in the south of England”). She used to sit on top of appropriate pieces of furniture and display it artlessly. Perdita has a rather unusually short tail —I have wondered sometimes whether she might not be 1/64th wild cat.

   And Paradox’ colours, although very similar to Perdita’s, are conspicuously brighter. There’s plenty to be bad-tempered about.

   Wordle: Roger is still un-heard-from. Otherwise all threes and fours. I was among the threes. 

Monday, September 04, 2023

 I had a serious struggle this morning with various systems, but I think, thanks to the patience and intelligence of a member of Kate Davies’ staff, that a pack of yarn, in the colour I want, is on its way to Cramond. The pattern turns out to be in KD’s Argyle book, which in turn is in my Ravelry library. So I was spared the struggle which might have been involved, storing the new one in there.  Freed from the fear of running out of knitting, I have knocked off several scallops on the shawl today, and there’s time for at least one more.

   This shawl has been knit centre-out, as you probably remember. When I finished the centre, I switched to a new ball of yarn, just in case, but in the event could see no difference. So when I finished the second ball of yarn, fairly recently, I went back to the first one. That’s where I am now, in that state we’ve all experienced in which a tiny amount of yarn at the end of a ball seems to go on forever.

    But it won’t. Valuable knitting time will have to be set aside to wind the next ball. 100 grams of sock yarn — not trivial. At least I had enough foresight to bring another skein to Cramond with me. 

   The other big event of the weekend has been getting rid of my cat Paradox. It has been deeply distressing, but mercifully Helen and the adopter arranged everything — I never saw the cat and didn’t have to worry about plans. And all went very well. From the little I know, Alexander (or Ketki) brought the cat over yesterday from Loch Fyne and gave it to Helen. Helen drove it south, with her family, on their way to a family holiday. And at some point they met the adopter’s mother who drove it further south and kept it overnight.

   This morning cat and new owner were united, and took to each other, and drove off home.

Wordle: Another stinker. My two starter words yielded one brown vowel. I found a good word for line three — and it achieved NOTHING. Well, except to eliminate four more consonants and one more position for the vowel. Line four was better, and I got it on line five. Four was the near-universal score, but Rachel soothed my feelings by scoring six.

ONION: my starters gave me brown O and I, and a nice green N at the end. I thought of ONION early on, and thought of how Alexander would disapprove. It didn’t eliminate a single letter. (Alexander’s rule, I think, is to avoid double letters in the early stages.) but the letters looked like ONION and I couldn’t think of anything else so I typed it in and it was right.

Sunday, September 03, 2023

 Nothing whatsoever was achieved today. Nice weather, though. C. came. She pushed me around the garden. I won’t see her, or Helen, for a week. Alexander and Ketki are picking up the load. I should see them.

  I still can’t remember the Knitting Bishop’s name. I’m sure I could winkle it out of Google. There was a letter from the current Lord Kitchener once in the Times, giving an address. I wrote to him asking about “Kitchener stitch”. He replied a year later, saying that he had never heard of it. I then wrote to the Bishop. He replied at once, “Dear Jean”, but couldn’t solve the problem. I have both letters in my archives somewhere.

Wordle: I couldn’t do it. C. usually does it, but hadn’t this morning. I showed her my three lines. I had struggled mightily for half an hour and was beginning to believe there was no qualifying word in the language. C. looked at it for a while, and got it, so my “winning streak” is intact. Rachel and Theo were the threes today. Alexander needed six.

I can still remember what I want to say about yesterday’s ONION but am too tired.  Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, September 02, 2023

 Nice, sunny day, and more is forecast for the week beginning tomorrow. Helen and David came, and we got out to the garden. I won’t see them again until they get back from their English holiday in 10 days’ time or so.

   I have spent a happy time otherwise, reading Fuchsia Dunlop’s new book “Invitation to a Banquet”, pre-ordered from Amazon, delivered by Helen. It’s not recipes but a history of Chinese food. I’ve got several of her recipe books and hope this book will inspire me to return to them, when I get home. Chinese cooking is well-suited to my feeble state, as much of it can be done sitting down, as one slices and chops. She writes very well.

   I have pressed on somewhat, as well, with Norwegian knitting. Iceland and the Faroes are also involved. I must go back to the good bishop’s book to see how he pulls European knitting all together. 

   And I have pressed on somewhat with actual knitting. I’m holding back a bit, for fear of running out before the new project arrives from Kate Davies.

Wordle: a three today, of which I was very proud. My hope of having the only such score was frustrated by Thomas. The others were evenly split between fours and fives. There are some things I’d like to say about today’s struggle and I fear I will have forgotten all about it by tomorrow.

Friday, September 01, 2023

 Not too bad a day. This time I did get out, and the effort has flattened me. I think I’ll opt for being wheeled to supper.

   Helen and David came to see me, on their way back from the airport, I thilnk, David having just arrived from Thessaloniki. They are going for a week to visit his mother, handing over Paradox to her new owner on the way.

  Your comment frightened me, Mary Lou, because it coincides with a worry of my own. I don’t think plumbing work has cracked the gas pipe, because they are so far away from each other at either end in a house which is long like a railway carriage  But I wonder if both couldn’t have been damaged by building work below — not in Mr Downstairs’ flat but in one mysteriously next to it, below us. 

  Knitting progresses well, except that I got involved in a mysterious mess this morning as a result of which the fagotting is less than perfect at one spot — the first such lapse on this final side of the shawl. I’m worrying away now about whether I will have replacement knitting in time.

   I’ve sent KD’s book “Davaar” home with Helen. There is little more to tell you about it. The island is uninhabited.  A couple of holiday lets are available, one of them — where Kate and her husband lodged — a former WWII lookout post. And in a cave someone — a known someone — painted a Crucifixion in the mid-nineteenth century. It quite promptly became and has remained a place of pilgrimage. 

   I’ve read a bit more of “Norway’s Knitted Heritage”. It continues to be very thorough, but I have hit on nothing else to report here yet.

   Wordle: another one that saw us widely divergent. Poor Roger had grn, ???, grn, ???, grn for his very first line, and eventually scraped home with six. Thomas and Mark had two. Ketki, Alexander and Theo scored three. Rachel and I had four. 


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Another bright, warm day. Again I didn’t get out.

No visitors today, but emails to assure me that they are all burrowing away at my problems. 

To which my only contribution has been to order Kate Davies’ “Argyle” kit, in colour way Daunder. As soon as I’ve got the pattern, I’ll order needles from somebody. That’s simpler than telling someone how to find the right size and bring them from Drummond Place. I’m less than half way along, attaching edging to the final side of the baby shawl. But not much less. The finish line is in sight. I will leave the actual finishing until I get home, and the blocking of course. I’m likely to miss the baby. 

I’ve been reading Annemor Sundbo’s “Norway’s Knitted Heritage”. It is a big, heavy book, of considerable interest. She used to run a shoddy factory — one of the many words I learned from Gilbert and Sullivan — and got interested in the hundreds of sweaters people brought in. The parallels with British knitting are very interesting. Colour knitting is almost entirely different — they’ve got lice, we’ve got Fair Isle and Shetland. But the single-colour fisherman’s sweaters are very similar. 

She illustrates a childhood-of-Jesus picture from the first half of the 14th. Entury, much earlier than the ones I had previously known. Our Lady is knitting from a circular spindle arrangement which gives her access to no fewer than 12 spools of yarn. 

I’ve also got Kate Davies’ new book, about Davaar, which is a tidal island not far from Campbeltown. A map locating it in Scotland would be useful. I had to look it up.

Further reports likely on both texts.

Wordle: Again, we were all over the place. Mine was the only four. The Mileses all got three,and so did Theo. But Rachel and Roger scored six, and even Mark needed five. 


 Annemor Sundbo Norway’s Knitted Heritage Davaar

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

 Today’s news is that I’ve got a major gas leak at Drummond Place. So I can’t go back there until that problem, at least, is solved, involving  the taking up of floorboards and indeed flagstones. Tradesmen aren’t keen to take it on. Ketki is working on it, and problems that Ketki is working on tend to get solved.

  Poor Helen is ground down. She is going south on Sunday or some such day to visit David’s mother (and hand Paradox over to her new people). Ketki and Alexander are taking over my multiple problems for a week. I think they have power of attorney too. And I’m staying here, embalmed in expensive comfort.

  Wordle: this four-vowel thing is something of a puzzle. 

  I did it in three today, and hoped, until Theo joined me, that I would be the only one. Ketki, Thomas, Roger, and Rachel scored four. Alexander and his great pal Mark needed five. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

 I sat out in the sun for a while today. Very nice.

  Otherwise little to report. I got to a physiotherapy class. I’m the feeblest of all.  We threw a ball around and stretched elastic bands. I got there on foot, which was a  mistake. The dining room is the limit of my range these days, and that only if I can break the journey. I’ve been peacefully in bed all afternoon.

  It isn’t often that national news impinges here, but we’ve been right in the thick of the air traffic control problems. We are directly under the flight path into Edinburgh airport. (I had the great pleasure of hearing it referred to as an “aerodrome” yesterday.) Yesterday it was virtually silent. Today they have been hurrying to catch up.

  Poor Helen now has a gas leak to deal with in Drummond Place, as well as Mr. Downstairs and his damp.

  Wordle: you are all more than welcome to my starters, TRAIN and HOUSE. That gives you all five vowels — but don’t forget Y when things get tough — and the first five consonants in the English letter-frequency alphabet (almost the last survival of my Oberlin education). 

  They didn’t serve me very well today. I scored five. The Loch Fyne Mileses dazzled us all with twos for each of them, Alexander, Ketki, and Thomas. Three different starters, too. An astonishing performance. Theo and Mark got three. Rachel and Roger had five, like me.

Monday, August 28, 2023

 No, getting out is still too much for me, but I continue to walk to meals. 

  Helen came this morning, along with a young man who stayed in my house on Drummond Place for a few nights while his play was on at the Festival. He wrote, directed, produced and acted in it. Helen said it was/is good but it hasn’t had any reviews. 

  Helen and I didn’t get any business done, and we must before she sets off to England at the end of the week.

  Her son Fergus was meant to come and see me half an hour ago, with his girlfriend. I must set forth on my pilgrimage to supper any minute now. They will have to trail along behind. I can’t give up my little walk.

  Knitting continues, I’m now three and a half scallops into the final side (of 21 scallops). 

  Wordle: disaster this morning.I did it, as usual, first thing after checking emails, half-asleep, and obviously thinking about clothes. I typed in TOAST instead of TRAIN. Nothing for it but to start again with my starter word, a line having been wasted. I scored four but I feel it was reeeeely three.

  The others were spread about. A brilliant two for Theo. Three for Alexander, Ketki, and Roger. Four for me and Rachel. Five for Thomas and Mark. 


Sunday, August 27, 2023

 Another nice day. I really must work some “out” into my self-improvement programme.

  I”ve been watching the latest Fruity Knitting, while knitting myself. Why don’t I enjoy it the way I used to? Is it just that it’s so familiar now? Or — the theory I favour — did something irreplaceable go when Andrew died?

  My own knitting has turned the final corner, attaching edging to my shawl. It really looks rather well when I shake it out.  In sunlight, the colours even look rather well. (It’s a Malabrigo yarn called Primavera, of an overall dullish brown.) 

  But of course the months that loom are the ones that don’t go in for sunshine very much. The baby is due in “late September.” The shawl should be more or less ready for him. (We know we’re getting a “him”.) I’m scheduled to leave Cramond on the 13th, I think. I’ll finish and block it at home — a process far too complicated to attempt here.

  C. came to see me this morning. She was scheduled to go to a barbecue this afternoon, taking a bowl of tabbouleh as her contribution. I don’t think I’ve ever made it. It sounds very good, and very simple. I’ll put it on my list. Somehow the more crippled I am by the infirmities of old age, the more enthusiastic I get  about the prospect of cooking, although I can scarcely move around a kitchen (or anywhere else).

  Jamie Oliver is about to publish a new book — Five Mediterranean Ingredients, or words to that effect. I have a lot of his books, but feel that his inspiration is beginning to run thin.

Wordle: it looked for a while this morning as if I was to be the one to spoil the show. I scored five. Everybody else had three. Thank goodness: Theo logged in with a five just before noon. What time is that in DC?

My starters gave me two green vowels. My guess for line three — a perfectly qualified word — achieved nothing except to eliminate three more consonants. Line four did better— one of the newly-proposed letters was brown.


Saturday, August 26, 2023

 A nice-appearing day, but I didn’t get out. My walking plan — see yesterday — continued to,work. No more wheelchair for the time being.

  And the shawl continues to advance. I now know the pattern well, and can knit a whole scallop, out and back, without losing the thread. After that my thots begin to drift.

   Thank you for your comments about random-knit sweaters. Helen (anon) I do recall (prompted by you) Kaffe’s instructions for random knitting. Glorious Knitting? Anyway, I’ll find it. Jenny, where are the sweaters you like better than the Toast one? I’d like to take a look. And I haven’t heard of Laerke Bagger and will rectify that situation right away.

  Wordle: today it was Rachel, with a four, who spoiled an otherwise perfect set of threes. Theo is included, but silence from  Roger so far. My starters, much like yesterday, gave me a green and three browns. Nothing to do but wrestle with the anagram.


Friday, August 25, 2023

 And today I learned that the secret of getting to and from the dining room under my own steam is to do it alone. If a carer supervises (out of nothing but kindness) I can’t keep up with her and therefore ask for the wheelchair. On my own, I stop at one or even both of the resting places and puff for five minutes before going on.

  And I realised, while resting at the second stopping place just outside the television lounge just now, that one of the merits  of this place is a fair degree of sound-proofing. At home, in my room, with the door shut, I can’t hear anybody’s television. 

 Otherwise there is nothing to report. Nobody came to see me except a doctor. I’m fine. I realised after she left that what is wrong with me now is not so much internal organs of one sort or another, but my skeleton.  The hip is the worst, but it’s not all.

  I keep meaning to tell you that Toast is selling, for a steep price, a sleeveless ladies’ pullover made of scraps of leftover yarn. It specifically mentions that the ends are woven in. Still, we could do that.

  Wordle: it looked for a good while as if all we cisAtlantic Wordlers would score three today. But then, quite late in the afternoon, Alexander registered five. That was also Theo’s score. Roger had a four.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

 And another day. I have suddenly grasped that I have only another fortnight here at Cramond. The Downstairs Lavatory won’t be ready, but with luck Paradox will be in her new home. Oh dear oh dear.

   Not much knitting. I am grateful for your comments and reflections on Auchnaha and currently think I’ll switch to Herne. But with so little time left, maybe the edging will come out more or less even and I can go back to finishing Fergus’ Calcutta Cup sweater. Which I think he has outgrown before it was knit. 

  I had my hair done this morning and it looks nice.

   Wordle: A funny one today. Six for Rachel. Five for Theo, me and Thomas. Four for Ketki. Three for Alexander. Silence so far from Roger and Mark.

   It started, for me, much like yesterday: a green vowel and a brown consonant from the starters. But today my struggle was unsuccessful. I resorted to Jean-words for lines three and four. In both cases, I used a letter which had already been disqualified. But, as often before, those Jean-words moved things forward and made my score of five possible.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

 Another day. C. came this morning. I went to a Residents’ Council Meeting which few attended and at which little happened. I must figure out how to get to the hairdresser tomorrow — how to get him to expect me, I mean.  Helen has struggled valiantly on with the Downstairs Lavatory.

  And I’ve  done some knitting. I share your aversion, Mary Lou, to garments that have to be kept on the shoulders with constant twitching and heaving. I thought I would get a shawl pin, an object I have never owned. Would that help? We”re talking about Kate Davies’ Auchnaha cardigan. And while we’re here, I might mention that KD’s fondness for names from the vernacular means constant checking-back; which is something of a nuisance. But Mary Lou was right — there’s a U in Auchnaha.

  Wordle: A miracle this morning. I put in my two invariable starters — TRAIN and HOUSE. They yielded one green vowel and one brown consonant. The next job is to think of  ANY fully-qualifying English word for line three: greens in their place, browns in some other place, no greens or browns omitted, no other letters employed which have already been eliminated. (My starters involve five of the first seven consonants in the letter-frequency alphabet — D and L are the two that haven’t been covered.) 

  It was tough today to think of anything. I finally came up with a word and typed it happily in, with no expectation at all of being right. But I was! Theo failed, ending a streak of 133. Fives for Rachel and Alexander.  Fours for Mark and Ketki. Thomas joined me with a miraculous three — and he had only two browns to go on.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

 I went to a physiotherapy class  this morning which was excellent, but pretty well flattened me. I’ve been pushed to and fro most meals.

  Edinburgh’s leading plumber has abandoned us, first of all because. their man was shouted at by Mrs Downstairs, but also — when Helen rang up to be ingratiating — because the whole thing is too complicated for them.

What on earth are we to do?

  Knitting has moved forward. I was glad to have your approval on my choice for the future.  “Achnaha” is written for Ooskit, a natural-coloured yarn which comes in three shades: pale grey, grey, and darker grey. However, it measures 240 yards per 100 grams and Schiehallion is 120 yards per 50 grams so I assume they  are interchangeable although I will check that with the shop when ordering.

  One of the few memorable lessons life has taught me is that it is wise to knit with bright colours during the gloomy months upon which we are about to enter, when light declines to virtually nothing. Schiehallion offers a couple of excellent possibilities.

Wordle: I disgraced myself with a six this morning.  Ketki, Mark, Alexander,Thomas and Theo all coasted home with three. Rachel needed four. At least all my entries were real words, possible entries, no Jean-words.


Monday, August 21, 2023

 Self-powered for both meals both ways today. The physiotherapist came in the morning and we made a start on stairs. That was less encouraging. She is large and strong and Scandinavian and lifted me past the really difficult part of each step. I’ll have to do better than that.

  Knitting has progressed well. I can see the marker for the third corner dimly on the horizon. 

  That may mean ordering my next knit sooner rather than later, as they say. I like Kate Davies’ Flink. She likes doing yoke sweaters, I like knitting them. But I think a cardigan might be more useful, especially while there is any chance that Cramond is my ultimate fate. So I will probably go for Achnaha, but in a more cheerful colour.

  I’ve been industriously reading Olsson’s “Fair Isle Knitting”. It’s good, on the one hand. I don’t think there’s anything new there for me, on the other. She talks a lot about choosing colours— but Ella Gordon does the same thing on the Jamieson and Smith website, choosing five colours from their range to go with various photographs of Shetland scenery. For free. 

  Much worrying about cats.

  Wordle: I was today’s dunce, with the only five. Mark was the star, with two. I feel that has happened before. Alexander and Roger were the threes. Four (obviously) elsewhere. I got stuck with ????, grn, grn, grn, grn and it took me three guesses. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

 I  continue to strengthen a bit. I got to lunch again self-powered and mean to attempt it again soon for supper. I sat in the library again for a while — it furnishes a convenient break between my room and the dining room. There was no company this time, but a kind soul who had observed my struggle after lunch came in to advise me to choose a chair with arms. I shall certainly do so this time. 

  Knitting continues well. I am now halfway across the third side of the shawl, attaching edging. And I have chosen a KD pattern to embark on if I should find myself in the awkward position of having nothing to knit while I am still here at Cramond. There’s plenty at home, beginning with Fergus’ Calcutta Cup sweater (half-finished) — but that would be too complicated to ask Helen to find and bring.

  She and Daniella (!) came to see me this morning, Daniella newly-returned from her summer in Romania looking very fit and glamorous. She can’t come back to work for me because she has her family to think of and I really need someone in the house at night. She will not have any trouble finding work but we are looking for someone who would want her every day, as I did.

   We are similarly worrying about Paradox. She has an offer of a brilliant place a long way away. I would prefer to lodge her near here so that I could occasionally visit her but there seems to be no hope. And I am frightened — the word is not too strong — that if we saw each other she would show, as Perdita did on my birthday, that she remembers and loves me, and I couldn’t bear it.

   Wordle: Four for me today. Threes for Theo, Ketki and Rachel, fours and a five elsewhere. Four of us, including me, had four greens with the first spot wrong on the line before the final line.


Saturday, August 19, 2023

 The potato event was cancelled after all. I felt well, and walked to lunch instead of being pushed. For a while after the  meal I sat in the library with what I felt sure were congenial souls — but some couldn’t hear very well, and others were short of  marbles, and conversation didn’t get very far. When I was here last year (see late May ‘22) everybody who needed them had expensive hearing aids.

  Knitting went well. I’ve done 5 of the 21 scallops on the third side of the shawl.

   C. and her friend Ian came to see me. He is moving into a new house and it’s hard work. 

  Wordle: It’s a true stinker today. Rachel failed, and I needed six. Fives for Theo, Thomas, and Ketki. Four for Alexander and Mark  No news from Roger yet — he often does it late in the American day.

, . 

Friday, August 18, 2023

 I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday. There was nothing wrong — I just sort of drifted away. I’ve done a bit better today. Helen came to see me, freshly back from what sounds like a very happy week in Greece. We got caught up on the Downstairs Lavatory and the Kirkmichael driveway and various other problems. Later on I went to my first Cramond event, apart from physiotherapy. We have a considerable program on offer every day.

   Today we were constructing fajitas. We had a little tale about them — they are of fairly recent invention. And then a practical lesson.

  Tomorrow is National Potato Day, according to the program. I think I know all I want to know about potatoes.

  Knitting moves forward too. I’ve turned the second corner, attaching edging to that shawl. Indeed. I began to worry about what would happen if I finished it before it was time to leave here (about another month). Not a serious problem.

   Wordle: The base score was four, including me. No one exceeded it. Ketki and Mark had brilliant twos, Rachel and Theo scored three. That makes it sound easier than I found it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

 Another good day. I must apply myself to becoming more strenuous. At least, today, I had a preliminary conversation with the physiotherapist about practising stair-climbing. And received yet another letter from the Royal Infirmary about a pre-hip-replacement appointment. The previous two having been postponed because I was ill, but they have resolutely not sent me down to the end of the list.

  C.’s daughter Christina came to see me today, with her husband Manaba and son Hamish. We played/sat, as appropriate, on the (artificial) grass in the garden.

  Knitting goes forward. I just counted the stitches — four more scallops until the second corner, and the number — to my considerable surprise— comes out even. (I am attaching edging to a large shawl.) I may      beat the baby after all, if I keep at it.

   I’ve been sorry to hear that Franklin is ill. It must be tough, away from his native land and required to support himself by native genius, as always. 

   I have nothing more to tell you about the Scandinavian view of Fair Isle knitting, but I haven’t forgotten my promise to do so.

Wordle : I disgraced myself today with the only five. Four was the base score. Theo and Mark got three.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

 A good day. I continue to feel well. I think about my cats. Helen thinks it would be a good idea to re-house Paradox and re-install Perdita in Drummond Place. Maybe. 

  Oh dear; I’ve lost my draft. I’ll try to re-write some of it.

  Knitting progresses slowly. I am within sight of the second corner, attaching edging to the shawl, and might reach it this week. There are flaws in the fagotting — not many, not serious, but some. It is a stitch i love and would repair to perfection if I could.

  Wordle: Four was the base score today, including mine. Thomas and Theo scored three, Rachel and Alexander five. That doesn’t leave many to compose the base, especially as Roger hasn’t been heard from.

Monday, August 14, 2023

 It was a super birthday, not least because I’m feeling much better. We all convened at Helen’s house, where access is easier than at Drummond Place— Rachel and Ed, Alexander and Ketki, James and Cathy, and a healthy representation of the succeeding generation. Helen and David joined us by Zoom from their luxurious Greek hotel.

But best was my dear cat. I called “kittykittykitty” as soon as I crossed the threshold. Archie said “She won’t come. I’ll fetch her in a minute.” Another couple of steps brought me to the foot of the stairs and there she was, coming down, tail at the perpendicular. We spent some QualityTime together until the rest of the party assembled.

She wasn’t seen again until the party was breaking up. Then she reappeared, un-called, and did some ankle-twining. Dear cat.

Now everybody is on their way home.

And I must take myself in hand and try to regain some strength. Especially strength enough to get down six steps with a handrail — it won’t be safe for Wafa and me to stay at Drummond Place if I can’t get out in an emergency.I’m booked here at Cramond for another month. It’s hard not to sink into the care and comfort.

Knitting has advanced somewhat. I’m very slightly more than halfway across the second side, attaching edging to the border. 

Wordle: I dream of the day when we all score the same. Yesterday and today came as close as dammit. We all scored four today except Rachel, who needed five. Yesterday it looked as if the birthday scores were all going to be three. What a glorious birthday that would have been! But Mark spoiled it with a glorious two of his own.


Saturday, August 12, 2023

 Thank you for your messages. Yes, tomorrow is my 90th birthday. Rachel and Ed and James and Cathy are here, Alexander and Ketki coming this evening (I think) or tomorrow. We will have a birthday lunch, with simple food I hope, at Helen’s house and Perdita will be there. And Archie. Helen herself, and David, will be — indeed, are — in Greece where they will be marking his 60th birthday on the same day.

   I’m feeling pretty well. One of the Hospital-from-Home doctors warned me that I might have taken a permanent step further down the slope. We are now aiming at another month or so here at Cramond cocooned in aimless luxury. I am going to work seriously with the physiotherapist on getting up and down six steps. That’s what we have outside the house so that’s what I have to be able to do in an emergency. There are devices such as wheelchair lifts but they are ugly and I would like to avoid. Then Paradox will come home to me and Perdita will stay with Helen where she is so happy. Wafa — who is to be my long-term carer — is not pleased with that arrangement because she prefers Perdita. Everybody prefers Perdita.

   No knitting I’m afraid.

   But Rachel, who is staying at DP, has brought me “Fair Isle Knitting” by Carina Olsson, originally published in Swedish and now in English. (in the US), and delivered to me by Amazon as the result of a pre-order. It looks rather promising and I hope to report further. 

Wordle: I had an agonising four today. I forgot one of my own few principles or it might have been much quicker. Theo, Thomas and Ketki also had fours. Everybody else got there in three. 


Thursday, August 10, 2023

 Things have gone pretty well today, as hoped. I’ve even done some knitting. I’ve lost nearly a week of that with this latest set-back. The hope of having the shawl ready for the birth is more or less gone.

  Trawling Google for my drugs — as everyone must do, these days — I find that the heart one, digoxin, can depress digestion. I ate pretty well today. 

  Helen is safely in Greece, where she is delighted to encounter rain. Everybody else is converging on Edinburgh. I will see most of them tomorrow

  Wordle: Theo and I scored undistinguished fives. Thomas and his parents Alexander and Ketki all got three, as did their aunt and sister Rachel. Silence elsewhere. That is an interesting thought, Mary Lou, that we can blame deficiencies in AI for Wordlebot’s lapses. It did all right by me today, but there was a potential lapse (or contradiction) which I avoided by guessing right for line five.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

 There I was in pretty good shape on Friday. Then I went backwards. More Hospital-from-Home. Nothing much wrong. I hope to feel much better tomorrow when not-taking-doxycycline will make itself felt. Meanwhile I am somewhat livelier this evening.

  Helen was here this morning, fresh from a meeting with a plumber at Drummond Place. Our Downstairs Lavatory is directly below a similar room in the flat above. We had assumed that the same arrangement prevailed below. But no: Another one, from a different apartment, comes in from the side somehow. Helen is (justifiably) apoplectic with rage that Mr. Downstairs, who has been giving her a very hard time, never mentioned this fact. And we are exonerated, at least somewhat.

  She is going to Thessaloniki tomorrow to celebrate David’s 60th birthday with him. They are going to a Very Fancy Hotel for three nights. She is tremendously looking forward to idleness. I think she may find even that much of it to be more than she wants.

  No knitting. The shawl is exactly where it was when I wrote to you last, on Friday.

  Wordle: Five for me today, also Roger and Theo. Ketki needed six. Everybody else did better.

  I failed yesterday. The answer was BULLY. I had ?..,U,L,L,Y and guessed wrong four times. And Wordbot got it wrong again: it didn’t seem to accept my entry of PULLY although Wordle accepted it happily enough.Research suggests that the spelling PULLEY is considerably commoner. Well, if Wordle doesn’t like PULLY it shouldn’t accept it.

Friday, August 04, 2023

 Six scallops done (out,of 21) along the second side of the shawl. Now that the first side is finished and released into the world, I can see how huge the finished object is going to be. Too late to make an adjustment now. 

I continue to improve, I think. I got to and from both meals under my own steam today.

Helen was goaded into hiring an emergency plumber. It turns out that some if not all of the moisture downstairs is not our fault. We’ll probably have to pay a hefty share towards putting it right anyway, because that’s the way tenements work. The Downstairs ceiling looks as if it’s about to fall. Maybe the best approach would be to take it down. 

Wordle: Thomas, Rachel, Alexander and Mark all scored two. I’ve never seen the like. My score was a thoroughly undistinguished four. Roger saved me from total embarrassment with a five.

I was interested in your messages yesterday, about how my experience with WordBot wasn’t unique. It isn’t even embarrassed when it claims on line three that only one possible answer remains and you then type in another possible answer.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

 I think I’m better, but what was wrong? At any rate, I did some knitting today, and went in to the dining room for supper tonight

Thursday: I wrote that much last night, and was then overwhelmed by a go-to-bed-right-now tiredness. Slept well, feel a bit peppier this morning. We shall see.

Knitting is going well. That’s a good sign. I’ve finished attaching edging to the first side of the shawl and have begun the long, long crawl along the second side. I have, of course, suddenly been deprived of the comforting thought that I’ve got “all of August.” August is slipping away at an alarming rate. The baby  isn’t due until the second half of September. And I’m going to have to figure out how to block the shawl. 

Helen has been here this morning. She has been having a terrible time with the Downstairs Lavatory. The downstairs neighbour is undoubtedly suffering. It is not yet absolutely clear that it’s our fault. All water has been turned off in our Downstairs Lavatory for weeks, but Victorian tenements are tricky. Where, exactly, is the leak? And what is feeding it?

Helen brought Mungo for a visit on Tuesday. He had heard that Cramond was Edinburgh’s grandest care home, and was expecting Gothic splendour. It’s not like that. It’s a new build, lacking in architectural distinction but full of useful features. 

Wordle: an easy three for me today.

WordleBot disgraced itself the other day. I had various brown letters and typed in STELE for line three. Wrong, but lots of greens so I got the right answer, STYLE, in line four. WordleBot, consulted subsequently, said after line two that there was only one possibility. They admitted after line three that STELE was a perfectly valid English word and made a feeble excuse. Alas, however, I can’t recover the text to show you. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

 Sorry about silence — even from this silent outpost, where nothing can be said to happen. I wasn’t very well Thursday night, so I summoned  a dr on Friday — terrified that I was sending myself back to the Western Infirmary with Susanna and her — their — television set. But they have employed a system called Hospital at Home and re-started a non-standard antibiotic I was having there. It seems to be working, at least somewhat. The daily capsule of it is administered in the evening. I’ll try to find out its name when I get today’s one.

I’ve resumed knitting. That’s something. At present count I”ve done 17 of the 21 scallops of the first edge of the shawl. There’s still time to finish in August.

Wordle: a thoroughly undistinguished five for me today. Everybody else had three or four except for Mark. He scored two. I kept going through my ill end-of-week, scoring fours. My “winning streak” was broken by FROZE on the 22nd. I’m back up to 8.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

 Not much better today. No knitting — that’s always a bad symptom.  Appetite is standing up pretty well. Helen continues to struggle mightily with the Downstairs Lavatory Problem — and it isn’t even as if it were her downstairs lavatory. A solution looms for the Cat Problem. 

That leaves the Kirkmichael Neighbour and the Ditch. Queer Joe says in his latest post not to harbour resentment. But if your neighbour, after a lifetime of irritation, is effectively preventing you from living in your own house….

I am re-reading Barbara Vine’s The Blood Doctor. (Barbara Vine = Ruth Rendell.) It’s  terribly good. I worried at first because I couldn’t keep the family tree straight (it’s important) but I needn’t have been concerned. When one needs to understand relationships, one understands them. She knows her trade. 

Wordle: threes for me both yesterday and today. My new dream is of a day when we all score the same. Today started off well, but then we had fours from Thomas and Theo, and twos from Mark and Roger, so little was achieved.


Monday, July 24, 2023

 I was a bit more energetic today. I walked in the corridor, as far as the dining room and back, but not at a meal time. I did some knitting. The current score is 14 scallops — 2/3rds of the way along the first side. 

I looked up the pattern for Gidrun’s hap.which you see above wrapped around great-grandson Freddie. The edging is very similar — a row of fagotting adjacent and parallel to the join with the main body of the shawl: and a row of eyelet holes that goes up and down at the outside edge. On Gudrun’s shawl it is a single row of holes and there is one every row. On the current shawl it is a double row but they’re only inserted every other row. I very much prefer the current system although more effort must be employed remembering how many plain-vanilla knit stitches there are in each row.

Helen came to see me briefly this morning on her way back from Kirkmichael. We are set fair for reinstating me in Drummond Place at the end of August, although there are problems to be overcome such as, what about Paradox? And the bathtub? Wafa works for an agency called something like Care at Home. I am hoping (as is she) that it is going to be possible to get her back to DP long-term through them, with Care at Home supplying relief from time to time.

Wordle: I think I have achieved a long-dreamed-of goal: I have scored better than anybody else in my little group. And I think everybody has been heard from, including the two from DC. It was all down to my starters, of course, which provide five vowels — everything except Y — and five consonants very high in the letter-frequency alphabet. I got the answer easily on the third line. Others found it difficult. Alexander and Thomas both scored six.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

 Alexander rang up. He asked sensible questions about what I want to do next. I was allowing myself to sink into gloom because I am not as well or strong as I was a month ago and a return to Drummond Place (and my CATS) seemed increasingly remote. But that is not so, he points out, with live-in care. Alexander has a near neighbour on the shores of Loch Fyne who started out with live-in care when she was in roughly the state of decrepitude which I recently had, and who is now bed-ridden — with a demented husband, to  boot. But still at home.

 So I think we will approach the problem from that perspective. For the sake of the comfort and convenience of the live-in carer, I would like to solve the problem of the downstairs lavatory first. Although I am assured that that is not essential. And the  problem of the hip operation remains to be solved on any hypothesis. Is the hip likely to collapse? How much mobility (if any) am I likely to be able to recover without surgery? How long will recovery take if all goes swimmingly? Have I got enough lifetime to spare?

I didn’t get much knitting done. Indeed, it has been a day of general inactivity. I must take things in hand tomorrow. I have done 12 scallops — one more than this time yesterday. And even so — even although it was only one — I found myself knitting the wrong row, my thots drifting. (There are 16 rows per scallop, each one different.) 

Wordle: three was the general score today. Theo and I lagged behind the others with undistinguished fours. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

 Another grey, chilly day with spits of rain. Not much question which side St Swithin has come down on.

Helen came. She was on her way to Kirkmichael, where she was planning to go for a walk with some old friends. I think I’ll see her tomorrow on her way back. We ran through a list of our problems — there seem to be a singular number of them.

     — My general health. Will I be fit to move back into Drummond Place by the end of August? Do I proceed with hip surgery? I have resolved to take regular walks around the corridors, at least until I can walk easily to the dining room. 

     — Paradox. How is she to be cared for until I can move back in? We considered various possibilities. Helen doesn’t think it’s quite fair to ask a neighbour to look in and feed her every day.

     — The “downstairs lavatory” which is leaking on the neighbour below. Helen is confident that this will be fixed before the end of August. It is pretty well essential, if I am to come home.

     — The Kirkmichael neighbour and his ditch. 

Knitting, on the other hand, has gone well. I’ve learned the pattern, which is simple and very satisfactory. It’ll definitely need blocking. I’ve now done 11 scallops — halfway along the first side. I leave it always either at the end of a scallop or half-way through, and never do more than half a scallop at a time.

Wordle: I FAILED. My starters gave me ???, grn, grn, ???, grn and I managed to guess wrong four times. Rachel, Mark, Thomas and Roger all had the same pattern but were luckier in their guesses and each scored five. Alexander and Theo, with a different configuration, got four. No news from Ketki.

Friday, July 21, 2023

 Sunny, blowy, on the chilly side for July. Helen and Archie came to see me this morning. We sat in the garden for awhile.

I continue to lose mobility, which is rather worrying. The other worry is what to do with Paradox. She continues to be unhappy on the shores of Loch Fyne, and her hosts are not very happy to have her. We have decided to bring her back when Alexander and Ketki come for my birthday in mid-August. Plans for her maintenance thereafter remain more than a bit vague, but there are a number of possibilities and almost anything will be better than this. I should be able to spend half an hour with her in Drummond Place that day. Will she recognise me?

The knitting progresses. I have now done 6 1/2 scallops (and hope to knock off more after our early supper). Slow, but looking well. If I go to bed with only seven done, that’s still a third of the first side. 

I watched something on my television today — on iPlayer. It was a titanic intellectual struggle and I’m not sure the result was much more satisfactory than watching on the iPad. The hardest part was turning the sound on. 

Wordle: a toughie again today. Most of us got four, including me. Rachel got six. Roger and Theo, father and son, got three and five respectively, averaging to four. Mark was an unusual absentee. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

 It has been another day of feebleness and inactivity. However Granddaughter Rachel and her brother Alistair came to see me so that was jolly. Rachel has just got — not yet started — a job at the Wallace Collection in London. I probably told you. It happened while I was in the hospital. She has been looking for something for quite a while, and says she is still getting letters of rejection about jobs she wouldn’t have wanted half as much. Paying half as much, at that.

Alistair is a computer programmer. He works for a company here in Edinburgh which produces games.  Everything he does is very hush-hush. He took the day off because Rachel was here. 

Knitting: while I was working on those last border rows they seemed interminable, and I began to fear that I would never finish the edging. But then I thought that it wasn’t so bad. Simple arithmetic had revealed that there were 10 1/2 scallops per side. — but that’s not right. It would only be right if every row of edging consumed a border stitch, but that is not so. It’s every other row. So 21 scallops per side. A long way to go.  I’ve done three. The danger, as I don’t need to tell you, is that they’ll get easy and the mind will wander.

Wordle: it depended much on luck today, and I was unlucky. I scored five. Rachel, Mark, Alexander, Ketki  and Theo got four. Roger and Thomas led the pack with three. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

 A day of nearly nothing. I continued to feel post-physiotherapy. Helen came this morning — fresh from a successful and happy-sounding book launch in London. We got some paper work done and other aspects of it lined up for future action. Then I went back to bed for a while.

At lunch I wished, as I often do, that I believed there was a Cramond Pig offstage somewhere. The food is fresh, well-cooked but not over-, distinctly under-seasoned. Nearly half of it goes back to the kitchen. A pig would be a very happy animal.

This afternoon I did what I haven’t done for ages and watched the first episode of a new BBC series called The Sixth Commandment. It has been well-reviewed and is indeed very good. It was broadcast yesterday evening. I watched it on my iPad and wished I could figure out how to employ my television set. Maybe someone will drop by who could teach me.

A s for knitting, I continue to plod through the long, long knit rows at the end of the borders. I’ve stopped counting stitches. A thriller on the iPad didn’t lend itself to knitting. If the worst happens when I get to knitting the edging — and it probably will — it is easy enough to set things straight with a little fancy footwork.

Thank you for your comments yesterday about my condition. I would say (despite the lack of seasoning) that my appetite has improved. I know that the food here is vastly better than what we had in hospital, but I cannot specifically remember a single mouthful of it. I do remember that everything was dry and sauce-free. Despite the lack of cider, my hip is now less painful except for the occasional unfortunate twist. At home I was taking 4-6 paracetemol every night. In hospital I asked for and got two nightly, more to protect myself from Susannah’s dreadful television than to sooth hip pain. Here, nothing.

I wish I thought physiotherapy could restore a bit of function to the hip.

I have an appt with an anaesthetist at some point in August. That must be aimed at getting me back on the surgical list.

Wordle: we  were scattered around today. Alexander and Thomas and I got threes — the first such I have had for quite a while. Rachel had four, Ketki and Mark five, poor Roger six. Theo nailed it in two. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

 Today has been dominated by a physiotherapy class. I bit off a bit more than I could chew, and have been near-prostrate ever since. I could do all the stunts, but couldn’t keep most of them up as long as the others in the class. Various thoughts: 

     The class will have been self-selected as Cramond’s fittest.

     I must have been nearly a month now without any cider. Increased vigour has not been the result. 

     This suggests that the root of my problem is respiratory rather than osteopathic or physiological. Although of course the hip remains necrotic.

     Maybe I am expecting too much too soon after my ten days motionless in hospital.

I’ve finished “Changing Places” without remembering any more of it. I have thought of a book to use, though, if I am ever invited to play “Humiliation” — Moby Dick. I’ve never read a syllable of it and don’t intend to.

Eileen (comment yesterday) David Lodge was a colleague of my husband’s at the University of Birmingham — he English, of course; my husband Art History. We also met at Mass sometimes. Nice man. Nice family. 

Knitting: I’ve reached the plain-knit rows which precede the edging of my shawl, as hoped, and have spent an agonised day on counting, two of the borders were right, each of the other two lacked one repeat. I hope I’ll start the actual edging tomorrow. Everything will be different.

Wordle: I got five today, along with Rachel and Thomas. Four for Mark and Ketki and Roger. Six for Theo. Alexander got three.

Monday, July 17, 2023

 And today Wimbledon is all over, for another 50 weeks. 

It has been a fairly productive day in a way. A physiotherapist came and we did some mild exercises and she said I was stronger than I had been last week. She might be right. I got to and from both meals without being pushed. I will assume that as the norm henceforth. C.came to see me.

Knitting went well. I have finished those 10 dreadful patterned rows and embarked on the two rows of plain knit to finish off. And I can tell you that for the first border, a quarter of the whole, the stitch count is precisely right. Some shawls of this ilk reduce the stitch count before starting the edging (or increase it after the edging, if you are working in the other direction). Not this one.

I am reading David Lodge’s “Changing Places”, recommended for a re-read in the weekend Times. I have,  indeed, read it before but cannot remember a syllable except for a game called Humiliation. You name a famous book you haven’t read. Each of the other players then says whether or not he or she has read it, and you score one point for each one who has. I would be useless at it these days because I can’t remember whether I’ve read anything or not. David Copperfield?

Wordle: five for me today. Rachel and Theo joined me there. Ketki, Thomas, Roger and Mark were the fours. Alexander was the winner with three. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

 Today has been largely devoted to the last day of Wimbledon. Where I still am. We had a nice time with the quiz this morning, and since then have been worrying away at what to do with (a) me and (b) the cats. Helen brought Perdita to the camera at the end of our game but she could not (of course) recognise me or even my voice from a computer screen. I’ll actually see her, in the fur, on my birthday. Paradox remains in hiding. 

Knitting has even progressed a little. I am half way across the final pattern row of the shawl border. The row consists of k3, k3tog and is easier than the alternate row to knit a bit of under pressure. There then follow two plain-vanilla rows before one actually embarks on edging— plain-vanilla rows which will have to be devoted to stitch-counting.

I am beginning to worry about blocking, and about what comes next. Obviously the answer to the second of those questions is Fergus’ Calcutta Cup sweater — but I don’t think I can attempt to resurrect it until I am home finding things myself. I always used to marvel, in those long-age days of the Knitlist,  at people who finished things and couldn’t think what to do next. For me, that’s the best part of finishing — and it is part of finishing — choosing the next thing. And getting it in line.

Wordle: the repeated pattern today was grn, grn, ????, grn, ????. Ketki and I scored five with it; Mark needed only four. Rachel and Alexander, approaching from a different direction, were today’s winners with threes. Thomas had four, Theo five.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

 Some of you, at least, may be glad to hear that Edinburgh is not roasting or baking in record-breaking heat. If anything, it’s a bit chilly here.

I failed at lunchtime, but walked both to and fro supper. I feel fairly comfortable sitting here now — far, at least, from last night’s exhaustion. Napping is indeed the secret.

I”ve passed the halfway point in the penultimate patterned shawl border row. Tomorrow — the men’s singles final — is not likely to be very productive of knitting-time.

The considerable majority of us went to the “cinema room” on the ground floor to watch the ladies’ singles this afternoon.  There were lots of people I didn’t recognise from the fortnight I have been here, and none I remembered from the time I was here in the early summer last year. Are they all dead? Incapacitated? Impoverished and turned out of doors? Last year I was on the ground floor, now I am two up. Separate dining rooms.

Wordle: today was one of their specials. I got the last four letters green, but needed three guesses for the first letter. Score of five, shared by Rachel for the same reason. Roger got six, and poor Mark failed altogether. The others — Theo, Alexander, Thomas, Ketki— all scored perfectly creditable threes. And in all four cases, the starter word or words had supplied the initial letter.