Thursday, March 23, 2023

 It has been a lovely – chilly – spring day, I sat out on the step for a bit, while Helen trimmed my roses. We’ll have an expedition to a garden center soon after she returns from next week’s visit to Greece, which should be at its most wonderful. And also, of course, we have a visit to a care home already scheduled for that week.


Knitting has progressed well.  I’m knitting and attaching edging to the Shetland hap, and am currently half way along the first side. Maybe I will have it finished in time to hand to Rachel to take back to London after all. I have about a fortnight, I think, before she and her husband are here. And my careful counting and slight adjustment of stitch numbers has paid off, on this first side, at least. It’s going to come out right.


Thank you, again, for your helpful comments about my future. Lisa, Helen’s house doesn’t have a full bathroom on the ground floor – but getting in and out of the bathtub here is getting more precarious every week and I’m sure Daniella would be able to switch to an efficient sponge bath. Like all British householders, I want to be able to leave the value of this flat to my children. There is a special inheritance tax allowance for a family house left to descendants, and I think it applies even if the house has been sold under circumstances like mine, but that would have to be carefully investigated. On the other hand, Helen’s career in mosaics is blooming, and the burden on her would be heavy if this house had to be cleared and sold. Will be heavy, when I die. It’ll have to be done one day.


On the other hand again, we’ve got Daniella, strong and intelligent and willing. The house can be left ticking over expensively on its own when I first leave, in case I want to come back. But not forever. I think a family conference involving Rachel’s cool intelligence could be useful, as mentioned yesterday.


Wordle: I’ve remembered what I wanted to say from yesterday! My starter words are TRAIN and HOUSE. You’re welcome to them, with my blessing. And the principle I have adopted is, whenever those starters reveal a brown U  (as they did yesterday) (or even a green one), to explore the possibility of QU. Yesterday I had T and U and E as starter-browns, and I put QUIET as my third line. It couldn’t have been right, because “I” had already been eliminated, but it was very useful like many a Jean-word before it. I now had ???, U, ???, E, T and from there to DUVET was but a small step.


Today was a quick-and-easy three. I do like the days when I don’t have to leave Wordle behind for a while and go on to the morning papers. And it looked as if Mark and I, the early birds, were going to be the only threes, but when dawn reached the Eastern Seaboard, Theo logged in with another. Fours elsewhere, but Ketki needed five and daughter-Rachel the whole six.


  1. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I'm sure that everyone's family has different variations on the same theme: my husband's step-mother lived in the Cotswolds and, in extremis, asked us to arrange for her to go into the care home which was just around the corner. She lived there for the next four years, refusing to discuss the question of clearing and selling the cottage - we did not have Power of Attorney. She liked the idea of still having her little place, but had no real intention of returning there. When she died, during, but not of Covid, the house was eventually cleared by a company, not by us. It was not an expensive operation as these things go.

  2. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Oh Jean!
    I use the same two starter words and my thinking was exact like yours. I did call it a Jean word too! Today was lucky-got it in two.

  3. Anonymous8:49 PM

    I think the family meeting to start discussing these issues is a good step.
    Congrats on Wordle success and knitting progress.

  4. Anonymous7:34 AM

    Is it possible for you to begin making decisions about unnecessary items in the house? If your husband’s books are to be donated could they be donated now? If they are to be sold maybe that money could help keep you in place.
    We just moved to Wales from the US and had to make those types of decisions. You might find your home easier to live in with less stuff.
    Have you considered changing your tub to a shower stall with a low step or no step at all?

  5. The arrival of Spring seems so drawn out this year. Tempting us with snippets of lovely warm sunshine, then pulling back to reveal baltic wind and freezing temps. If you've got time and willingness, I'd love to hear how Helen got into mosaics in the first place.

  6. =Tamar8:37 AM

    The tub seat I mentioned before is called a transfer chair. It has a back, and the bench is double wide so that one full chair-width is outside the tub, the other is inside, and you just scooch over. Very safe.

    It was actually warm out today , though it was cooler after dark. The narcissus are holding up. No buds on the daffodils yet.

  7. Anonymous12:35 PM

    My mother, a diehard bath-taker, eventually resorted to a chair in a shower stall. Do Scottish homes just have one or the other? Chloe

  8. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Oh good! It worked today. Chloe

  9. Anonymous2:22 PM

    I'm still having a different word for Wordle! Except one a couple of weeks ago that was discussed here. It's so strange and funny especially since I'm going to the NYT to do it.

  10. I used your start word today (Friday) instead of my usual and got it in three... Happy days.
    I dream of having a proper power shower in a wet room. You have to have a method of keeping towels, dressing gown and loo roll dry, but oh, the joy of the generosity of hot water without trying to keep it all inside a cubicle! We stayed in a hotel in Denmark with a wet room and I loved it.

    1. My father's sheltered accommodation flats all have wet rooms but I think the actual shower is merely adequate, probably to avoid soaking the carers!