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.

Friday, July 14, 2023

I meant to post this last night, July 14, Bastille day. But here it seems to linger,so I will post it now. I hope to write and post another for today, Si Swithen’s Day, before I go to bed.

I feel very weak again. I was able to walk to lunch, but had to be pushed for the other three journeys. I did very little but watch tennis, for which it was a good day. Today was men’s semi-finals, and they turned out the way everyone must have hoped, the Wimbledon seeders and Mrs Miles of Cramond Care Home alike: the final on Sunday will be Carlos Alcaraz versus Novak Djokovic (and my money would be on Alcaraz except for a slight fear that he might be overcome by the occasion).

Knitting: I finished the antepenultimate row.

No nap. I lay down and closed my eyes but the tennis was too exciting to allow actual sleep, or even dozing.

Now I must go to bed, leaving   Wordle unreported.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

 Not a very distinguished Wordle score, as you will see below, but I surprised myself by getting both to and from supper on my own feet. The secret, I think, is a proper nap. I almost always have one in Drummond Place, however brief. The Ladies’ Semi-finals didn’t tempt me to wakefulness. Tomorrow will be more difficult.

And knitting progresses. The rows are so long that anything I do doesn’t sound like very much. I’m somewhere in the second quarter of the eighth row of this ridiculous patterned-every-row section at the end of the borders. Eighth of ten. I can now see what the pattern is doing — a spider’s web, offset on its next appearance. I still don’t like it.

Little else to report. Helen and David came to see me, bringing me some much-needed underwear, on their way to  Kirkmichael to clean up, as needed, after Fergus’ birthday party. An email from James says we are having a family quiz by Zoom on Sunday and I have got to think of  three questions.

Wordle: I scored five, and wasn’t the worst. That was Mark, with six. Four was the majority score. Rachel had three. And Roger blew us all out of the water with two. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

 Today it was me who was off and on, perhaps because I had no nap. People kept coming in to offer coffee or bingo or the taking of my pulse or clean laundry while I tried to watch tennis. Now I’m ready for bed.

I got perhaps a row of knitting done today. Is it interesting that nobody here seems to knit? The vast majority are grandmothers and great-grandmothers, the traditional knitters. Old enough to have come to maturity (like me) during the war or shortly afterwards, when everybody knit.

…..That much I wrote for you yesterday, and didn’t mean to post. At that point I was overcome with exhaustion and needed all my strength to crawl into pyjamas and dissolve into sleep. In the hospital, and indeed in Drummond Place, I needed paracetemol to help me sleep. I have scarcely given it a thought here.

I’ve had a thot: if I am still here for my birthday in mid-August, we can have sandwiches and champagne at Helen’s house (although Helen and David will be in Greece, as previously explained). And that way Perdita will be a member of the party. My dear cat. Alexander hopes that I will be back in Drummond Place by then with all cats restored. He is not fond of Paradox, who is boarding with him.

KirstenM, comment Monday, about that door in Drummond Place. I haven’t seen it for a while, obviously, (it is over on the other side, and towards the other end). But when I did see it, the colour certainly wasn’t Drummond-Place-worthy. I think it was the householder who fed the press that story.

Wordle: threes and fours yesterday, with a distinguished two from Mark. Today was much the same. I scored an undistinguished four, where I was joined by Thomas and Roger. Rachel, Alexander, and Mark were the best, with threes; Theo was worst, with five. No news from Ketki — she usually posts early.

Monday, July 10, 2023

 Off-and-on weather —a splendid dawn, a gloomy, rainy sunset. Helen’s husband David is here from Thessaloniki. They went to Kirkmichael to preside over their son Fergus’ 21st birthday party (a great success, reportedly). They will have to go back to tidy up. Meanwhile they called in here. 

What else happened? I was sufficiently wearied by their visit, and one from the physiotherapist, that I had myself pushed to lunch. But after a peaceful afternoon of tennis, I walked all the way to supper by myself. I failed, however, on the way back, and had to call for help after covering about a third of the journey. I must try to keep pushing, but not too hard.

I am booked in here until August 2. 

Knitting progresses. I don’t like these last 10 rows of every-row pattern which finish off the borders but I’m stuck with them. I’m now half-way through, and think I am well on schedule for the new great-grandchild. Finish the borders this month, the edging in August. I think the baby is due in late September. 

Wordle:four for Rachel, Theo, Mark and Thomas. It was the most popular score today. I needed five. Alexander used the full six. Ketki had one green in line two and five of them in line three. Nothing from Roger yet. 

Sunday, July 09, 2023

 Brighter weather. The radio claimed that today is St Swithen’s day. The Cramond activities schedule puts it a week later. Never mind — it’s good to see the sunshine.

I got all the way to lunch and back on my own feet today. I think I’ll stay home here in my room for supper.

Alexander phoned. I’ve got a birthday coming up next month — the big Nine-oh. Helen’s husband David shares the day, and will be sixty. Helen will be in Thessaloniki for that one. We have decided on sandwiches at Drummond Place for anyone available. Even if I’m still here, Cramond is not a prison, and I can be taken out for the day. It will be sad without cats, if it happens that way. But it’s still a month away — I may be able to live there perfectly happily with Wafa and cats by then.

C. came to see me this morning. 

I have been watching Rublev and Bublik at Wimbledon. It was an entertaining match but would have been easier to digest if they had been called Smith and Jones. With names like that, they should have been waiting for Godot.

Wordle: three was the basic score today — me, Ketki, Mark, Rachel, Theo. Four for Thomas, five for Alexander, six for Roger.

Saturday, July 08, 2023

 It has been a dismal day weather-wise and, as often, mood has tended to match. The fear that I mentioned yesterday took hold of me — namely that I might never leave here. (And never see my cats again.) I set myself this morning to walking — the first and most obvious exercise to be mastered — and got further than before, so that’s a start.

And I knit. The rows are really intolerably long. It turns out that the k3tog ones aren’t”t too bad. The others are perfectly simple but have to be offset. I fear the whole thing is not lining,up properly.

As for k3tog, I”m sure I have mentioned here before — more than once — a tip I learned from Margaret Stove herself, namely that the first stitch the needle enters, for any decrease, is the one that winds up on top. I want the centre stitch on top, so I am slipping the first two together as if to knit them together, then knitting the third stitch and slipping the first two over the knitted stitch. I am sure you are right, Tamar, that it doesn’t much matter, especially in a garter-stitch fabric like mine.

Otherwise no excitement. I dozed through a lot of tennis. I am finding it difficult to get interested in Mr Alcaraz.

Wordle: I got stuck in the worst Wordle-maze I can remember. I had the last four letters green, but there were five or six possibilities for the first one. I used a trick Alexander told me about — entering a word (that couldn’t possibly be right, but…) that incorporated as many as possible of the potential first letters. I could still think of two possibilities but luckily chose right, and so scored five.

Ketki joined me there. Thomas and Roger and Theo needed six. Rachel had four. Alexander and Mark scored three.

Friday, July 07, 2023

 It has been a fairly busy day — a series of morning callers, including a doctor and concluding with C. and a mutual friend we met on our first Majestic Line cruise. Then an afternoon of tennis. The activities director awakened me from a doze in front of the set at one point to invite me to a talk on chocolate. Yesterday the subject was Anne Frank. 

I resumed knitting.I had forgotten how long those rows are. The pattern is simple but (for the row I did) slow, because of having lots of k3togs. The next row is all ssk and k2togs and ought to be easy, if I can get the rhythm right. I’ll try again in the morning. This goes on for 10 rows, of which I’ve done two. 

I am no stronger, and don’t know quite how to approach things. I “really” had pneumonia once, thirty years ago. I had a high fever then and felt as if my chest was full of lead. I was finally set free with an injection of penicillin or something of the sort and have been grateful to Alexander Fleming ever since. The experience this time has been totally different in every respect. Will I ever be strong enough to go home? What will happen to my cats? I had better make a serious  effort to start walking up and down the hall tomorrow.

Wordle: we found it fairly easy today. Alexander and his son Thomas scored four. Everybody else — including me, I am pleased to report — got it in three.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

 I’m ready to start knitting again.

The difficulty has been the book with the pattern in it. I specified it to Helen, of course, when I was telling her what to bring from home, knowing that I would myself be proceeding directly from hospital to Cramond. She found it without difficulty but, mysteriously, it wasn’t here.

C. went to Drummond Place to fetch it. She thought she had, and so did I, but when closely examined it turned out she had brought Sharon Miller’s (Heirloom Knitting’s) hap book. So Helen went back and this time she really did find it and posted it to me 1st class early in the day on Tuesday the 4th. And this morning (the 6th) a nice package with two books arrived but neither was Elizabeth Lovick’s “Shetland Lace Shawls”. 

Then, later still, it did arrive.

I haven’t knit yet — Wimbledon has been too interesting, by a narrow margin. I think once I attempt it, it’ll be perfectly do-able.I’m doing the short passage of every-row-patterned at the end of the borders. The stitch repeat is very short. I’ll hope to engage it tomorrow morning. Or maybe even during the match between the current one — Rudd v. Broady, a five-setter  — and Andy Murray.

I had my hair done this morning, and it looks very well. I’ve met a woman three days younger than I am. 

Wordle: I scored a quick three this morning. Alexander had the only other one. Rachel,Ketki, and Theo were the fours, Thomas and Mark the stragglers with five. 

I had

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

 When I was pinned to my bed in hospital for ten days with tubes and wires and a catheter, I assumed that as soon as the soles of my feet could make contact with the floor, I’d feel at least as well as I had a fortnight previously. Alas, no. 

Putting it another way, my hip replacement was scheduled for yesterday. I was going to be here in Cramond for ten days or so previously, toughening up, and for another three weeks afterwards, toughening back up. Alas, no.

So I hope the secret is to set different goals. Yesterday I walked to lunch (with my Zimmer frame, of course) instead of travelling by wheelchair. But it left me unable to do anything for the rest of the day. I have been more cautious today.C. and her friend Ian — the heroic figure who drove us to and from Oban for both of our 2021 Majestic Line cruises — came to see me in the morning. Alexander and Ketki came in the afternoon. I watched tennis. Not much goal-setting involved.

Paradox is still eating, and still hiding. Alexander thinks she would be better off in Drummond Place with a friend coming in to feed her. 

Wordle: I scored two yesterday, for the first time in history. I was back to normal today, with a five.Roger joined me there. Everybody else did better. 

Monday, July 03, 2023

 Now life begins to close in.

No hair appts until Thursday. The physiotherapist came and has pretty well flattened me. She, too, will reappear on Thursday. She has printed out some easy exercises for me, but says not to attempt a class yet.

The woman next to me at supper just now assured me that neither she nor the two next to her were paying anything to be here. Could that be true? At best/worst it will mean that they are being lodged at the request of the Council until their houses can be sold. If so, they are here because every other care home in Edinburgh is full to the rafters. I’ll never find out, alas.

I enjoyed the first day of Wimbledon. There was an article in the New Yorker once, many years ago, before their journalism became completely devoted to racial issues, telling us in some detail how that green, green First Day grass is achieved. It is a wonderful sight. 

Wordle: three was today’s score, including me. But Thomas needed five, and Rachel flattened us all with a TWO.

Sunday, July 02, 2023

 I’ve had a happy 24 hours at Cramond, everything progressing as planned. The only downer is that there is no conversation at all over meals. They all look fairly compos mentis over there at the Top Table but they sit in silence. There are four of us at “my” table, two of each sex. The other woman seems pleasant and I would like to talk to her, but it seems bad-mannered to natter on while the men sit in gloomy silence. One seems to prefer silence. The other often makes brief remarks but I can’t understand them. The woman tells him to tuck his napkin in at the neck for maximum protection and he doesn’t like that. 

I have been re-reading my blog account of last year’s sojourn at Cramond. How comparatively active I sound! Sweaters flying from the needles! The account of that summer goes on in similar fashion. When did I sag? 

C. went to Drummond Place before her visit here this morning, and has brought me my knitting. But I haven’t resumed it. 

Wimbledon should set us talking, if anything could. Except I fear I might prefer watching on my iPad to the huge televisions on offer around every corner here. I am on the second floor this time (third floor, American). I must go downstairs soon and see if I can push my walker around the garden. I am doing pretty well at movement considering that I have been pinned to my bed for a fortnight, but so far have been pushed to meals in a wheelchair. There are plenty of chairs and sofas in the corridors. I could set off mid-morning and pause when I had to. 

I’m reading industriously. Last Year reminds me to try Antonia Fraser on Mary Q. of S. I never did that.I never finished her mother’s book on the Duke of Wellington, either.

Wordle: we were remarkably consistent with fours today, except that Ketki needed five. Nothing of note happened yesterday. Nothing from America so far today.

Saturday, July 01, 2023

 And here I still am, yet again - but I have been released!

A doctor came early this morning. A young, pretty, junior doctor. She said that the consultant had left instructions yesterday that I was not to be released if my heartbeat was below a certain figure. And it was. And she wouldn’t release me.

But they are keen on monitoring vital signs here, much as the profession used to be keen on bowel movements. And the next session showed the heart rate above the magic figure. So I sent a nurse off to find a doctor. When I had heard nothing after an hour, I again despaired. But she turned up, agreed that I now qualified for release, and went off to find the doctor who had refused it earlier. Another half hour. More despair. But then success.

So — a Cramond supper this evening, with or without added salad dressing. A quiet night, without Susanah’s television choices, or anyone else’s. A shower tomorrow morning and a chance to make a hair appt for Monday. And Monday will be WIMBLEDON and a chance to get cracking on physiotherapy. And knitting. What a blissful prospect.