Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Not too bad a day. Helen came, after driving David to the airport. He’ll be back fairly soon.


I decided that the thing to do was to resume the “EPS in random Shetland stripes” which has been in my UFO list over there for a long, long time. The first job was finding it. Wafa has rearranged the sitting room, and pulled the television forward a bit, so it proved easy to get me to the stash cupboard. Not so easy to find what I was looking for. In my day, the sitting room was festooned with project bags. Wafa has gathered them up and filled them with stray balls of yarn where there was room to spare. We found the striped EPS in fairly good order, but I am not at all sure of the balls of yarn with it.


Basically, however, the yarn is from Uradale Farm on Shetland. None of the balls had retained its band, but mercifully memory supplied the name. A visit to Uradale was part of the Shetland trip I did – one of Misa Hay’s tours. I seem to have a range of yellows, browns and greens. The accents are missing, although present in the partly-knit tube. I ordered more today, and resumed knitting.


The random stripes are three rounds each. I think perhaps I embarked on this after knitting the Dathan haps. For those, the rows are either two or four or six rows each, so you have to choose a size as well as a random colour for each stripe. I found it agonizing, and I am pretty sure that that’s why I have settled for three-round stripes here. Now I hope I can find the four precious copies of Knitter’s magazine in which Meg deconstructs the EPS.

Wordle: It looked for quite a while today as if this might, at last, be my dream-day in which we all score the same: Thomas, Alexander, Ketki, Rachel, Theo and I all scored four. Roger, alas, spoiled it with a five, and Mark hasn’t been heard from. My starters provided me with a brown vowel each. It was very hard – as always, in similar situations – to think of any qualifying word, because the starters have eliminated so many good consonants.  When I got one, line three, it gave me three greens in positions two, three and four. It wasn’t too difficult to get from there to the answer.

Monday, October 30, 2023


Blogger has suddenly stopped delivering new comments to my email outbox. Now that I know, I can at least read them on the blog.


Thank you for your help with my pursuit of Norah Gaughan’s striped cardigan. It’s not her Olivia Bell pattern I’m after. I don’t care for that one. Tricky shape, un-alluring stripes. I want the one Norah herself is wearing, both on her Ravelry page and on a page somewhere in the Brooklyn Tweed website, as she proudly introduces Norah Bell. And I think, from your comment yesterday, Annie, that I’m not going to find it. I think the only thing to do would be to devise a cardigan for myself (presumably one could put together pieces from the big Vogue Knitting Book) and stripe it. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to think.

 No knitting. I had a bath (hard work). Helen came, and also a woman from the agency Wafa works for, to see how we’re getting on.

 I’ve started reading the new Richard Osman book. I’m having a bit of trouble keeping the characters straight.

 Here is a picture of Paradox having a nap in her new home:

I think you would agree that that is a picture of a happy cat.


Wordle: My second starter gave me three greens together in the middle of the word. My heart lept up. But line three, although it added a fourth green at the end of the word, was wrong. And so was line four. So I crept home with a five. Alexander and Ketki joined me at that undistinguished level. The fours were Rachel and Thomas. Roger, Theo, and Mark were today’s stars with three.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

 The longest of days, literally. I’m exhausted and have retreated to writing with the iPad. No knitting, either. The picture of that happy, relocated cat will have to wait a day.

 One of you has suggested writing to Brooklyn Tweed about that picture of Norah Gaughan in a covetable striped cardigan. I’ll do that this evening. I am desperate for something at least semi-mindless.

  Helen and David came to lunch.  Both were in good form. Wafa did us proud. 

  We baked the sourdough we were working on all day yesterday. Very successful.

  Wordle: I surprised myself with a three. I keep a record of each day’s word and its score. Like many Wordlers, I find I can’t remember the day’s answer ten minutes later. Today, the iPad spelling checker disapproved of it. Mark, Ketki and Roger shared my score. Roger added a note to say that WordleBot regarded his success as mostly skill, not luck. Alexander, Thomas and Rachel were the fours. Poor Theo needed five.

Saturday, October 28, 2023


It’s a bit brighter out there. Wafa and I have been making another batch of sourdough, for baking tomorrow. She rightly points out that we can’t go on like this. It’s not hard, nor particularly demanding, but you do have to bear it in mind and stick around and apply some action or other to it from time to time. We could bake a larger batch next time, and freeze some of it.


I had a pleasant zoom meeting with my sister this morning. We didn’t manage to solve the problems of the world – the clouds continue to darken. I have been thinking of buying a new laptop computer. She says that they were better-built ten years ago. The only fault with my present one is that it takes forever to load.


I have also been thinking quite a lot about Norah Gaughan’s striped cardigan. The website was behaving better this morning, and I think I have established that it is not a Gaughan pattern in the Brooklyn Tweed  repertoire. She probably regards it as too easy to write down. And I could probably reconstruct it, if I made the effort. But I don’t want effort, I want ease, this time of year.

Here's the promised great-grandchild, Lizzie and Dan's son Lennie, with his father, shortly after birth:

And here he is with his shawl:

Wordle: Ketki and Alexander and I got four. Three for Thomas and his Aunt Rachel and Mark  A brilliant two for Theo. And although I saw Roger this morning, during the Zoom session with my sister, I don’t seem to have persuaded him to do Wordle early in the day. 

Friday, October 27, 2023


Perhaps a slightly more purposeful day. Let’s see if I can show you a picture:


The sourdough was a success. And since Wafa actually eats bread (unlike me) we can go on refining our technique. And since posting the picture was a success, too, I can go on to show you the new great-grandson tomorrow, and Paradox in retirement.

 More wet, grey weather. Since I can’t get out anyway, it doesn’t much matter, but sunshine is cheerful. 

 No knitting, but much thinking. I have been mentally exploring stripes. They are immensely cheering in the grey months. A Dathan pullover  ( Kate Davies)? Unfortunately I once saw someone wearing one at a yarn festival somewhere, and it wouldn’t stay on her shoulder. There’s a good random-striped scarf on Ravelry called Stripes Please. And just now I had a message from Brooklyn Tweed – I always click on them. Most frustrating. The message was about Norah Gaughan, an absolute fave. There was a picture of (presumably) her wearing a striped cardigan which was exactly what I had been groping towards all day. Unfortunately there was something wrong with the website, and when I approached Brooklyn Tweed the normal way, there was no sign of Norah or the cardigan. Can anyone help?

Wordle:I got four — better than yesterday’s failure, anyway. Mark and Ketki joined me there. Roger and Theo outshone all others with threes. Alexander, Thomas and Rachel all needed five. 



Thursday, October 26, 2023

 And yet another such day. Wafa and I have been making sourdough — it should be ready for the oven tomorrow morning. I am not very happy about it. No knitting. A certain amount of speculative thot on that subject. I haven’t figured out how to get in that cupboard to my stash. Helen’s husband David is here for a long weekend, nearly a week long. They stopped in on their way back from the airport.

  Wordle: I failed. And it was less than transparently easy to the others.  Threes for Alexander and his son Thomas. Fours for Mark and Rachel. Fives for Theo and Ketki. Silence from Roger. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

 A day much like those which have preceded it, including greyness and rain and non-achievement on my part. I need a plan, I think. Lots went on this morning. Helen and a — promising, as it proved — plumber were here discussing the Downstairs Lavatory. C. came. My holy friend came and we read another chapter  of the Epistle of St James. The First Epistle, if there are more than one.

  That’s about it. No knitting again. I did some feeble swatching towards a Fisherman’s Rib scarf. I need to explore the stash cupboard myself and it’s difficult to see how that can be done, given my feebleness and clumsiness. It involves walking behind the television set to reach its door.

  Kate Davies published another good colour essay this morning, about apples. It’ll be in the new book, presumably.

  Wordle: tougher, today. Four of us — fully half the party — scored five: Thomas and Theo and Roger and I. The fours were Mark and Ketki and Rachel. Alexander dazzled us all with a three.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

 Another day of non-achievement, and of non-knitting. Helen came to lunch. Although Wafa and I fed her principally on a frozen risotto, we also made various tasty side dishes which pretty well occupied our morning.

  Helen has re-consecrated herself to the problem of the Downstairs Lavatory.  A plumber is coming early tomorrow.

  I’m enjoying The Remains of the Day, or at least reading it with interest and attention. It’s darkening towards the end.

 Wordle: my first starter yielded three greens this morning. I didn’t type in the second. I went full-tilt for a serious entry, hoping of course to score two. No luck. That attempt did yield another green —I scored three, in the end. Alexander, Ketki, Thomas and Theo were the other threes. Rachel and Mark both got two. Roger needed four.

Monday, October 23, 2023

 So,  what happened? Grey and cold again. Archie came round between shifts again and we gave him lunch. A plumber came to address in some respect the problem of the Downstairs Lavatory. He spoke to Helen on the telephone and went away. (The DL is opposite Wafa’s room. She is trudging along as necessary to the real bathroom, a long way away.)

  Again, no knitting. I made a weak attempt to start a fisherman’s rib scarf. It is possible to knit that with knit stitches only — that’s what I’m aiming at. 

  If all has gone well, Helen should be back in Edinburgh by now (after her yoga retreat). I should see her tomorrow.

  Kate Davies is sending us essays about colour — they will be in the new book. They’re good. 

  Wafa was watching “The Remains of the Day” on television last night. I think I’ve seen ii.  I’ve certainly read it — it’s here in my Kindle. I think I didn’t think much of it. I’ve started reading it again. I don’t remember it at all. I suspect it’s rather good.

  Wordle: we six Europeans were spilt 50-50 today on threes and fours. I was one of the threes. Roger has logged in with a three, but we haven’t (uncharacteristically) heard from Theo so don’t yet know whether perfect symmetry has been preserved.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

 I think I am making a bit of progress with the should-be-simple problem of how to post pictures. But I haven’t completely cracked it yet, and am ready to abandon it for today.


The weather has calmed. The sun is shining. It’s cold.


I’m still a donkey suspended between two carrots when it comes to knitting. I have succeeded in finding the Glenan pattern in my Ravelry library, and could knit from it there as I have been doing with the Argyle vest. I’d rather have the book, which is not where it should be.


Kate Davies released a few more of her Advent Calendars yesterday. I decided to indulge, but they vanished in a twinkling and I have missed my chance. 

Wordle: Another toughie. I scored five, and was joined there by Ketki and Mark. Poor Rachel needed six. That’s half of us. The other half did better. Thomas and Roger scored three, Alexander and Theo, four. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

 Tomorrow I will go back to that computer and figure out how to show you those pictures. It must be easy. Tomorrow I will decide where knitting is to go next, and set out on that path. Today we made kimchi.

Perhaps for the last time. It’s hard work. Wafa was indispensable, of course, and very efficient. The kitchen is not covered with gochugaru sauce from one end to the other when Wafa has finshed making kimchi.  I’ve tried various store-boughten kimchies — some are better than others, but none approaches homemade, assuming it works. There’s still time for it to go wrong and grow unpleasant mould instead of fermenting productively. I’ll keep you posted.

I use Brad Leone’s recipe as recovered from his Youtube video. I omit the oyster, and I cut the Napa cabbage into large chunks instead of salting it leaf by leaf. There are lots of kimchi recipes out there. It’s easy to pick and choose.

Now I’m tired. The weather has calmed down a bit, but is still unpleasant.

Wordle: for a while it looked as if I was to be the class dunce again, with my score of five. But Theo joined me there at midday. Threes and fours elsewhere —  three for Roger and Mark, fours for everybody else.

Friday, October 20, 2023

 Well, for sheer inactivity, today took some beating. The computer hasn’t  been turned on. I am pecking this out with one finger on the iPad. I know that Fergus’ sweater is called “Glenan” (as indeed it tells us in the sidebar). It ought to be in my Ravelry library but so far I haven’t found it. I must own the book, but so far haven’t started looking for it. I haven’t figured out how to move a picture from email to blog. I used to do that all the time. I would have thought there would be some residual muscle memory.

  Nasty weather, the edge of a storm that has done real damage further north. If Helen were here — she’s still on her Yoga retreat in Cornwall — she might be able to find out what the weather is like in Kirkmichael.

  No knitting — that’s always an ominous symptom. 

  Archie came to lunch, between shifts. We made him a chicken tray bake with chicken pieces newly delivered from Waitrose and bits and pieces already to hand. He ate it with relish — it is always very gratifying to cook for Archie.

  Wordle: Mark and Theo were today’s stars — three. The most popular score was four. That’s what I got, and Alexander, Ketki and Rachel. Five for Thomas. Silence, again, from Roger. I didn’t think much of yesterday’s word, SPLAT, but I would be hard-put to frame a reasonable complaint. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Action. Here I am with my computer. I have remembered enough passwords to get started, and have even played a couple of games of Freecell.


Freecell, yes, but I seem to have forgotten how to show you pictures. I want to post the newest great-grandchild, Lennie, with his shawl. And also Paradox, being a happy cat in the south of England. I’ve got the pictures all right, in my mailbox, but…


I’ll work on it.


I’ve had a good day, despite the storm. Alexander and Ketki came, as did the GP I have known for many years. I think we made a bit of progress on various fronts. I’ve got something in my lungs called bronchiectasis. It is a word they have recently sprung on me.


Alexander reminds me that I said at some point that the Calcutta Cup sweater I am knitting – the one I laid aside when I went to Cramond, in favour of the Argyle vest for myself -- might not fit its intended recipient, namely Helen’s son Fergus, because he seems to have broadened at the shoulder since I started on it. If that proves to be true, the next candidate would be Alexander and Ketki’s son Thomas who is many feet tall but thin as a rake. Wafa and I found the knitting and the rest of the yarn. It remains to locate the pattern. I’ll leave that for tomorrow. I’ve got the book somewhere, and failing that it could be in my Ravelry library.


I got a bit of Argyle vest knitting done. I am disappointed in myself at how little I have internalised the pattern after all this time. The back, since the split at the armholes, is something of a mess.


Thank you for your further help with winter knitting. Shandy, that Midwinter Blanket (comment yesterday) won’t do for me. I need simplicity as well as colour, so as not to overtax my 90-year-old brain. Wafa has found two interesting skeins in the stash cupboard, as well as the one Into the Whirled one. A fisherman’s rib scarf, with those three striped?


Wordle:  I was today’s dunce, with five. I wasn’t entirely happy with the word, either. Sour grapes? Roger and Thomas scored brilliant twos. The threes were Alexander, Mark, and Rachel. Four for Ketki and Theo.


Now, can I remember how to save and post this?

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

 Still low, me and the weather both. It was sort of gratifying to see on today’s news that skies were no brighter in Tel Aviv. Thank you very much for your gloom-relieving knitting suggestions. I may return to them, and you’re absolutely right that we are reaching the time of year when colour is needed. Meanwhile I got a bit more knitting done today. No computer. No visitors.

I think Alexander and Ketki are coming tomorrow to share the doctor’s visit.

It turns out, just as I predicted yesterday, that Theo and his family are planning to nip over to celebrate Thanksgiving with their London cousins. So they could bring yarn if I ordered some for them. It’s a thought. 

Wordle: I had a hard time today. I didn’t use any Jean-words, and was unsustained, Mary Lou, by the corporate works. Five. Nobody else had much of a struggle. Two for Alexander, indeed. Three for Ketki, Mark, Theo and Thomas. Four for Rachel. Silence, again, from Roger.

I am glad to welcome your husband, Mary Jane, as an outlying member of our little group.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

 Oh, dear. Grey and cold. The morning was more complicated than I expected, and I still haven’t tackled that computer. Helen looked in on her way to the station. Wafa and I tackled the making of sourdough. I was happy to accommodate her energy with this project, about which I can remember  enough to get us started. We’ve got to make a starter from scratch, however, so the actual activity was brief.

Knitting progressed. I did measure. I’m a long way from the shoulder.

“Literally”: I once had the very great pleasure of hearing a BBC announcer say, with joy in her voice, that we were about to hear of someone who had “literally dropped a clanger”. That is a somewhat out-of-date but not altogether uncommon expression meaning to do or say something awkward or embarrassing. But in this case the item was about someone who had let fall a handbell and the announcer’s joy was for her chance to use “literally” literally. 

Wordle: another three for me. I’m having a good October. My starters gave me a green vowel and two brown tiles, a vowel and a consonant. Mental struggle eventually produced a hypothesis, and it was right. WordleBot says there were two other possibilities.

Thomas and Theo were the other threes. Alexander, Ketki, Mark and Rachel had fours. No news from Roger yet.

Monday, October 16, 2023

 It has been another low day, both physically and spiritually. It  has also been grey and dull (and cold). These facts are almost certainly related.

However knitting has moved forward. Now that I have divided at the armholes, it seems to go faster, to such an extent that I had better measure tomorrow.

Helen came. She is going away tomorrow, all the way to Cornwall, for a yoga retreat, if I’ve got that right. Archie also came.

But no one is scheduled for tomorrow, and I hope that means I’ll get back to that computer.

An awful lot of people have been saying “decimated” recently on the radio. I still cling to the original meaning — “to eliminate one in ten.” That is the trouble with a classical education. What they usually mean these days is something much worse — “eliminated,” perhaps. Or “devastated”. I think the BBC is on my side.

Wordle: Alexander and his sister Rachel were today’s stars, with threes. Fours for me and Thomas and Mark. Fives for Roger and Ketki. Poor Theo actually failed.

My starters gave me two greens, a vowel and a consonant. Plus a brown consonant. I struggled for quite a while but finally entered a Jean-word in line three. It was a word I am particularly fond of. It almost qualified, but included one already-eliminated letter. It turned the original brown tile green, however. And I went on to the answer in the next line.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

 I feel dreary. Little has been achieved. Wafa administered a bath this mornimg — it’s hard work for both of us, and probably explains the dreariness. I later instituted and contributed to the cooking of lunch. That eas something of a departure for me these days. It was a recipe for tenderstem broccoli from the current Waitrose magazine, and from it I have learned that tenderstem broccoli is not at its best in mid-October. 

C. came, and indeed helped with the cooking. Her daughter and son-in-law are selling their house in Roslin (of chapel fame). C.’s role is to look after their two very small sons (aged three and one) while the house is shewn to prospective buyers in peace and quiet. They are very lucky to have her. The house only went on the market this week and has aroused much interest. 

Knitting went well, but slowly. I attached the newly-wound ball and finished the armhole shaping for the back.

I still haven’t tackled the catalog room and my computer. I now have pictures to show you of Lennie H. in his new shawl and of Paradox Miles in the south of England somewhere, being sweet. I think she is enormously enjoying being an Only Cat. Perdita remains wary.

Wordle: I wasn’t exactly the class dunce. I scored five, but Rachel joined me there. Alexander, Mark, Ketki, and Roger were the fours. The young ‘uns won— Theo and Thomas both scored three. C.hadn’t done it yet, when I saw her this morning.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

 Depressingly little achieved. The Legion of Mary visited me this morning, presumably because Visiting the Sick is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy. They were pleasant but stayed a bit too long. This afternoon I wound a skein of yarn. Ready therefore to proceed with the Argyle vest but I haven’t done it yet. Helen also came. No news. 

  Many thanks for your help with Into the Whirled. I looked up June 7, 2016, Anonymous. It was mostly useful in indicating that my interest in the yarn goes even further back. Anonymous2, The Loopy Ewe still lists  it, but adds “out of stock”. I think the only thing to do, as you suggest, would be to order from the website and have it sent to my sister, the next time she proposes to visit.

It’s more likely that younger generations would go visit each other on one side of the pond or the other. It could be done that way. Not that I need more yarn.

Wordle: it seems to have been easy today, although there’s always one out-lier. We were all threes and fours except that Mark, of all people, needed five and Roger hasn’t been heard from. I was one of the threes.

Friday, October 13, 2023

And yet another (goodish day). The dentist came and tidied me up a bit. They’ll phone in a month or so and we will discuss the mechanics of a proper visit. I think I could get down and up the stairs outside my house — but those outisde the dentist’s surgery are at least twice as many, and steeper. I keep hoping I’ll get stronger. 

  What happens to the housebound in America who need doctors or dentists or indeed podiatry?

   Knitting progresses well. I’ve divided for the underarm — much counting, and indeed a certain effort was needed to re-establish which size I’m knitting. I have made some initial progress with underarm decreases. I’m knitting from the pattern in my Ravelry library. I don’t think the printer is working. It certainly helps to be able to write notes on a pattern. 

  Wafa found a rather wonderful skein of Into the Whirled yarn in my stash cupboard. (Is nothing sacred?) Goodness, I had forgotten all about them. I don’t remember how I bought that skein nor how many others there might have been. But how did I do it? At present, the Into the Whirled website doesn’t do overseas orders, and no British yarn shop seems to stock it. Advice very welcome. 

  Wordle: it was almost USA vs GB today. Everybody on this side of the pond scored three — except, alas,  for Ketki, who needed four. The two Americans, Theo and Roger, both scored four. 

Yesterday’s word was KNELT. I disapproved because Wordle doesn’t usually have plurals or past tenses as winners, although they will be accepted if you enter them.


Thursday, October 12, 2023

 Another goodish day. I didn’t tackle the computer, and I feel the lack of any any serious or semi- serious reading. On the other hand, knitting progressed well. I didn’t measure, but I’m halfway through a pattern repeat — a very good point at which to measure before I plunge in tomorrow. 

The surgeon phoned. We have decided not to operate (to replace my hip) but if pain/discomfort get worse, I have a phone number. It is not so much my age that disinclines him to operate as the state of my lungs. I have a lung appt soon.

We learned one interesting medical tidbit: patients’ sensations of pain and/or discomfort, in such cases, don’t particularly relate to the state of decrepitude shewn on the xray or scan. 

I broke one of my few remaining teeth while eating spinach — (!) — the other day. Helen got me an appt which will bring a dentist to the house tomorrow. The actual dentist’s office is very near, but up a seriously steep flight of steps from pavement to front door. 

We also have an appt which will bring my GP here one day next week. It will be good to have an overview of all the various things wrong with me.

Wordle: I wasn’t impressed with today’s word. I’ll tell you why tomorrow, if I remember. I scored five. I was baffled by my situation after the starters — three browns, two consonants and a vowel. After a substantial period of bafflement, I resorted to Jean-words (=couldn’t be right) for lines three and four.

My fellow-fives were Theo and Alexander. Six for Rachel. Four for Mark and Ketki. Today’s stars were Roger and Thomas — three each. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

 Perhaps i was slightly more vigorous today. Shall I make it tomorrow’s goal to reach the Catalog Room, which contains my computer, and see if I can’t activate it and show you some pictures?  I also have a telephone appt tomorrow to talk about arthroplasty, presumably with someone who knows what the word means. (I’ve looked it up. I do too.)

  Knitting went well. I finished that horrible round, and have whizzed through three more. It is not much slower than ribbing, in the rounds where it is possible to keep track of left-twist, right-twist in your head. And alternate rounds are just knit and purl, mostly knit. I’ll measure again tomorrow.

  There was an article in the Telegraph yesterday about making some spare cash by knitting. You were to price your efforts fairly, it said, by paying yourself the legal minimum wage for your time. I didn’t read much further. Can’t be done. The people who make money from their knitting are designers (and then, not much) and entrepreneurs, if that’s the word, who organise a stable of  knitters — old ladies like me — who are happy to knit for far less than the minimum wage.

Wordle: another quick one, but I scored only four. Thomas, Roger and Mark joined me there. Five for Alexander and Rachel. Six for Theo. Silence from Ketki which is most unusual. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

 Another such day. I walked a bit, bedroom to sitting room, instead of travelling by wheelchair. That was encouraging. However I don’t think there’s anything exercise can do. It’s a question I must pursue in future medical appointments, several of which loom.

 I’ve knit a bit more. I’m bogged down in another difficult round — lots of crosses, perversely arranged. I measured, and I’m  doing well. Kate Davies, who models the finished garment herself, is substantially shorter than I am, and she is wearing the vest short, so I can knit on comfortably for a couple of inches. 

We are all worrying about the Middle East. Wafa is a Yemini, actually born in Saudi  Arabia. I hope eventually to learn the whole story. David Remnick in the New Yorker is first rate. 

Wordle: another quick three for me. Theo and Roger, Rachel and Mark all joined me there. The others, who don’t deserve to be named, all scored four. I guess it was an easy one.

Monday, October 09, 2023

 And virtually nothing, again today. I got a bit further on with the knitting. Helen came, and bore off — among other things — Lennie’s shawl which she will post to him. I put in an order to Waitrose. Wafa disapproved of the prices but so far, fighting it out gram by gram, Waitrose comes out pretty well. Wafa will never save me enough money to pay for her presence, but her economical ways will achieve a lot.

 Perdita is much calmer, and spends a lot of time on my lap. I haven’t succeeded in coaxing her into bed. She sleeps in the kitchen, halfway between us.  

 The radio has been talking about “Don’t Look Now”, a grand old film. I’ve seen lots of movies in my long life, but find that I remember that one — including individual shots, such as the headmaster’s door — with unusual vividness. Perhaps we could contrive to see it again. Better, somehow, than sitting about in complete idleness.

  Wordle: my starter words, so often useless, pretty well did the job for me today. I scored a quick and easy three. Roger joined me there. Thomas and Ketki had four. Rachel, Alexander, and Theo needed five. Mark was today’s dunce. He got stuck on grn, grn, grn, ???, ??? and only just scraped home with a six. He added a note to say that four of his six words were political.

Saturday, October 07, 2023

 Helen is safely home from Kirkmichael, where there was epic rain. She’ll come tomorrow and tell us about it. We’ve had a grey day here, with lots of rain, but not quite epic.

  Knitting has been advanced but slightly. I’m currently toiling around a round that involves six twists (12 stitches) for every 18 stitches of the pattern repeat, and it’s slow work.

  Mary Lou, when you grumble about the iPad correcting your spelling, do you mean the way it leaps in to make preposterous suggestions, overriding one’s blameless prose? I have always thought that I could override that feature if I understood the iPad better. We have ordered a stand for it, and are ready  to think of going on to a keyboard — but will I have to contend with this nuisance forever? You should see what it tried to suggest for “keyboard”. 

  Wordle: the results make it seem like a relatively easy one, but I found it a stinker. My starters gave me three brown vowels. Three! I gave up and entered a Jean-word for line three — those three vowels, in new positions, but I re-used a consonant. That produced nothing major — no new letters, no greens — but from it I was able to guess the answer. So, four for me.

  Thomas, Alexander, Rachel, and Roger were fellow fours. Five for Mark and Ketki. Theo posted a brilliant three in what must have been for him the middle of the night.

Friday, October 06, 2023

 I seem to be getting less and less done, but all is well. Helen stopped by on her way to Kirkmichael where she will continue to struggle with the driveway-and-ditch problem. There are some signs of progress on that one. Meanwhile the Downstairs Lavatory problem is in complete abeyance  here. Someone is booked to do something about it at the end of NEXT month. They have done a report. Insurance has agreed to pay. But Helen is afraid that they will spin on their heel, the day they actually arrive, and say that it is impossible 

Fortunately the other bathroom is perfectly adequate for our needs.

I was pleased by the outcome of yesterday’s by-election. Mrs Sturgeon recently extended the franchise to everyone  over 16 resident in Scotland. That includes me. I can’t vote in Westminster elections. I have actually voted only once. I chose Labour. They are in favour of the union, as am I, and have a good, new leader, another handsome youngish man with a subcontinental background. There are so many at the head of British political parties these days that it gets confusing. 

Wordle: another easy one, apparently. Four for me and Roger. Five for Alexander. Three for Theo, Rachel and Mark. Ketki and Thomas were the brilliant best, with twos.

Thursday, October 05, 2023

 Again,  a day with some forward movement. Wafa and I got the shawl blocked. Helen has taken a picture of it. I’ll include it if I can. I am still picking out this blog with one finger on the iPad. Perhaps tomorrow’s achievement could be to get  the computer going again. The computer room is a long way away.

  And I resumed knitting the Argyll vest. A round and a half — better than nothing.

  Helen came, and, briefly, Archie. Also my religious friend. So we’ve packed a lot in. 

  Wordle: it was an easy one today, but I fell into the Wordle trap. My hard-won entry for line three gave me only four greens. Line four didn’t change things. So five for me. Rachel was another five, with the same pattern. The fours were Mark, Thomas, and Alexander. Theo was another five. He had my pattern in line three. Perhaps he thought of the possibilities and went off to test them in line four, as Alexander recommends.  Roger took six, with a different pattern. And Ketki scored three.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

 Wet, grey, depressing. The morning was a series of events, and no knitting got done. C.  came and told me about Palermo, where she clearly had a grand time. She enjoyed Cooking with the Duchess, who seems to remember me and Archie vividly. Her husband the Duke, Lampedusa’s adopted son,  the model for Tancred in Il Gattopardo, died in May of this year. He was almost as old as I am. I am working on a message, so far only in my head, to send her. I will write in Italian, unnecessarily, as she speaks better English than I do.

And the NHS delivered a wheelchair, self-propelled, so I am mobile, at least somewhat. It’s hard work, but will be good exercise. And a holy friend came and we read a chapter of St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews. And somehow it got to be lunchtime. 

KD is making great advances with this year’s winter book, Compass. It’s all about colour and involves an Advent calendar with little balls of her Milarrochy tweed. I am too late for that, a good thing — there are already too many little balls of yarn around here, without adding 24 more. But I’m looking forward to the book.  

Wordle: My starters gave me a green vowel and three brown consonants. I struggled mightily, rejecting many a tempting Jean-word that was wrong in one respect or another. I finally thought of an unlikely possibility, and it was right. Persevere with line three is my motto, as I said.

So, three for me, and for Mark and Rachel. Theo and Roger, father and son, scored four. Thomas and Ketki, mother and son., needed five. Alexander notched up a commendable two.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

 Another day. Further forward.

I think I’ve finished Lenny’s shawl. There weren’t many loose ends, given that the skeins were 100 grams each. I knit the borders back and forth, to avoid having to create garter stitch by purling. I began by grafting the ends of the edging, and soon discovered that they were twisted. A careful unpicking took the rest of the morning knitting time.

Things went better after my nap. I sewed up the fourth border corner, and only after that attempted again to graft the edging. I don’t think it’s very elegantly done, but it can count as a success. This yarn — I’ve forgotten what it is— is called “Primavera”.I was disappointed when it arrived at how dark it was, but darkness now helps conceal clumsiness.

Tomorrow we will have to address the question of blocking. 

Helen is safely home, and very welcome. C. Is back too, and will be here tomorrow to tell me how she got on “Cooking with the Duchess”.

I am alarmed to realise how far I have declined since I last lived in this dear house. Wafa and Perdita and I are, however, getting on well.

Wordle: Another day when fours predominate: me and Alexander and Ketki and Theo and Roger. Thomas and Mark slid home with threes, Rachel needed five.

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.