Wednesday, January 31, 2024

 Weavinfool — we call it the Downstairs Lavatory after the one we had in Birmingham for many years, which really was downstairs, and similarly small. You’re right — the living accommodation here is all on one level. Thank goodness.

Thinking about yesterday, I think that care home is out. for lack of a garden. The limited area surrounding it had grass and bushes and could be accessed with some difficulty through the demented section, but it wasn’t a garden. I probably should give more weight to the way people were sitting about talking to each other. 

And I mustn’t neglect giving weight to my cat and my cider, the one impossible, the other limited, in any care home.  I think I can stay here for much the same cost as a la-di-da care home, with my cat and my cider and some considerable choice of food and lots of visitors. And sit out on the step in good weather and garden in my pots.

I’m reading Ann Patchett’s “The Dutch House”. Recommended. I found I had credit available to buy the unabridged audible version for free, so I am also listening to it while I knit.

Wordle: another toughie. For the third day hand-running, my two starters yielded only one brown vowel. Admittedly, it was a different vowel today. I scraped home with five, and that’s January done. I failed both on the first and the second, so my winning streak is as long as the year, minus two. Having said which, i’ll probably fail tomorrow.

Rachel and Ketki and Roger and I were the fives; four elsewhere. 


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

 An exciting day — actually going out! The people-movers came first, of course, and bumped me down the steps in an ingenious machine. I After that it was the familiar wheelchair.

  The nursing home was interesting. It was pretty up-market but less so than Cramond (where I was in the summer) in various small ways: no television or telephones in the rooms; hairdressing and physiotherapy available but they cost extra; not really any garden belonging to the premises; no wine with your dinner. On the other hand the occupants seemed to be talking to each other. Cramond was awfully silent 

   The people-movers came back and got us home. I think I’ve seen their ingenious machine advertised. If so, not cheap, but it might be worth it if a single carer could operate.

   The cat was upset, but we never found out whether she was distressed by my unusual absence or cross because her lunch was late. She went on complaining after I got back and after she had lunch. She spent the afternoon napping on my tummy as I napped, and has, at least, stopped complaining.

   Helen continues to be pleased with progress in the Downstairs Lavatory.

  That was of course about it for today. I’ve knit a bit more. The ball of wool is undoubtedly smaller, and we haven’t quite finished week one. The object is to polish it off before the current carer’s tenure ends in the middle of next week.

Wordle: again my two starters yielded only one brown vowel. The same one as yesterday, at that. I stuck gamely to the principle of entering only possible winner-words, and scraped home in six, the class dunce.

Three for Roger, today’s star. Four for Ketki, Thomas and Theo. Five for Mark and Rachel. They both had my configuration — four greens with a blank to be filled in the middle. Like me, they guessed wrong the first time, but unlike me they had reached that point in only four lines. Uncharacteristic silence from Alexander so far. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

 Another lively day — Helen’s home. She had a good time, despite cutting her head open on the edge of a marble shelf in the cloakroom of a museum in Alexandria. 

She has now been introduced to all that has been going on in the Downstairs Lavatory here (nobody talks to me), and is pleased with it. We are going to visit a care home tomorrow.

Knitting has advanced, with no further visual effect on the ball of wool. 

My nephew Theo has nipped over to London and assembled a remarkable collection of his relatives for a pub lunch. He has posted a photograph of the assembly on Facebook, and Rachel has also sent me a copy. Someone — Rachel — must sit down and write an identifying memo of them all. It won’t be possible in 20 years, let alone 50. I count 21 or 22 of them — and at that Rachel and Ed’s younger son Joe, with his wife and two children, weren’t there because they had flu.

Wordle: I wasn’t entirely pleased with today’s word. I got it in five. Rachel joined me there. Everybody else managed four. Roger hasn’t been heard from yet. He clearly doesn’t do it first thing in the morning like most of the rest of us.

My two starters gave me one brown vowel. I was determined to think of a real entry for line three — not a Jean-word. It was surprisingly difficult — my starters had eliminated five useful consonants as well as the other vowels. I found one at last. It was virtually useless — another brown. Line four was better.



Sunday, January 28, 2024

 A livelier day, with visitors. It makes all the difference. And we were spared plumbers. Helen is on her way home, may indeed be here by now. I had a message from Cairo airport. I’ll see her tomorrow. 

  And I knit on. The current ball looks slightly diminished.

   C. came this morning. No news. A local friend, with Perthshire connections, came this afternoon, bringing daffodils and some forsythia twigs for forcing. She says the situation with the Bridge at Bridge of Cally is dire and that it might be a good idea to approach Kirkmichael via Pitlochry for a while.

Kate Davis has a new book for us, Colour at Work, to be revealed this week. She is always particularly appreciated in these darkest days. She recommends a BBC series, available as podcasts, called Owning Colour. I’ve listened to one, and it was indeed good.

Wordle: a toughie today, or so many of us found it. I scored five, which almost counts as good. Except that Rachel skipped through with a three.

Alexander failed. Theo and Ketki had six. Thomas, Mark, and Roger were my fellow-fives.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

 Another bright day. There’s no doubt, now, that there’s more light.

The central heating has been restored. Its failure was presumably connected with all this banging here in the Downstairs Lavatory, as you suggest, Tamar. And once informed, the plumbers fixed it. No, we have no building superintendent. We could all get together and hire a “factor” but that might be more trouble than it’s worth.

 Otherwise the day has been very long and not at all interesting. I’ve done some knitting. The new bit now measures about 5”. What was it the last time I reported?  4”?

Wordle: I had an easy three today. The day’s recurring pattern was grn, ???, grn, ???, grn.  Rachel and Roger both achieved that in line one, but only got the answer in line five. Alexander had a total blank in line one, the configuration just mentioned in line two, and the solution in three. Mark had the pattern in lines one and two, grn, grn, grn, ???, grn  in line three — nobody else had that pattern— and the answer in four. Thomas, Theo and Ketki all scored three.

Friday, January 26, 2024

 The weather continues brighter and less windy, although pretty cold. My central heating, feeble at best, doesn’t seem to be working. Something to do with all these plumbers and all this banging? I’ll be glad when Helen is back to take charge of me 

  It’s an argument in favour of going to live in a care home — Helen wouldn't have to concern herself with some, at least, of the details of my life. Such as central heating. But, oh! my cat.

  The new light is beginning to creep in around the edges of the afternoon. It’s always a joy when that happens.

  Otherwise there is little or nothing to report. No one came to see me. I did a little knitting, but not nearly enough to achieve my new target of finishing a skein within a fortnight.

  Wordle: I had a titanic struggle this morning, and was pleased to get away with a five. Fours were predominant in the rest of the British team, except for Rachel who got three. Theo was another four. Nothing from Roger yet.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

 The weather a bit better, I think, but mostly, here, it has been a day of plumbers banging in the Downstairs Lavatory, and carers handing over to each other. The current one is older and more severe.  Cider consumption will be reduced.

  Her arrival means that I’ve got to finish the newly-attached ball of yarn (see yesterday) within a fortnight. It gives me a target.

   Thank you, no, Mary Lou, I haven’t seen MDKnitting on the subject of hand-winding, and will seek it out. (Comment yesterday) Tamar, carers are meant to change places with each , other every two weeks as long as things go smoothly.

Wordle: threes and fours today — four for me. The threes were Ketki, Mark, and Alexander. Poor Rachel needed five. Different people got stuck in different scenarios. Rachel and I suffered from grn, grn, grn ???, ???, but Ketki had a grn, grn, ???, grn, grn and Thomas a ???, grn, grn, grn, grn. There is usually more symmetry when it gets to four greens.


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

 I’ve finished a ball of yarn! I pressed on hard today, feeling that that was an achievement I could achieve, whereas knitting round and round in brioche rib never seems to get me anywhere.

The last time I finished a ball, I sent my carer into the stash cupboard in search of the next one. When she succeeded, I asked her to leave the bag out to simplify further searches, but she refused, saying that she would know which one it was next time.

I was taken aback to discover  today  that that was a different carer — so the yarn I have just finished took more than a fortnight. I must speed things up.

The search was again difficult — oh! if I could walk across the room and look for myself! But we succeeded, after an interesting survey of my stash, and this time we did leave the bag out. The other carer will be coming back tomorrow. I have wound the new ball but not yet attached it.

Still cold. C. came to see me. All well in Cairo.

Wordle: Rachel and I scored three today (WordleBot was dismissive of my score — I was lucky, it said), Four for Ketki, Thomas and Mark; five for Alexander. They found it easier in DC — three for Roger, a brilliant two for Theo. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

 Storms rage — less perhaps in Edinburgh than in the rest of GB. 

A peaceful day. Good news from Helen, who’s enjoying Cairo, but bad news, too: she and Archie have colds. 

I knit onwards, and may yet get some more done this evening. In some ways it seems easier now that I have faced up to the truth of two-rounds-to-achieve-one.

I will enjoy listening to the outcome of the New Hampshire primary in my restless sleep tonight. I have never warmed to Mr. Biden, partly because of his Irish-based animus towards GB. But oh dear…  On the other hand, if you’re keen on democracy, ought you not to support its results? 

Wordle: I found it difficult again. WordleBot congratulated me on my four. On the other hand — with only Mark still unheard-from — everybody else, every single one of them, scored three. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

 The sun is back, looking very cheerful, but all reports from actual voyagers say that it is still very windy and cold, cold. We had a visit from a physiotherapist today, one of the voyagers. I have been fairly conscientious with my exercises lately, and was hoping that she could prescribe a couple more to get me moving again.

  Alas, no. My current exercises, if conscientiously executed, may prevent further decline, she said. Sort of depressing. 

  However, I got a fair amount of knitting done. I’ve done a generous 3” since I started knitting in the round — would that actually be 6” if I were knitting plain-vanilla rib instead of brioche?

 This morning I listened to I Vicere (in Italian) while knitting. I could roughly understand what was going on. I recently did an on-line test in the language which ranked me as “Dismal Intermediate”. I forget  exactly how it was phrased. 

  In the afternoon I listened to a recent episode of Fruity Knitting. It’s not as good as it was in Andrew’s lifetime, although I couldn’t say why.

   And I rejoice in Franklin’s news that he is finished with his cancer treatment. He is very brave to take on both Paris (as a permanent  residence) and cancer at once.

  Wordle: i found it very tough, and was more than satisfied with my five, scored late in the day.  Ketki and Rachel got three (however), Alexander and Mark four, Thomas five. Theo was another three, over there in DC, and we haven’t heard from his father Roger yet.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

 The weather has broken. Now grey and wet and unpleasant, with storm forecast for tonight.

  Sharon and I have been making kimchi, always hard work. And in this case I fear it won’t succeed, because we have the wrong cabbage. But any cabbage should ferment — look at sauerkraut. And it looks beautiful. So we’ll see.

   Helen is having a nice time in Cairo. And, from my point of view, two days gone of the ten. 

   C. was here this morning. No real news.

   And I did some knitting. I am too exhausted by kimchi-making to hope for more this evening. 

  I am trying to learn to master the electric wheelchair, with only moderate results. It will turn on a dime, and I can do that. Going straight forward is the problem. Helen found it fully as difficult as I do. Alexander did rather better. 

   Wordle: another relatively easy one. Theo and Mark were today’s stars, with two; Rachel and I scored three . That leaves three others here in Britain, all fours, and poor Roger, in DC, who needed five. 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

 Bright, cold. What’s new? We’re now in the fifth week post-solstice and I don’t see much in the way of more light, either.

   Helen, David and Archie are safely arrived in Cairo, where their son/brother Mungo is studying Arabic.

   Plumbers continue to bang mysteriously. Both bathrooms are now supplied with water.

   And I haven’t done any knitting. 

   Alexander and Ketki came to see me today. Both seem well. I forgot to ask what the weather was like underfoot on the shores of Loch Fyne. I think most of the really rough stuff, snow and ice, is confined to the upper left-hand corner of Scotland.

   Rachel is planning to come, with unimaginable quantities of great-grandchildren and a certain number of grandchildren to supervise, in the week after Easter. 

   Wordle: Rachel was today’s star, with two. The rest of us, on both sides of the sea, had threes and fours. Mine was a four, needless almost to mention.

Friday, January 19, 2024

 And yet another bright and cold day. Perhaps the coldest of all. Helen has gone off to Cairo, with Archie. They’ll be away for 10 days, much missed, for a holiday very much deserved. David will join them from Thessaloniki. Mungo is there already, studying Arabic.

  I felt dim this morning, but seem to have pulled round.

  I have been thinking with horror about my wealth. I have a state pension and a work pension, of course . Beyond that, our savings which include some shares my husband inherited. And beyond that, The American Money.

   The horror stems from the fact that the American Money seems to have overtaken our British savings, and our American Income likewise  to be more than our British “extra income.” It’s all properly declared and taxed. But I have always felt that the American Income was my “bit on the side” for knitting wool and cider and such. Now that I know the truth, it must be faced up to.

   Wordle: another fairly easy one, with a spread of scores.  Ketki was today’s star, with two. Rachel and the Americans, Roger and Theo, did it in three. The other four of us all scored four.

   My starters gave me three browns and a green. I easily thought of a possible — I  now had four greens and a blank. I got my four (obviously) on the next line. I still think — but this often happens — that line three was a better answer (except for being wrong).


Thursday, January 18, 2024

 Cold, bright weather continues. Our plumbers have gone off leaving us with neither lavatory functioning (although we have water in the kitchen.) I am afraid to turn the heating on.

 A physiotherapist came, and offered but little hope of a system for getting down the front steps. Our accountant came this morning and we paid a lot of tax. She is Kate Davies’ accountant and was wearing a nice sweater she said KD had given her — a trial for one of her patterns, although I didn’t recognise it. 

  Otherwise, zilch. No knitting. 

  Wordle: Mark and Ketki needed four. Otherwise it was threes all round. Everybody has been heard from. My starters yielded a green and three browns. I think WordleBot said there were  four possible answers at that point. I was pleased to think of one of them. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

 Bright and cold again. Plumbers have arrived to re-make the (infamous) downstairs lavatory. It will have a shower. 

Two weeks in hospital? Off work until after Easter? I hope our famously intrusive gutter press will be able to tell us what’s wrong with the Princess of Wales. She’s too thin, that’s one thing.

I have made some progress with the ever-slow knitting.

C. came this morning, but I don’t think she had any news. 

I’ve also got an electric-powered wheelchair to try. It’s good fun, but…At lunchtime, trying to stand up from it, I thought my hip had taken the dreaded Next Lurch Downwards. I am more hopeful now, sitting in the kitchen in the old wheelchair, thinking about supper. I can return to the excitement tomorrow.

Wordle: clearly an easy. My starters produced two browns and two greens. A bit of a struggle, even so, before I landed my three. Thomas, Roger and Mark were the other threes. Everybody else scored two — including C. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

 Bright and cold again.

Knitting progressed, slowly as always. The heart of the trouble is that in brioche knitting one knits two rows for every one achieved. It would take some effort to work it out, but I am beginning to wonder if that is perhaps just as true for half-brioche as for the Full Monty.

Helen came and we had a session with a woman from Edinburgh Council who may be able to facilitate my problem of how to get down the front steps. She was pleasant, anyway.

I spent some time this afternoon working on a completely unnecessary problem involving my great wealth: how do you calculate what percentage something is of something else? Ask Google, is of course the answer. I got it in the end, and was surprised to find how valuable still (proportionally) was a gift my grandfather made me in the cold winter of ‘62-‘63, if not then, somewhere thereabout.

It may all soon be swept downstream to pay for my care. But it wouldn’t have done that in ‘62. My grandfather, too, needed live-in care at the end, and what he got wasn’t very good.

Wordle: All threes and fours today, except for Mark, of all people, who took five. I was a four. Ketki and Rachel and the two Americans were the threes.

My two starters gave me two browns, a vowel and a consonant. Couldn’t be worse, nor could I think of anything. (My starters use all the vowels except Y, and five common consonants. Sometimes, as this morning, that doesn’t seem to leave much room to manoeuvre.) Finally I entered a Jean-word (=couldn’t be right). It was useful, as often — three greens. And I got it on the next line.

Monday, January 15, 2024

 Another sparkling, bitter-cold day. Quiet here.

I made some progress with knitting, including counting stitches. The overall count is nearly right. I’m inclined to leave it be, retaining my notes. Brioche stitch under whatever name is a bit tricky count-wise.

  Wordle: we were spread all over the place today. Two for Ketki, three for Thomas and Mark, four for me and Rachel, five for Alexander. Theo and Roger in DC were three and four respectively.

I am sorry to be so brief. Helen has just been here and we paid some bills. It’s late and very dark. 


Sunday, January 14, 2024

 And more sunshine today, although bitter cold.

Helen is safely back from Kirkmichael. That’s about it, for event. C. came this morning. She has had a busy week looking after her grandsons while her daughter and son-in-law move house. The move is done, the little boys happily installed in their new bedrooms.

 Thank you for comments, again. We are proceeding as you suggest, Shandy and others — concentrating on a wheelchair at first. We are going to hire one for a week to see what difference it makes. I think there’s a lot in what you say, Rebecca, in getting a physio of some sort in to advise on the mechanics of getting about. My right leg is still fairly sound. There must be some solution to the problem of those six steps. I’m not absolutely sure I couldn’t manage with two carers, one on each side; just walk down.

  Not much knitting. The cat continues to impede.

  We have cancelled an appt for tomorrow for a hip xray. I feared that the whole day would have been devoted to those six steps, with little result. Once we’ve cracked that problem I can turn up at a hospital whenever they bid me.

Wordle: many of us found it tougher today. Five for me, where I was joined by Roger, Theo and Thomas. All of us got bogged down in the search for the first letter, with four greens to follow. Everyone else scored four.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

 We had some sunshine today, a rare sight. But very cold. Helen came by briefly with her dog Farouk, on their way to Kirkmichael. If all is well there, she will still be very much colder. She wanted to check up on everything after their recent rushed departure —with no heat, no light.

  I’ve had a dull, low-spirited day. Again, I am very grateful for your comments. Yes, I had lung trouble last year and the anaesthetist was unhappy about surgery. I’ve been better for several months. If we could figure out a way to get me up and down the six steps at the door, I could be ported over to Drummond Place Gardens from time to time. And if the wheelchair could be mechanised I could get about the house somewhat. Those two sources of relief might suffice.

   Not much knitting. I started on it bravely after I finished my morning exercises, but the cat jumped on my lap and after she left I dozed a bit and then Helen came…and there’s another day gone.

   I am worrying about the world like everyone else, hoping at least to improve my grasp of Middle Eastern geography before things settle down. Oman? Yemin? Helen and David and Archie are going to Cairo next week, a rather alarming prospect.

   She and Archie went to a rather wonderful-sounding Macbeth last night. 

   Wordle: easy-peasy again. Every single one of us — and all have been heard from — scored three today, except for poor Thomas who crept home with five.

Friday, January 12, 2024

 All well. I like the new carer, and so far she has shewn no wish to leave. Helen came round and we had a jolly lunch together, all three.

  Thank you very much for your messages about my future. It sounds as if there is more variety in British retirement living than I had thought. When my husband died, I briefly considered some retirement flats in Blairgowrie — I could live in one of them in the winter, I thought, and in our dear house in Kirkmichael in the more clement months.

   Little did I anticipate how soon this crippling hip would affect me.  I have long believed that the US served better those who came in independently on their own feet and later needed care. But anyway those flats offered no communal dining room nor any other form of communal life. What I need now is constant and intimate care and whatever niceties of life may prove to be possible on top. Maybe I should push for hip replacement? Death being preferable to the status quo?

  I am sorry to be so gloomy. Knitting progresses slowly. 

   Wordle: stunningly easy today. My starters gave me three greens and two browns. I got it in three. So did everybody else today, on whichever side of the sea, except for Rachel and Ketki, who both scored two.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

 All well, more or less. We are in the throes of handing over from one carer to another. The one assigned here can’t stand my cold, cavernous house so she is going away and we are sitting here waiting for someone else. It’s a pity, as the one who’s leaving seems congenial.

  Knitting progresses, still very slowly.

  Thank you for your comments. You’re right that food is important, and right in your guess that I won’t have a microwave. I have started making lists, so far without much success. The balance seems in favour of staying here, especially because CAT weighs heavily on that side. As well as food.

  Helen and I are planning to visit a care home at the end of the month, delayed by the need for transportation to get me down the external stairs. It takes two men. I keep looking at websites. The trouble is, as I think I’ve said, that they are all or mostly skewed towards dementia.

  Wordle: a funny one today. Either you got it or you didn’t. I needed five, and was joined at that score by Thomas and Mark, the cleverest of the clever. Rachel needed six. Roger, Theo and Ketki, on the other hand, came home with threes. We haven’t heard from Alexander yet.


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

 All well. I am very grateful for your thoughtful comments on my state-of-life predicament — going into care. It used to be that all comments showed up amongst my emails. That suddenly changed, through no act of mine. Now I have to log on to Blogger and read them like everybody else. I do it every day or so, but it isn’t as satisfactory a system. 

  I don’t think care homes here take cats (Janet and JennyS),  and I don’t think my dear cat would benefit from (or welcome) the restriction. She would live with Helen, of course. I could visit occasionally. But, goodness, I would miss my cat. 

  Jenny S (again): I think your suggestion of employing the old-fashioned system of writing down pros and cons is an excellent one.

   Knitting: I have moved a bit forward. The new ball is wound and employed. I am afraid I am finding it all a bit boring. What a thought! Should I have started at the bottom and knit upwards as in the old days? 

   Helen came this morning and we struggled onwards with my financial probs. One of my accounts is blocked because I forgot the PIN. Endless telephone time has so far failed to resolve the problem. Oh, for a good, old-fashioned bank manager!

  Wordle: four for me today. My starters gave me a green consonant and three further browns. I struggled mightily and found a qualifying word for line three, but it was wrong. Later WordleBot told me that after line two I had only one choice. But they were wrong.  That has happened before.

 Alexander and Mark and Roger scored the three that eluded me. Thomas and Ketki joined me with fours. Rachel and Theo needed five. It was a tricky one.


Tuesday, January 09, 2024


I guess I’m moving forward. Helen has booked the people who can get me out of here for a soon-day, and ensured that we can visit our target care home on the same day. I have got a fistful of questions for them – such as, how do they feel about Weston’s Vintage Cider? – and have started choosing a select bookshelf. Most of it goes back to Oberlin.  I have already chosen pictures. It would be – will be – beyond painful to leave my cat, but old age isn’t meant to be fun, and care homes can’t be expected to do cats.


I am in touch with my sister, who approves of moving.


The current carer tells me, now that it’s a crisis, that we need more plastic bags for disposing of cat litter. That wouldn’t have happened if I had been able to move around the kitchen. I’ll order some tonight.


I’ve done vary little knitting in the last 24 hours, but at a bit, at least, and hope for more this evening. I haven’t even wound the next skein yet.


Helen and I got a bit further forward with finance this morning. She agrees, at least, that I need a new computer.


Wordle: I did well today – a three, shared by Mark and Theo. My starters gave me four browns, two vowels, two consonants. I am not keen on anagrams, but I struggled mightily until at last I thought of a qualifying word. And it was right, which I didn’t expect. Four for Ketki and Thomas. Five for Roger, Alexander and Rachel.



Monday, January 08, 2024

Helen came this morning and we made a tentative start on the Elephant in the Room: the question of what is to become of me. There is not all that much point in staying here when I can’t walk. And we seem to have more or less decided against surgical hip replacement.

 Cramond, where I was before, is a bit inconveniently located and not a bundle of laughs. We are going to start by investigating a place recommended by a friend whose mother lives there. Perdita would have to go back to living with Helen and her family. 

  But, oh dear. I keep feeling, as I’ve probably already said, that I’ll be better soon. And of course I won’t. This time it’s different. But we must also press on with the notion of a motorised wheelchair. That might make a big difference.

  Knitting progressed slightly. I’m nearly finished with the current ball of yarn — the third? Or only second? Your comment worries me, Mary Lou. This thing doesn’t have a button band, of course, but it does have prominent st st welts at cuff and waist and especially collar. I’ve got two whole skeins of toning yarn for those. The pattern calls for a change of needle size. They certainly mustn’t be allowed to droop. 

   Wordle: Four was the predominant score today — me, Thomas, Alexander, Roger and Theo. Ketki had five, Mark a brilliant two; most uncharacteristic silence from Rachel.


Sunday, January 07, 2024

 I am sorry about the gaps. All is well, essentially. And here we are with the “back end” behind us, and 2024 in all its glory, stretching ahead. I am going to have a lot of trouble remembering that number.

  C. was here this morning and we packed the Christmas decorations away. Her family — Christina and Manaba and two little boys — are in the iron grip of a house move. C. is much involved. Vans tomorrow.

  The knitting progresses. There is going to be a visible line where one system hands over to the other (back-and-forth to in-the-round) and it is going to be particularly conspicuous on one of the fronts where there is a mistake in that row as well. And there’s nothing to be done about it.

  Wordle: there may be gaps in the blog, but I never fail to attempt Wordle first thing in the morning. And today I scored 2024’s first (for me) three! (Fours on each of the missing days, I think.)  Mark and Theo and Roger were fellow threes. Thomas, Alexander and Ketki needed four, and Rachel trailed home with five.


Thursday, January 04, 2024

 A bit blowy, but not distressingly cold. David and Helen are successfully back from their visit south. They found David’s mother well, successfully moved into her retirement community. I was sorry to learn that the someone-to-call,  is not on the premisses. I am greatly comforted, both here at home and at Cramond, to know that care is close at hand. I’ve not yet ever called for it, but the day will come.

  Knitting has progressed. I am sort of disappointed to discover that I am not progressing with tremendous speed even though I have joined the stitches into a cylinder and have nothing to worry about until I reach the hem. I mentioned yesterday that there are some “wrong” stitches in what is presumably the first round of the new cylinder. Now I think that the stitches post-join are a wee bit bigger and looser-looking than the earlier ones.

   Same needle, of course. But when I was knitting the earlier stitches, things felt tight. Did I even consider employing a larger needle? Whereas now it feels comfortable. I can only go on.

   Wordle: unbelievable. EVERYBODY else scored three. I scored four. There is nothing else to say.

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

 Not a bad day. The storm seems confined to England this time. C. came to see me, along with Joy whom we met on our first joint cruise. She is off to India for a wee holiday any moment now. 

A doctor also came to see me. I don’t know quite how that got organised. He seemed to think a fresh X-ray might be informative. Would it be worth the fuss involved in getting me there and back?  

Otherwise, it has been a day spent in dozing and knitting. I’ve now mastered half-brioche-in-the-round. “Mastered” doesn’t mean that I understand how it works. And, worse, there is a patch along what will be the left front (I think) which can’t be considered a “feature”. It’s a mistake. A series of YO’s have got themselves left behind, and lie across the knit stitches, conspicuously visible. 

I’m pretty sure that I would make a far worse mess if I tried to rip back to that point — it was presumably the first round after joining the whole for circular knitting. I’m certainly not going to start again from the beginning. Maybe it won’t look so conspicuous when surrounded by more or less correct ribbing. Maybe it’ll just have to be a “feature”. I’ll keep you posted.

And must take a picture for you soon.

Wordle: at least I didn’t fail again. I scored four. I abandoned all my good resolutions of yesterday and used a Jean-word in line three, one that couldn’t have been right. It was, however, helpful. 

Alexander joined me with four. Thomas and Rachel scored five, and Ketki and Mark and Theo were today’s brightest and best with threes. No news from Roger yet. He keeps getting left out by not doing it first thing in the morning,  DC time.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

 Helen and David and their son Mungo were here briefly this morning, on their way souff to visit David’s mother. She has either just moved in to a retirement community or is just about to. I haven’t done or attempted much today.

So I still can’t tell you whether I solved yesterday’s knitting conundrum. 

I did have a Zoom meeting with my sister in DC. That was very pleasant. She seems to be (she’s a doctor) on the side of my struggling on like this with better wheelchairs, rather than pressing for a hip replacement.

Wordle: a second consecutive failure for me. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. I was careless yesterday, two Jean-words I think. Much more careful today, to no avail. 

   Rachel got five today, Ketki struggled home with six. Both of them shared my difficulty — they had everything except the second letter. In DC Theo was another six — that blasted second letter again — and Roger hasn’t appeared yet. He looked fine on Zoom this morning. 

   Alexander and his friend Mark were today’s fours. Thomas eclipsed us all with a three. 

Monday, January 01, 2024

 A brighter day. We saw in 2024 — how on earth am I going to remember that number? — with a little coffee party this morning— Helen and David, Christina and Manaba (and their small sons Hamish and Quinn), and C. All well. Helen and David are now going to drive south to spend a couple of days with his mother.

Something is wrong with the knitting. The two rounds of half-brioche-in-the-round are meant to be BRK, purl one; and S1-YO, purl one. I have just finished a whole round of the latter, and find that all my YO’s lie across purl stitches, hardly suitable for BRK.

In the earlier, flat bit I sometimes found that the rib seemed to have gone wrong, and think I found that if I maintained what looked like a rib, the result would pass the galloping horse test. I hope that’s going to work here. I’m doing BRP, knit 1 and hoping for the best. I’ll face up to the problem at the end of the round.

I’ve got the promised pic of myself being hoisted down the steps on Christmas day, but I am lazily punching this out on the iPad and don’t know how to send pictures from here.

I’m nearly finished with “The Secret of Cooking”, skipping a little — such as recipes for dishes I knew I’d never eat. It continues very good. I’ll miss it. Perhaps I should have a look at her other books.

Wordle: I failed — the perfect day for it. Thomas scored three, the other four British-based were all four, as was Theo. Roger scraped home with six, having been stuck for a while in the morass that brought me down: ???, grn, grn, grn, grn.