Saturday, March 31, 2018

More this and that

I haven't felt like writing. I've been binge reading Ellis Peters' Cadfaël mystery novels. Several years ago, one of the French channels showed the British series starring Derek Jacobi as Cadfaël and I enjoyed it. Reading the novels, I'm enjoying the stories even more. It's a time (mid-12th century) I know little about, except, of course, the abbeys and churches all around France that are often pre-Gothic architecture, or with a Roman base and early to late Gothic add-ons. I'm learning a bit of Catholic liturgy and history, too.
I've been knitting, too. This t-shirt took me a long time to do. The cables are hand-manipulated on the machine and I could only manage one or two hours at a time. I had to remember to do cables at row numbers 6 times an odd multiple in x columns and at row numbers 6 times an even number in y columns. And remember where I left off after an interruption. I'm happy with the result. I had to do the neckline 3 times before I got it to lie flat. It fits. It could have been smaller, but that's okay, I can wear it.
That, and a pair of socks for S. He asked. The old socks are now in C's drawer. He also chose the yarn. Slowly but surely I'm working through my stash.
I've also got a promise to buy my bulky knitting machine from a young woman who lives in the southwest, in the Pyrenées. Since we are going that way, soon, to visit E, I'll take the machine down with me and meet her husband at the Montauban train station for the pick up. This is the machine I got in England last year for my birthday. It's a good machine, but I am not going to use it enough to warrant having it. I have discovered I don't really enjoy knitting thick yarn. And when I do, it's still not so thick I need the bulky gauge. I still have the simple mid-gauge machine, which is fine for the yarn I use. I've got two standard gauge machines, but I am tempted to rid myself of the electronic one. It's more than I need.
Last Saturday, there was a Paris version of the March for Our Lives. It was a standing demonstration -- no marching. We had a part of the Trocadero, across the Seine, facing the Eiffel Tower. The weather was perfect! I don't know how many of us there were -- a few hundred. We shared the place with other demonstrations: a group of Togolese -- a small group, but with drums, so very loud; a tiny group of people in support of Tariq Ramadan, the cleric accused of several sexual assaults, including rape; and a tinier group that looked like they were just dancing. Four groups competing for space. The photographers -- there were several photographers for our group -- spread out all over the place.
I went up to the Hague a couple of weeks ago for a day trip to see Barbara, one of my best friends from high school. She and I reminisced and talked of Erica, who died on March 1. (I posted about the trip with Erica two and a half years ago.)
I'm still trying to distance myself from the issues of Americans living abroad. I'm not disinterested, just not actively advocating these days. I needed to step back. At the AARO Annual General Meeting on March 21, I was honored to receive recognition for my years on the board.


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