she who keeps this diary

08 February 2004 - 8:06 PM


Due to the weather, and the fact that most of the baronial marshals were off to university this weekend, the Viking and I stayed in Friday night. After supper and the evening news, the Viking looked over at me.

'You know, I have absolutely no idea what's on the television on Fridays.'

'Neither do I.'

We ended up watching a so-so programme on Stonehenge, made entertaining by the comments of an elderly archaeologist who was clearly not very impressed by some of the questions he was asked. A sample response, to a question about why Stonehenge was built:

'Well, really, your guess is as good as mine.' (pause) 'Of course, mine would be an educated guess.'

While waiting for the circuit of talking heads to rotate back to this delightful man, I sewed two more dags on the hood, finished the seams on the Rus coat, and plowed ahead into the winter garb I need. It occurred to me that if I didn't take action, I was likely to freeze at baronial birthday next week. Since the theme of the event is al-Andalus, I decided I'd start on a fairly simple tunic from a lovely deep purple gabardine. I'm not going to make specifically Andalusian garb for one event, but good basic tunics will cover a multitude of time periods and they're quick to do.

I got the tunic cut out, godets inserted, shoulder seams done, and one sleeve on before the unthinkable happened. I ran out of thread.

Have you ever seen a dog on a tie-out or one of those retractable leashes take off after something without, apparently, realising that it is, in fact, tethered? Yes! This is the day I will get that squirrel, the dog seems to think, and then it hits the end of the lead.

That's sort of how I felt as I stared at the empty spool. I checked my thread box, but the sad truth is that I knew I was out. And I was so close to having the fool thing finished to the point of allowing it to hang overnight, and finishing the neckline, cuffs, and hem on Saturday. So a trip to the fabric store and $15 worth of GŁtermann thread went on my list of Saturday morning chores. No real harm done in the end, but it was vexing.

All else was quiet in the northern marches this weekend. We futzed around with various projects around the house, tidied up the kitchen, placed orders with seed companies. More seeds. Yet another variety of foxglove. I am going to be overrun with foxgloves. I pricked out and potted about half my current selection of seedlings (D. purpurea alba and D. p. 'Faerie Queen,' an apricot variety), which amounted to two dozen baby plants. There are probably another two to three dozen seedlings awaiting attention. And then I ordered seeds for Digitalis grandiflora (yellow) from Thompson & Morgan, along with six other kinds of perennials, including a verbascum ('Snow Maiden') which entitled me to another verbascum ('Silver Lining') free of charge. Hurrah! And never mind that I'm not completely sure what I'll do with the first verbascum anyway.

Magpie Syndrome again. What, a pink perennial toadflax (Linaria rosea)? You can get seeds for Veronica gentianoides? And off I go. At least with seeds the cost of failures is much reduced, the payoff for success much higher than with plants from a nursery, and I have my lights to grow the babies in a cat-free and frost-free environment.

verso - recto

The WeatherPixie

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