Monthly Archives: April 2007

Athenas steeks


OK. I've cut the cardigan front steek. Here is the sweater laid out flat with the armhole steek crocheted. If you click on it and get the large version you can see it.

whole thing

a close up of the sleeve hole steek crocheted. I've usually used a salt and pepper pattern in the steeks, because it laid flat. However, I've decided that it is a lot easier to see to crochet if I were to use a striped pattern.

sleeve hole before cutting

Altho the directions I downloaded left only one knit stitch in between the single crochets, I found that too likely to fray when I sampled it on a small spot. I crocheted the steeks into the 2nd st from center instead.


You can see on the wrong side the small 'frays' but I like that better than no frays since I was leary of the sc being pulled OFF of the sample. I guess I've had too many little kids pulling on things!


Here's the facing folded in. The frayed ends are invisible under the facing. Once I get the band on, I'll see if I actually need to tack down the facing.

So tonite I'll sew the shoulders together and pick up the sleeve sts. Onward and upward.


Kings Blossoms



The trees are beginning to bloom and the leaves are poppeing out. What were tiny leaf buds last week are now horse chestnut leaves. But the flowering trees are lovely as seen here in my daily walk to the office.

kings tree

This is always an interesting sight. Note the minarets on the other side of the street, just to the right of Kings Chapel. The Laird at one point built these little towers on either side of his entrance gate. To display his wealth and interest in Orientale culture. They have just refurbished them.


Of course, the gate and the great house all belong to the University now. If I can get a picture from the other side of the gates to the Crown, they'll probably look much more imposing. They are at about 2-3 stories high. One likes to wait for a sunny spot for pictures but sometimes that is a long wait – or I miss it by mere minutes, dashing down the cold granite stairs, flight after flight, only to emerge into cold drizzle. But, we carry on.

while you were waiting


For Spring, I took this picture. I didn't know it was possible to walk too fast here:

Caution peds

I also took some lovely Spring pictures. Here are some Camellias. I know. I thought they were tropical plants too, but as you can see, they are thriving in Scotland. At least along the coast.

 camelia bushcamellia bush 2wrights and coopers alley

This is Wrights and Coopers Alley (yes, Alley) which is on campus. I think they are apartments or "flats".

Meanwhile, since computer screens don't prevent eyestrain, here is the rest of what I'm doing:

 athena border

You know I don't need my eyes to knit.

Note the progress:

athena 2

The smushed stars in the middle are on a "seam" for waistline definition, as per requested. This sweater is actually going well and I haven't had to rip out more than one row at a time. Reuben will be jealous as he thought I had knit about 3 sweaters by the time I'd finished the one he wears. Of course, maybe it is because this is the 4th sweater of this pattern?

charism of invisibility


OK. I am home again. That is, back at the Uni. Not Home-home where the heart is, the hubby and the gkids. And kids. My retreat flat. So to speak.

It is Friday and my body — for the FIRST time since I got back on Sunday — did NOT groan long and loudly at me for forcing it to get out of bed and moving. So, I feel better. I've done some reading and writing, too, which is My Work that is supposed to be consuming me right now. But I'll recap the last day now.

The Journey Home:

We got up in Rome and had a nice breakfast with American coffee. Those half-filled espresso cups don't quite do it for me, I'm afraid. And then we walked over to St. Mary Maggiore's church which is one of the major sites of Rome. Fabulous huge building with awesome paintings, etc. It was Palm Sunday and the people were setting up carts and stands in the plaza to sell palms. There were some ancient women with willow branches and some young men with stalls of actual palms and palms woven into crosses or other symbols. I couldn't figure out how to carry one home so I didn't get any. We went inside and Fam wanted to stay abit and meditate. I decided I'd walk back to the train and wait for her there as I knew I wouldn't be able to make the mad dash back that she no doubt intended. Bad idea. VERY BAD idea. I stood in front of the train, in front of the pillar, that she HAD to go past in order to get on the train. I never saw the red hat. She never saw the purple coat. Go figure. I've decided that there is a charism of invisibility that descends on both of us from time to time. She was on the train, standing on the steps watching for me. I never saw her so I waited for the next train.

It was close. It was the last train to get to the airport in the nick of time. I dashed (more or less) through the airport to the metal detector lines. I got behind an elderly asian couple. OK. They were moving fine. I would make it. And, then, the gentleman put a stainless steel thermos of chicken soup through the detector. Oh, no. He had to go back. But, it didn't take too long and I was through. I ran and ran and ran (as I understand the word and could manage to convince swollen feet – I would've lost a marathon with wheelchairs) through the halls to find the proper gate. I found the gate. No red hat. I had time for the ladies room just around the corner. They were standing in line to board. No red hat. AHHA! The red hat comes up behind me and welcomes me. She thought I had gotten lost on the same train she was on. Nope, not quite. But, we both got on the same plane and everything is cool. Only Paris airport to negotiate without losing anyone. 🙂

And we did manage to make the Paris flight and Not lose each other. It was close. The security ladies didn't seem to think we had any right to darken French airport soil but since nothing beeped on the security door, they had no options but to let us pass.

So, I'm back and in the office. Reading and writing. Our visits to important archivists was very profitable and all my interlibrary loans came in all at once. I need a title for a presentation in May. Fam says I'm not on Spring Break after all. "Break? What Break?"

Back track to cemetery


crucifixThe cemetery in Basel was gorgeous. Lovely trees and bushes and flowers. Every grave was unique; every monument was different. These are the ones not related to any people with whom I am concerned.

I like this bas relief crucifix. It isn't quite like the sculptures in the door that look like they've only have materialized on the starship. Or got stuck in solid matter on the planet.

ashesWhen we were looking for Barth's grave, this is the first area we saw that seemed to be close to the X on the card. We were very concerned. What would our colleagues do if we came back with a picture of an ash box instead of a lovely memorial? How crushed would they be?

graves opposite avsThe graves opposite AvS's grave. Another crucifix. Free-standing this time.

Madonna graveThis Madonna is my favorite, though. And it looked like beds of pink heather in front. I'm not sure that it would be improved by being headless, though. Maybe we just need to put two or three or five memorials in the family ruin?

Day 5 – Rome again, Rome again…


We decided that getting up early and eating breakfast at the train station would be the best idea. I decided I needed to drink some Swiss hot chocolate while I was there and I did. However, it was very like American which means an over-abundance of milk (as far as I was concerned) along with the chocolate. Well, they did invent milk chocolate. Fam bought a chocolate easter bunny. That was dairy, too, and too sweet as well. I prefer the really really dark Belgian chocolate which I can easily get in Aberdeen. And I do.

We got on the bus to the airport, hoping that we would be going to the right airport. I was pretty sure there was only one. But… with our luck…  The Mulhouse Airport is interesting as it opens out onto 3 different countries. Much like the pools in C.S. Lewis' The Magicians Nephew. You have to watch which door you are going out – does it say Suisse, Deutsch, or Francais? Otherwise, you end up in the wrong country. We were fortunate – the Suisse was the first door we came to when we arrived. And – also Fortunate – there was only one choice for which door we went through to get into the airport. Of course, the plane was delayed. We were on Easy Jet which is like taking a flying bus. When it gets in, the first batch deplanes and the next batch enters. No fuss, no cleaning, just on and off. And, then it leaves. Fortunately, it doesn't sit and wait until the plane is FULL before it leaves like the busses in Italy do. Doesn't matter what time the schedule states. If the bus is full, it leaves. If it isn't full, it waits until it is. Obviously, it is the Swiss who invented timeclocks.

Since we had a half a Saturday in Rome, and my feet were nearly worn off, I opted to go back to the hostel and wander around locally until Fam came back from Vatican City for dinner. I was to scout out a place to eat, too. I revisited my favorite local places(pictures coming, be patient) and found a couple options of places to eat. We picked the closest cafeteria/gelatti place and it turned out not to be the best, but it was edible and entertaining. We should have gone to the family pizzeria. But there is this cheese thing: I don't eat it. Ever. for any reason. Never. Nada. Nein. Nu. Oh, well.

Now I'll show you pictures of Diocletians Baths. They were really cool as well as the Basilica built right next to or on top of it.

terme diocletian diocletian baths

diocletian baths 2 Diocletian garden diocletian lawn urns

See, these are way cool. I love archaeology and cemeteries. I know that I began with a sociology major at Wheaton, but if I'd stayed there any longer, the advisors should have redirected me to archaeology or anthropology. That was much more interesting.

ODiocletian statuesk. The statues. I love the headless armless statues. Heads up, kids! I'll show you more cemetery pictures, too. Next post will have more Basel cemetery pictures. 

headless diocletian

I love this guy –>

Remember this, my dear progeny! When I'm dead and gone, you can erect a headless statue as a memorial on my grave site. Or, on the farm as a memorial. Next to the foundation that has no building on it. Very like an ancient ruin, isn't it?

Here is a great archway:

arch rosettes

OK. Now for the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and Martyrs which is built next to, within and on the Baths. Very appropriately. See the website above more information on it.

Basilica basilica st. mary della angels

It is an amazing mix of ancient, medieval and modern.

annunciation basilica door


One of the doors. The Annunciation. Gabriel's announcement to Mary. It is quite odd seeing people and angels as if they were trapped in the doors. Or maybe I've watched too much sci-fi?

nI'm guessing this is the crucifixion.


Johann Battisto


The head of John the Baptist. –>


In the back of the Basilica is another courtyard or chapel or church. Check the website above for better information.

marker nativityThe Nativity




Note the torch and ancient stone plaques on the wall.

torch and graffiti    torch and plaque

And last but not least the ORGAN. Just for you Dad! And no I didn't hear it. It is HUGE. You will have to click on it and magnify in order to see the console and bench in the middle waaaaay down at the bottom.


Day 4 – Swiss Reformers


OK. I promised a quick look at the Cathedral and the graves of Karl Barth and Erasmus! Let's do Barth first.

barths grave viewIt is a beautiful cemetery. We asked where Karl Barth was, the office looked it up on a computer and wrote it down on a little card with a map. It was way far away on the other side of the cemetery. At least it was quite beautiful, many flowers and flowering shrubs, trees, etc. Barth's marker was on this wall.

K.Barth graveThe marker is on the wall and the grave just below it. I don't know how exactly the Swiss bury their people, but there is only this one strip and about 6 family members buried there. A son, a brother, etc. It must be a really deep grave. Unless they rebury like with ossuaries and such. All the graves are beautifully tended with all these flowers and vines.

Karl and Charlotte


OK now. For all you who have been hoping that rumors are rumors and can someday be put to rest. I wouldn't put any money down on it. Behold, Charlotte is buried in the same grave with Karl and his wife Nelly.

Next, we see Munster Cathedral again. An amazing place. Beautiful. Awesome. Munster CathedralThere is an ancient crypt underneath the altar with frescoes and another altar. It looks as though it could be or has been used as a chapel but it is closed during the winter to protect the frescoes, I guess. 9th c kirkWe couldn't get in. There is an outline in paving stones outside of a ninth century church. I'm sorry I'm not taller so I couldn't get a good picture but I did stand on a bench. The lighter colored stones make three loops that outlined where the walls had originally been.

Erasmus tombInside the church is the tomb of Erasmus. Of course, it is now a Protestant church. But he was loved by many of the Swiss reformers (not Luther, a German, of course) and is buried here. I suppose that in spite of the fact that he managed to remain within the graces of the Roman church during his lifetime, it may be just desserts for his body to be entombed in a Protestant cathedral!! 


Another Reformer has a statue outside the cathedral. Oecalampad. I know I've seen the name before. He's not quite as famous as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin nor indeed as Barth. But, obviously, someone thought he was important enough to deserve a memorial.