Cat Swallows Canary
October 1, 2004
I don’t know what I did to get on the angels’ good side, but it’s a very nice place to be. Great things have been landing in my lap lately. I gotta crow!
On Monday, my friend Djelo (pictured above) paid me a totally unexpected call. Djelo and I met in May 1986, in Conakry, the capital city of the Republic of Guinea. I was a lawyer then. An exceedingly wet-behind-the-ears lawyer. I went to Guinea in search of documents for a case, and for my first, breathless look at Africa.
What I found there: dusty documents, and a lifelong friend. Djelo, who worked for a Guinean shipping company, took me under her wing. She drove me all around Conakry, where little children acted like Madonna and Missy Elliott had just pulled up in a stretch limo (not something I was used to). She took me clubbing in Conakry, and a few months later, I took her to SOB’s in New York and to a snowy Thanksgiving in Nebraska (not something she was used to).
Anyhoo, 18 years on, I cannot tell you how perfectly priceless it is to spend time with anybody who remembers that I ever went dancing (on a weeknight!)at SOB’s. When I’m with Djelo, I suddenly remember how to speak French. I am so multi-culturally cool that I hardly bat an eye when she says, ‘Mais, Kay, tu as grossi…..’ because I know this is not a criticism coming from her (and also because if I want to believe her when she says, ‘Tu n’as pas vieilli du tout’, I must take the bad with the good).
As I was leaving for my afternoon with Djelo on this glorious Monday, I stopped in my tracks. There, on the table, could it be? A PACKAGE FROM ENGLAND. From EMMA. The customs declaration said, ‘KNITTED GOODS’.
I ripped it open with my teeth. The elevator came and went. Time stood still.
In the package was the gorgeous microfiber beaded bandana you see me wearing above. What better for my autumn uniform (the same dang jean jacket, every dang day) than a vibrant lace bandana (a Caryl’s Kerchief, to be precise). I have been wearing it everywhere, including to my local knitting stores, where I have to remove it for thorough examination and exclaiming-over. Thank you, dear Emma! (Emma also sent Yorkshire Tweed squares for the Afghanalong, and a copy of the Yorkshire Journal to give me further material for my Anglophile fantasy life….thank you, thank you!)
‘Tis The Gift (Part Deux)
I have been remiss in show & tell about another wonderful gift. (The reason will become clear.) Remember the amazing eyelet skirt that Benedetta made from a Knitty Summer 2003 pattern? Remember how she used recycled Rowan Denim she got by ripping out an old pullover? Well, ever since then I have been writing to Benedetta telling her how much I love the idea of beat-up recycled denim, and she has been writing back telling me how much she loves it too. At some point she disclosed that she had some of this wonderful stuff left over after making the skirt, and that she had—sob! strangled sob!– given it to her neighbor. Ben told me that she would try to swap it back. I lit a candle and hoped.
So when Benedetta showed up at the sew-up bee in September with a little bag for me, I pounced. But it was not the Neighbor’s Denim at all—it was Ben’s own Knitty skirt!
“Oh no! I couldn’t possibly, I could nevereverEVER accept such a thing,” I said, with tremendous sincerity. (All the while clutching the skirt in a death grip.) Benedetta graciously assured me that she wanted me to have it, and then slyly added that she wanted me to post a picture of me modelling it. Hence the delay…..
Benedetta, I’ve tried! But I cannot do it! Not when there’s that gorgeous picture of you wearing it> out there in cyberspace! But it is a treasure, it does fit me (let us give thanks for drawstring waists), and I swear before everybody here in Blogville that this is my now and forever Beach Attire of Choice. Benedetta also generously gave me some pure silk yarn from Italy, with which I am going to make this.
I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy, I’m SOOOOOOOOOOoooooo not worthy.
But very happy! (Canary? What canary?)