Mended Sock (Barbara Pym). 2020. Hand embroidery with wool sock on linen. 41.75 x 30.25 in. (106 x 76.8 cm)


      Harriet pointed towards the Archdeacon’s left foot
and exclaimed loudly, ‘Oh, you’ve got a hole in your sock!’
      ‘Damn,’ said the Archdeacon.
      ‘Oh, but a sock is liable to go into a hole at any time,’ said
  Belinda hastily. She smiled as she threaded her needle.
‘I think it would be best if
you put your foot up on this
little chair,’ she said, ‘then I can
get at your heel to mend the sock.’
   The Archdeacon submitted
himself to her ministrations with
rather an ill will, and there was
one anxious moment when Belinda
inadvertently pricked him with
the needle and it seemed as if he
would lose his temper.
   Harriet did her best to divert
him with conversation and even-
tually he recovered his good
   ‘My dear Belinda, you have
done it quite exquisitely,’ said
the Archdeacon. ‘I must take care to be passing your house
every time I have a hole in my sock.’
      Belinda smiled and went quite pink with pleasure and confu-
sion. She went with him to the front door and then returned
to the dining-room where Harriet had collapsed into a chair
and was fanning herself with the parish magazine.

Barbara Pym,
'Some Tame Gazelle'