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Denim 10: 9 – 15 June

D140615aThe office was infested with a swarm of blowflies last week, not in the strongrooms thank heaven, but all the public areas. It’s been like a zombie apocalypse, only with buzzing insects instead of the shuffling undead. We slaughtered them like orcs, keeping score much as Gimli and Legolas did at Helm’s Deep. (“My score is now nine enemy slain,” Sharon said, brandishing a can of Raid; “Not bad,” I replied, “but my tally is now twelve; it’s been paper towel work on the kitchen window.”)

D140615bI expect Gimli the dwarf enjoyed a bit of light knitting of an evening while he rested from the day’s battles, and so it’s been with me. I’m zonking down the sleeve, and may even finish it this weekend. (Maybe not, though – I plan to do a six-inch cuff.) I’m decreasing at a rate of two stitches every 7th row, and should end up with c.96 stitches for the cuff – if I’ve got my maths right.

D140615c

Chanonry Point Lighthouse

If you’re ever in the Highlands I recommend a visit to the Black Isle, just north of Inverness. It’s not really an island, but somehow the “Black Peninsula” doesn’t quite have the same ring. It’s fertile and green and wooded, not really words that you can apply to Caithness with a straight face, and with its yachts and marinas and general air of prosperity looks like a little bit of Cape Cod in Scotland.

D140615d

A view up the Great Glen

The Black Isle also has Chanonry Point near Fortrose, a long spit of land jutting out into the firth. We were there last weekend – it’s supposed to be a great place to see dolphins, and although there were none frolicking while we were there, we did spot a rare ice cream van, which in many ways on a hot day was even better.

And now it’s time to take up Anduril, my trusty paper towel, and return to the fray against the sworn enemy of my people, the blowfly. And because we men of the North believe in honouring our fallen enemies, we shall gather the bodies and burn them in a funeral mound at sunset, like the riders of Rohan, while singing sad laments (Where now the fly that was buzzing/ To where can the insect fly?/ Where now the stropping of feelers/ While it feasted on my blueberry pie..?”)

5 comments to Denim 10: 9 – 15 June

  • Jane

    Gosh, what an interesting week and epic song as well.

    Really good progress on the gansey, it seems to me that the whole top is starting to take on a finished shape, such a lovely colour as well.

    In the South the weather is pleasant, the big ducklings have been joined by a sweet little peachick, and the cats still have ticks!

  • Marilyn

    Hi Gordon (I had a typo just now that read Hi God- thought that would amuse you)
    Please excuse my ignorance, what is a blowfly? We have house flies and fruit flies, but blowfly is new- I have a vague literary association with corpses in my mind.
    Anyway, good luck with that…. ewww.
    The knitting is really shaping up, I am really liking the strong clean lines.
    Good knitting and carry on.

    P.S. In the 70’s I was interested in the Findhorn community on the Firth of Forth. Do you know it?

    • Gordon

      Hi Marilyn,

      Actually, they’re probably house flies, you’re right. To be honest I didn’t look too closely as the Paper Towel of Destiny descended! Blowflies get their name from their habit of settling on old meat and laying eggs, so that the meat became known as “fly-blown”.

      I’ve never been to Findhorn, though I’m aware of the community—I looked it up on Wikipedia and was charmed to read that the founders built a landing strip for alien spaceships. I miss the 70s and want them back! But I get a kick out of driving over the River Findhorn every time I travel down the A9 towards Perth. (Also, fact lovers, it has an extra resonance with me, in that the great Alan Garner named his mystical unicorn after it in his (very strange) children’s book “Elidor”.)

  • Jane

    Again, please could you tell Margaret how wonderful her photos are, I particularly enjoyed the Giant Hogweed.

    By the way I think the Black Isle and dolphin watching pop up in Ian Rankin’s return of Rebus book, “Standing in Another Man’s Grave”, a super read.

    • Gordon

      Hi Jane,

      Make the most of Margaret’s pictures, as it’s only a month before she’s off on her travels again and you’re stuck with me and my iPhone!

      I tried reading a Rankin once, but it was all about child abuse and I found it so bleak and appalling I never finished it, nor ever wanted to try another—like telling someone to give Star Wars a try and they end up watching the Phantom menace…

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