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Filey 14: 18 – 24 June

I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with the B Team this week, as Margaret is off on her annual holiday and I’m left to come to grips with the camera and blog technology on my own—which is rather like leaving Homer Simpson in charge of the nuclear plant.

Each year at this time she goes off to the south of France to attend polymer clay workshops and visit friends. (At least that’s what she says, I don’t really know. It’s equally possible that they all get together for sex parties involving immigrants from Eastern Europe, or go work for a James Bond supervillain to build a gigantic laser in the Alps to shoot down global positioning satellites, or try to place the tormented soul of Charles de Gaulle in a reanimated corpse, and so bring down the Euro from within. Anything’s possible.)

I am of course safe writing this because Margaret’s away and will never see it. I mean, it’s not like they have the internet or wifi in France, right? (What? Oh.)

Anyway, apologies for the lack of definition in the gansey pictures this week. I have three excuses already lined up. I’m using my iPhone; I have a migraine which keeps me checking in the mirror to make sure I really haven’t been harpooned in the left eye; plus my secondary cataracts (or “posterior capsule opacification”) are making everything blurry and out of focus—so, look at it this way, this gives you a rare opportunity to see the world through my eyes!

(As Yoda might say: “Cataracts lead to blurred vision, blurred vision leads to stubbed toes, stubbed toes lead to … suffering”.)

Anyway. I’m now almost two-thirds up the front of the Filey gansey, just another half inch or so to go and I’ll divide left and right for the neckline. These days I’ve settled on allowing a two inch indent for the neck, give or take, which allows for a nice, graceful curve and doesn’t give me too many stitches to pick up—and it should avoid the “Boston strangler” effect a tight neck on a gansey can achieve. More on this, hopefully, next week, when I should have the shoulders joined.

I’m including a couple of pictures we didn’t have space for in last week’s blog. One is a rather jolly shot of the boats in Wick marina for Harbour Fest decked out in bunting and signal flags; the other reflects the shock I felt when I stopped over in Edinburgh the other week on my way to London. It’s a picture of Princes Street, dug up yet again for the tramlines. You know that feeling when you meet an old flame who’s really—really—let themselves go? Like that. (Edinburgh, what happened to you, man? You used to be beautiful.)

Meanwhile I’m struggling to settle on a book to read—can’t find one I’m in the mood for. I thought I’d finally found the right one, before realising that Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot (a creepy and very disturbing vampire novel) perhaps wasn’t the most sensible choice; considering I’m on my own in an old house on the outskirts of town, one that creaks and shifts in the night. (“That boarded up old ruin? That’s the old Reid place, that is. No, it never got sold after the events of that terrible night. They say, all that was found was a blood-soaked length of five ply and two 2.25mm needles twisted into the shape of a cross…”) Right: the Wind in the Willows it is, then!

13 comments to Filey 14: 18 – 24 June

  • I’ve just finished Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd and I can highly recommend it.

  • Gordon

    Hi Jean – thanks – but does it have a happy ending?!

    Gordon

  • =Tamar

    I’m a Pratchett fan myself, though I am fond of many authors. Just now, Diana Wynne Jones comes to mind, I suppose because I’ve been rereading Howl’s Moving Castle, which is very different from the movie.

  • Gordon

    Hi Tamar – thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t read any of her books – just checked & they’re not available on kindle, which I’m trying to stick to just now, so may check the library. By the way, have you seen TP has a new book out in collaboration with SF writer Stephen Baxter?

    Gordon

  • Thanks for a very entertaining blog Gordon ! Never mind reading a book, I think you should consider WRITING one !

    GB.

  • Gordon

    Hi Geoff, and thanks. In fact, I’m just finishing the revisions to my second novel just now, with a view to publishing it on Amazon for kindle – probably in August. All I need is for my first to sell another 998,947 copies and I might even be able to give up work altogether and write full time!

    Best wishes
    Gordon

  • Marilyn

    I just finished re-reading a humongous trilogy by Neal Stephenson. I thought of you as it’s historical fiction with wicked funny twists; set in late 1600’s to early 1700’s, London. Titles: Quicksilver, Confusion and System of the World, collectively known as the Baroque Cycle. It’s exhilarating. Best wishes for keeping health and home together whilest the cat’s away.

  • Gordon

    Hi Marilyn,

    Ah, Neal Stephenson may be my favourite living writer. The Baroque Cycle is great, isn’t it? (And I think Anathem may be the greatest novel I’ve read these 20 years – but then, I’d just finished boning up on western philosophy when I read it, so I got a number of the references!) I’ve been thinking of reading the Baroque Cycle again, but I’m not sure my wrists are strong enough any longer…

    I read somewhere that he was such a big fan of Moby Dick that he tried to include a harpooneer in each of his novels – but finally gave up as it was too hard to sustain! What a guy.

    Gordon

  • Marilyn

    Ah! the Law of Attraction in action: that which is like unto itself is drawn. So nice to have something else in common.

  • Marilyn

    P.S. My other favorite Stephenson novel is Diamond Age which I refer to as The Adventures of Nell. I’ve read it 5-6 times, I might be done for a while.

  • Gordon

    Hi Marilyn,

    The Diamond Age is one of the few I haven’t read yet – I have the paperback sitting on my shelf ready, but the font is so small I can’t really read it at the moment with my eye problems. I should buy it for kindle where i can change the font size, but I resent having to buy it twice before I’ve even read it…

    Have you read Reamde yet? It’s very strange – what should be a 300-page airport blockbuster given the Stephenson treatment and emerging as a 1,000 page anti-thriller!

    Gordon

  • =Tamar

    Diana Wynne Jones has a fairly wide range. Most of her work that I’ve read qualifies as YA but it’s YA with considerably serious thinking behind it, frequently involving parallel universes or similar ideas.

    Yes, I’ve just enjoyed reading The Long Earth by Pratchett and Baxter. It’s totally different from Discworld, but there are a few familiar touches here and there that I feel are recognizably Pratchettian.

    The bookstore had two copies. Meanwhile, there were literal stacks of 60 or more copies of a certain popular novel. Sigh. At least the other copy of The Long Earth was prominently displayed on the New Books table up front.

  • Gordon

    Tamar,

    I tried reading a Stephen Baxter novel a few years back, but didn’t get on with it (good ideas, but the characters and writing didn’t grab me), so I approach this with caution. Glad to hear it’s up to the mark. Pratchett has just won the Bollinger Wodehouse prize for comic fiction with Snuff (prizes include champagne and a Gloucester Old Spot pig), so he can’t be doing too badly!

    Gordon