And we’re off. By the time you read this we shall be 600 miles away, down south—bearing in mind, of course, that given where we live this covers just about anywhere, short of a borrowing a rowboat or a very large kite—visiting my family in the Midlands. (I’m writing this on the Friday before, so it’s really only half a week’s progress.)
I’m four weeks into the antidepressant medication, and I feel as if it’s gradually starting to have an effect; though the coming of spring and the lighter, longer days probably help too. These particular pills come with a sedative, giving me the best nights’ sleep I’ve had in decades; the only downside—other than the technicolour dreams—is struggling to wake up the following morning, when I am as groggy (or “zombified”, as the doctor put it, using the correct medical term) as if I was coming round from a general anaesthetic.
Meanwhile spring has come to Caithness—or, to be scrupulously honest, it doesn’t feel like it’s actually arrived just yet, but has at least phoned ahead to make sure it’s OK to visit. The snowdrops are out and the hedgerows are budding, and the birds certainly make an infernal racket in the mornings: but the daffodils are mere clumps of green shoots, and there’s a sharp, bitter edge to the wind. The sheep have their winter coats while the ducks snuggle under the eiderdown. Winter still holds on up here, like those soldiers who never heard that the war was over, and fought on, long after hostilities had ended elsewhere.
I am now well embarked on the sleeves of the gansey. I had a small quantity of yarn left over from the body so, as I sometimes do, I made a start on one sleeve and then put it on a holder and started the other. This is partly because I don’t particularly enjoy picking up stitches round the armholes, so I like to get it over in one go. But it’s also because I’ll be away for over a week, and won’t be taking this gansey with me (too dark and heavy). It’ll be much easier to finish it off when I get back, having started it—otherwise it’s a drag coming back and having to pick up stitches, and count stitches, and try to remember how the pattern went. (Mind you, as it stands, it does rather look as though I’m knitting a gansey for the Venus de Milo…)
In parish news, Jenny has sent me pictures of a splendid wee gansey she’s knitted for her granddaughter. It’s the classic Scarborough pattern in navy, and it just goes to show how scalable the old patterns are. Many congratulations to Jenny (and, of course, to the lucky recipient of the ganseyette)!
As we’re away without easy access to the internet, I’m sorry that I shan’t be able to respond to any comments below. This also means there won’t be a blog next week. The next posting will be on Monday 27 March, raising the question of which will happen first—the daffodils opening or the gansey being finished? Tune in then to find out…