First of all, apologies for the absence of the blog the last few days. As you’ll have gathered, we’ve had a major crash on the website—and while Margaret’s heroically managed to recover all but the last month’s blog posts we still don’t have any images for the rest of the site, and a few glitches remain. It’ll be a bit rough ‘n’ ready for the next week, so please bear with us. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Sorry for any inconvenience. Computers are wonderful things—it’s a miracle I’m talking to you now, really, when you think about it—but when they go wrong, boy do they go wrong. (The British comedian Eddie Izzard does a great routine about how you never see the crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek having to go Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot their computer just when the Klingons are attacking, which would certainly happen in real life.)
Anyway. Where was I? Oh, yes—the blog. Many thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy of my novel An Inquisition of Demons during the free promotion last week—just under 800, which isn’t bad at all—and for the positive reviews (3 on Amazon.co.uk, and Song’s on Amazon.com). I shall now slip back into well-merited obscurity until September, when the next one—the devastatingly brilliant The Bone Fire – comes out.
In late-breaking gansey news, I’ve started the gussets, just over 14 inches up the body. As I said last week, I’m going to let the seam stitch run up the centre of each gusset—always a neat effect. Perhaps the best way to explain this is with a chart, so I’ll post one here shortly. As ever, the first few rows of a gusset look pretty ugly, but it soon settles down. (I hope!) I’m going to keep these gussets small, just over 3 inches.
Not sure if there’ll be a blog next week; partly because the Queen’s Jubilee is coming up, so I have to practice saluting the flags that fly proudly over our home – a Union Flag, and the Reid family crest (a weasel couchant cringing under a double cross); but also because Margaret’s sister Gail, who sometimes posts here, and her husband Bill are over here for a visit.
We advised them to bring lots of warm clothes: as regular readers will know, the climate in Wick sometimes resembles the deck of a merchant vessel in heavy weather, lashed by wind and rain, and the only way to avoid being blown away on the way to the shops is to tie a line round your waist and put your trust in God. Well, wonderful to relate, the wind’s died down, the sun is out, the birds are making a bloody nuisance of themselves and it’s—well, it’s all rather gorgeous.
Without the cloud layer it’s as if the scaffolding’s been taken down and you get to see the finished edifice entire at last, the sky goes all the way up to the Ionosphere, and may not stop even there. You can go for a walk at eleven at night without a torch. All over Caithness people are emerging blinking into the sunlight like earthquake survivors, a little bit stunned, trying to reconnect themselves with their landscape, not quite able to believe they’re alive, inheritors of a suddenly silent, windless world.