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Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 8 – 11 October

I saw the doctor last week about a growth on my face. I’ve had it a few years – the growth, that is; my face I’ve had longer – and, apart from occasionally being mistaken in the street for a James Bond supervillain, it doesn’t particularly bother me. A specialist said a few years back that I only had to worry if it changed shape or bled or told me to burn down an orphanage. But here’s the thing: it’s on the side of my face, just out of sight, and the nearest eyeball is the one with macular degeneration. So how can I tell if it changes shape? I’ve tried taking photos, but honestly the images look like something the Hubble Space Telescope would reject as too blurry; I sent the images to NASA in case their image enhancement computers could help, but they thought I’d discovered a new supernova and offered to name it after me.

A Bird in the Bush – female goldfinch

“It looks like a seborrheic keratosis,” the doctor observed after examining it. As I aways do in these situations, I explained that I was an arts graduate and had no idea what that meant. She smiled tolerantly. “Of course—we doctors commonly use technical terms that don’t mean anything the layman. How shall I put it? It’s a type of keratosis that is seborrheic.” At which point I nodded sagely and said, “Ah, of course.” So it’s a referral to specialist in Inverness “just to be on the safe side”. She picked up on my vocal problems too—unsurprisingly, as I sounded like a cross between someone making balloon animals and a transmission from one of Pluto’s moons. That means another Inverness referral, this time to ENT—which always sounds as if some of the talking trees from The Lord of the Rings had taken a degree in medicine—and apparently involves a camera down the gullet to take pictures of my larynx. Oh, good. I understand NASA is already on standby.

Curious cow

In gansey news, I am effectively at the end of the first sleeve. I’ve said before that the gansey is definitely a SMALL, whereas I usually knit closer to XL. The difficulty I always have with small ganseys is scaling down the sleeves, so they don’t balloon out like those of a romantic poet. My solution is to continue the pattern all the way down the sleeve, since, other than looking very swish, if you’ve chosen wisely there will be enough purl columns to act as pleats, which means you can choose how wide to make the sleeves at any point. The only downside is, until it’s blocked the sleeve looks though it needs inflating with a bicycle pump.

Front yard fungus

Finally this week, I came across this great anecdote. There was a formal dinner to mark the retirement of the American General George C. Marshall as Secretary of Defence. Among a host of dignitaries present were General Eisenhower and his wife. The diplomat Joseph Grew made a speech, but ended with a fatal slip of the tongue when he announced that in retirement Marshall “was going to go down to his beautiful little farm in Virginia and spend the rest of his days with Mrs Eisenhower.” The audience cracked up. Covered in confusion, Grew hastily wrote a note to Mrs Eisenhower and slipped it down the table: “My apologies to you and the General.” Mamie Eisenhower read it and passed it back with the wonderful question: “Which General?”

1 comment to Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 8 – 11 October

  • =Tamar

    The gansey is coming into its own. It’s lovely.
    I just remembered that I actually own some pullovers. I tend to forget their existence over the summer.

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