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Flamborough, Week 8: 24 June

Well, that’s midsummer over with. The spinning top of time has passed its zenith and already a wobble, imperceptible but there all the same, has crept into the rotation of the Earth. The nights draw in and the sun rises a minute or two later every couple of days. Meanwhile summer continues to frolic innocently, like a child playing in the park whose mother’s just snuck a first glance at her watch. My phone tells me there are only 184 sleeps till Christmas.

href=”http://www.ganseys.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18Flam180623-1.jpg”> The Circus Comes to Town[/

Time’s been on my mind recently, prompted by the news that Who Framed Roger Rabbit is 30 years old. 30 years! Sleeping Beauty must have felt like this when she woke up from her long slumber. (“Wait—Sergeant Pepper was how many years ago now? Seriously? What about Dark Side of the Moon? No way! By the way, honestly, I’d love to stop for another kiss but does this castle have a bathroom?”) I find myself trying to see if I’ve overlooked a decade of my life somewhere, maybe in my forties when I wasn’t paying close enough attention. But they all seem to be accounted for: it’s just the years and months and days that’re a bit hazy.

f=”http://www.ganseys.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18Flam180620-1.jpg”> Summer Flowers[/capt

I was on a training course last week. There was a stunned silence when I revealed that not only had personal computers not been invented when I was at university, I can remember when pocket calculators came in. The first portable cassette players appeared at our school in 1971, and I can remember sitting hunched by the radio, fingers hovering over the “play” and “record” keys, to pirate songs off the Sunday night Top 20 countdown; listening as carefully as a safecracker for the infinitesimal pause when the DJ stopped talking before the music began. Now I can hear a song, look it up on my phone, download a copy, then stream it through my hifi, all by just flexing one thumb.

ttp://www.ganseys.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18Flam180620-1-2.jpg”> Caught in the Rain

[/caption]In gansey news I’ve finished the collar and started on the first sleeve. There are 151 stitches in the sleeve, slightly more than I usually have, to compensate for the way the pattern pulls in. (This is a result both of the cables, and all the purl columns.) After the gusset, I’m decreasing at a rate of 2 stitches every 5th row. The more eagle-eyed among you will already have spotted that the diamonds are two stitches narrower than on the body (an aesthetic choice—but it was also not unusual for sleeve patterns to be smaller than body patterns).

And so I carry a jumble of memories inside me, a certain mindset, invisible as tree rings, but which date me just as certainly: such as looking at the track listing on an album and instinctively breaking the songs into Side A and Side B. On the plus side, I’m old enough not to feel the need to understand hip-hop, or modern opera. On the down side (or Side B, as I like to think of it), I fear I shall carry the lyrics of “Donald Where’s Your Troosers” with me to the grave…

8 comments to Flamborough, Week 8: 24 June

  • =Tamar

    Ah, you sweet summer child. Yes, cassettes were a great advance over reel-to-reel tapes. Our high school experimented with mechanical calculators powered by electricity for physics class. It was fun to watch the gears grind while I raced to beat or at least equal it with pencil and paper. Now I can scarcely remember how to work some equations. Did you ever get one of those cheap calculators that would give the wrong answer if you squeezed the case? Maddening.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, never in my life have I tried to match wits against a machine! Though I have been known to give erroneous answers myself if I got squeezed too hard…

  • Lois

    Methinks that “Donald, where’s your troosers” might be revived in “honour” of a certain president.

    • Gordon

      The lyrics do rather lend themselves to reinterpretation:

      Let the wind blow low, let the wind blow high,
      Cohen’s being investigated by the FBI,
      All the lassies cry when you walk by,
      “Donald where’s your pardon…”

  • meg

    don’t worry, you are not alone in the wilderness of lost time and ancient skills with tape recorders I imagine quite a few of us tuning into your pangs of lost youth
    the knitting as usual shows no sign of age related problems..lovely

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, where indeed are the snows of yesteryear? Or the C90 mixtape of Pink Floyd’s greatest tracks? Lost, I fear, together with the snows and winter and what remains of my hair, together with a spreading waistline that resembles a time-lapse movie of a lava flow…

  • Lynne

    I, too, can relate to a lost decade or two of music and movies while trying to work at a career,raise three children and try to keep attendance at their extracurricular activities. I’ve found myself on Amazon ordering old CDs from those lost decades – yes, CDs – I haven’t advanced to phone downloads but the way technology changes so quickly I’m sure my CDs will soon be obsolete.

    • Gordon

      Hi Lynne, this is my experience exactly. (Cds are already obsolete, apparently, along with DVDs. Downloads are where it’s at, baby—or so the hip happening young people i hang out with tell me.)

      I take great delight in browsing my cd collection, stuffed with albums no one has ever heard of: Olias of Sunhillow, anyone, by Jon Anderson of Yes fame? Signs of Change by Christian prog-rock band After the Fire? What about that album Robert Fripp made of himself playing solo electric guitar against tape loops of himself, Let the Power Fall?

      I think I should be cremated with all my CDs in a viking funeral, on the grounds that at least I’ll have plenty of top-quality albums to listen to in the afterlife!

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