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Flamborough, Week 9: 2 July

I don’t usually remember my dreams, but when I do, they’re always weird and vivid. How weird? I’m glad you asked.

Last week I dreamed I was driving down the main street of a small town. On my left was a large white house, a hotel, and standing outside or leaning out of the windows were men dressed in ape costumes, pretending to be apes. They chattered and shrieked and swung their arms like the apes at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and were throwing items of furniture and carpets out of the windows. There was a sign advertising a yard sale, and as I drove past a large rug came sailing out of the window, narrowly missing me. (It was as if the monolith from 2001 had inspired the apes to invent capitalism and trash the place and, well, now I come to think of it, let’s not go there.)

I half-awoke and then went back to sleep. This time I was in the same car, but every time I sounded the horn there was this strange bleating noise from under the bonnet. I stopped the car and opened the boot first, where I found the engine. I then popped the latch on the bonnet and opened that, and inside I found a large sheep, curled up and looking at me reproachfully. There was a sharp spike attached to the steering column just touching its back, and every time I pressed the horn the spike gave the sheep a jab, causing it to bleat.

Cottongrass on the cliffs, Sarclet

Probably my most powerful dream came about 20 years ago, when we lived in Wales. We had one of those garage doors that swing up, with a handle by your ankles. In my dream I bent over, grasped the handle, and then straightened, lifting the door as I rose. Just when I was fully extended, my arm high above my head, I looked down into the darkness of the garage and saw a great black dog sitting inside, quivering, tense, with wide, mad, ivory eyes staring at me. Then it leaped straight for my throat—and I woke up.

This is one of the reasons why drugs have never held the slightest interest for me: I’ve always felt that reality is too precarious to be messed around with. (And why aren’t my dreams happier?)

Cling-ons on the bridge, Wick

In gansey news, it’s amazing the progress you make when you’re sent on a training course and spend cheerless evenings in a b&b. I have finished the first sleeve and made a start on the second. Another fortnight should see it finished, and I can’t work out why it hasn’t taken longer. But it’s been an utter joy to knit: everything’s just clicked without my trying, the pattern fits the size, even the sleeves decreased down to the right width for the cuff without my even bothering with the maths. Sometimes the angel of knitting just sits by your shoulder and smiles. (And sometimes she’s nursing a mean hangover and wants to make other people suffer too; it’s just luck.)

In parish news, Judit has been busy again, knitting a jumper in pink using a design of chevrons and purl stitches. It’s a nice, clean design, and the pastel colour lets you see the elegance of the pattern clearly (always helpful with gansey patterns).

Finally, I think I passed a milestone today (Sunday). Britain is basking in a heatwave like a turkey in the oven so we went up to Dunnet Head, the northernmost tip of the mainland. There were blue skies, warm winds, temperatures of 26ºC, and an elderly couple sitting up at the viewpoint having lunch. The man nodded a greeting, then looked me up and down. “Well, you’re obviously retired, of course,” he said. I turned my head quickly: sure enough, I was just in time to catch the last remaining shred of my self-esteem vanishing like confetti on the breeze, disappearing somewhere in the direction of Norway…

6 comments to Flamborough, Week 9: 2 July

  • meg macleod

    Freud and Jung would have a field day …and as for the obviously `retired ` observation…well the air of genteel calm and wisdom oozing from your pores might be a good way to look at that..you cant hide that sort of thing that comes with age!!!!!!!!

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, as Freud once famously observed, “Sometimes a sheep concealed in the bonnet of a car is just a sheep. Unless it’s crossed with a kangaroo, in which case it’s a woolly jumper…”

  • =Tamar

    Oh my. The dreams sound political and sociological, all too close to reality. Blowing your own horn does annoy the sheep. As for looking retired – perhaps you wore an expression of calm and well-being? Or maybe it was the lack of the stereotypical bowler hat and brolly?
    The heatwave here is closer to 36C; last night the cool of the evening got all the way down to 27C.
    The gansey is beautiful. A random thought: Does knitting red wool cause hot weather? …need more coffee…

    • Gordon

      Well, of course, there’s that famous old gansey proverb:

      red Gansey in the morning, your blood pressure’s soaring,
      red Gansey at night, your beard’s probably alight…

  • Lois

    Eastern Canada is also in the grips of a heat wave. Today, with the humidity, it is equivalent to 42 C. Too hot to knit! Never saw that before!

    • Gordon

      Hi Lois, that’s too hot for me. Well, 28ºc is too hot for me, so 42 would leave me reduced to a sort of organic puddle on the sofa, only identifiable to the boys in CIS by the pattern on my gansey…

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