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Hebrides II (Revisited): Week 7 – 30 March

In troubled times they say it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. (To which I always think, hey, I can multitask: surely I can do both?) But the current darkness goes well beyond my abilities to curse—old man shouts at cloud, as The Simpsons neatly put it—and while calling anyone who comes within six feet a “whoreson caterpillar, a bacon-fed knave” has its attractions, it is less effective against a virus, I find. So instead let us focus our attention on lighting candles.

The Winds of Change

I’m working from home now. Amazingly, it turns out I can write reports and videoconference just as effectively in my slippers—who knew? It takes a bit of getting used to, though. I dialled into one conference last week only to hear someone say, “Just a minute—we seem to have our wires crossed with a nature documentary. What is that? It looks like a naked mole rat’s burrow. No, wait: it’s Gordon’s nostril. Gordon, can you adjust your camera? We can all see right up your nose…” Too late I also realised that the bookcase facing the camera holds our DVD collection, which prompted the following exchange: “Is that the complete Peppa Pig I can see behind you?” “Hey, don’t tell me how it ends.” “Usually ends in a bacon sandwich, in my experience.”

I get up at the same time as I used to, but now I start each day on the sofa with a Haydn symphony, which is about as long as my commute to work used to be, and which is enough time for me to knit a standard row. But I’m so busy with work stuff that I don’t have a lot of free time in the day, so my knitting is still mostly confined to evenings and weekends. I’m making good progress, though, and am about halfway down the first sleeve (in length; obviously it gets narrower as you work down the sleeve, so you do speed up as you go). I usually knit Hebridean patterns in cream or natural white; it’s fascinating to see how well this one knits up in another colour. (Hmm. It’s lucky this gansey is being knit for someone rather smaller than I am; otherwise I don’t think I’d have found it easy to let it go at the end…)

The Winding Path Ahead

So now we all adjust to the new normal: staying in, going for one walk a day, the odd trip to the shops. (Very odd: my only consolation is that the world can’t currently go to hell in a handcart because all the carts have already been nabbed by people panic buying toilet rolls.) Town is so empty it feels like the zombie apocalypse has been and gone (in other words, much like a typical Sunday from my youth). In my walks up the riverside path I pass people stopping to chat; they each carefully observe the six-foot distancing rules, but of course you have to walk between them at a distance of less than three feet either side. My only consolation is, the wind is so strong they’re more in danger of infecting someone in Norway if they cough, than me.

Oh, well. That’s one week down. To all our readers, stay inside, stay safe, keep well and happy knitting. Now where did that dratted mole rat get to…?

10 comments to Hebrides II (Revisited): Week 7 – 30 March

  • Meg

    Thankyou for your usual uplifting odd outlook on life.getting dressed gets later and later I notice it is no longer a priority absolutely no one going to call unexpectedly.,.one might fall into bad habits..starts at the slippers I heard.

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, that’s true, no one can turn up on the doorstep unexpectedly, except the postman, and he just drops stuff off and scoots away. I still dress reasonably properly – well, they can’t see me from the waist down!

  • Laura Kinnane-Brew

    Aargh !!! you can’t keep it Gordon.

  • =Tamar

    I watch Youtube videos and sometimes shout at them. Unlike clouds, videos do not require me to be outdoors.
    That gansey gets better looking all the time.
    This getting dressed thing… that’s for going to the post office, right? Seems strangely formal. I have a long coat around here somewhere, won’t that do?
    I wondered why liquor stores are supposed to be more essential than bookshops until I remembered the tax revenue on booze.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, Wick has an off-licence, but doesn’t have a bookstore. In retrospect, I should have read the signs when we moved up here – but then, one of its names in Victorian times was “the Sodom of the North”… I think (and hope) that was for the booze!

  • Lois

    Wow! I would never have thought that colour would be so effective in showing the pattern.

    I realize, unfortunately, how many unfinished projects are sitting around, disturbing my conscience and nagging at me. No escape from them. Hmm ……… oh well, it’s always more fun to start something else ………

    And why is everything closed, but the liquor store and cannabis stores are still open? Methinks that is a strange priority.

  • Gordon

    Hi Lois, I read somewhere that it’s quite important sometimes not to feel pressured to get stuff done in times of stress – sometimes it really is OK to watch daytime TV eating Ben and Jerry’s…

    Wait – cannabis stores?

  • Lois

    Yes, our government, in its wisdom, made cannabis legal last year, and then opened a series of government owned cannabis stores. In most cases, right beside the government owned liquor stores. These remain open during the current crisis, in spite of many small businesses ordered to close.

    My thoughts on the subject are unladylike and unprintable.

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