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Hebrides II (Revisited): Week 8 – 6 April

In times of stress we naturally cleave to what is familiar and comfortable; and so I’ve found myself recently working through my extensive back catalogue of classic pop albums. But it wasn’t until Led Zeppelin IV that doubts began to creep in. If you recall, towards the end of side one they sing of a lady who’s buying a stairway to heaven (clearly a very wealthy lady, as the cost of the stair rods alone would seem prohibitive); who if, when she gets there, the stores are all closed, “with a word she can get what she came for”. Well, I thought, she’s lucky she’s shopping in heaven and not, say, looking for toilet roll in Tesco’s in Wick just now.

Yes, it’s week three of the coronavirus lockdown and I’m starting to view reality as something small and distant, like the earth seen in the rearview mirror of a spaceship. I’m rewriting old song lyrics to suit our troubled times: “We all self-isolate in a yellow submarine”, “Are you going to Scarborough Fair/ Well don’t bother/ ‘Cos it’s shut”, and the Dylan classic, “Stuck inside of Mobile with the social-distancing blues again”. (The late, great Bill Withers classic, “Stand By Me”, actually works fine, so long as you replace “by” with “about six feet away from”.)

Folk songs, of course, are ideal:

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather
I met a withered old man
A-clothed all in leather,
He was clothed all in leather
With a cap beneath his chin,
Singing, “Keep at least two metres away
And bugger off home again”.

View from the end of the riverside path

In gansey news, I’ve finished the first sleeve and made a start on the second, viz.: I’ve picked up the stitches around the armhole and laid the foundation row. As is my custom these days, I’ve made the cuff six inches long so it can be folded back to suit. (Sleeves can be tricky to judge correctly in my experience, and this adds an element of flexibility.) Another fortnight should hopefully see it finished.

It’s been a pretty intense few weeks—so much so that I’m actually taking this coming week as holiday, absurd though that may seem. It’s Easter week, always a special time for me: I’m not religious as such, being more of a floating voter, so to speak but, like Christmas, this is the closest I get. A time of reflection, for feeling thankful and making one’s peace with whatever might be out there, for listening to Parsifal and the St Matthew Passion, for eating far too much chocolate and nice things tasting of cinnamon; and for knitting: ‘cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to stay indoors…

7 comments to Hebrides II (Revisited): Week 8 – 6 April

  • Laura Kinnane-Brew

    It is amazing Gordon, I think I say the same thing every week. I may have a listen to Stuck inside of Mobile as Desolation Row was one of my next tracks to listen to, when I can find either the Cd or the LP.
    I am not very neat or tidy so it can take a while to find things in this house. I I have been searching for my copy of a Chris Leslie Cd called Origins, I know it is around somewhere….

    • Gordon

      Hi Laura, we’re on the home stretch now. Whether the Post Office will let us mail it is another matter, but we’ll worry about that when we get there.

      And everything goes better with Dylan…

  • Dave

    Watch Chocolat – designed to cheer you up.

    • Gordon

      Hi Dave, chocolat isn’t usually something I watch, as I take the word “consumer” very literally In this case…!

  • =Tamar

    Sleeves are very tricky when you don’t have the person present to do a fitting. Your solution seems like a good one.
    What’s really annoying is that we have been having gorgeous spring weather this year, and I say that as someone who dislikes going outdoors. Someone really messed up the planning.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, yes, the weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous – the finest early April for a decade. It’s hard to have to experience it through a pane of glass, except for my one exercise period a day. But when I think of what the health professionals are dealing with right now, it doesn’t seem so big a sacrifice. Spring will come next year too!

  • Patricia

    Thanks, Dave. Chocolat is a lovely, uplifting movie. I have the DVD but haven’t watched it in years. Will take it out this week and forget about the unpleasantness going on in the world for a couple hours.
    Patricia in Wisconsin, USA

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