I hadn’t realised how much simple pleasure you can get by writing old songs and substituting one word for another – in this case, “Caithness” for “Christmas”. It works with just about any song or carol, but is perhaps most effective with the soundtrack to the Muppet Christmas Carol. (“A cup of kindness that we share with another/ A sweet reunion with a friend or a brother / In all the places you find love it feels like C-a-i-t-h-h-n-e-s-s.”)
For I am typing this blog in Wick, on Sunday night, having moved up here a few days ago to get settled in before starting work on Monday. I’m renting a nice little house on the outskirts of town for a few months. Quite a change from the centre of Edinburgh – from the bedroom window I get an unrivalled view of Tesco’s (at night it’s lit up like an alien landing strip) and open fields stretching away to the far horizon. People up here talk about the “big skies” of Caithness and I can see what they mean – sort of like the plains of the Midwest USA but with more midges.
Initial forays to the supermarket are encouraging – not only do they have oodles of fruit and veg, they also sell those imitation burgers and sausages that let vegetarians masquerade as normal people at barbecues like alien pod creatures disguised in human shape. The store is so big I suspect they could hold town meetings there and fit most of the population inside, and I have an urge to replicate the scene from the Blues Brothers movie and drive a car up and down the aisles. So we won’t starve anyway.
In between looking at possible houses to buy and trying to figure out the subtleties of a new heating system, I’ve been making the most of my free time to get some knitting done before work swallows my spare time. The pictures are from a camera phone, so apologies for that. (The blog’s going to be held together with chewing gum and sticky tape for a few weeks till we get settled.)
But hopefully you’ll get an idea of the general rate of progress and be able to see some of the detail of the moss stitch and chevron panels running up the sides of the seam stitches. Already it looks distinct from the usual type of yoke-pattern ganseys where the body is entirely plain – so long as you don’t lose concentration and just knit through the patterned panels, as I’ve already done several times! Ah well.
Well, it’s late, so I suppose I’d better go and prepare myself for work tomorrow with a night’s vigil of fasting and meditation, like some medieval knight on the eve of his investiture, but with a sharp pencil instead of a sword. Thanks to all of you who’ve sent me good will messages, it’s much appreciated.
So picture me tomorrow, skipping to work like Pinocchio on his way to school, and singing a merry tune – after all, there’s only one more sleep to C-a-i-t-h-n-e-s-s…