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North Sea 16: 17 – 23 December

Heb1223a And here we are, the last blog of 2012. After the storms last night I wasn’t sure we’d make it to post today—it seemed at one point as if our house might slip its moorings and drift down the river out to sea, and the next you’d hear of us we’d be broadcasting from Norway, or Iceland, living on gull eggs and fried Norwegians. But no: we survived.

And we’re past the shortest day! It’s been so dark and grey up here in northeast Scotland I’ve come to realise that Caithness actually defies the laws of physics, so that the sun sets at least an hour before it’s supposed to rise, thus doing away with the need for daylight at all. I’ve set up playlist in my music library consisting of just one song, “In the Bleak Midwinter”, on constant repeat. It seems appropriate, somehow.

Heb1223bI’m finishing the year with another book on Amazon. It’s a collection of fifteen of my short stories, called The Dragon of Stroma and Other Tales. Some are straight fantasy, some are science fiction, some feature my cold war of angels and devils fought out on earth, others are just plain weird. Three or four are inspired by places in Caithness (as you might guess from the title). If nothing else, it will give you a pretty good idea what’s going on inside my head most of the time, as well as a desire to see my medication increased.

It will retail for $1.99, but as a Christmas treat I’m giving readers of this blog a heads-up that it’ll be free through Boxing Day.

In fact two more of my books will be also be free on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, An Inquisition of Demons and The Wraiths of Elfael. (I’m hoping that some lucky recipients of brand new kindles or tablets will be looking for quality free books to get them started.)

Heb1223cBy the time we post again I should have finished the back of the gansey, and be well embarked on the front. As I’ve mentioned before, I shall knit the shoulder straps from the front so that the join comes at the back, safely out of sight. (The shoulders will be the same herringbone as the central pattern.) It’s got to the floppy stage, so my knitting technique is starting to resemble Donald O’Connor dancing with the dummy in Singin’ in the Rain.

I’ve got an apology to make, to Martha, who posted a few weeks back to the Suppliers page. In all the Christmas excitement I never got round to replying to her email: she’s looking for a US supplier of British Breeds Guernsey 5-ply yarn. If anyone has any suggestions, please can you post below, or on the suppliers page, please? Many thanks. (And Martha—sorry!)

Gansey Nation will be taking a break over Christmas and the New Year (we’re flying down to stay with my parents in Northampton over Christmas, where there is nary an internet connection to be had). So we’d like to thank everyone for making this blog such a fun place to be over the last year. And thanks to everyone for all your support.

So, as Tiny Tim is fond of saying: God bless us, every one! (I don’t know how Tiny Tim got his nickname, but I did hear him protesting loudly the other day, something to the effect that size wasn’t important…) Anyway that’s good enough for me.

See you in 2013!

10 comments to North Sea 16: 17 – 23 December

  • Lynne

    Merry Christmas Gordon & Margaret and all the other blog readers. Safe travels and Happy New Year.

  • Freyalyn

    Yuletide Blessings to you and yours, and many thanks for the headsup on Dragon of Stroma – I’ve already buzzed over to Amazon and added it. Now I have a laptop I can actually sit and read stuff in the warm instead of freezing upstairs. Thank you.

  • Lisa Mitchell

    Happy Christmas to both you and Margaret. Gansey’s looking wonderful. Watch out or the pilot might try to skip the plane off the tops of those waves! Joking aside – safe holiday and safe return.

  • Dave

    Have a jewel of a Yule!

  • Marilyn

    Christmas Blessings to Gordon and Margaret and “the Blog”. Thank you for making this a favorite place to visit; such fun to be had in the Gansey Nation. Happy Knitting to all and to all a good night!

  • Sue

    Merry Christmas and a happy knitting New Year! Thankfully I won’t be meeting up with the rest of the family till Hogmanay – by then I might actually have finished all the reindeer fair isle beenies for the younger boys in the family. The crocheted 20s style cloches for the girls are finished and trimmed. It will be a relief to get back to proper knitting in the New Year!


  • Susan

    The best of New Years to you Gordon. Thanks for making your web site one that I enjoy returning to time and again. Still enjoying Wraiths. Must go to Amazon to see what other goodies of yours are there to be had.

  • =Tamar

    Happy yule to all.

  • Nigel

    Merry season’s wishes Gordon and Margaret

  • Veronica

    Hope your Christmas was a fun one and wishing both of you a 2013 filled with laughter, prosperity and improved health. With all that enthusiastic fresh air Scotland has, I’m hoping yours and Margaret’s penchant for wandering around cliffs during gale-force ‘breezes’ will cause all the bad city toxins to be swept away and you’ll suddenly find yourself able to see (without surgery), plus free of sinus infections and migraines.

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