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Scarborough / Wick (Donald Murray): Week 3 – 8 April

I came across a great quote this week. Admittedly, I read it in the comments section below an online article on Brexit—I know, I know, I keep promising myself I can quit any time, and yet here I am. To quote the Biblical Proverb: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so Gordon returneth to articles about Brexit in the Guardian newspaper”.

Anyway, here’s the quote: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Apparently the exact origin of the phrase is disputed, but it was said most famously by Eleanor Roosevelt, which is good enough for me. As a warning against mean-spirited gossip it’s excellent. But it also seems to me that most of the trouble in this world is caused by people with small minds being seized with big ideas, which leads inevitably to bad events. (“That whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent”, as Wittgenstein famously said when someone asked him what he thought about Brexit. If only others felt the same.)

Old Lifeboat Shed, Wick Harbour

Well, knitting ganseys is a great idea, and finishing one is always an event, so we probably qualify for the Eleanor Roosevelt seal of approval. The Scarborough gansey in navy is clearly outstripping the Wick gansey in cornish fudge, a reflection of the respective hours I’m working on each. Plain knitting, as in the Scarborough body, is always a breeze; but I must admit I find the Wick body pattern hard to warm to. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great, especially at the end when it’s been blocked. But the pattern of knit 5, purl-knit-purl-knit-purl-knit-purl is like running with shin splints: just when you’re hitting your stride you have to keep stopping for a few halting steps, then you’re off again. But my routine of a couple of rows a night is already reaping rewards; and as we know, people who knit ganseys shouldn’t be in a hurry anyway.

Driftwood on Keiss Beach

Finally this week, I came across a rather delightful mishap from the newsletter of the Dounreay nuclear facility, which is currently being dismantled and decommissioned. Well, the iconic building at Dounreay is the Fast Reactor, which is basically a vast ball or sphere (known, unsurprisingly, as “the Sphere”). Some decades back a worker inside was leaning on the rails, facing towards the walls of the Sphere when “he sneezed energetically and his dentures flew out of his mouth and disappeared down into the bottom Sphere skirt”. Who knew? Nuclear waste with bite…

6 comments to Scarborough / Wick (Donald Murray): Week 3 – 8 April

  • meg macleod

    did he get them back?..or will some curious person in the future ponder the remains in the nuclear dump? they do say plastic lasts for ever, will they speak?will anyone search for the rest of him? will it be a 3 day wonder….will anybody need teeth by then on our evolutionary path ….a time capsule…I do find it amazing the nuggets of information you trawl up to entertain us..I read a story of a similar nature once..the opening lines being that a grandmother coughed her teeth into the rosebushes one bright spring morning…she was lucky ,she found hers.I wonder if the NHS believed him when he told them he lost his teeth in a nucler reactor and needed replacements ones?

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, no, he never got them back. Apparently he claimed for a new set but wasn’t successful. I hope in thousands of years he can be cloned like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park…

  • Lois

    Many years ago, my then husband coughed his teeth into a monstrous vat of fish which was in the process of being frozen. Sardines with a bite?

  • Dave

    Well, I was getting fed up with brexit – I can’t bring myself to give it the capital letter the phone wants to insist on – but I find myself beginning to enjoy the theatre of it – nail-biting decisions week on week. It will make for a great movie or TV series one of these days. Sigh! I guess I will have to settle for average. Have you ever thought: it might be an egg…

    • Gordon

      Hi Dave, I know exactly what you mean. It’s gripping at the same time as it’s just all so ghastly. On the plus side it’s Easter soon, celebrating a time when God intervened in the affairs of men to being the world chocolate eggs!

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