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Scottish Fleet Cardigan: Week 4 – 21 September

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; and a time to realise how much more fun the entire literary canon would be if it had been written by PG Wodehouse. Moby-Dick, for instance, might begin, “Call me Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright”, and go on from there; or Kafka’s Metamorphosis: “As Gussie Fink-Nottle awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous newt”; or even Du Maurier’s Rebecca: “Last night I dreamt I went to Blandings Castle again”—a brooding, gothic mystery of death and jealousy transformed at a stroke into a search for Lord Emsworth’s missing pig.

Foggy Dew

After Kafka, Dostoevsky and Hardy are probably the writers most in need of cheering up. I’m sure we all feel that what Jude the Obscure needed to snap him out of his gloom was for Sue to paint a pig with phosphorous and release it into his bedroom; no doubt they’d both have had a good laugh, then set out armed with a knitting needle to puncture Alec D’Urbeville’s hot water bottle and jolly well serve him right. Crime and Punishment could have been dispensed with as a short story (“Will you be dining in tonight, sir?” “No Jeeves, I rather fancy popping round and giving that moneylender and her sister the old what-ho with a bally big axe. After which I’ll probably go to the Drones Club for a bread roll fight.” “Very good, sir, I shall press the creases out of the rubber apron directly”).

In gansey news, I continue to make steady, if not spectacular progress: I’m just about to divide for the front and back, the demi-gussets almost complete. And as I wonder with every gansey I knit: why don’t I knit this pattern in this shade all the time? This has been an unusual year in so many ways; curious to relate, I’ve exclusively knit ganseys for family and friends, four of them in fact. Here’s a picture of the last three being heroically modelled by their new owners.

Strange Finds

In other news, I was reading CV Wedgwood’s classic history of the Thirty Years’ War this week and came across this devastating assessment of the Emperor Ferdinand III: “He was too clever to be happy, but not clever enough to be successful.” This was so close to my last annual appraisal as to give me chills; I fear it may end up on my tombstone. So to cheer myself up I’ve been thinking of ways of improving the works of Dostoevsky by combining them with movies. So far I’ve got Band of Brothers Karamazov, in which four brothers are parachuted behind German lines in World War 2 but fail in their mission when they realise God may not exist; Animal House of the Dead, in which a frat party gets out of hand and the students are sent to a Siberian labour camp; and (my current favourite), an exuberant musical of existential despair, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Karamazov, which honestly writes itself…

8 comments to Scottish Fleet Cardigan: Week 4 – 21 September

  • =Tamar

    Mmph. I have no words. Actually I do. There’s not much so nice as a reliable pleasure. Those ganseys look even better on their recipients!

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, thank you! You’re right, a gansey needs someone to wear it – which is why I’ve just knit 4 in a row as gifts. (Next one might end for me, though…)

  • Dave

    A bit of trouble with your layout today Gordon. By the time I reached the part about your three friends, the only photo I could see was of a rather large alligator. I couldn’t help feeling Jeeves had gone a bit too far this time.

  • Dee

    What an excellent idea, Gordon! If only the spirit of Wodehouse could be let loose to work on society at large.

    Lovely ganseys, too.

  • Dinah

    I have to inquire about the alligator. It looks like he/she has a second mouth? Might you explain what we’re looking at?

    • Margaret Reid

      Hi Dinah
      As far as I can tell, it’s a garden ornament that’s been dumped in the river. The reptile has its head raised and mouth open, but the end of the top jaw has broken off, and has been placed in the mouth.

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