Well, here we are, back in dear old Caithness after our recent holiday in the States. The temperature is a brisk 8ºC, compared with the 23ºC we left behind us on Cape Cod. And now the clocks have gone back (words to be spoken in the tone of weary dismay of Gandalf recognising he’s up against a balrog). Can woolly socks be far away? I think not.
But, Lord, I’d forgotten just how ghastly travel is. Heathrow Terminal 5 seems to’ve been remodelled using a CIA manual for breaking the resistance of terrorists by bombarding them with bright lights and noise; while the legroom on aircraft has been reduced to such an extent that when I got off the plane at Boston I was so bent and hunched a travelling party of anthropologists excitedly tried to claim me as a hitherto undiscovered species of hominid.
While we were there we spent part of a day at the Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, New York. The site appeared relatively empty until you went inside one of the craft vendors’ sheds, where crowds of people heaved and jostled and struggled to get near the stalls and samples. (Imagine the Tokyo underground at rush hour, with craft stalls along both sides of the carriage and a game of rugby being played up the middle, and you’ll get the idea.)
It was obviously a place to be seen as much as to see, and everyone was dressed in their finest knittery. Forget the stands, you could spend all day just watching people in fancy jumpers, and if there had been seating for fainthearted spouses I probably would’ve. (Special mention goes to the guy with the orange knitted shorts, a stark challenge to the view that humanity represents nature’s last word; in fact, I’ll never look at a chocolate orange in the same way again…)
A highlight for me was meeting Ginny, who recognised us from the blog pictures and came over and introduced herself. As many of you will know, I occasionally wrestle with existential dilemmas about continuing this blog, and it’s always gratifying to be told that it’s worthwhile. So, Ginny, thank you for taking the trouble to say hello, it was a pleasure to meet you and apologies that you found me still jet lagged and (more) incoherent (than usual). I hope I got your name right!
Anyway, sincere thanks to Bill and Gail for everything. If, as Benjamin Franklin said, house guests are like fish and begin to smell after three days, then you deserve some sort of medal for putting up with us for ten—it was much appreciated.
I didn’t take my knitting with me, so not there’s not much progress to report this week. But in between bouts of jet lag I’ve done a little more knitting down the sleeve, and with luck will finish the rest of the jumper well before Christmas.
Christmas? It’ll be here soon enough – and this weekend it’s Halloween (time to oil the traps and freshen the leaves concealing the tiger pit in the driveway). I was going to say that now the nights are drawing in—but since this is Caithness, it’s the afternoons that are getting shorter, dagnabbit. Oh, well—I tell myself to hang in there; after all, it’ll soon be March…