I’ve fallen in love with the Count of Monte Cristo – the novel by Alexandre Dumas, of course, just in case any of you thought I was taking advantage of Margaret’s absence to explore other sides of my personality – which I’d never read before. I’ve been listening to it as an audiobook downloaded from iTunes – 50 hours for £6 is pretty good value. It’s perfect to knit to, since it’s just a well-told story; by which I mean, it’s a ripping yarn and you don’t have to concentrate on the words to get at the meaning as you sometimes have to do with, say, Hardy or Conrad.
It also has the huge advantage that it’s all about a well-planned and executed revenge for a terrible wrong, which I feel has some relevance to my present situation (as I prepare to leave my job in April). All I need is an astonishingly large fortune and I can wreak a dreadful vengeance on those who have wronged me – for, as the Klingons say, “revenge, like strawberry blancmange, is a dish best served cold”.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, I’m now two-thirds of the way up the back of the gansey. I must confess, I don’t quite have the hang of the yarnovers yet – the chevrons are fine, but I’ve made a couple of mistakes on the central diamond which I was more or less able to rectify – if you don’t look too closely. (The difficulty is that, with Margaret being away, I’ve been operating without a safety net, and as my usual technique for dealing with problems is to drop and pick up stitches at random in the hopes that sooner or later I’ll get lucky. A high risk strategy, I admit.)
The feeling on discovering a yarnover in the wrong place on the previous row (which is in reverse, of course, like a negative image on a photograph) is not dissimilar to realising that you should have carried the 1 at the start of a lengthy calculation on the existence of dark matter – a sort of hot flush that starts at the shoulders and rises gently till it reaches the eyebrows, while a cold sensation spreads down the spine like a slug which has just escaped from devouring your salad in the fridge.
Still adjusting to life without the cat. One of the after-effects of all my eye problems has been a sort of periodic flash in the corner of my right eye, which looks like movement – imagine a glimpse of a rat scurrying quickly past and gone – and now I keep looking round thinking it’s her. Damn it.