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Week 4: 21 – 27 December

m14aAha, the joys of a northern winter! It’s been a cold and snowy christmas in Edinburgh, and a white one to boot, with a few flakes falling on frozen ice and snow, laid down a few days earlier. I’ve been introduced to a new spectator sport – sitting at the window with a cup of tea and watching pedestrians slithering down the frozen pavements. In fact, I’ve found it goes even better if you have a cd of comedy sound effects playing in the background – beeyoingyoingyoing noises, that sort of thing – for when someone falls over.

The arctic conditions have kept us indoors, and as I have zero sense of balance at the best of times I tend to do a nifty impersonation of a new-born foal who isn’t sure what legs are for every time I venture out onto ice. I did make one trip up the hill to Old Town last week, though, to see a hospital consultant about my sinuses.

m14bFor new readers, or those who simply can’t keep up with all my various ailments (rather like the young man in Three Men In A Boat I’m working my way through the medical dictionary to see how many problems I can accumulate – the answer is, a surprising amount), I’ve been having trouble breathing, with massive congestion, like someone’s injected lead just below each eye socket. It’s like waking up each morning with a bad cold, or a hangover. Because I have a deviated septum the proposed solution has always been to break my nose and re-set it and see if that helped, a procedure which I viewed with some misgivings. But things had gotten so bad recently, I thought I’d better get it over with.

Anyway, I saw the consultant – harassed and overworked and with two other patients already “warmed up”, as he put it, in waiting rooms – and at first he too was rather keen to go for the nose-breaking option (“though it’s much more complicated than that sounds”). He went on to reassure me that he’d performed the operation on his wife. (“Doesn’t that count as spousal abuse?” I asked, which earned me a snigger from the nurse and a look from the consultant as though breaking my nose would count as both work and pleasure.)


Fife hills from the kitchen window

m14cBut after he’d actually inspected me, and shoved one of those cold wire coat-hanger probe-y things so far up my nose I could feel it banging on the top of my skull, he had to concede that perhaps it wouldn’t help me any. In a gesture that gives you faith in modern medicine he sent me away with a promise of drugs if my symptoms got any worse, and an appointment to see him when his diary was a bit clearer, which turned out to be May 2010. And I was turned back out into the snow, relieved and unrelieved all at the same time.

Meanwhile the gansey is shaping up nicely, which is what a week of sitting around listening to cricket, music and audiobooks can do for you. The sun’s shining outside now as I type this, and I should get out and go for a walk, but I think I picked up a cold at the hospital (serves me right for shaving, it’s God’s judgement I tell you) so am forced to wrap up warm, put on the heating and sit down with a cup of tea and some Bach, and… Well. That’s kind of where we came in, isn’t it?

Hope Santa was kind. All the best for a happy New Year!

3 comments to Week 4: 21 – 27 December

  • Julie

    Just googling to find some help with my attempt at a gansey and found your great site. Love the photos, dread to think how long it will take me to get 3 inches knitted.
    Hope your sinuses are getting better

  • =Tamar

    The gansey is rocketing along! Watch out for those hospital colds, sometimes they’re drug-resistant. Take care of yourself!

  • Gordon

    Hi Julie and Tamar!

    Most of the time, 3 inches would take me between 1-3 months, just doing a bit each night. You must remember that a row takes me about 30 minutes, and I average about 12 rows to the inch, so 3 inches equates to 6 hours knitting for me. (At the moment I’m doing about 6 rows, or half an inch, a day – an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening. It’s been great, and very relaxing.)

    The sinuses are better just now, thanks, or at least they were until I picked up this cold!

    Happy Hogmanay!