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Week 19: 23 – 30 November

All things considered, I’ve had more entertaining weeks – and as this one involved a migraine, 2 hours’ worth of psychometric tests, and a 2-day business planning meeting in Exeter, I think a little self-pity is justified.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the body I work for is being wound up at the end of next March, but a handful of people will be retained to carry on the good fight in each region, reporting directly to the head office; I’ve got an interview next week to be one of them, and the tests were a preliminary exercise designed to, I suspect, guarantee the interview panel at least one good laugh on the day.

In fact, the verbal reasoning and personality tests were fine (except that they always make you choose between alternatives, each of which is too extreme: “Who do you most admire? Adolf Hitler or Jesus Christ?” – that kind of thing). The numerical one was another matter, though – I didn’t finish it, and I suspect I got most of the answers wrong. But, I tell myself, if the chances of a museum needing to calculate how many trees per hectare to replace after the existing ones have been cut down are slim: or if they’re not, I’m in the wrong profession. (Well…)

But, I hear you ask, surely if you’re that bad at “numerical reasoning”, how do you manage to count all those rows with nary a mistake? The answer, shameful as it is, can be seen in this week’s photos: I cheat, and use a crib sheet. After each row I pop the top off my trusty felt-tip pen and score a short black line in two columns – one for the cables, so I know which row to cable on, and the other for the decreases along the seam. It’s a bit of a nuisance, and I always feel that if the Knitting Police get to hear of it they’ll come and beat me up with rubber needles (so the bruises don’t show), or at least raise their eyebrows in a marked manner.

As for the knitting itself, progress has been slower with all these distractions, but I’m still hanging in there. This week my interview is on Tuesday, and if I get through that there’s another one on Friday with the Chief Executive himself. Who knows what the future holds? But, as Ted Hughes ended a poem about a fox being hunted yet still alive:

“Or will he
Make a mistake, jump the wrong way, jump right
Into the hound’s mouth? As I write this down
He runs still fresh, with all his chances before him.”

[Fox Hunt, from the collection “Moortown”]

That’s me. Still running fresh – for now.

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