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Week 23: 10 – 16 May

It’s not often I compare myself with Shroedinger’s Cat, but this is definitely one of those times.

You see, Margaret and I are due to fly to the USA this afternoon for a holiday – first we catch a flight from Edinburgh to London, then from London to Boston. But – and how unfair is this? – the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is currently drifting back over the UK, and is affecting (you guessed it) airports in Scotland and London. Edinburgh airport is currently closed till 1pm, and our flight is scheduled for 1.45pm. Tension mounts.

And this is where the cat comes in. If you remember, Schroedinger’s Cat is a thought experiment, devised to show how bizarre quantum theory really is. The cat is in a box, with a container of poison, and a small quantity of radioactive particles which have an equal chance of decaying or not. If they do decay, then a mechanism releases the poison and the cat is killed; if they don’t, the cat survives. The weird thing is, according to quantum theory, the cat is both equally alive and dead until the box is opened and it is observed – when it is found to have been either dead the whole time, or alive. But both states exist until it is observed. Or something like that.

Sleeve detail

Body detail

So with me and this blog. By the time you read this, I will either be off to wild fun and excitement in the States, or sitting at home thinking some very black thoughts indeed (though I may not interact with any poison – you can take a metaphor too far sometimes). Both futures are, at present, equally possible. Of course, the challenge you will have is observing me – especially if I don’t leave the flat – but that’s another matter.

Meanwhile, I paid a return visit to the Ear, Nose and Throat department last week where they stuck that wire coat hanger up my nose again. The fun part was, this time I got to watch it on TV. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the inside of your nose in close up? Mine was very pink, rather unpleasantly hairy in parts, and disconcertingly squishy in others – like poking a strawberry blancmange with a biro. On the whole, I have come to the conclusion that humans look at their best when seen from the outside. The upshot is, I am now on the waiting list for a septoplasty – I’m afraid you’ll have to look it up, as after having the after-effects explained to me (in which the words “crusting” and “discharge” featured once more, but this time with illustrations) – I don’t really want to think about it right now.

It’s been hard to concentrate on knitting with all this going on, but as you will see I’m progressing slowly down the sleeve. It takes about 5-6 minutes to do a row at this stage, and as I’m decreasing on every 5th row, I tend to work in blocks of 5 rows at a time, or about 30-35 minutes at a stretch (which is conveniently the same length as a Mozart piano concerto!).

When I come back from America – if I get there – expect some exciting, possibly foolhardy news about my career plans. Now I’m off to observe some cats, and hope that at least 50% of them survive the experience.

Next scheduled post to this blog will be on Tuesday 1 June 2010, deus vult.

4 comments to Week 23: 10 – 16 May

  • Lynne

    Best wishes for a great holiday on ‘our’ East coast. We are now on the same continent, but 3000 miles between us. The sweater is stunning; what an accomplishment, and how encouraging to see an end in sight.

  • =Tamar

    Here’s hoping all went well and you are enjoying your holiday. Thank you for including detail pictures as well as the overall progress image. It looks almost blocked already!

  • Nigel

    By wierd coincidence, I was flying on the same day out of Edinburgh, but going east to Greece. The airport reopened at 1pm and, when I got there expecting chaos, it was, in fact, quiet. My flight went slightly early. I hope Gordon enjoyed my luck, too.

  • Gordon

    Hi guys,

    Yes, we made it, and thanks for all the expressions of good will. As you’ll see on the next post, due imminently, we had a good time, and even though our flight back was cancelled due to the strike, we managed to rebook on one the next day. Could have done without the added stress, though!

    And one day I’ll explore more of America than New England…