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Week 25: 27 May – 1 June

National Seashore, P'town

Nobska Light

So here we are, back in the UK after 10 days in sunny – and unseasonably hot – Massachusetts. I’m told that Britain experienced a (brief) heat wave too while we were away, but there was little sign of it when we got back: so after sweltering in the high 80s we’ve plunged back to the mid to low 50s; from finding it too hot to wear long trousers, suddenly we’re back to scarves and sweaters. And ground frosts! In June! I ask you: is this fair?

But somehow the vista of unrelieved grey seems appropriate. After all, we have a new austerity government here in the UK, a rather strange coalition of the liberal and conservative parties, which as I understand it means that the conservatives have promised to be less beastly than they’d like. Actually, the coalition isn’t as strange as it looks: after all, the key players all seem to have been at public school together, or had the same nannies, or something – and besides, 18 out of 23 of the new cabinet are millionaires. So naturally their response to the huge debt caused by the financial sector is to blame the public sector and cut public spending. It’s like coming home to find the country’s been invaded by aliens while we were away, and we’re now all slaves of Zarg the Destroyer, or something.

Ah, well. This could just be the jet lag talking, of course. At least we got away – how lucky was that? Edinburgh airport was closed for the ash cloud until 1pm, but as our flight was at 1.45pm, it was one of the first to take off. And the British Airways strike didn’t start till the next day – so the gods were on our side. Hurrah!

P'town Harbor

So we had a great time in Cape Cod – many thanks to Gail and Bill for their hospitality, and for all the driving (and Nat for the audiobooks). The highlight of the trip would probably be the visit to Provincetown in the blistering sunshine, where the Village People look is never out of fashion – run a close second by the opportunity to buy a Red Sox baseball cap. Well, that and the ice cream. Oh yes, and the cider. And the beaches. Plus the coffee. In fact, there were many highlights, many of them subtly hedonistic (i.e., I kept my shirt on, but spilt things on it).

In my previous post I mentioned some big news about my career plans. Well, big tease that I am, I’m going to save that till next time, as this blog has been delayed too long already, and feels like it’s past my bedtime, even though it’s just after noon (so no change there).

I didn’t take the knitting with me to the States – it would have been too hot to have it on my lap, anyway. But in between bouts of falling asleep and awakening with the sensation of having eaten library paste in my sleep, since i got back I’ve finished the pattern on the sleeve. All that remains is the inch or so of plain knitting and the cuff, before trying to remember what the hell I did so I can repeat it on the other sleeve. The sooner I get it finished, the better – if summer doesn’t arrive soon, I may need it…

Ladyslipper

Lathyrus japonicus

5 comments to Week 25: 27 May – 1 June

  • Gail

    And we had fun, too! Having visitors is the perfect excuse to do nothing and be a tourist. Glad your trip home was uneventful.

  • Gordon

    Hi Gail,

    I found myself sitting next to rudest young woman imaginable on the flight back. She looked round for her headphones at the start, couldn’t see them, so coolly reached over and took my set saying, “Are these mine? I think they must be mine”. In the air she was infuriated when the person in front reclined their seat, tried to push it back up by main force, then curled up into a foetal position so she could jostle it with her knees. Luckily I was able to lose myself in a Tad Williams audiobook, and when she grew too annoying I sneakily kept changing the channels on her armrest controls and pretending it was an accident.

    Other than that it was fine!
    Gordon

  • =Tamar

    Hooray! You had the perfect slot for the flight! Too bad about the twit on the way back, but I like your revenge.
    Thank you for posting the ladyslipper photo; I grew up next to a woods where they grew wild (now gone, alas).

  • Gordon

    Hi Tamar,

    I can’t recall seeing any ladyslippers before, though I’m not very observant of my surroundings usually. But there was a wood across the road from where we were staying that had whole clumps (I think that’s the technical term) of the things. To me, they look like they belong in the rainforest, tempting insects and unwary travellers to get too close, them trapping them and devouring them at their leisure…

    Anyway, Margaret’s the nature-comprehender in the family (most of our holiday pictures are normally close-ups of flowers or lichen) so I’m sure she’ll be glad you like the picture!

    Gordon

  • =Tamar

    You’re correct about the family the ladyslippers belong to. They are orchids, they just happen to be northern orchids.
    The woods I knew them in included a genuine New England bog, so perhaps it’s the boggy acid pine-tree soil they need.