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Week 4: 26 January – 1 February

9how4aNot much progress to report this week, caused partly by a mid-week trip to the fair city of Glasgow, as I start to get my head around the new job in Scotland. The good news is that Britain is shivering under the heaviest snowfall since, oh I don’t know, the reign of William the Conqueror (or so you’d think listening to the news), or at least in that wonderful old legal phrase, “time whereof memory of man runneth not to the contrary” – all of which has given me the perfect opportunity to get the new one out and wear it again and remind myself of just how warm these garments are.

9how4bAs for the trip to Glasgow, I decided not to take my knitting, as I only had carry-on luggage for the flight and I thought it would be asking for trouble explaining it to airport security; but then I absent-mindedly left my nail scissors in my toiletries bag and set off all sorts of exciting alarms, and experienced the most intimate body search outside of an Armenian prison. And then – how petty is this? – they confiscated my sinus medication because it wasn’t in a plastic bag. (How do you go about commandeering an aeroplane with a steroid nasal spray anyway?)

9how4cI’ve come to the conclusion that airports are where the Dementors from the Harry Potter books spend their free afternoons, spreading hopelessness and despair and, cunningly disguised as attractive blondes, offering raffle tickets to expensive cars no one will ever win. Even the coffee is thin and watery, which seems like kicking a good man when he’s down. And because you can’t reserve your seat in advance you get the unedifying sight of a bunch of city directors and civil servants jumping the queue and pushing to the front like it’s everything half price at the tuck shop. (What’s the big deal about a window seat? It’s not like they’ll run out of chairs or anything so you have to stand. And anyway, the flight only lasts an hour, 55 minutes of which are spent above the cloud layer, which can only be of interest to cloud scientists – and how many of them regularly fly between Bristol and Scotland?)

Meanwhile the gansey slowly begins to take shape, and how relaxing it is not to worry about a complicated pattern after the last one, or even about counting rows. Like the knitting equivalent of a back rub.

2 comments to Week 4: 26 January – 1 February

  • Aaron Lewis

    The white gansey is lovely.

    I know Tolkien was in the army, but he never gets the details of a group of travelers quite correct. For example, after a few days, everyone knows everyone else’s undergarments. The standing question is, What did real seamen, in wooden ships wear under their ganseys?

    In the US, our Dementors are marked by little embroiderd badges with gold edges that say, “TSA”, “ICE”, or “Airport Security”. Ours get right down to the business of making everyone miserable by making everyone pour out their good coffee so that we must drink that brown swill that they import from Askerban.

  • Veronica

    Good coffee in America? I don’t know where Aaron’s from, but it’s definitely not any of the many states I’ve been to. Or does he just prove how bad airport coffee is? (It’s even worse than the typical American brew!):-)

    Gordon, thanks for the Dementor analogy. I’m planning a trip to California and so needed that. It fit’s perfectly. In my opinion, putting up with airport security is proof beyond doubt that I love my family. Then there’s the unending boredom of an 11 hr flight AND the hours beforehand stalled in the airport.

    I’m very grateful that Schiphol is interesting. We even have a mini museum in it that we can visit for free. Helps to pass the time when the airport seats make even sitting and knitting impossible.