Support Gansey Nation -


Buy Gordon a cuppa!


Many, many thanks to those of you who have already contributed!





Gansey Nation on Zazzle!

Weeks 30-31: 27 July – 16 August

9how31aApologies for the break in transmission over the past couple of weeks – normal service is now resumed, albeit using the word “normal” in its loosest sense.

It’s probably no coincidence that the dramatic growth down the sleeve you can see from the pictures has taken place while the Edinburgh festival is on, since my usual response to any mass entertainment going on around me is to draw the curtains and pretend it isn’t happening. (There’s something incredibly annoying about being expected to enjoy yourself – as if people dressed in waistcoats playing the guitar in shop doorways have an automatic right to your loose change instead of a blow to the solar plexus. The other day I was stranded in a Sargasso Sea of tourists, desperately trying to fight my way to the sandwich counter in Boots, armed only with an umbrella and a sense of grievance, when I discovered the reason for the hold-up was a bunch of wide-eyed slack-jawed orange-robed Hare Krishna devotees snaking up Princes Street. If I hadn’t been so famished and weakened by inanition I’d have grabbed the leader by the slack of his robe, hoisted him off his feet and asked him if I looked like I was in the mood for inner ****ing peace? As it was I contented myself with a meaningful scowl. I think he got the point, for he looked properly abashed.)

9how31brOur window at the National Archives looks out on a plaza in front of a shopping mall, and every now and again a busker is incautious enough to set up close to the wall. If the music goes on long enough to become annoying we have perfected the technique of reaching out, grabbing them by the shoulders, and suddenly pulling them inside like the creature from Alien dragging another victim into a cooling duct. (Once we’ve got them inside we can go through their pockets, then set them to work cataloguing archives until we consider they’ve paid their debt to society. Or just until we feel like it. This of course is how the National Archives recruits most of its staff – it works just like the old-fashioned press gang.)

All of which is not to say that the festival has nothing I’m interested in – I snaffled tickets to Wagner’s Flying Dutchman next month; it’s a concert performance, so they just stand there and sing – you lose some of the drama, but at least you don’t have to put up with a loony staging (e.g., where the producer has it set in a military hospital, or in an abattoir, etc.). And there’s some nice chamber music concerts, even a lutenist. So it’s not all bad…

Anyway, back to the pullover. I think I made the sleeve a little too wide for my taste at 10 inches at the armhole. I normally aim for 8 to 8.5 inches, which works fine with my standard decrease rate down the sleeve of 1 in 6. This time the sleeve looks a bit puffy, the kind of thing Lord Byron would have worn if he’d been into fishing for herring instead of writing poetry. Of course, it’s all relative, and this sleeve is fairly typical of those shown in many of the old photos, so it’s not a problem. But best worn by someone with muscular upper arms, not the likes of me whose arms most closely resemble those animals made out of air-filled balloons.

Next week, we get to do it all over again with the other sleeve.

2 comments to Weeks 30-31: 27 July – 16 August

  • =Tamar

    No doubt next winter when all that wool fills in your coat sleeve around your arms you’ll be glad of it.

  • Hi Tamar,

    Or I could just put on weight and develop big, floppy upper arms – or eat more spinach like Popeye…