It’s been a horrible few days here in Caithness, just horrible, gale force winds and driving rain. The best way to imagine what it’s been like is go find a trailer for one of those “Deadliest Catch” programmes showing lobstermen on a heaving deck somewhere of Newfoundland, drenched by icy spray and buried under waves the size of sperm whales—well, it’s been just like that, only with slightly more lobsters.
On top of that, we can’t get a television signal—the wind’s blown the dish out of alignment (though to be fair we’re probably ahead of the game still having a roof). I had a vision of several windblown seagulls and crows all impaled on the satellite dish’s spike and dragging it down, creating a “dish kebab”—but no; it’s just the wind.
Now, here’s the thing. I know we live in kind of an out-of-the-way place, a little off the beaten track; but there are over 14,000 people in Wick and Thurso, and a lot of them have satellite dishes. So guess how many tv aerial repair guys there are up here? (Clue: you won’t need more than one finger on one hand – seriously—look it up!) And he’s understandably a little busy right now; his waiting time is a week.
It’s a strange thing being without television. We don’t watch a whole lot, mostly reruns of old SF shows and the odd documentary, so it’s not exactly a hardship—but the thing I miss most is the news and weather. I feel oddly cut off from the world, even though the information can all be accessed online. Ah well; just a few more days and I can go back to watching reruns of Star Trek.
The eagle-eyed among you will see that I’ve not made a lot of progress on the gansey this week. Well, it had to come to an end sometime and, to be honest, I’ve just run out of steam. (That, and the fact that’s been so cold I can hardly hold a needle without my hand shaking so badly it ends up doing reconstructive nasal surgery.) But one of the nice things about this pattern is that it doesn’t take much concentration, so I can still keep plugging away even when I’m not in the mood.
I have instead been writing again, trying to finish a novel I started last summer, another Victorian murder mystery, just a bit of fun really. I hope to get the rough first draft completed this week. Then the fun starts: deleting it and rewriting the whole damn thing from scratch…
Still, at least I’m not distracted by wanting to sneak downstairs and watch television. But what does irk me is the thought that I wasted a whole £1.50 on a listings magazine I can’t use. Hey, look: Deadliest Catch is on—oh wait…