Like most people I remember very few of my dreams, waking with little more than a vague sense of disquiet and unable to put my finger on exactly why. But sometimes the dream is so vivid I’m jerked out of sleep breathless and shocked and sweating, like the time I decided to change a light fitting without turning off the electricity first. It’s so realistic that for a time I think it actually happened.
Well, I had a dream like that a couple of months ago, and the impression it made on me hasn’t faded yet, it was so bizarre and disturbing; and as there’s nothing so tedious as someone recounting their dreams to you, er, I thought I’d share it with you.
I’m running through a forest, somewhere in Indonesia or Malaysia, and there are two or three of us, chased by small vicious creatures that move like ferrets or weasels, but larger, about the size of small dogs, with ferocious teeth. We can’t permanently kill them, because every time we do a sort of flickering light plays over them, and they flop about like landed fish and then come back to life—but smaller, shrunk to the size of mice or rats. They jump up and immediately start chasing us again, steadily growing in size as they run.
One of them, still just rat-sized, is closing in on us. I turn and prepare to sacrifice myself to buy the others time, knowing I won’t be able to stop it. I’m terrified, knowing I’m about to die. The others keep running and I hear the sound of them grow fainter. The creature is a small, black shape in the undergrowth, closing impossibly fast for its size. I stoop and pick up a sharp piece of rock.
As I straighten the rat-sized thing springs, it’s a just a black blur launching itself at me. I turn away instinctively and feel it hit my upper right arm. But its teeth are caught in the folds of my shirt; it missed the skin and I can feel it thrashing on my arm as it tries to free itself. There is a shallow puddle nearby, filled with muddy brown water perhaps an inch deep. I throw myself down and roll over so that the creature is pinned beneath my arm, and I try to drown it in the puddle: even if the creature won’t stay dead, it will buy me valuable seconds to escape while it comes back to life.
It struggles frantically, and I can feel it getting larger. I can’t see it, it’s out of my line of vision. I realise there isn’t enough water in the puddle to drown it. A few yards away there is another, deeper puddle. I’m going to have to get up and make a dash to the other puddle if I want to drown the creature—it’s my only chance. But I know that as soon as I get up it will be freed and will go for my throat, and I don’t think I’ll be quick enough.
I’m screwing my courage up to go for it, and the creature is flailing beneath me—and I wake up.
Back in the real world, the gansey continues to grow on my needles. It’s just under a foot in length, and it’s going to be about 26 inches from cast-on to shoulder, so in another inch or so I’m going to start the pattern.
Two pieces of parish news to end with. First of all, Judit has been busy, knitting another of her splendid “ganslings”, a banded blue gansey that shows once again that you don’t need cables to create a stunning effect. Warmest congratulations, as ever, to her.
Secondly, I hear from Michael Pearson that his book Traditional Knitting is expected to be republished by Dover books in March, in a revised and expanded edition. It’s been a long wait, but hopefully we’re near the end. Such a great book should never be out of print, I think.
So there we are. All that remains is for me to wish you all happy knitting—and, of course, sweet dreams…