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Wick II: 8 March

2W150309aJust a short blog this week, as I am currently down with a bad cold, and have had to take a few days off work.

It’s one of those colds where your face feels like it’s been injected with lead, and when you blow your nose your handkerchief resembles a map of the universe just after the Big Bang (come to think of it, we watched an episode of Mythbusters last night where they tried to paint a room using explosives, and the overall effect was not altogether dissimilar).

2W150309bI’m currently looking for a good, cheap immune system on eBay, as the one I have seems to have broken down. (Or perhaps someone could lend me one? Just for a few days. Promise I’ll let you have it back by Friday…)

2W150309c

John o’Groats Harbour

But, other than sleeping, I have done a lot of knitting; in fact, other than sitting with my mouth hanging open and trailing strands of drool, which I’m hoping will add to the general waterproofing effect of the yarn, this has probably been my main activity over the last few days (i.e., averaging about 3 hours per day, in 40-minute instalments).

As a result I’ve finished front and back, joined the shoulders, knit the collar and am now well underway on the first sleeve. (I always hoped to finish the gansey by Easter, and that looks eminently doable now.)

Assuming we make it that far—we’re going through a phase of deep low pressure systems barrelling their way across Scottish Highlands every few days and the next one is due tonight, winds gusting up to 70 mph. As I type this, the tree at the bottom of the garden is thrashing about like Treebeard with a beetle in his boxer shorts, and rain and wind are lashing the windows as though God’s caught my cold and is sneezing his heart out.

Me? I’m going back to bed. Wake me when it’s summer…

17 comments to Wick II: 8 March

  • Jane

    Very sorry to hear about the cold. It has been such a rotten year for flu and colds, down here we have had what the medical professionals call the “mutant” flu, that’s the one that got under the radar of the flu jab, a nasty to be avoided! The weather will improve, and the viruses will recede!

    Beautiful, beautiful work. Such a lovely pattern with such good stitch definition. Wonderful, definitely one to be very pleased with. I am still reading Gladys Thompson’s book, the stories do not lose their fascination, and very gently have started trying out different yarns and needles for the “Print o’ the Hoof” cardigan, a sort of personal tribute. Now, no laughter please, the best match so far is a humble baby Aran yarn on 4.5 mm needles. Fortunately a denim blue colour is available. I always feel that the business of yarn, needles, tension is difficult and important for old patterns and they deserve to be kept going.

    Meanwhile some fairly good news Baxter did not get the right mouse, but he continues to try! Baxter was born in a stable and rehomed by my daughter. He is semi-feral with a lot of Beast of Bodmin! Get better soon!

    • Gordon

      Hi Jane, back at work today and feeling like I’ve been hit by the Old Age Truck! But it’s a beautiful day, clean, bright sunshine and no wind, in between the brief, violent downpours of sleet and hail…

      I love both Thompson and Pearson books for taking you on a journey, and introducing the knitters behind the patterns—and also for a world that’s now totally gone, just a few decades on. And I’ve always felt that gansey patterns are ubiquitous, and can be adapted to most yarn and needles, so laughter this end—go for it!

  • Peter In Alice Springs

    I suspect the lack of decent hills near you helps make those winds feel even worse than normal.
    It is definitely cooling down here in the desert – no longer packing 38c & higher – it’s now a comfortable 34c & overnight temps that allow me to fall asleep.

    If I was kind, I would give you my immune system – I seem to have missed every cold & flu in town this past year – but I’m not, so suffer the little children :-p Mind you, when I visit North America in the summer, I will probably acquire something rather nasty. (Will serve me right)

    • Gordon

      Hi Peter, well, it’s rough on the east coast in winter, but i must be honest and confess that it’s stormier (and much wetter) on the west coast. I like to think of the Hebrides and the Sutherland mountains as Caithness’s windbreak…

      Your immune system is probably geared to stave off poisonous snakes and spiders and English cricketers—but would it be a proper defence against the hardy, kilt-and-sporran beclad Highland germs? But then, I was fairly hardy for my first 30 years, never saw the inside of a doctor’s surgery, then it all sort of fell apart—I think it first went wrong when I discovered there was such a thing as blood pressure, after that there’s no way back.

      • Peter In Alice Springs

        As I rarely see either snakes or nasty spiders, it obviously must be working. I’m also now wondering why Europeans step away from me & vomit in nearby ditches. Well, it worked against the English cricketers.

        The latest belligerent saying: What’s the difference between the English Cricket Team & a tea bag?? The tea bag stays longer in the cup.

        The Ashes is an issue for me – a mongrel Australian/ English, I never know where my loyalties lie, so I go with the team that is least revolting to the opposition. Sometimes I barrack for the seagulls.

  • Freyalyn

    I had a revolting cough all the way through December, finally clear for January, and promptly came down with something similar at the beginning of February. Hoping it won’t last as long.
    Poor you, you have my sympathy.
    Well done for valuable use of time though.

    • Gordon

      Thank you Freyalyn, it’s rubbish having a cold, isn’t it? It’s the white sliced bread of illnesses, not even interesting enough to discuss when you meet old friends and swap illnesses (I’ll see you your hip replacement and raise you a triple bypass!”). But it’s almost spring, so the season of illnesses is almost over, hopefully—take heart!

  • =Tamar

    Best wishes for your continued improvement. I have done fairly well, so far, by regularly taking large amounts of vitamin C, plus zinc and all the other vitamins and supplements people recommend. I rarely get full-bore colds.

    • Gordon

      Hi Nigel – sometimes I miss the 70s… I mean, flares kinda came back, and sideburns are stealthily getting longer, together with footballers’ shorts, but it’s just not the same, somehow. (Goes off to listen his King Crimson albums and dream of space hoppers…)

  • Jenny nr Seattle

    Michael Pearson’s New and Expanded edition of Traditional Knitting is a delight to read. It’s 253 pages long. Hope this news will cheer you up a bit and you will feel better soon and can look forward to ordering your copy when it’s out in the UK. And I do echo Freyalyn’s sympathy and your good use of time on the gansey. Best to hydrate yourself often and take some long naps.

    • Gordon

      Hi Jenny, and thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying Michael’s book, it’s great it’s getting such good press second time around, too—it’s hard not to read it and want to knit about 50 ganseys by Christmas, isn’t it?

      I hate to say this, but I rather suspect that lazing around, knitting, drinking (though not necessarily water) and taking long naps is more or less my sole purpose in life…

  • Ruth

    Sorry about your cold, don’t want to depress you but I had it for 4 weeks, so badly I didn’t even do any knitting for 2 whole days! Lovely gansey as always.

    • Gordon

      Hi Ruth, 4 weeks is pretty grim. I’ve had over half a dozen colds this winter (3 this year so far) but in between Ive felt relatively OK – so, no, you’re not really cheering me up here!

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