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Wick Trees and Diamonds Revisited: Week 3 – 17 January

At the time of writing, I’m about halfway through the course of medicine for (what I’m hoping is just) an infection on my vocal cords, and so far the only change I’ve noticed is that my sinuses feel like they’re packed with lead. You see, to give the medicine a chance to work I’ve had to stop taking a nasal spray for my mystery allergy. (I know I’m allergic to something, but not exactly what; I did the test and it’s not dust, pollen or catsheavens! Can it be wool?) Anyway, as a result of stopping the spray I’ve got so much gunk in my sinuses I can only assume I’ve been caught up in a matter transportation accident, and have crossed my DNA with a snail.

View of Wick

I did have a moment’s unease when I learned that the medicine is most commonly used to treat fungal infections of—here one lowers one’s voice and whispers, in case there are any elderly aunts within earshot—those parts of a chap or chapess that do not normally see the light of day. (Yes, I know technically that includes the vocal cords, but you know what I mean.) I had to double-check the instructions to make sure I really was supposed to swallow them.

Local Wildlife

Meanwhile, in parish notices, over the last couple of weeks we’ve been sent several pictures of ganseys to share. Rather than splurge them all at once, we’ve decided to space them out for maximum effect. So here’s a partially completed one from Lee, a reader from Brittany in possession of a curragh, designing an “Aran gansey” to complement it based on an old photo from c.1920, using Breton wool. As regular readers will be aware, we usually only feature completed readers’ ganseys, but this one is well worth seeing. Lee’s provided some detailed notes on the project too which are well worth a read. Many thanks to Lee for adding another piece to the endless jigsaw that is traditional knitting, and we look forward to seeing the finished project (hopefully modelled in the curragh!).

Burgeoning Snowdrops

Finally, turning away from the (admittedly fascinating) topic of my health, I wanted to share with you the story of an amazing Native American woman: Buffalo Calf Road Woman (d.1879). I’ve been reading a book on Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn—I’d hoped there was also a Big Bighorn, and a Middle Bighorn which was just right, but sadly not—and learned about another battle that happened a few days earlier on the Rosebud River. In the summer of 1875 three columns of soldiers were marching on Sitting Bull’s village: one moving north, another east and Custer working west; the one coming north was the first to run into a force of Indians and battle was joined. A Cheyenne warrior, Comes in Sight, was wounded and trapped in no-man’s-land between the Indians and the soldiers, with the soldiers trying to finish him off. Whereupon his sister, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, braved the gunfire and rode down to where he was, caught him up and took him back to safety. She also fought at Little Bighorn, and the Cheyenne credit her with striking the blow that knocked Custer off his horse. And though her story ultimately ends in sadness, as that of so many Native Americans did, she has her place in history—so that while to the soldiers the first battle was known as the Battle of the Rosebud, to the Indians it was remembered as “the Battle Where the Sister Saved her Brother…”

Just before sunset

6 comments to Wick Trees and Diamonds Revisited: Week 3 – 17 January

  • =Tamar

    Since mysterious sinus infections are often fungal, and the new meds are anti-fungal, maybe they are stronger than the one you were using and maybe it will _also_ fix the sinus trouble. Here’s hoping!

    I wonder, was the original 1920s Breton gansey also in Aran weight, or is Lee adapting the design?
    Man, that’s a lot of garter stitch.

    • Gordon

      Thanks Tamar, so far I have to say the cure feels worse than the disease! To be honest, if I get the all-clear for cancer but am left with chronic sinus congestion, well, I can (literally) live with that!

  • Dave

    Hmmm… Big Littlehorn perhaps.

    Nasty things these fungus. Still hopefully you’ll get some nice mushrooms.

    Get well soon.

    • Gordon

      Hi Dave, my favourite joke name for classical composer from the time of Bach (it’s not real but still) is Count Pointercount…

  • sharon g pottinger

    Great gansey news and I love the Custer story. I was told somewhere in the place between anecdote and gospel that after the battle, Custer’s eardrums were pierced with knitting needles or the narive American equivalent so that in the next world he could hear what was being said to him.

    • Gordon

      Hi Sharon, I don’t imagine he’d have liked what the Indians might have said to him in the afterlife…!

      It says a lot that for nearly a century the narrative of the battle was that as there were no survivors, no one knew what had really happened… until eventually it occurred to historians to, you know, actually ask the indians…

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