Winter came to Caithness this week. I don’t mean the usual 60-70 mph winds, leaden skies and rain—though we had those too—but genuine snow and ice, skating-on-the-Thames kind of weather. It’s melting even as I type this, rain and dank fog turning the crisp, white snow to grey slush, but it was fun while it lasted.
The snow arrived borne on a hyperborean wind, straight from the Arctic; it didn’t settle at first because it was blowing horizontally, just passing through, you might say. I went out for a walk and when I turned into the wind my glasses rapidly became coated, everything whited out until I was effectively blind; it was like a time-lapse of developing cataracts all over again. In a very few minutes I was transformed into a sort of walking snowman, and I had to dodge swiftly to prevent some children from sticking a carrot and some lumps of coal in me—at least I think it was a carrot.
In other news, I’m sorry to say that I’m signed off work for another month. A friend who’s been through something similar told me that it’s like being a battery that’s gone flat—you think you’re recharged, but you go flat again very quickly—and I think that sums it up pretty well. (Of course, it doesn’t help that both my parents are currently in hospital away down south in England, and Margaret’s gone to help out.) Anyway, the doctor felt I just need more time.
So, looking positively, time is what I have plenty of right now; and you’re never bored if you have some 2.25mm needles, a woolsack of Guernsey 5-ply and a box set of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, as any fule kno*. So I’ve completed the somewhat-too-large cream Wick gansey this week and darned in the ends—though it won’t be blocked till Margaret gets back, which, also on the plus side, means no photos of me wearing it and looking like a 12 year-old trying on daddy’s clothes; albeit a bald, bearded, chubby 12 year-old (what can I say? I was a precocious child).
I’ve also cast on my next project, another Wick gansey inspired by the wonderful photographs of the Johnston Collection, this time in Wendy navy yarn. This one will feature a Scottish flag patterned yoke, the same design of half-flag that appears in the classic Mrs Laidler pattern. More on this next week, but be warned: I’m already 3 inches up the welt.
By the way, the fact that Margaret’s away just now means that (a) the quality of the photographs will necessarily nosedive, and (b) I won’t be able to post any pictures of ganseys people send me; you see, in the absence of Tech Support I’m not entrusted with the website’s command codes (at my own request—as otherwise it’d be like putting Mr Bean in charge of engineering in the Starship Enterprise…)
Normal service will resume, well, eventually.
[*Down With Skool by Willans and Searle reference—what do you mean, you haven’t read it?!]