All right, this is getting silly. This is Snowdonia, for heaven’s sake, it’s not supposed to be warmer than the Mediterranean,
especially not in the evening, and it’s not supposed to be dry either. Everyone knows Wales is the land of song and squally showers, don’t they? (They are often wrong, mind, and on both counts if you’ve heard some of the contributions to the first cliché in our local pub. I shall mention no names but let’s just say that band practice carries and I do wish it didn’t.)
But, in defiance of the fact that I know the stereotypes for what they are – rubbish with but a grainette of truth – and am quite capable of coming to terms with reality, I decided to knit a winter sweater.
I know, I know, but we’d briefly reverted to what passes for the norm – a bit cloudy, not too warm – and I was allowing for the fact that I have to go slow and take care of my hands, and that it will soon(ish) be autumn. I also want to use up the stash, so I selected Norah Gaughan’s Kenobi jacket, found some yarn I bought at Wonderwool ahem, ahem years ago (a cone of green 100% wool DK tweed from Curlew Weavers) and fiddled with the tension to get it to work with the yarn doubled.
Not only is it working, but it’s also a quick and comfortable knit – or it was until we became surprisingly warmer than Nice (admittedly Bordeaux, Montpellier and Toulouse were beating us, but there you go). At this point it became rather like knitting with an uncooperative labrador on your lap – minus the dribble but not entirely minus the smell, and with quite a bit of shedding also involved. I kept sticking to the work, the yarn, the needles, the pattern, the settee, the carpet, the rather nasty knitting bag I got from Rowan as a freebie. I gave up. So what to do instead?
There’s work. Let’s pass over that.
There’s the garden, some of which has started harvesting itself. I’d been wondering when to pick the garlic when it all fell over, making debate somewhat academic:
but working in the garden achieved very little except giving me mild sunstroke, a deep and as yet unsatisfied desire for a Magnum (holiday traffic preventing me getting near shop), and an interesting criss-cross sunburn pattern on my feet due to the straps on my sandals.
So now what? I suffer, you see, from a sort of Protestant work ethic, except it’s more of a Catho-Judaic-total-non-believer-for-generations-on-both-sides work ethic. I have to be up and doing. There’s always something and you’re a long time dead. Well, there’s always something except housework; I mean, there are limits. Maybe some other, more realistic, knitting? Hmm. I managed to tell myself off after trying to finish a shawl in some lovely silk/cashmere mix and getting into even more of a mess – not so much of a labrador on the lap as an elegant Persian cat. Contemplated becoming a Bond villain briefly, then decided to just chill, man, went and found rug, hat, cold drink, cushion, book
(Les vacances du petit Nicolas, Goscinny et Sempé, super-superbe – been translated but the translation struck me as oddly twee, what a shame – an ideal summer book), and then went back for suntan stuff, cherries, another cushion, to change my top, get another drink, change my sandals for more comfortable espadrilles. This relaxing thing is sooooo exhausting.
Tried staring into tree for a bit.
Tree roughly same colour as silk/cashmere mix. Want to knit! Wonder if knitting outside – where it’s cooler – is better than knitting inside?
I can now answer that question. It isn’t. It’s very similar to knitting inside, plus you get leaves in your knitting and ‘help’ from Next Door’s Cat. NDC is not an elegant Persian, thus no good when it comes to plans for world domination, but rather scrappy B&W moggie with a disturbing fondness for all forms of animal fibre. Threw cold drink in NDC’s general direction and she pissed off, but I knew she was just lying in wait and so started taking things in, including the knitting – plus, by now there was almost more clutter in the garden than in the house and I thought I’d redress the balance a little. Stupidly left the door open while I went to get more stuff and came back into the house to discover NDC on the table, stalking the shawl. Threw her out and closed the door. Now what? Ah – beach.
I can – fortunately, due to weekend traffic – walk to the beach. The fact that this was a wise choice should have given me a clue about how crowded it was likely to be, but our beaches are never heaving and I thought it would be fine, particularly if I walked behind the dunes and across to the beach itself on the farther boardwalk which only the dog walkers seem to know. Now, the council have issued dog bans on many local beaches. Nobody seems to be quite clear which parts are OK and which are not – and in all fairness I must say that the maps are vague and completely lacking in ‘you are here’ arrows. However, there is absolutely NO excuse for what I put my foot in once I came off the boardwalk and set off down the stones towards the sand. I’ll just say that my sprint to the sea was worthy of Usain Bolt. With extra gagging accompaniment. BLEAGH.
(And while I’m on the subject, picking up after your dog is fine and dandy and lovely, but not if you then suspend the plastic bag from a tree / hang it from the handrail of a boardwalk / deposit it by the side of a picnic table and then forget to pick it up. Mucky pups, and I’m talking about the bad dog walkers and not their pets.)
Fortunately I was rescued from this life of relaxation and no knitting by a trip out to see a friend, her garden, her shepherd’s hut, some new and different countryside.
And there was even a real labrador to have resting on my lap. One whose owner feels equally violently about the plastic-bag amnesiacs, too.
That’s more like it.
How’s everyone else coping?