2 Nov 2014


 The thing about me is that I'm actually a horrible show-off, and this quality manifests itself at this time of year as the need to carve needlessly elaborate designs into a large vine vegetable. The year before last I carved a lion (there's a picture here) which turned out pretty well and garnered a satisfying number of compliments, but it was conceptually a pretty simplistic endeavour. So this year I decided I was going to work on an astral theme and carve Pegasus and canis minor which, if you know your stars (I don't but google knows lots), you will recognise as autumn constellations.

Every time I carve a pumpkin I get a bit too intent and end up belatedly discovering hand wounds that I inflicted on myself in my enthusiasm. Whittling is a very soothing activity though. When I was little we used to go on camping holidays to the Scilly Isles every summer and one year we made friends with a lady staying on the campsite who would whittle corks into little animals and leave them hanging around her tent with lengths of fishing line. On the morning she left, we woke up to find a cork fish hanging from our tent. We never ran into her again and the fish got lost somewhere, but I think about that quite a lot. It's kind of appealing to me, the idea of being a mysterious whittling artist who breezes in and out of people's lives, leaving a trail of little cork creatures behind her.

This has been my one whittling-themed anecdote.

 (My flatmate is a pumpkin lantern traditionalist)

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