It may have been a good day
I probably won’t know for a few weeks. But the omens are promising.*
I spoke to the Cherub. I SPOKE to the Cherub!!!
I rang him again.** This afternoon. I was rehearsing what I was going to say to his answering doohickey*** so as not to sound petulant because he hadn’t answered my first message when on the third ring someone answered! Eeek! I said. Gleep!
I make such a good first impression. And it’s so heart-warming to look like a total dork to someone about a third your age.† Never mind. He sounds nice. He said he didn’t have a problem with elderly women of zero talent and a very high anxiety level. He said he thought we could have fun.†† One of the somewhat disconcerting things about these professional voice people is how elegant their, you know, voices are. I remember that from talking to Blondel over the phone: a very high meep factor from my end. The Cherub does not sound like a very young man.
Anyway. We aren’t going to manage to get together till the first week of November††† but—contact! Made! Yaaaay! Meeeep!
And I may have found someone bearing a slight but significant resemblance to a dog minder. For a town groaning under an intolerable burden of aggressive off-lead dogs we sure seem to keep our dog minders busy. This woman is only willing to try and squeeze me in because I’m (a) desperate (b) she likes my dogs‡ and (c) Oisin gave me her name. She can do occasional Tuesday afternoons, she says. So she’s coming round on Saturday for the official introduction. My ENO (English National Opera) catalogue arrived this afternoon and I was glancing through to see what’s on on any Tuesday.
And I’m getting Gotterdammerung back tomorrow.‡‡ And Raphael says that Finale now works.
Of course I’m not telling you about the dentist’s appointment tomorrow, or about the fact that Wolfgang is broken, and the garage can’t have him for mending till Monday, and on Tuesday we’re supposed to be driving to Okefenokee, which is about an hour and a half from here‡‡‡, and therefore pushing my driving limit rather drastically over the line, but Luke and his family are going to be there, and ordinarily they live about seven hours from here.
But sufficient unto the day. Today I spoke to the Cherub!
* * *
* However. A story from the real world.
A Large Famous UK Rose Nursery which shall remain nameless has several held-over-from-having-been-sold-out-last-year roses for me on its books for delivery this autumn. They keep sending me invoices. I keep ignoring them. It is lost in the mists of time why I didn’t pay for the roses last autumn when they were held over in the first place—which is the sort of thing I prefer to do so I don’t have to think about it—I don’t care a whole lot about the interest on twenty quid for a year. I would have got round to paying eventually except I added a couple of roses to the list late last winter when the nursery I’d originally ordered them from had a hissy fit and decided they weren’t going to sell them any more.^ And the woman I spoke to on the phone at Large and Famous said that if I was planning on adding to my order for next autumn, which I was,^^ to wait and pay for the entire lot in one go. Fine, I said, I’ll finish my order after you send me this year’s paper catalogue.^^^ Catalogues go out in August, she said.
They went on sending me invoices. I went on ignoring them.
August came and went.
They are still sending me invoices. I am still waiting for my catalogue. I emailed them. No reply. I phoned them, got their answering machine, left a message. No reply. And no catalogue. I emailed them again.
I rang them again, day before yesterday. Got their answering machine again. I said wearily, my name is blah, I’ve been trying to get hold of you blah, I am still waiting for your paper catalogue blah. Please send, blah.
Yesterday I got an answer, on my machine. You didn’t leave us a phone number, said the voice aggrievedly. How are we supposed to answer your question about your order if you don’t leave us a phone number? Fortunately you’re on our database because you have an outstanding invoice. . . .
^ Yes. I have a weakness for the neglected and obscure. Not all of them are hard to grow.+
+ Unusual Ways of Learning Your New Cultural Referents. One of the songs at last night’s concert was about Grace Darling. Okay, hands up, all the Americans who know who Grace Darling is. No? I didn’t either before I moved over here, despite being an Anglophile with a perhaps somewhat sardonic fondness for the Victorian era. http://www.rnli.org.uk/who_we_are/the_heritage_trust/grace-darling-museum/grace-darling-story I found out who she was after I bought the rose named for her. Which is one of the obscure ones who is hard to grow. She expired after a few years at the old house and I haven’t tried the experiment again in town. But Hybrid Teas aren’t generally very long-lived. She was probably a terror in her heyday.
^^^ A lot of stuff I go straight to the web for any more, and rip off an order as fast as poss. Not roses. I want a three-dimensional catalogue to gloat greedily and lovingly over, dog ear pages, make notes in the margins and lists on scraps+ of paper tucked between the pages. And mutter. Muttering is much more cathartic somehow when there is an affiliated something you can worry and fray and doodle on. Also . . . ordering on line is too dranglefabbing slick and easy++. I need ballast.
+ Sometimes rather large scraps. Sometimes rather a lot of rather large scraps.
++ Except when it isn’t. This same Large Frelling I Mean Famous Rose Nursery lost a fairly substantial order from yours truly this summer when they had an advertised sale that didn’t actually mesh with your experience on line. They didn’t answer that email either.
** Note to self: when I really want to force myself to do something . . . be sure to mention it on the blog. Embarrassment is a wonderful goad.
*** It’s a mobile, not a landline, which makes the usual excuses/defenses of having been away somewhat creaky and dubious.
† I’m expecting him to be five feet tall and look about twelve years old. I probably shouldn’t have nicknamed him Cherub.
†† I think fun is a little extreme, but . . .
††† Which is also when the rehearsals for the Octopus and the Chandelier start.
‡ We are a trifle . . . conspicuous. And as it happens we were roaring off toward the mews this evening when a tentative little voice behind us said, Excuse me—? It was a young woman who is dithering about adopting a rescue whippet cross and wanted to know everything about whippets. She staggered away under a great weight of somewhat internally inconsistent enthusiasm.^ I said I hoped I’d see her around town with her new family member.
^ Especially ironic in this case as not half an hour before I’d been fishing an Unspeakable Substance out of Chaos’ mouth with my bare hand. . . .AAAAAAUGH. The thing is, you don’t have time on these occasions to do anything else. You can fish, or you can not fish, and if you do not fish, the hellhound swallows. And I live in permanent, total dread of either of them eating the ends of sandwiches or burger rolls or anything bready or grainy, the results of which will last for days, and in this case I even thought it looked like focaccia, sort of flat and shreddy and . . . no. Wrong. Ewwwwwww. Anyway. I told this woman how loving and friendly and charming and beautiful hellhounds are, while hellhounds cavorted and batted their eyelashes and played along. I am a chump. We knew that.
‡‡ Only very shortly before Gremlin, my knapsack computer, drives me round the twist.
‡‡‡ Yes. Time and space in the south of England are very strange.
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