Swings and Roundabouts
I lost a (favourite) glove. Peter lost his wallet.* I haven’t heard from the Cherub, so presumably I’m not having a first voice lesson with him on Monday. And this morning I got the phone call that I didn’t make the final cut for the Stedman Triples bell education day; they were overbooked, and I’d applied late. So it doesn’t matter that my dog minder failed me, and Fernanda doesn’t have to risk her shoulders and her sanity hurtling hellhounds. Somehow I’m finding cheering difficult.
And in exchange for one crummy little extra hour of sleep/reading** tonight it’s going to get dark at 4 o’clock till March.***
It has not been a great day.†
On the other hand . . . hellhounds ate lunch. Hellhounds ate dinner. Hellhounds poured up and downstairs with me so I could hang out Peter’s guest room window to take a photo of the rainbow,†† which gave me the opportunity to register the curious factoid that the rear view of dog butts going downstairs is high on the list of Small Silly Things That Make Me Happy. ††† Probably all dog butts going downstairs are good, but in the first place I am totally prejudiced about the superiority of my hellhounds in all things,‡ and in the second place, watching a skinny long-legged dog snake-sashay downstairs with his legs all folded up like a spider’s is pretty funny. And speaking of hellhound legs, I let them off lead for the first time today since Chaos seems to be reliably four-legged again, and he did not pull up three legged afterward. Yaay. Cheering commences.
And tomorrow I have not one but two service rings and the first, pre-rehearsal meeting of the cast and crew for the Octopus and Chandelier. Next Sunday proper rehearsals start, but tomorrow they’re going to play us the music and rouse us to a frenzy of enthusiasm. I think it’s something they put in the tea/cocoa/orange squash. This is also when we are issued with the tiny subcutaneous homing devices that force us to show up at the Chrysalid Junior School hall every Sunday afternoon for the next four months. Um. Yaay. . . .
* * *
* Peter suggests that I say bluntly that at rising 83 years old his grasp on reality is not all that it once was . . . but reality has never been his strong suit, any more than it has ever been mine. It gets pretty foggy around here sometimes.^ But today by the time I got down to the mews Peter was over the initial sick-making adrenaline rush of horror and dismay and had already done the useless, the dispiriting, and the stopping, replacing and backside-protecting phoning around you have to do^^ in the wearisome wake of such an event. Big major ugh.
^ What do you mean, where is/are the x/y/z? You had it/them last. Did not. Did so. Did . . .
^^ Do not tax yourselves guessing why I know this
** Although I’ve just finished a good book for a bad mood: HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins is funny and cute, with a wise-cracking heroine and a vampire who loves pink. Sophie Mercer is a witch, but when a spell to help a friend get her perfect prom date goes seriously wrong, she’s sent off to supernatural reform school: Hex Hall, marooned on an island off the coast of Georgia. ‘I stepped out of the car and into the hot thick heat of August in Georgia. “Awesome,” I murmured, sliding my sunglasses on top of my head. Thanks to the humidity, my hair felt like it had tripled in size. I could feel it trying to devour my sunglasses like some sort of carnivorous jungle plant.’ And Lord Byron is one of the teachers. Yes, that Lord Byron: he didn’t die in Greece. He was turned.
I have the paperback Simon and Schuster UK edition. They are clearly, uh, not going for the crossover market: if Jodi hadn’t recommended it I would have had a must-to-avoid reaction, but I’m old. I am, however, still going to object to the cover art, which is three extremely white girls, two blondes and a brunette. The unholy triumvirate of the book, however, consists of one blonde girl, one redhead, and a black girl. Couldn’t S&S have gone the extra inch and a half and got this right? Grrrrrrr. Oh, and if any of the target audience happens to read this blog: there’s a dishy warlock with whom our heroine is locked in a cellar three nights a week for the semester. No, really.
*** It’s the frelling shifting back and forth that I loathe. Measuring time is a human conceit anyway, so while I admit I would rather have the sun overhead, or as overhead as it’s going to get according to the time of year, at noon, I’m not going to insist on it. What I wish I could insist on is that they choose their dranglefabbing line and stick to it.
† And quietly in the background . . . an old friend is dying. He’s been ill several years, and his quality of life hasn’t been so great for a while. So this is one of those ‘maybe it’s for the best’ situations. Except it doesn’t feel like it’s for the best. It feels like it sucks really big time. This is, hands down and no contest, the worst thing about getting old: the utterly repellent and reprehensible way that you start losing friends oftener. It’s not like you ever had any doubt that life was uncertain^: I don’t see why the universe has to up the ante on us like this. I hate gambling.
^ I don’t know about you, but even during that adolescent phase when you know you’re immortal I knew I wasn’t.
It’s been one of those acutely-English weather days where you’re strolling along in the company of your frolicking hellhounds, enjoying the sunshine and not even wearing a raincoat*** . . . and it starts raining. You look up, remembering to be grateful it’s not merely a very, very, very large bird flying past, and there, a mile or two above you, is a tiny black spot that looks about as big as your hand. It’s poised perfectly over your head, and it’s raining. And when you walk on, it glides along with you. Still raining. I am always reminded at these moments of THE WITCHES OF KARRES, and vetches.
††† The stairs at the cottage are curly, and the rear view of your companions on the descent isn’t as good.
‡ This is what critters are for. The reason you have your own is that they’re the best. ^
^ And anybody who says anything injudicious about oh, say, eating, at this point, or digestive issues, will have their copy of PEGASUS taken away from them. No, wait, I have a better idea: you’ll be forbidden to read PEG II.
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