December 31, 2010

Why Do I Seem Do Be Having Kind of a Lot of Really Stupid Days?


I woke up last night because there was a Funny Noise.  And I lay there for a while, the way you do when you wake up at an inappropriate hour, and then I got up for a pee, because I was awake, and it’s what you do when you wake up, or I do anyway, and then I went back to bed, and there was still a Funny Noise.  Eventually I woke up enough to realise that it was the sound of the washing machine.*   Spinning.  And spinning.  And spinning.  And . . . I got up again, went downstairs, and pushed the dial along a click, till it stopped spinning.  And went back to bed.  When I got up (later) this morning I looked at the washing machine**.  It looked the way it always does.  I decided that it was probably fine, and that being awake at an hour you should be asleep does strange things to your sense of the passing of time, and it hadn’t really been spinning and spinning and spinning AND SPINNING.  But I also decided not to put another load on right away.***

            But I had handbellers coming this afternoon and the cottage is even more of a tip than usual, which is to say there are narrow winding paths among the stuff for access† and that’s about it, and I’ve got to be able to get at least one of those kitchen chairs into the sitting room.  And in case someone wants the loo, I should probably render the stairs slightly less an insurance adjuster’s nightmare, which means I need to unpack that new box of household apparatus†† . . . at the bottom of which is the mat I ordered to go under my desk in the hope of stopping my desk chair from eating holes in the carpet.  Do you know about Turtle Mats?†††  You put one down inside your front door and as you walk across it in your scandalously muddy hiking boots‡ there is this strange intense sucking sensation and when you get to the other side of the mat your boots are mysteriously SPOTLESS!  —I wish.  But they are good, and I have several‡‡ posted at various doors and perilous interior crossroads.  But they cost a bomb, and I’m planning to have changed my shoes before I sit down at my desk‡‡‡, so this new mat is a Turtle-type knock-off.  And I lifted it out of its plastic wrapper . . . and it promptly spilled a quarter inch of loose fluff all over the carpet.  I don’t have time to hoover. . . .

            As a result§ we got off on our hurtle unusually late, we got down to the mews for lunch unusually late, and we had then to flee back to the cottage almost at once because I had an appointment§§ to talk to Hannah before my handbellers arrived.

            She got the time wrong.  She didn’t ring.

            So I dithered around the cottage finding things that weren’t hoovering to do and glaring at the non-ringing phone . . . and when my handbellers showed up I was out on the front step trying to replace the outside light which burnt out weeks ago but the thing is a sod to replace and takes infinite twiddling, beseeching, and the offering of burnt sacrifices§§§ to deign to accept a new bulb and is absolutely not something you want to be standing around doing in the recent weather.  I wasn’t really in the mood for fighting with inanimate objects so Niall took the new bulb away from me and said he’d have a go and Fernanda and I went indoors and . . .

            . . . there was another Funny Noise and all the lights went out.  And there was a long, mournful wail from upstairs, which was the external battery/surge protector/ridiculously large black box under my desk which I’m always stubbing my feet on, declaring an assault from a hostile force on my computer.  Fortunately my torch# was where it should be, and nothing had blown, only the breaker switch had flipped over, and I flipped it back and the lights came back on but my computer did not.  You should just press the ominously-flashing blue button on the front of the box and it should stop howling like a Bedlamite and the computer should leap into action.  No.  Meanwhile I can hear bells being brought out and passed around so I went downstairs again, doing a little wailing of my own, to be a Good Handbell Host . . .

            Niall did get my computer going again.  And I’ll phone the electrician tomorrow about the frelling porch light.  But did I mention that I’d started another load of laundry while I was waiting for Hannah to ring?  It reached its peroration shortly before our tea break.  And it spun and spun and spun and spun and spun. . . .

            I can’t afford a new washing machine.  I have to buy a camera.### 

* * *

* I like lying in bed listening to the washing machine.  This is pathetic, right?  I found out I like lying in bed listening to the washing machine because I often put a load on last thing at night—partly because sorting out a wash is a useful type of needs-only-half-a-brain thing to do when you should have been in bed hours ago and while you’re waiting to find out if frelling hellhounds are going to eat their final frelling snack or not, and partly because as I lie in bed thinking about the manifold disasters of the day just past I can tell myself ‘at least I got the laundry started.’  And it’s a restful sort of noise.  Sloosh-slosh.  Sloosh-slosh.     

** And it looked at me. 

*** I’m doing hellhound bedding at the moment.  The horror, the horror. 

† It’s a narrow, if straight, path between the kitchen table and the Winter Table over the hellhound crate which has nothing to do with how many magazines I subscribe to. 

†† You know, the brush/broom/mop/duster/cleaning fluid/small electric goblin with three-speed rotating claws that is finally going to solve your worst cleaning problems . . . plus refills of the stuff you actually use.  


‡ Hurtling, in the company of hellhounds, around town WEARING ALL-STARS!!!!  YAAAAAAY!  This is on pavement, mind you:  the countryside is MUD.  But . . . rock-hardness with non-optional slither is returning . . . winter is coming back.  This weekend.  Whimper. 

‡‡ The silly ones of course. 

‡‡‡ Inspiration, as you rush indoors again from a particularly fruitful hurtle,^ can be quite a compelling thing, but usually not that compelling. 

^ “Only those thoughts that come by walking have any value.”  Friedrich Nietzsche.  He went mad, you know. 

§ No, not of hoovering.  Of sitting down for five minutes to read a nice soothing chapter in some book or other and . . . 

§§ Yes, we have to do it this way or we would never talk to each other.  She has a life.  I have superfluities in a number of areas:  hellhounds, bells, music, houses and . . . I hope . . . gardens with roses in them^, as well as an established habit of not answering a ringing phone if I’m not in the mood. 

^ What the hell am I going to do about the cottage garden—which is mostly in pots since all the plumbing in Hampshire runs one-half inch under the surface of the apparent earth—if we do keep on having these severe winters?  I’m dreading finding out how much I’ve lost, come April.  I know I’ve said this before.  I’ll say it again.  I’ll probably be screaming in April. 

§§§ That would be your fingers. 

# flashlight 

## Hannah—we talked later—got a Canon S95 for Christmas.  She loves it.  But she doesn’t have faster-than-a-speeding-digital-compact hellhounds.


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