Very Long Tuesday
Bluh blah blerg gah arrgh. I am very tired. It started last night, with not sleeping. So intelligent, not sleeping the night before a journey, for and during which it would be convenient to have at least a few wits available.* Especially when you’re driving an unfamiliar car to an unfamiliar train station. The little blue wonder clung to the road like a good ’un however** and, better yet, it was still there in the car park when I got back tonight, having courageously resisted being kidnapped by aliens. It’s not quite a Smart Car but it’s the next thing up, and it does give the impression that you could tuck it under your arm and walk away.*** And I haven’t run into anything. † And there was a message on my answerphone when I got home this evening that I can have Wolfgang back!!†† Yaaaaay!
But it was about three and a half hours on the train. I had brought my little laptop and three books†††. So guess what I spent all but the last half hour of the journey doing.‡
Handbells on Pooka. Of course.‡‡
So I’m sitting here brain dead and thinking blog entry? Are you kidding?
But this will do. Won’t it?
* * *
* I was talking to another stay-at-home writer friend recently about travelling , and all the reasons not to do it. Hotel rooms! Where there are never enough blankets or pillows (or towels) and the sheets smell funny! And the strange, rocky, sponge-like material the mattress is made of! Or perhaps I mean strange, spongy, rock-like material! Whatever it is it defies the laws of physics!^ And the Cthulhu-is-coming-to-get-you-woooooh noise that the central heating/air conditioning starts making the moment you turn the light out! Getting the TV off the menu/Welcome to the Shadow Hotel in friendly fascinating Innsmouth page!^^ Peeling the individually wrapped specially for you soap out of the special individual wrapper, which has been fortified by steel wire!^^^
And then there’s the food!
And the interesting things your neighbours are getting up to! The family party, the party party, the exercise freak (get a gym, buddy!), the newlyweds or equivalent (unfortunately they got a room, and it’s next to yours), the deaf insomniac addicted to Russ Meyer movies and . . . last and terrifyingly not least, the you-don’t- know-you-can’t-imagine^^^^ and you don’t want to know. Which is when you wedge a chair under the door handle and look nervously at the window.^^^^^
At least I got home, today.
^ It certainly defies the hell out of sleep.
^^ When there’s a remote. When there isn’t a remote, there will be no manual buttons on the TV.
^^^ This kind of thing reminds me of the dog toys you fill with food that the dog then has to work to get out. It’s supposed to keep them amused.+ I am reminded of that Gary Larson cartoon of the dog balancing a dog biscuit on his nose while the human is saying something like ‘good boy, goood boy!’ and the dog is thinking ‘this time I’m really going to kill him.’
+ It did not amuse the hellhounds at all.
^^^^ And you have a professionally vivid imagination
^^^^^ Bad attitude? Me?
** Even if I had to get out and push it up the hills. This did perhaps serve to wake me up briefly.
*** Or push it up a hill.
†† So I have a few more hours not to run into anything till I can get the little blue wonder back to its own berth. Between the brick wall and the long queue of deliquescing vehicles.
††† Plus the complete ‘book’ of the Octopus and the Chandelier, which I finally managed to pry off Ossian. As a member of the mere non-dancing chorus, I am not privy to the intimacies of the leads. Us chorus just get wheeled out for a few numbers and reprises, and wheeled right off again. I have really no idea what’s going on, bar that there’s an octopus. And a chandelier.
‡ Shut up you Twitter people. I know, I’ve already tweeted.
‡‡ Because I am not merely a moron but a moron^ who can’t even remember that, being a moron she has to check her diary, I had told Niall I’d ring handbells tonight, having forgotten that I was going to be elsewhere most of the day, and likely to return home in a state more nearly resembling a slag-heap or a gate that someone has just rammed a car into than a conscious, thinking human being. I’ve told you that the ‘inside’ pairs of a method are harder to learn than the ‘outside’? So in minor (six bells) the 3-4 are the hard pair. In major (eight bells) you have two ratbag pairs: 3-4 and 5-6. Niall feels that since Pooka clearly works as an educational device, witness the relatively distressing speed with which I picked up the ability to ring a fairly reliable plain course of bob major on the trebles (1-2), I should now move swiftly on to ringing one of the inside pairs because we suddenly seem to have a lot of beginners, or anyway people without iPhones, who have to learn handbells the hard way^^, by beating the crap out of other ringers.
Luckily I caught a later train than planned . . . realised I wasn’t going to make it to handbells . . . and for the last half hour of the train I finally put Pooka away and read something.^^^
^ But a moron who rang a touch of Stedman Doubles last night on the two at Old Eden’s tower. I don’t ring the two in Stedman Doubles. I do now (at least sometimes).
^^ There is no easy way
^^^ Pooka or, more precisely, her earphones, were crucial to happiness on the trip home however. It was rush hour, and if there was a seat, you took it, and you liked it. But I happened to be sitting next to a gentleman who breathed with a noise like a Boeing 747 taking off. I plugged in and tuned out . . . but was distracted, between courses, by the awareness that the stentorian gentleman was reading on a Kindle. When he had to climb over me to get off at his station I Engaged Him Briefly in Conversation. He really likes the thing. He’s says it’s easy to read and surprisingly (he said) easy to use. ‘I particularly like this part of an ereader,’ he said, slipping it into an inside pocket of his jacket. The jacket fell closed and you’d never know he was carrying anything bigger or heavier than a handkerchief. My three books were occupying a dedicated heavy cotton tote bag. If I ever do find myself travelling again. . . .
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