The Return of an Old Friend and a Surprise Meeting
Also to say that as washed-out, dumb-as-a-brick, you-overdid-it-yesterday*-and-today-you-will-PAY, ME-ascendant days go, this one has not been too bad. But this is still likely to be a motlier**-than-usual entry because I haven’t got the brain to tie it together.***
I brought Wolfgang home today.† If it weren’t for the yawning ravine in my bank balance you’d never know. He’s all red and smooth and shiny and clink-clink-rattle-free†† . . . and when you put your foot down on the go pedal of a 16-year-old Golf VW as opposed to a six-month-old two-bobbin Citroen something happens beyond the distant hum of a worried sewing machine. Also while I am going to try very determinedly not to run into anything again, driving the pristine little blue wonder was very hard on the nerves.††† When one of the monster Hampshire buses comes flailing around a tight corner at me—as happened today, on my way to fill up the wonder’s tank before taking it back to the garage—I want to dive into the hedgerow first and fret about the paintwork later.
On my way home from the garage I stopped at the vet surgery for wormer. There was a vaguely familiar-looking gentleman at the counter in front of me, who stood aside while someone went off to rootle in the back room for what he wanted. I gave my name and my hellhounds’ names and the vaguely familiar gentleman winced and said something terribly British like ‘one might want to ask how they’re doing.’ I looked at him and he said, they were our puppies.
Oh—! The last time I’d had any contact with their breeder was nearly three years ago, when I was still completely at a loss about what was wrong with them. It is still mysterious to me that out of eight puppies apparently only my specific two have a cereal allergy—but since that’s clearly what it is, or at any rate going off all cereal has been the thing that works—I don’t really care any more. So I chirruped on for several minutes about how beautiful and charming and excellent my hellhounds are—and observed that he looked relieved. But the thing I wanted to tell all you animal folk out there is that I couldn’t remember his name to save my life. I could look it up, I’ve still got it among the hellhounds’ papers. But his dogs’ names . . . totally present and available. Asked after them individually, while I could only say ‘you’, ‘your wife’, ‘your daughter’. The reason I remember the daughter’s existence is because she was the one responsible for puppy socialisation (and an excellent job she did too). But pigeon frelling feathers and stale cookie crumbs—I run into the hellhounds’ breeder on maybe the only day in the last four years I haven’t had hellhounds in the back of the car if I’m driving around New Arcadia. So I finished by saying, if you would like to see them again, give me a shout. . . .
I now have to pull myself together to cram madly for tomorrow’s handbells, sigh. I’m 99% certain that three hours of learning a plain course on the 3-4 to bob major yesterday on the train will have served chiefly (a) to dislodge the plain course on the 1-2 to bob major which I had learnt (mostly) and (b) to render me incapable of learning to ring a touch on the 3-4 to bob minor which is what is going to be expected of me tomorrow. Brain, brain, brain, brain. . . . ‡
* * *
* I am so glad I did not make it to handbells last night or I would probably be a little smudge on the floor today. There is no credit union option for overspending your energy supply.
** motleyer? Eww. More motley. Whatever.
*** I’m sure I’ve got plenty of green garden string . . .
† And he smells like wet dog. Five days in the body shop and he smells like wet dog. Which is nonetheless an improvement on the alarming New Car Smell^ of the little blue wonder. But I think I might nonetheless change the hellhounds’ car bedding which I perhaps tend to be a trifle cavalier about.
^ I always feel that if I breathe too much of it I’ll start to glow in the dark.
†† Except for the steering. Sigh.
††† Negotiating with a gear box where all the gears are trying to duck away and hide in the back seat is also bad for morale.
‡ And one last piece of semi-news: I may have my first voice lesson with my new voice teacher Monday week—the week after next.
. . . This is the last day of the Everything Mozart Ever Wrote, Quite a Lot of It Several Times, twelve-day Nothing-But-Mozart-Fest on Radio Three. They’ve done several of these one-composer-only marathons and as a rule I think they’re a dumb idea; nobody can stand being obsessed over to this level.^ Well. Um. I’m going to miss him^^ when it’s all Strauss and Tchaikovsky and Schoenberg tomorrow. Especially Schoenberg.
However as I’m writing this the last Mozart programme is on, which is for listeners to ask for and dedicate favourite bits, and the presenter has just read out a dedication from ‘Robin’ to ‘all things beautiful’. Ewwwwww. That’s not me. Just in case you might have wondered. But the chosen piece is Horowitz playing the Rondo ala Turca . . . which might very well have been me. Or something from the Marriage of Figaro. I have pretty simple-minded tastes about a lot of things I’m afraid. Chocolate. Champagne. Beethoven’s symphonies. Mozart’s piano sonatas and The Marriage of Figaro.
^ The JS Bach-athon still holds first place however for the Fatuous Prat award for dipstick audience comments. Jeez. This is a problem for an All-Star wearing guttersnipe listening to classical music: it’s the literature of music. We’re all so frelling exquisite. And I’ve mostly lost my cheap-genre touch. I know, I know, I could get it back . . . but I need to listen to the Eroica or La Traviata or K 331 again first. Or Una Voce Poco Fa because I want to sing it.+
+ No, I don’t yet know how good my new voice teacher’s sense of humour is.
^^ Although I’m pretty sure I said this about Beethoven too, and he wrote a lot more rubbishy bits than Mozart lived long enough to.
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