January 30, 2011

Shattered again


. . . No, no, that’s just me.  I haven’t run Wolfgang into anything else.  Sundays tend to be like this.  The real reason I’m starting this ‘practise quarter peal’ scam is so that I can schedule quarters not on a Sunday when I have half a hope of holding myself together long enough to get through one.   I haven’t had a really brilliant morning since the ME nailed me eleven years ago, and since I have this indelicate habit of staying up till all hours* getting out of bed what-counts-to-me-as-early on Sunday morning to ring bells is this epic act of heroism every frelling week.  Which means that by noon I feel like five pm and by five pm I feel like . . . tomorrow, having stayed up all night.  Standard Sunday service quarters are rung around five pm.**

            And right at the moment my Sundays are being made increasingly hideous by lengthening Octopus and Chandelier rehearsals:  today’s was four hours, and it goes up to six shortly.  The show goes on, ready or not, at half-term, the last week in February.  But the chorus doesn’t have enough to do.  I read most of a novel today so excellent*** that I was absorbed in it in spite of all the banging and yowling going on around me, which on the one hand is very nice, because spending your Sunday afternoon reading is one of those things I used to do when I wasn’t doing too many other things†, but if you’re going to spend your afternoon reading, you want to be curled up on your sofa with your hellhounds or similar, and not have your concentration regularly if infrequently broken by demands that you sing something.  Wha’?  Huh?   There’s a further problem:  us non-dancing chorus are a small, elegantly arranged coral reef in one corner of the stage, and what is the first important fact about coral?††  It’s sessile.  It doesn’t move around.   It just sits there.  Hour after hour.  After hour.  After . . . ouch.  I don’t sit still well at the best of times but I mostly don’t notice—because I don’t sit still.  I twitch.  I fidget.  I get up and make more cups of tea.  I also rarely sit, as your director or your audience might define sitting;  I tend to have at least one leg folded up under me somehow.  I also slouch a lot.  At funny angles.  Not at all elegant.  By the end of the third hour of rehearsal, despite breaks during which we were allowed to lay aside our coral natures and reengage with bipedalism, I was so crippled I could barely move, and by the time I got home to hellhounds, who were delighted to see me and went and sat by the front door in a significant manner, it was Quasimodo all the way.†††  The things you don’t think of when you decide to do something silly, like sing in your first am-dram performance at the age of 58.‡ 

            I’m so trashed I think I may go to bed early. . . .  Maybe I’ll finish reading that novel. . . . 

* * *

* I tend to get my second wind at about one a.m., which is inconvenient.  But when you have one of these energy-stompers like ME you take what you can get and try not to argue.  People with ME don’t generally last long in standard office jobs.^ 

^ And if any of you out there have ME and a standard office job . . . wow.  I totally salute you. 

** Niall and I walked down from the church to the main street together after ringing this morning, chiefly so Niall could gloat.  He did have one useful piece of information for me—that Penelope is delighted at the prospect of practise quarters and has offered to sacrifice herself on the altar of administrative support, should I feel the need.^    Other than that, he said, grinning broadly,^^ I’m just going to sit back and let you get on with it.  —The life of a Deputy Ringing Master is fraught with peril.  The life of a Deputy Ringing Master with bright ideas is . . . ^^^

^ Which is to say that organising ringers to do stuff is one of those cat-herding occupations, and at very least if there’s two of us we each have someone to complain to.  

^^ I’m not sure I’ve ever noticed what a very wide toothy grin Niall has.  I wonder if he has a little goblin blood? 

^^^ I think possibly ‘learning to knit’ comes in this ‘bright perilous ideas’ category.   No, I haven’t mastered the second row yet.   But I have a nice new knitting ap on Pooka. 

*** Yes, I will certainly blog about it. 

† and having ME 

†† Aside from the fact that the pink-orange range makes great jewellery.  

††† I swear Wolfgang engaged his own clutch on the way home.  Although I hung on white-knuckled as we went through the gate.  

‡ I’ve been sitting through operas for forty years.  I don’t know.  The stress level is different.


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