April 27, 2011

A Fiona Day


It has been a Fiona Day.  This has been both a good thing and a . . . well, not exactly a bad thing, but an exasperating thing, starting with the fact that I’m sure the day has been four and a half hours long, not twelve, since I rolled heavily out of bed* and started the sprint toward getting the hellhounds hurtled before Fiona arrived.**

            We duly met Fiona up at Third House and began a two-pronged assault on the McKinley-Dickinson backlist.***  Fiona was supposed to put our single-copy reference shelves in order.†  I was looking for various particular items.

            Listen to me closely, everyone, please.  THERE IS GOING TO BE AN AUCTION. 

            Remember that New Arcadia’s tower bells need some serious restoration work?††  We need approximately the down payment on a medium-sized house.  And we need it now. 

            There are various plans afoot, but at (say) £1.50 per, it’s going to take a very large high tea and bake sale to sell enough brownies to pay for more than a gudgeon and half a headstock.†††  I thought I’d augment the baking with a book‡ auction.‡‡

            So I was down at Third House trawling through the tower blocks‡‡‡ of backlist.  GAAAAAAH.  How is it possible to find so little of what you’re looking for when all the boxes are LABELLED??  Well, one answer to this conundrum is that they’re only labelled on one side and that side can be assumed to be any other side than the one(s) you can see.  Furthermore the backlist boxes, both Peter’s and mine, became cacodemonically intermingled with all the other boxes of books at Third House, including the QUITE A FEW that were destined for Oxfam, except I never quite got them there before the Attack of the Builders.  Thus is laziness punished.  Struwwelpeter didn’t cover this one for some reason.§

            With some help from Fiona, whose melting point is a good deal higher than mine, I did eventually find most of what I was looking for.  Details of THE AUCTION to follow, as soon as I get them sorted out well enough§§ for Blogmom to set up the practical details.

            Meanwhile . . . Fiona did get to the post office this time.§§§  So listen again, please, everyone.  EVERYTHING I AM AWARE OF THAT I OWE ANYBODY IS NOW IN THE MAIL.  If anyone is still waiting for anything they think I’ve promised them—and I don’t necessarily mean recently, I mean at all—PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.  Use the email on my web site.~ 

            And then Fiona went through a knitting pattern with me.  What is the matter with knitting pattern writers?  This one calls itself EASY.  Lies!  Lies!

 * * *

* Please note I am writing this a lot earlier than I am posting it.  If you’re counting.

** Fortunately she was also sprinting late.  We are a pair.  Not in a good way.  Also-fortunately-given-basic-unfortune-of-situation we have iPhones to keep current with each other’s vagaries.   I still wonder how I lived without email.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was still resisting the virtual-post phenomenon.  I’m beginning to wonder how I lived without the ability for frantic, after-the-last-minute texting.  And I’ve had Pooka less than a year.  Maybe it has something to do with the increasing impossibility of my so-called schedule?  No, no, I’m sure that’s not it. . . . Fairly sure. . . . Well, maybe slightly quizzical. . . . 

*** Hellhounds were kept busy in the supply train.  They supplied (alternately) the dozing and the ‘isn’t it time for something else to happen yet?’ looks. 

† It took her about ten minutes to get the McKinley volumes lined up.  The Dickinson . . . Tell Peter he’s written too many books, she said. 

†† It occurs to me this is a very strong argument for handbells.^ 

^ I have made a serious tactical error.  Learning the first lead of frelling Cambridge frelling minor by itself made sense:  it’s like establishing your base camp in the foothills before the assault on the Peak of Death.  Even learning the first and second leads still makes sense.  But last week when I unexpectedly found myself more or less staggering through the second lead and only crashing and burning moderately, in this daze of there-must-be-some-mistake-the-crashing-and-burning-should-be-total-and-absolute, I found myself agreeing to learn the third lead for this week.  Which is to say . . . tomorrow. 

            And the problem with the third lead is . . . you hit the halfway point halfway through it.  And you know it’s the halfway point.  It feels like the halfway point.  And you find yourself remembering all that pernicious nonsense about turning around and going back the way you came.  Yes—the second half is the mirror image of the first half.  Only the Wild Roberts, Nialls and Colins of this world can use this information in any practical sense.  For the rest of us being told that you just do the whole thing backwards is a goad to violence.  But . . . you’ve got halfway.  You know it’s more or less the same pattern you used to get this far.  It’s, you know, it’s only the exact same thing backwards.  Maybe it’ll look a little familiar . . . surely it’ll look more familiar than the first two and a half leads did.  Maybe it would be amusing just to have a little tentative try at the rest of it. . .  .  AAAAAAUGH.  The result is that I’m now frelling embarked on learning the entire FIVE leads of a COMPLETE PLAIN COURSE of Cambridge.  And the result of that is that at present I can’t ring any of it.  And handbell practise is tomorrow . . . whimper.  Whiiiiiimper.

+ I know better.  I know better than to do these things.  Than to plunge headlong into the abyss.#  Than to try to catch up with people who have been method ringing since the Palaeozoic.  

# Three Secret Knitting Projects?  Three?  

††† http://www.cccbr.org.uk/prc/pubs/slides/50labelledFullCircleBellAndFittings.jpg 

‡ And maybe a few oddments.  Hee hee hee hee. 

‡‡ Which may raise enough money for the other half of that headstock.   Come on, people, break into those piggy banks.

‡‡‡ Speaking of towers 

§ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struwwelpeter  The original nightmare book for little kids you really hate.  And he wrote it for his three year old son?  Lock that man up.  He’s criminally insane.  

§§ Including a certain amount of taking deep breaths and wondering if I dare.  See ‘and oddments’, above. 

§§§ Last time, you may remember, was rather taken up with yarn and Steeleye Span. 

~ Those of you waiting for the tangible outcome of the Harass Oisin contest . . . you need to wait about a fortnight longer.  Ahem.


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