June 30, 2011

On varieties of public performance



So, who’s the hot babe in the strapless black dress?  That would be Shannon Park, voguish young editor at Penguin UK.  And who’s the wizened prune* opposite her, gripping her champagne flute in a this-is-a-PARTY-get-me-out-of-here spasm?  Oh, that would be . . . uh . . .

            Well, whoever she is, she’s going to be at Forbidden Planet tomorrow week/a week from tomorrow **  to sign copies of the frisky new UK edition of PEGASUS.  And, possibly, frighten the horses.  There has been a conversation on the forum about costume.  Highlights:

Ajlr:  I’m considering getting my Schiaparelli-pink, feathered, sequinned, cat-suit back from the person I loaned it to, just for the occasion… Mwahahaha

CathyR:  Now that would be a blog photo to remember!!  Especially if you were with Robin in her black leather mini …..

Robin:  I’ll wear the leather mini if Ajlr promises to wear the pink catsuit.  Mwa hahahahahahaha.

Ajlr:  I suppose I ought to dig out the rhinestone-covered clogs with the six-inch killer soles, to go with it?

Aaron:  This is entirely unfair. I was sorry to miss the opportunity to go all fanboy over one of my favourite authors in person*** but the cost of getting there from California made the choice reasonably easy. I don’t need this kind of temptation. Besides, what would the rest of us wear to live up to this kind of standard?

Ajlr:  Perhaps we could have a competition whereby everyone sends in photos of what they would have worn to fit in with the evolving dress code at this occasion?

Ajlr is joking.  I, on the other hand, am thinking about it.  And if I’m not locked in a cupboard and told to shut up I’ll put up a copy of the UK PEGASUS as a prize.  So, what are the parameters here?  The first one is that this is a family-friendly blog, aside from occasional manifestations of extreme crankiness from yours truly, and therefore any potential submissions must not give precocious eight-year-olds† nightmares.  Mad, falling-down-and-rolling-around laughter is allowed.  It may even be encouraged.  I am thinking that both Ajlr’s catsuit and my leather mini are going to be pushing both these boundaries rather hard.  I will also say that I suspect—dreadful, faithless person that I am—that Ajlr is planning to bail on the catsuit, and that I am not going to show up looking like a Goth Miss Havisham without support.  Which means I need a few detailed, specific promises of curious apparel on the night, before I go rootle around in the attic and see if the moths, frustrated of their true desires by an excess of cedar oil, have turned to black leather as a substitute.  You might want to think twice, however.  If I wear the black leather you’ll be missing the cutaway denim skirt with the white chiffon and the appliquéd roses.  Choose carefully.

            But we could still do a photo contest.  Couldn’t we?†† 

* * *

* Nice sparkly hair pin however, except that it’s not sparkling in the photo.  And the long black swirly cotton skirt with the lace insets^ is entirely wasted.  Just for completeness I will tell you the tote bag you can see hanging from my left shoulder contains THE YARN.^^

            I particularly like the background of this one, which to my eye moves it from being some damn snap of some damn party to an interesting photo.  That’s our fearless leader stooping for her water glass^^^.  I’m also interested that our photographer can apparently slow the shutter speed down enough to let this much light in—you know how dark my photos were~ —and keep what he’s aiming at in focus while the background blurs.   Our adaptable friend, technology.  Clearly he has read the instructions for his camera.  Ahem.

            Note:  our fearless leader’s black jacket is very sparkly.   I was tempted to ask her where she got it, but what if she had told me?

^ Lace insets = cross ventilation

^^ Jodi Meadows wrote:  Some yarn is definitely more pettable than others. And it’s soooo easy to become even more of a [natural fibres] snob.

SIIIIGH.  I’m sure I would have been perfectly happy with the half-acrylic green.  It’s really very pretty.  For various reasons everything I’m working on at the minute—three Secret Projects and the hellhound blanket—is at least part acrylic, and actually it’s all pretty nice and friendly.  But every time I sneak one of the pure wools out of my STASH to fondle I swear my pulse quickens.  Mmmmmm.  

blondviolinist wrote:   Manos del Uruguay. Now that’s the good stuff!!! Your perfect green is one of the best yarns in the world.

Oh? she says in a very small voice.  Oh.  Well.  The thing I’m noticing is just how soft it is, although ‘soft’ doesn’t really do it justice, it’s like saying Taittinger’s is fizzy.  Tell me about these sheep, you know?  What is with these Uruguayan sheep?  It’s obviously been spun and dyed to exemplariness, but it starts with the sheep.  

^^^ Or possibly gin and tonic:  I didn’t check. 

~ Although if you’re asking me, mine are truer to the colours of the pillars.  Maybe I have dark eyes. 

** And just for the record, I am NOT going back to the yarn store afterward.  I’ve decided that the answer^ to the Stash Problem is to buy ONLY THE BEST.  Which means I can afford about one lot of Manos del Oro-guay . . . once a year.   I might even start catching up on my stash that way.  At the moment it is threatening to spill out from under the table beside the piano.  There’s a further problem.  I have this tote bag habit which I have hitherto somewhat contained by the mantra, Come on, McKinley, how many tote bags do you really NEED?  The answer to this question changes irrevocably as soon as you are thinking of them in terms of project bags.  And I had bought a new PROJECT BAG on sale recently and . . . I really NEEDED that green yarn to put in it.  Really.  Needed

^ The ANSWER?  Hahahahahahahahahahahhahaha, stop, stop, you’re killing me hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha 

*** Awwwwww. 

† Or elderly hellgoddesses 

†† I may merely be raving.  It was one of Wild Robert’s special Wednesdays and he had even fewer good ringers tonight than he did last time.  Which meant that three of us who didn’t have a clue what we were doing were ringing touches of Kent Treble Bob Minor—six bells, all of them working—for everyone else to have a go at treble-bobbing on the treble, plus Wild Robert and Roger trying to maintain some semblance of control from the other two bells.  It was a lot of fun, as ringing over your head always is with Wild Robert.  But I’ve come home, you know, reckless.

            Which reminds me, speaking of extracurricular, Joseph-ine wrote a few days ago:

Okay – so this probably has little to do with your post today, but I have to tell SOMEBODY and you all count right?

 Yes of course we count.  To continue: 

Had a lesson with my singing teacher this morning, and I stayed for an hour instead of my usual half . . . Because we had more time, she had me warm up for longer, and tried a new exercise on me . . . I was so busy concentrating

Ah yes.  The classic teacher ruse

as she went up the piano notes, that I didn’t notice how high I was singing – and produced a B!! A high B! A NICE sounding high B. I don’t think I have ever sung higher than an A. . . . Incredible! I am all enthused now. Of course singing it in a song is totally different – but the comment she made after was ominous: “I think we can get you higher eventually….”

Congratulations.  I sang my first high B in about forty years^ at the Muddlehamptons’ last rehearsal.  I’ve said Ravenel is short high sopranos, and I like high soprano because you get most of the tune, and when it isn’t the tune the harmonies are usually interesting, which cannot always be said of the alto part.  This meant a high B.  I looked at it on the page and thought, oh, frell that.  But he’s short of sopranos!  First time I gave it a miss, and he fixed us with the Ravenel Look and said, Just go for it.  So I thought, what the hell, it’s practise night, and I’m not singing in the concert anyway ( . . . as I thought), so I did.  And mine was not a nice sounding B . . . but it was definitely a B, and if there were five more of us it wouldn’t be bad at all.  Unfortunately there are not five more of us. 

           Nadia has said she expects me to have a C at least, but whether I will want to flourish it in public remains to be seen.  I was planning on having A as my official top end. 

Now that’s been vented – I would totally encourage you to go to the concert – parties come and go – but concerts are fun! 

Ummmm. . . .

^ I used to have a very silly range—nearly four octaves.  None of it was good but it was there.  More of it is coming back than I was expecting.  And with luck and Nadia it may eventually not sound too bad this time.  Supposing I don’t die of old age first.


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