September 26, 2011

Singing, Croaking and Crunching


So, you may remember something about this:  there’s an auction/sale going on for the benefit of the New Arcadia Bell Restoration Fund:

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            It’s been maybe a fortnight since I found a homeopathic remedy that stopped Darkness from having a (noisy) bellyache the next morning if he missed supper and therefore refusing his next meal.*  At which point since I was by then extremely as it were tired of staying up till dawn waiting for hellhounds to eat, I said sod this for a lark, started giving them half a square of knitting, three games of Montezuma or twenty pages of revising/studying-what-I’ve-just-been-listening-to of DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY** to eat or not eat . . . and then turning the lights out and going to bed.***

            By last night I was so accustomed to the new system—which increasingly has involved starving to death hellhounds at lunch and dinner, which is fine, and I’m delighted they’re eating at all, but I’m not going to risk giving them as much in two meals as their delicate guts are used to receiving in three, which also means that I’ve been watching them go on losing weight the last few weeks, although this has at least slowed†—that I was ringing handbell bob major on Pooka, confident that I wasn’t going to be interrupted by a hellhound wanting another handful of kibble††.  I nearly dropped Pooka when I heard the crunch of teeth.  What?  What?  They’re eating supper???

            Can’t wait to find out what happens tonight.  No, I take that back.  I can wait.  I would rather wait.

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Meanwhile . . . I did go to my voice lesson today.  I’m better.  I’m still kind of pathetic††† but I’m better.  I had tried singing last night and it was pretty grim, but I could at least ask Nadia how to think about learning Os Justi, which you may remember I am dreading extremely this Thursday, with Ravenel back and Griselda gone and not only way too much frelling counterpoint but only two of us squeakers for those dreadful top As.  Also I had my next courier delivery.‡  So I went.

            Today when I did a few exercises beforehand it was still like trying to stretch tempered steel but at least I was making some noise.  The funny thing was that the iron-bar sensation seemed to have to do with having missed three days rather than about the current affliction.  Nadia said, yes, that’s right.  Sopranos and tenors in particular can often sing over a head cold.  If your throat doesn’t hurt or tighten or feel dry or tickly . . . you might as well sing.  So I sang at Silent Worship which I am getting used to in the Italian . . . and about Os Justi Nadia gave me all kinds of excellent advice which I will/will not be able to use at my level of thud and blunder but still made me go oh! and grope for a pen to write it down . . . about keeping my line through the frelling counterpoint she said briskly, we can practise.  Do you want me to sing the alto or the tenor line?  EEEEEEEEP, I said.  So we’re saving that for next week . . . after I have mortified myself this Thursday. . . . 

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* Or rather two remedies, one of which enhances the other.  The homeopathic grail is always the One Single Perfect Remedy which solves EVERYTHING.  There are people who claim to find it regularly for a wide assortment of clients, but that holy group would not include me.  Down here in the mud and the snarling and the imperfections I pursue Anything That Works at all, which may be a foot in the door of cure.  And then again it may not.  I’ve probably said this to you before:  I honestly do believe that homeopathy has an answer for everything.  The problem with the package is the delivery system.  And the biggest problem with the delivery system is the poor sweating homeopath.  Which clues should you be paying attention to^, in both the symptoms of what needs to be cured or ameliorated and the basic character of the client?  And in what order of importance should you be paying attention to them?  Hint:  if the client knew, they wouldn’t be there.  That the client believes this or that is the most important does not mean it is the most important.  And then, of course, when you have a client that doesn’t talk^^. . . .  So with Darkness, the only clear physical symptoms I had were ‘borborygmi = refuses food’.   There are THOUSANDS of remedies out there and a lot of them include growling guts and loss of appetite in their ‘picture’.  Whimper.^^^  Homeopathy is a fascinating study, and you do develop an ear/eye for which bits of the individual presentation you need to prescribe accurately#—but it’s not a skill like learning to read music that improves with practise and once you can do it you can keep doing it.  Homeopathy is always a best guess, a calculated leap in the dark (although the guess may be very good indeed and the leap reckoned to a fare-thee-well).  Anyone who says otherwise . . . um.  They are not the teachers at whose feet I sit. 

^ This seems to me a particularly rich and fulsome example of the idiocy of the Word grammar check, which I keep turned on because mostly it amuses me and there are working days when any humour is welcome.  In the previous phrase, ‘Which clues should you be paying attention to’, ‘be’ is highlighted, and the suggestion is ‘is’.  

^^ Although it may be another clue.  Why is your client obsessed with the cut on his finger when he has gallstones, migraines, and two broken legs?  Note, however, that it’s totally unethical to treat what you think needs fixing without involving your client in the decision.  —I’ll give you something that promotes wound healing, sure, but could we look into the migraines a little more? 

^^^ And on the subject of how specific a remedy has to be:  that it works on Darkness if he misses the last meal of the day does not necessarily mean it would work on him if he missed the first meal of the day.  Nor that if it works now, or in early autumn, it would work midwinter, midsummer, or exactly this same time next year.  Or that it would work on anyone else, including Chaos, who has a different assortment of won’t-eat fetishes anyway. 

# And a client who talks is not necessarily to be preferred.  Although when you’re staring into the steady eyes of your more-obstinate-than-an-army-supply-train-of-mules hellhound you may, at that moment, think so. 

** Remember ‘don’t praise technology’?  By yesterday second hurtle I was feeling enough more like a human being than a bowl of cracked mayonnaise^ that I decided to go on listening to DON’T.  Turned Pooka on . . . plugged in the earphones . . . pressed ‘play’ . . . AND THE BLACK SCREEN OF APPLE MACINTOSH DEATH APPEARED.  AAAAAAAAUGH.  I was in sufficiently rough shape that it was taking me a long time to do anything so I hadn’t actually finished my meltdown when Pooka coughed a couple of times and came back to life again.  I looked at her.  She looked at me.  I flicked to DON’T part four and pressed ‘play’.  ERROR, it said. NO DATA. 

            Oh, and the other fabulous thing?  That crash rattled most of my aps back to their default position.  Which I therefore have to RESET.  Which is not only a big pain in the ass but involves REMEMBERING HOW. 

^ Yesterday was singing-for-the-bishop day.  I hope it went well . . . but golly am I glad I’d dropped out weeks ago. 

*** Hellhounds never eat if I just put it down and leave it.  I need to be there, cheering them on. 

† It has also involved a good deal of muttering along the lines of ‘if you’re so hungry, why don’t you eat supper?’ 

†† I know.  But you weren’t here for their first two traumatic years.  Supper goes in cautious, one at a time handfuls because it’s supposed to top them off, with picky eaters it’s usually a good thing if you can arrange it that they clean their plates, and even when hellhounds are in an eating mood their appetite varies EXTREMELY. 

††† And I am not looking forward to the ME rolling in like the Blob over Phoenixville which is the usual denouement to an ‘acute’ like flu, or Head Cold with Full Body Involvement, which I think is what this is/was. 

‡ Oisin and Nadia’s husband are clearly outfitting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a world tour.


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