I am a walking cough; a cough on two legs; cough made flesh. Cough. Talking is a mistake.* Eating is perilous.** I think the arrival of the cough is supposed to indicate you’re improving.*** I’m too tired from coughing to tell. Cough.
But SHADOWS is still going.†
I am however cranky†† about the bad news about ultrasonic jewellery cleaners. I had thought part of the point of the ultrasonic gadgets is that they’re gentle on jewellery, possibly to the point of being so gentle they don’t really clean anything. (I do know that you can’t do anything to pearls except smile at them and wear them against cashmere.) I also didn’t know, or had forgotten, since I’ve barely worn my tourmaline ring in twenty years, that tourmalines are fragile. Feh. And yes, of course I can ask our nice local jeweller for advice about cleaning, but he will feel obliged to go all professional on me and I was hoping some of you guys might have the answer without the official hedging.††† Ah well. More little brushes and washing-up liquid in my future then. I guess I can bear it.
And before I bore you all to death . . . I am loitering frivolously with the thought of going ringing at Forza tomorrow. This is a really bad idea. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the energy, I have a novel to finish—the bells there are tricky sods, I already know Gemma is not going to be there, and I might find myself the only mediocre ringer present, with my usual additional burden of not being able to handle those particular bells and the supernumerary burden of the lurgy.
Maybe I’ll just stay home, and post a recipe. And cough.
* * *
* Why do hellhounds insist on waiting till I say something? Isn’t the mad waving of hands containing harnesses enough to tell them they should sit?
** Eating is always perilous. Ask Darkness and Chaos. AAAAAUGH. Having given the impression that he was on the mend last night, Chaos barely made it outdoors this morning to start the diabolical double-ended geysering all over again. AAAAAAAUGH.
*** http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/09/new-year-health-regime-last The headline in the paper version is more eye-catching to me in my present state: ‘Dr Luisa Dillner Says Switch Off the TV, Stop Snacking and Start Exercising to Ensure You Feel Good Beyond January.’ I haven’t watched TV in YEARS,^ I am post-menopausal and my daily energy allowance is 3.5 calories and I NEVER snack, and I walk an hour and forty five minutes to two hours EVERY DAY. WHY DO I HAVE THE LURGY WHEN I AM A PARAGON OF VIRTUE?^^
^ I talked to Hannah today. “Hi,” I said. Cough. “Wow,” she said. She still hasn’t read CHAOS. After she does we’re going to read either JANE AUSTEN or CHARLES DICKENS by Claire Tomalin. Or both, because we have so much time to read. She was telling me about the TV programmes her daughters are watching and I’ve never heard of any of them. I haven’t been deeply involved in a TV show since BUFFY. No, really. ANGEL? Too gruesome. FIREFLY? Eh. It had its moments, but it never entered my heart and mind the way BUFFY did.+ It’s probably safe to say that I wouldn’t be writing my first high school novel at fifty-nine if I hadn’t watched BUFFY at an embarrassingly advanced age which was nonetheless more impressionable than it should have been. Which may or may not be a good thing.
Oh, and the mysterious non-cooperation affliction of our de-cabled TV? We changed the batteries in the remote and it still refused to climb away from BBC 1. So there was a knock on the door one afternoon and there was the Nice Man who had installed our freeview box who wanted to ask if one of us would read his CHILDREN’S BOOK MANUSCRIPT. Fortunately Peter answered the door and dragged him into the sitting room and thrust the remote at him. There are too many buttons on the wretched thing. And Peter is reading his manuscript. I had my mouth all open to do my rant on this subject which is that ASIDE from the fact that I am a cranky cow, what I think about an unpublished manuscript has no more to do with its chances of getting published than what Chaos or Darkness thinks of it.++ Go start researching AGENTS. What you need is an AGENT who likes your work. But I was forestalled by Peter’s old-fashioned gentlemanliness AKA the man is nuts.
+ And I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t/doesn’t like THE SOPRANOS or David Tennant.
++ Er—you aren’t expecting us to eat it, are you?
^^ Of course they also tell you to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. They must be joking.
† And my email seems to have settled down . . . for the moment. Sort of. Or, possibly, not, and I just don’t know it. It was even weirder than I told you yesterday, as I eventually found out when I stopped abusing my damaged larynx with screams for vengeance and had a look for the easily findable stuff that had reappeared. When I got back to the mews and turned the old laptop on—which is the one I’ve been using the last several flu-demented days of filing and deleting—I was braced for what I’d just seen on the cottage machines. But what had come back was NOT what I’d deleted that morning. It was some OTHER stuff. Whimper.
So . . . I basically have no idea. GIBBERGIBBERGIBBERGIBBER. Right. Enough of that. I have a novel to finish.
As to why I still use Outlook . . . I forget. I will ask Raphael to remind me. I think it’s to do with my apparently somewhat unusual requirements combined with my total lack of patience, interest in, or skill in understanding anything to do with computers. I think it’s what they’re willing to support me with. The bright spot, such as it is, is that the shiny new laptop with the vibrantly hated Win 7 on it did in fact discharge its battery by 50% overnight despite being turned off. YAAAAY. For once something goes wrong even when there is an archangel present.
However, those of you hopefully offering advice about the hellhounds: I think you’re probably late to the party. Long-time readers have heard all this before. My hellhounds are five and a half years old and I spent the first two of their years of life on this planet trying to find out why they had diarrhea all the time. The answer is, as I eventually figured out with absolutely NO help from any of the fantastic and expensive panoply of vets, specialist vets, and specialist vets’ laboratories and techno-gizmo whatsits that I consulted, that they are allergic to all cereal grains. (Pancreatitis, as someone mentioned on the forum but I can’t find it now, is one of the things they were temporarily diagnosed for.) I’d tried an elimination diet nearly first thing, but I took them off brown rice while continuing to use barley and oats, and then swapped. It took me a long time to think of all cereals. But two years of eating something they were wildly and violently allergic to has left them with some permanent damage.
And the only time they won’t eat when I’m nearby is when they’re already looking for an excuse not to eat, and me being an ogre will do. (I think this has more to do with the fact that they know I want them to eat and I’ll be testy if they don’t.) I’m actually not very fond of the alpha theory. Why would a good leader want his/her colleagues not to eat? The alpha business as the great comprehensive answer to everything is less popular than it was, for which I am grateful. When it first came crashing out it was The Solution, and I thought, since it clearly didn’t apply all that well to my experience, that I just had weird dogs. Well, I do have weird dogs, but the alpha theory has also lost centre stage. I am, however, a great fan of what works. If something makes you and your dog(s) happy and healthy and comfortable and satisfied, then it’s the answer for you.
††† Note to self: The Answer never exists.
I can’t very well ask the fellow who bought the stones for us. That was twenty years ago in Maine and I have more or less deliberately^ forgotten everything about him except that he was a self-absorbed twit.
^ Ie making a virtue of Middle Aged Brain
Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.