No Sleep Monday
I put Hannah on the train this morning. Waaaaaaah.
I put Hannah on the train way too early this morning in an absolute sense aside from the losing-Hannah aspect. I haven’t been out of bed that early since I stopped service ringing. . . . and we just lost our frelling spring-forward hour this weekend. I am seriously not of this planet right now. But (being awake for) millions of hours of daylight is, I admit, rather jolly, and the weather goes on being spectacular* if spectacularly dry.**
So I put Hannah on the train and, sobbing brokenly, parked Wolfgang under a tree near the station and took hellhounds for a hurtle. Of course I brought them with me. Doesn’t everyone with companion canines take advantage of every possible excuse for hurtling?
I love the way you stress that you know every pub in Mauncester by name only. . . . I have to admit I’d been wondering. . . .
Well, there are critter-friendly pubs, but we’re generally not going inside even when we can. We’re hurtling. But Mauncester is a good walking town, I’ve lived in this area for twenty (and a half) years, and ferreting around in the twisty back bits is fun. I don’t remember when I crossed the line where I (mostly) stop worrying about getting lost because I know enough of Mauncester that I won’t stay lost very long, but at this point I seek out the bits (especially twisty back bits) I don’t know. During the foot-and-mouth crisis when the entire countryside was closed we hurtled that generation of resident four-legs in Mauncester and Prinkle-on-Weald.*** Prinkle-on-Weald is now pretty much too far away for anything but an adventure, but Mauncester is closer than it was from the old house. I also have a very minor fantasy about living in Mauncester—where you can be walking distance of a library†, a cinema and a train station, as well as some very nice English countryside. It’s not going to happen, but it makes an agreeable directional fantasy: okay, do I want to live in this neighbourhood? How does the pub look?
After this we went back to the mews where I alternately poured cold water over my head and guzzled hot caffeine in a (mostly futile) attempt to wake up. But I still managed to pretend to sing a little, and went off to my voice lesson. You are probably aware by other standards that life is full of ratbaggishness? Over the weekend I’d sung less well than I can, because I was busy being nerrrrrrvous about singing for someone. While, perversely and simultaneously, I found myself able to ham it up more than I can for Nadia or Oisin—because my audience was a relaxed, friendly and nonprofessional one††. Nadia, of course, heard what I was (or wasn’t) doing almost immediately, sorted me out with rather embarrassing swiftness††† and then threw me into Dove Sei, which I had cornballed up in a shocking manner for Peter and Hannah. And of course I stiffened up and sang it like a funerary urn, if funerary urns sang—and this despite the fact that I was making a better quality of noise, if you follow me. ARRRRRGH. That’s fine, said Nadia, that’s a very nice tone, now sing it like you’re ENJOYING it.
Diane in MN
. . . as an opera fan, I tend to cringe when opera singers decide to make crossover albums. South Pacific may have worked for Ezio Pinza, but Placido Domingo as Tony in West Side Story was not a good idea. And there is a cruel recording of Jose Carreras singing Jingle Bells. . . .
JINGLE BELLS? Oh my . . . gods. Oh. Eeeep. Did Domingo do a West Side Story? OUCH. I lose all respect, etc. Kiri te Kanawa and Jose Carreras—poor old Jose is listening to the wrong advice, clearly—were bad enough: I agree that crossover is mostly dire.‡ But I’d gladly—gladly—forfeit all possibility of singing Maria plausibly‡‡ in exchange for sounding like te Kanawa.‡‡‡
* * *
* Anthea tonight on the treble commented on the excellence of the view: where you stand to ring the treble at Glaciation^ is opposite one of those little high arched church windows, and in this case you could see a shiny crescent moon and some glittering planet or other through it. I had been ringing the treble before her, but I had been staring at the floor in an agony of concentration. If I’d noticed the moon I would merely have instantly gone wrong.
^^ I’m still in two wool jumpers to ring there, although it’s shirtsleeve weather in daytime sun. You wander down the path to the church in your t shirt with your bulging knapsack over one shoulder. You walk through the vestibule and shiver. You enter the main part of the church and pull out your first jumper and put it on. Then you walk into the ringing chamber, hastily don your second jumper, and race to plug in the two electric fires.
** I was out watering in the cottage garden this afternoon^ and thinking I ought to have a built in irrigation system with All the Plumbing in Hampshire running under my tiny plot of land: I ought to be able to drill a few tactful little holes, attach those leaky-hose things, and bob’s your uncle. Pipes should have a nice colour-code system like electric wires, so you know you’re drilling in the right pipe. . . .
^ And swearing. Later in the year when I shift from my PINK wellies to my (brown) clogs because it’s too hot to be in rubber to your knees, I become resigned to slopping water in my shoes. It takes skill and dedication to pour water down the inside of your pink wellies.
*** I missed telling you yesterday that the garden Hannah and I went to was in Chappington Fritworthy. It’s not like I get to mention it very often.
† New Arcadia does have a library, but it’s the two shelves and a plastic chair, open alternate Thursdays from 2:45-3 pm and every third Friday from 7-7:17 pm variety. Mauncester has a proper library.
†† Not to say clueless. Clueless would be good.
††† It’s so obvious after the fact. Sometimes it’s obvious before the fact too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can DO anything about it. I was aware that my throat was only about half open, the roof of my mouth and my ‘mask’ were pretty well as bright and light as an anvil, and my abdominal support had decamped for Toulouse.
‡ In both directions. I HAAAAAAAATED Sting singing Purcell and Dowland. HAAAAAAAAATED.
‡‡‡ Or Deborah Voigt or Janet Baker or Marilyn Horne or Joyce diDonato or Beverly Sills or Tatiana Troyanos or Cecilia Bartoli or . . . see really I’m easy to please.
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