April 25, 2012

Wet wet wet


It’s okay.  I can write a blog tonight.  Darkness ate dinner*&^%$£@#~}+!!!!!!!!!!!  Cathy, on the other side of the table, is breathing a deep sigh of relief.  She’d made the perilous, not to say fatal, offer to write another guest blog if I found myself incapable on account of the extreme reprehensibleness of hellhounds and the resultant need to wail and rail incessantly all evening.*  Which is to say, Darkness stopped eating.  Yesterday. 

            I know, I know (and you regular readers know, you know).  Normal dogs—well, normal sighthounds—miss meals occasionally.  It’s not a big deal.  It’s a big deal with these guys because of their history.  And it’s a big deal to me because I’m the human supposedly in charge of managing they survive their history.  And they are a lot better, about food, about eating food, and about stopping eating (food) and about looking like they’re at death’s door after about twenty-four hours of not eating.  And I may have an ever so slight tendency to hit red alert before it’s absolutely necessary.  But. . . .

             If you graphed hellhound appetites and the amount of food I actually manage to get in them, the lines would swing up and down wildly anyway, like the surface of Lake Superior just before the Edmund Fitzgerald went down.  I’m used to this.  I don’t frelling like it, but I’m used to it.  Occasionally, however, one or both hellhounds ship a really big wave and head for the bottom.  If I hadn’t been distracted by having fun with Cathy—because I am an irresponsible dog owner and a horrible selfish thoughtless human being—I might have noticed that the current oh-well-maybe-I-will-and-maybe-I-won’t food mood was hardening into something more drastic.  It had crossed my mind that the current lack of enthusiasm phase was going on a little long.

               AND THEN . . .

               It has not been a good day.  Today was our last chance to get out into the country and look at bluebells.  And it rained.  Again.  It’s been raining all week.  It was raining when I picked Cathy up at the train station.**  It was raining as we both arrived at and left the abbey.***  It was raining most of Sunday in both Hampshire and Bristol, although Cathy managed to find a little sunlight and follow it around for a few hours.  It rained on my voice lesson.†  It rained on our going to Glaciation to ring with Colin.  It rained on our trip to Mauncester yesterday.††  IT’S BEEN RAINING FOREVER.  IT IS GOING TO RAIN FOREVER.†††  It is just about hip deep around town and squelching out over the countryside when Cathy only has two pairs of shoes with her is not really a credible option.


                It has not been a good day.

                 But Darkness ate dinner.  Enthusiastically.  So I can revert to being all wet and soppy and droopy and soggy, not about the rain, but about the fact that Cathy is leaving tomorrow. . . . 

* * *

* The deep sigh of relief may have been as much to do with the lack of incessant wailing and railing as the fearful prospect of coming up with another 1000+ words that could pass for a coherent synthesis of some damn thing or other only two days after the previous guest blog.  

** It had only just started raining (again), fortunately, since I was late.  Of course I was late.  I’m always late.  And then we had to hare off at extreme speed for the Reification of the Overgoddess at Forza.  I have rung my first service at Forza del Destino.^  Eeep.  This blood-freezing adventure began last Wednesday, when Ulrich said at practise that it was an all-hands-to-the-pumps situation Saturday afternoon for the reification.  I looked away and shuffled my feet because I am not, after all, an abbey ringer, but Gemma said, oh, go on, I’m going to.  So I checked with Cathy about train times and then, in fear and grovelling, although it’s difficult to get grovelling across in an email, I wrote to Ulrich, asking if they still needed extra hands for the reification, and he wrote back pretty much by return electron saying they’d be happy to see me.  Oops.  Now I’m for it. 

            In fact they didn’t need all of us shmo-level ringers, but they were nice enough to pile us all on for rounds on forty-eight.  And Og came by with his clipboard and said to me, smiling in what I’m sure he was under the impression was a friendly manner, You are now on my LIST.

            I may have a bell tower again.  That is, I admit, may.  I’m still expecting them to pull themselves together and bounce schmos like me.+++  And I wish it weren’t a gigantic, ancient, tourist-magnet, one hundred and twelve bell frelling ABBEY.  However, I’ll take what I can get.  And they’re still, with an irony so shiny and sharp it needs a scabbard++++, my best practical choice for a new tower.  Hahahahahahahaha.  Ouch, that hurts. 

^ I’m feeling just a trifle creeped out by my having long ago carelessly blognamed+ it The Force of Destiny.++ 

+ I invent a verb.  I feel it could have wider application however. 

++ It could be a lot worse.  I could have named it La Traviata or Aida. 

+++ Or I could revert to not being able to ring anything.  Anything.  But we are not considering this possibility.  We reject it.  

++++ And its name may be Doomblade. 

*** With a spectacular escort of guards.  Yeep.  We never had guards at New Arcadia, but then we didn’t rededicate goddesses either.  But Cathy and I crossed three different cordons, getting in—I’m a bell ringer! I kept squeaking, feeling a complete fraud—and two getting back out again.  Our favourite was the nice German lady (in the scary guard uniform) who wanted to know about bell ringing.  

Yes.  I took Cathy to my voice lesson.  And if she tries to write a guest blog about that I will destroy her.

            It was pretty interesting though.  I hadn’t thought about this when I asked Nadia if I could bring a friend that Monday, but it was the day after Diana’s memorial and I was going to be another jigsaw for Nadia to put back together, as well as in (fractured) avert mode because There Was Someone Else Listening.  It was not my most brilliant lesson—but it was not, in fact, my most embarrassing either.  Nadia says sometimes your worst practises and your worst lessons are the most educational—and this one taught me some stuff.  Nadia spent some time talking about channelling emotion into your singing.  The impulse—my impulse anyway—is to stomp all that slithery, squishy stuff down, and the stomping process is a lot of what breaks you up into jigsaw pieces.  Feh.  I’ve told you about the frelling chasm between what I can do at home when no one is listening, but where I don’t have all of Nadia’s tricks for getting a better quality of sound out of me, and what I can do for Nadia, whom I want to please and therefore am afraid to get stuff wrong forI mentioned that I’d torn the heart out of Che Faro over the washing-up and Nadia said briskly, I look forward to hearing it next week.  EEEEEEP.  This is pretty much the same kind of exciting and same kind of terrifying as the prospect of maybe having a bell tower again.  I would LOVE to work on Che Faro with Nadia, but I’ve assumed that was seriously down the line from where I am now.  And it probably is, you know?  I’ll take it in to her and . . . 

^ No, wait, I can’t destroy her, she’s helping me with New Thing.

+ And in answer to some forum question or other, yes, it will get a title, at least of sorts, as soon as you learn the protagonist’s name, which is in ep nine or so. 

†† More *&^%$£”+=}]~#@!!!!!!  Our trip was supposed to produce a certain outcome which was going to produce a particular blog post.  And we were FOILED by . . . well, never mind what we were foiled by.  I’ll get there in the end.  And then I’ll write a blog post about it.  Grrrrrrrrrr.  

††† I tell myself, rain is good.  We’re in a drought.  We need this rain.  I AM SURE I AM GROWING MOULD ALL OVER MY BODY.



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