April 27, 2012

Meteorological Mayhem


Hellhounds and I put Cathy on the train in Mauncester this morning.*  Hellhounds and I then headed farther out, to Warm Upford, to check on the bluebell situation.  And the heavens opened.  Sweet bleeding demiurges, I thought it had been raining before.  This was the solid wall of water variety, coming down so hard you not only can’t see out of your windscreen, but you wonder uneasily if it’s going to dent your roof and rip your windscreen wipers off.  You’re going at 20 mph because you can’t see . . . and then you fall into the Mississippi River, SPLASH, and here you thought you were in southern England and what the frell happened to the frelling levees?**  Fortunately Wolfgang is equipped with an amphibian button from his secret life as a stunt car for James Bond, and so we swam to shore and continued on our way, which had become brown and given to whirlpools.  We were the second car behind a monster lorry, and when it hit a road-flood I swear the bow-wave was taller than Wolfgang.  This kind of downpour doesn’t last, I told myself, clinging valiantly to the steering wheel, and indeed it didn’t, it slacked off to mere sheeting between onslaughts of cannonball rain.  We got out to Warm Upford and turned around despondently to come back by another route and . . . there was suddenly and unexpectedly this astonishing manifestation called ‘blue sky’.***  I pulled Wolfgang over at the first opportunity and hellhounds and I got out for a sprint. A wet sprint.  A very wet sprint.  A very, very wet sprint.  A very, very, very wet sprint.  A . . . .†

            I had a concert to go to tonight.  In Frellingham.  Arrrgh.  Frellingham is about forty-five minutes from here.  Nina lives there now, and she emailed me a while ago about the schedule at the little concert venue a few blocks from her and her bloke’s new house.  We had agreed that tonight’s visitation looked amusing:  a ragtag collection of old folk-hippie musicians who have (apparently) banded together against the encroachment of electro-techno alternative art prog dance-punk-metal experimental grungehorror cyberthrash, and gone on tour.   Nina had bought tickets.  Hellhounds and I got back from our wet sprint, and having used up sixteen towels getting half dry, I emailed poor Nina in a bit of a panic saying I’m not driving to Frellingham in this. 

            It cleared off.  Sort of.  Comparatively.†††  Hellhounds and I only got semi-wet on the afternoon hurtle, and the wind wasn’t blowing more than 80 mph except for the occasional gust, so I slid a few extra lead weights into the special James Bond slots under Wolfgang’s chassis†† and we went.

            The concert was . . . amusing.‡  Sometimes it is a good thing to be reminded that your youth is something you get to grow out of.  And I only got slightly lost on my way to Nina and Ignatius’ new house—I’ve only been there once before and which way you go on the unmarked roundabout(s) may take a little while to lodge in the memory.

            Tomorrow . . . reality bites.  And SHADOWS reign.‡‡ 

* * *

* Waaaaaah.  But . . . pretty much everything about the timing of this visit sucked dead (you should forgive the term) bears.  She was supposed to be coming after I had finished and handed in SHADOWS.^  She was supposed to be coming after I was caught up to Hamaker New Thing Monkeywrench #s 1 and 2.^^  She was also supposed to be coming here to have long walks through the countryside and, it being bluebell season, she would not only see bluebells, but we might possibly get a hellgoddess and hellhounds surrounded by bluebells photo.^^^

            No.  None of the above.  But she did see baby robins.  And we lay on the folded-out sofa at the cottage with a plethora of hellhounds# and watched WONDERFALLS## on the Shiny Two-Ton No Longer New Entirely Rebuilt Ex-Lemon### Laptop, thus proving it can do something right.~  Also, that bartender is hot.~~  And the rain drummed on.        

^ And was far enough along on the doodle backlog that you could actually get into my office again.  Not, I suppose, that she needed to get into my office, but it’s easier to browse my F&SF shelves, which are what live (mostly+) in my office, from within arm’s length than . . . not within arm’s length. 

+ There’s a wall of homeopathy too.  Which is why SF&F spills into the bedroom. 

^^ When in fact I’m writing ep 12 and it’ll be another one or two before we get to HNTM one.  We started #3 while she was here anyway. 

^^^ Instead she drank a lot of tea out of my bluebell mug+, since that was as close as she was going to get.  Well, there are a few bluebells in my garden, but given the, ahem, lushness of the planting out there, you’d get just as soaked going to look at them as if you went and found some wild ones. 

+ http://www.emmabridgewater.co.uk/flowers/bluebell-12-pint-mug/invt/ngbb002/

Hmph.  It’s got more expensive since I bought mine.

 # They expand to fill available space.  I’ve noticed this before. 

## http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderfalls 

### She says with dramatic emphasis. 

~Including, evidently, playing a region 1 DVD.  I am so clueless about all of this. 

~~ So is Beth. 

** Ask George W. Bush. 

*** It was still raining, of course.  This is southern England^.  It rains out of blue sky all the time.  But it doesn’t usually rain the pummelling you all over your body kind of rain out of blue sky.  Usually. 

^ Unless it’s the Mississippi delta. 

†  And I’m afraid the rumours that it’s a bad year for bluebells appear to be true.  There aren’t as many flower stalks at all, it seems to me, and the ones there are have four or six little bells per, and usually you get twelve or fifteen.  Aside from the tricky questions about taking photos in the rain, if I can’t find a better forest floor of them, there won’t be bluebell photos this year.  I have a couple more places to try, but I’m not too hopeful.   That was my best bluebell sea today.

†† Very bad for mileage, but they do keep you on the road. 

††† I’ve just had a frelling email from frelling Cathy saying it was beautiful and clear all day where she was on the south coast.  WELL ISN’T THAT SPECIAL. 

‡ There wasn’t a single person there under forty.  There was also way too much khaki hemp^ and Birkenstocks, but I lowered the level as much as I could in a salmon-coloured turtleneck and All Stars and a watermelon-coloured pullover.   My frameless glasses are against me though.

^ No, no, not that kind of hemp.  

‡‡ And New Thing gets a nice padded footstool.


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