April 29, 2012

Tea and No Sympathy


IT’S RAINING.  Of course it’s raining.  It has always rained.  It will always rain.*  Tomorrow we’re supposed to have gales.  I’m so happy.  Meanwhile the robins have dispersed.  Silly little beggars.  They should stay in the greenhouse where there’s a roof.  I’ve thought of this a lot in the last ten days or so—at least the baby robins in the greenhouse aren’t melting.  There is a good EIGHT INCHES of rain in my buckets.  I’ve emptied my two-inch-measure rain gauge several times.  Robins were still in the nest yesterday but gone without a trace today.  Usually the little-things-in-the-shrubbery start making themselves known immediately—and there’s no way in or out of the cottage garden except by flying** unless I open the greenhouse door, which I haven’t in over a week.***  They’re probably in shock:  they hop out of the nest, stumble along the shelf, nose-dive to the ground, yell, YAAY!  FREEDOM!, and are instantly smacked to the floor by a large handful of rain.    

            The double daily serving of mealworms disappeared as normal today however, so something is eating them.  The mealworm saucer—also inside the greenhouse, where dinner won’t drown—is on the flight path to the nest and I haven’t seen anything else hanging around, so I prefer to think it’s dad robin.  I’ve seen him a few times, looking harassed.  If perhaps there’s a break in the gales tomorrow I would quite like to get outdoors and pot up a few little green things (this will involve moving the dish of mealworms, which is on my potting table) and will try to catch dad poking mealworms into little things in the shrubbery.

            I rang for a wedding today, in South Desuetude, poor things.  I hope the bride’s gown had mud flaps.†  But Colin is bonkers.††  We rang some rather good call changes, nice and brisk and crisp.  I’ve said this before, that you’re usually so fixated on trying to learn methods that you forget that (mostly) well-struck call changes are pretty cool.  Then Colin cast his eye over his band and declared that we would ring bob triples.  For pity’s sake.  Four of us out of eight knew what we were doing—I can’t remember the last time I was offered the opportunity to have a go at a practise course of bob triples.  And we’re ringing it for a wedding??†††  Two of us clueless ones were on the treble and the tenor—but I was ringing inside as was Cora, who promptly went wrong on her first dodge.  Colin dragged us jovially out of the resulting morass and we continued . . . and then Boadicea went wrong.  No fair.  You’re one of the ones who knows what she’s doing.  I never did figure out who I was making long sevenths over.  I know the line on the page, as opposed to in the hurly-burly of ringing, so I just kept counting my line—and Colin kept yanking us on.  We came round.  I have no idea how.  It cleared the churchyard however. . . .

            And I went home for a bracing cup of tea. 


I do not know about this “warming the cup” part of making tea. Doesn’t the hot water make the cup warm? 


Depends how long you want the cup of tea to stay hot. If you want the tea to cool quickly so you can gulp it down before you dash out the door then a cold cup will assist. If you want a leisurely cuppa then warming the cup is “proper”. 

::Clutches forehead::  Where were you people RAISED?  Is NOTHING SACRED?  Have the younger generations been DENIED THE WISDOM OF THE AGES?  You warm your vessel for brewing tea—cup or pot—so the tea steeps correctly. ‡  And then there’s the whole commotion about whether you add the milk first or second:  but since I don’t use milk I am allowed to give a miss to this embattled controversy.‡‡

            Now I am going to SING.  Oisin gave me a, you should forgive the term, new thing yesterday, which casts an interesting light on his view of my singing, but I’ll tell you all about it if I manage to learn it.  Mwa ha ha ha ha. 

* * *

* Except when there’s a drought, of course.  

** All right.  I admit it.  Phineas’ previous cat once made it over his garden-room roof into my garden.  I was not amused.  He^ received a bucket of water for his pains and I didn’t see him again.  Grrrrrr.^^  

^ The cat, that is.  Not Phineas.  

^^Q&A page today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/apr/27/joss-whedon-screenwriter-director 

Cat or dog?
Cat! Dog: need need, poop, chew, need, lick, need. Cat: whatev. Meow, yo. Here’s a mouse. 


Cat: misses litterbox, plays head games, leaves dismembered corpses on your pillow.  Dog:  craps outdoors, doesn’t mind admitting is glad to see you, finds sleeping in heaps with chosen goddess sufficient glory and does not keep presenting asshole for admiration when you’re trying to watch a film. 

. . . AT WHICH POINT The Cat Anti-Defamation League, or possibly the Joss Whedon for Galactic Supremo Party, nailed me and WORD CRASHED . . . taking, among other things, New Thing with it.  Granted I have New Thing backed up liberally but I hadn’t copied today’s ep yet.  GAAAAAAAH.  Microsoft Recovery seems, in fact, to have recovered . . . this post, anyway, but I’m thinking maybe I’ll start a new file with today’s ep of New Thing, just in case of retrospective accidents.  And the four hundred and six empty documents also recovered are making me nervous.  What I had been trying to do was copy and paste one other quote from this article which maybe I’ll just type in . . .

How do you relax?

I do not understand your earthworld questionings. 

Maybe Whedon should take up bell ringing.  

*** I have MILLIONS of little green (mostly) mail-order things waiting to be potted on and/or planted out.  MILLIONS.  I swear every day Cathy was here there was another frelling delivery of little green things wanting to be potted on.  I’M SURE I DIDN’T ORDER ALL OF THIS STUFF.  And the day of our expedition, the one that was foiled, we stopped at a garden centre on the way home^ so that I could assuage my lacerated feelings and . . . MILLIONS.  I’M TELLING YOU.  MILLIONS.  

^ I was driving.  Cathy couldn’t stop me.  She tried.  

Although my sympathy dwindled to negligible when she was half an hour late.  I am near as near to finishing my second leg-warmer however.  I wonder what horrors I will produce/reveal when I try to seam the frellers up.  

†† We knew this, of course.  Meanwhile Niall is disloyally going back to Curlyewe on Monday—which is their tower practise night, so it’s easier to organise them to come along early for a slug of handbells first.  He promises this will not become a regular event.  I’ve never rung at Curlyewe (tower) so I’m jealous . . . and then it turns out Colin’s tower practise this Monday is on his grisly little garage ring—with the flowerpots in the ceiling, and the tenor, the biggest bell, weighs eleven frelling pounds.  It’s like trying to cook with a doll’s tea set.  ARRRRRGH. 

††† Maybe if she hadn’t been half an hour late. . . . 

‡ You need half-decent tea for the effect to be noticeable however.  Do not speak to me of tea BAGS if you wish to live.  And the latest fashion nonsense about triangular-solid-shaped bags that bloom in hot water, frelling spare me.  As if anyone who drinks PG Tips cares.  Mind you, if all you want/need is a slug of caffeine as rapidly as possible, it’s all good.  But a really excellent cup of tea worth lingering over requires finesse.  Which includes superior-quality LOOSE tea . . . and warming whatever you’re making it in first. 

‡‡ When I did use milk, I added it second.  But this was not because of philosophical deliberations or considerations of the physics of creaminess.  It was because I wanted to be sure the sixty-four spoons of sugar I put in first dissolved properly.



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