Shut up, Billy
IT’S HALF PAST MIDNIGHT, I’M FINALLY EATING DINNER* AND I STILL HAVE TO WRITE THE BOONDOGGLING BLOG.**
Fiona had booked tickets for the Gigspanner*** concert months and months ago. And months. I think she booked them slightly before the tour had been confirmed or the dates settled on.† This is also before the doodle situation broke down under the strain of trying to write a novel in five months††. Our previous set up has been when there’s a concert in view she takes the day off her real job††† and comes down for a few hours during the day and terrifies some corner of my office/files/desk/attic into behaving itself, and then we frolic in the evening. But while I still have many, not to say numberless other corners of my life that could use Fiona’s services, with 1,000,000,000 doodles‡ hanging over my head like 1,000,000,000 Damoclesian swords I can’t frelling face my office, let alone sort out something for Fiona to do in/with it.‡‡
But it’s a long frelling way for Fiona to come for a concert—even longer when it involves better than an hour of surplus driving to come and fetch me.‡‡‡ And then another one to take me home. So I was casting about for something to make the day more value-added . . . and devised the cunning plan that we could go see AVENGERS ASSEMBLE in twoD at a theatre that involves the Greater Footling Triangle, a lesser known but statistically more savage area of geophysical mayhem than the better known Bermuda. The attraction of this theatre (aside from the straightforward appeal of 2D) is that, if it weren’t for the geophysical mayhem part, where you turn right and find yourself on Mars, it would be my best option for some of the other live-streaming opera broadcasts that are becoming increasingly popular.
Fiona, who is agreeably broad-minded, agreed to this plan. And then the frelling theatre changed the times on us. And we were no longer going to have time to scamper from the cinema to the concert several towns over before Roger started beating up Peter’s fiddle.§ A mad flurry of emails ensued.
We compromised. We decided to go to a new yarn store.
But the yarn store happens to be in pretty much the same area as the cinema, so Fiona offered to take us past the cinema first, so we could find it—who knows, we might even go to a film there some day—before we went on to the yarn store.§§ So she fired up her satnav and . . .
I think possibly I have been rude about her satnav before? Shut up, Billy. Shut up, Billy. You get various choices for your voice. Fiona has Billy Connolly. The Scottish accent, when he’s saying sensible things, is pleasing. He rather too frequently deviates from the path of virtue however. Clearly satnav tech is not proof against the Greater Footling Triangle. Or the Greater Footling Multidimensional Roundabout, where, whichever exit you take, it’s the wrong one, and Billy will be telling you to turn around in a minute.
HE EVENTUALLY TOOK US TO A SEWAGE STATION AND THEN CLAIMED WE’D ARRIVED AT OUR DESTINATION. I know most modern films are rubbish but . . . §§§
We finally saw the theatre—on the wrong side of the dual carriageway [four lane highway] of course—on our way back, retracing our steps to find the yarn store.
The yarn store was extremely satisfactory. Extremely.# Oh dear. And as soon as I get this posted I am going to race upstairs and discover that . . . I haven’t got enough of the yarn I want to use for the new pattern I just bought## with the idea of it being my first cardigan.###
And the concert was fabulous.~ It was also long, which is why it was half past midnight before I even looked at my computer, but it was the kind of long that when you finally look at a clock you think, it can’t be that late. That second set was short, I know it was. Live music is just . . . necessary. Technology these days is so amazing (sometimes even for good) that it’s easy to sit at home with your 1,000,000 favourite CDs and think that’s all you need. It isn’t. You need it live sometimes too: you need to see the musicians doing it and hear it as they do it. You need to pick up the electricity of what they do together—which is not recordable. Oh, yes, certainly, some performers can put over that fresh vibe to be caught for the ages by the latest equipment. ~~ But it’s not the same. And these guys really connect, with each other, with you the audience. Love love love. Why aren’t they famous?
* * *
* Well, we had a dinner-like meal at about 6. But I don’t eat dinner at 6.
** Yes, I did think of holding New Thing 10 one more day because I knew I’d be back late tonight. But I didn’t think I’d be this late . . . and I also knew it would be a day rife with blog material. I possibly didn’t know how rife. . . .
† What? She hired a good prognosticator. How do you think?
†† Which I also have signally failed to do. Siiiiiiiigh. It has not been one of my great years.
††† What? Oh, she makes jgrrmgles. To order. There’s a long waiting list. She’s the best jgrrmgle maker in Britain, and possibly the world.
‡ And a few other random items
‡‡ Hellhounds and I occupy a narrow strip near the door. The rest is . . . AAAAAAAUGH.
‡‡‡ See: I don’t drive much. Especially to anywhere I don’t already know. Yes, this means that anywhere I hadn’t already learnt the route to by the winter of 2000, when I went down with acute ME, I probably won’t drive to now. And don’t I hate it when they change the road layout.
Blondviolinist, avert your eyes.
§§ Film and yarn possible in the same expedition. Hmmmmm.
§§§ Which was being renovated or expanded or something. We sat there while the giant thing with caterpillar tread trundled around moving heaps of rock in an aimless manner and Fiona fired up her iPhone—Pooka, I might add, was refusing to connect: the signal was fine but she was sitting there going Can’t! Won’t! And you can’t make me!—and ascertained that the post code on the cinema web site was wrong. Oh. That’s helpful.
# Ask Fiona.
## Yes, I know you don’t knit from stash. Stash is stash. If you want to knit something you have to go out and buy yarn. But I find that—um—sometimes you do want to knit up some of your yarn. That sometimes you bought yarn not merely because it was gorgeous and was clinging round your leg and refusing to get back on its shelf and what can you do when it knows your name?, but because you want to wear it or throw it over the back of your sofa or something. That you bought it sure that the pattern it yearns to become is out there somewhere, just possibly not in this shop and besides you’ve already been here six hours fondling yarn and your hellhounds need walking and your husband wants to know where you are and if you’re ever coming home^. But you want to, you know, knit this yarn up, even if maybe it will have a sort of interregnum period of looking like stash. Um—does this mean I’m not a real knitter?
^ And when, bringing your purchases into the house, if you will fit through the door.
## Hint: open front. No buttons. No buttonholes. And with only a few changes. Like about six inches shorter^ and the sleeves will be STRAIGHT not belled. Ugh^^. The sleeves will probably also be longer to accommodate my gorilla-length arms. Sigh. I am looking FORWARD to sleeves that are LONG ENOUGH.^^^
^ Maybe I’ll have enough yarn after all.
^^ Maybe it makes a pretty line. All I can see is ‘gets into your tea, your soup, the mouth of the dog you’re petting’ etc. It’s like Fiona was wearing lady shoes today and then complaining about the stairs. You’re wearing lady shoes.
^^^ And for anyone with a memory so good you ought to be ashamed of yourself, yes, I have at least one other First Cardigan, and I even bought the yarn for that one at the same time I bought the pattern. The problem with it is that it pretty much trumpets EASY KNIT FIRST CARDIGAN, which kind of puts me off because I’m like that. I still like it and still plan to make it (!!!) but . . . I think I’d like to make something that isn’t quite so obviously holding my hand and saying ‘there, there’ first.+
+ Says the woman who is about a third of the way through her third leg warmer having still not sewn up the first two. But I started sewing up last night and . . . it’s working. Sewing up was my downfall last time—my squares looked reasonably okay individually, but as soon as I started sticking them together their jolly little eccentricities became serious vice and corruption. Sigh. Some day I will have the world’s largest knitted hellhound blanket. Also the most irregular knitted hellhound blanket of any size.
~ And I have a crush on the drummer. Just by the way. And none of the youtube clips do him justice, so don’t give me that ‘ewwww’.
~~ Gigspanner has two excellent albums out themselves^ . . . but it’s still not the same.
^ Although they’d better record their Tom o’ Bedlam soon or I shall grow rude and violent
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