July 28, 2012

Not a good day


I had one of those I Am Giving It Up Forever experiences on the end of a bell rope tonight.  Ringing in honour of the opening day ceremonies for the frelling Olympics.  It’s beside the point that I’m not interested in the Olympics*:  when you ring for an occasion you’re supposed to ring well.  It’s respectful.  I’m not a Christian either but I ring the best I can for Sunday service.  And that’s every week—if you blow it this week there’s always next week and the week after that.  I hate ringing badly for weddings because they’re one-offs.  You don’t get to do it again next week.**   And how many times are we going to have the Olympics in London?***

            Maybe I’ll take up bowling.†  Or boules.  Or Bingo.  Think of how much more time I’d have for knitting if I didn’t waste so much time in bell towers.††

            It’s still too hot.†††  It was supposed to cool off today but cooling off has not been wildly apparent.  In naïve expectation of cooling-off I wore long trousers to hurtle hounds so we had a bit more choice about where we could go than with me in bare legs and I almost died.‡  And air con is not standard over here.‡‡  But it was 87° and 87% humidity yesterday when I putting my knitting in my cough-cough evening bag‡‡‡ and it was still in the low eighties today.  I realise this will make people from Texas or even NYC snicker, but to us Hampshire wimps it’s hot.§ 

            And of course it was the heat and not all the rich food that meant I didn’t sleep too well last night.  I wasn’t particularly looking forward to All the Bells in Frelling England at 8:12 this morning but I have no idea whether there were any audible bells or not . . . because of the jackhammer that started at approximately 8:05 and went on continuously for half an hour.§§ 

* * *

* Although I love this:  

In a garden by the river

I don’t know whether it’s visible in this photo or not, but those are tyres.  Ordinary tyres off a car.  Hee hee hee hee hee. 

** It’s perfectly true that most people don’t know what they’re listening to, listening to method bell ringing, and this is what old experienced ringers always say when someone like me (who is nonetheless way too old and experienced to make as total a hash of it as I did tonight) moans about failing to make a joyful noise.   But I insist that you don’t have to know anything about change ringing to recognise BANG CRASH CLANG CRUNCH when you hear it.^ 

^  Because, I suppose, I bemuse easily, I googled ‘chiming bells vs method bell ringing’.  The first link below was number three in the list.  The second was tucked within the first link, which is www.cccbr.org.uk, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.  I went there and typed ‘chiming’ in the search box.  The Learning Curve is a terrific series anyway.  It’s worth going on subscribing to THE RINGING WORLD for when the name-calling on the letters page starts getting kind of depressing. 

http://www.cb1.com/~john/ringing/glossary.html   You do have to scroll down to ‘chiming’.  


Oh, and this is also on the opening page of the cccbr site, top of the list in the left hand column:  http://cccbr.org.uk/bellrestoration/pubs/a-glossary-of-bellringing-terms.pdf

*** I mean, thank the gods we won’t have it again in my lifetime.^  But the point about one-offs and respectfulness remains.  

^ We’d already done it in 1908 and 1948, we didn’t need to do it again in 2012.  Let someone else have a chance.  

† I’ve bowled a little.  I’m no good at that either. 

††  Unfortunately hanging around in bell towers tends to be good for my knitting—especially ringing somewhere like the abbey^ where I sit out a lot listening to the big boys and girls ringing things like Stedman caters^^.  A modest touch of something like Stedman caters which involves nine working bells takes a long time to work through its permutations.  I got several yarn rows done.^^^ 

            Then they rang Cambridge Major and I stood behind the treble, because I can treble bob on six (minor), I should be able to pick it up on eight (major).#   Why is it so much easier to watch someone else ringing something than to do it yourself?  Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. 

^ Where they probably passed a total ban on McKinley the minute I fled down those dangerous stairs a few hours ago.  When I show up on Sunday afternoon there will be a force field that doesn’t let me through.  I hope they are merciful enough to put it at the bottom of all those stairs rather than the top. 

^^ Again.  Show offs. 

^^^ Short rows however.  I’m about three quarters of the way through the Right Front and most of the way through Shaping Armhole.+  Yes.  I should do a knitting blog.  But it requires a certain amount of organisation, and organisation and I are not good friends.  

+ This is not the best shaped armhole that has ever existed.  I keep forgetting to tick off how many rows I’ve done.  I’m going to have to measure it against the finished armholes of the back.  Surreptitiously.  Of course I know what I’m doing.  I can see whether the armhole looks like an armhole.  Um . . . 

# ‘Treble bob’ is the name of the line that the treble follows through surprise methods.^ 

^ I don’t know enough about frelling surprise to know how many exceptions there are.  There are exceptions to everything in ringing, so presumably there are exceptions to treble bobbing to surprise methods too. 

††† And the ME is biting my ass big time.  GO.  AWAY.  This was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the bell tower tonight, but, so?  If I’m going to ring I have to be able to ring. 

‡ And we met the dog that chased us back into town the other day.  Joy.  And . . . Chaos and Darkness did their little united front guard Rottweiler confronting burglar thing again and . . . I’m not totally happy about it.  I mean, the stupid dog backed off—his veering into the hedgerow every time he got too close the other day proves he’s a coward, which is good—and not getting bitten is good for all of us—but I really don’t want my sweet hellhounds turning into a pair of tuned-out defensive-aggressive maniacs.  If they haven’t already:  if I haven’t just witnessed the moment that they did.  But I missed the other day, when Darkness went after the duckling:  what happens when I miss some day during a face off with another dog?  Darkness has been worrying about other dogs from the beginning—and unfortunately when Chaos learns something he tends to retain it.^  He may have just learnt that making other dogs back off is satisfying. 

^ Except when it has to do with picking his feet up to have his harness put on.  

‡‡ We didn’t have air conditioning in the fancy restaurant last night.  I knew this, so I was wearing shoes I could take off under the table and a skirt with design holes in it to encourage air flow.  Unfortunately I was also wearing the shirt I’d been wearing all day—it was a perfectly nice shirt chosen that morning to look fine with a going out to dinner skirt—but I didn’t notice till I got to the restaurant that it had lunch on it.  Arrrrrgh.  Oh well, indoors, dimly lit, flickering candles . . . Peter claims not to have noticed . . . but then he is a gentleman. . . . ^ 

^ He is also . . . untidy.  I am forever snatching articles of clothing away from him and screaming PUT THIS THROUGH THE WASH.  

‡‡‡ My real evening bags^ have developed a whole new life as Mobile Knitting Units however. 

^ Not only I but various friends have a weakness for sparkly things found at Oxfam.  

§ I also disenjoy watering the garden.  It takes huge amounts of time, struggling with taps and water butts and heavy cans full of water is tiring and awkward and the whole business is boring.  And I haven’t figured out a way to knit while I’m doing it either. 

§§ This has never happened before in the seven or eight years I’ve lived at the cottage.  We have jackhammers and chainsaws occasionally, but they’re not that early and they don’t go on uninterrupted that long.  And it happens for the first time the morning of All the Bells in England?  I think someone may be even less a fan of Martin Creed than I am.


Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.