My Sad Bell Free August Continues
So last night Gemma and I went to a little village outside Greater Footling to ring handbells with Albert and Leandra.* I haven’t had a (plausible) chance to ring major—eight—on handbells in yonks and while we only rang plain courses of plain bob it was thrilling, not least because I actually rang like a person who knew what she was doing. I rang both the difficult inside pairs, the 3-4 and the 5-6, and lived. And I hope I wouldn’t go on about it in this unattractive way except that it was VERY GOOD FOR MORALE to do something bell-related with/in front of Albert and Leandra that I COULD DO, since I’m still 90% a disaster at the abbey.** This veneer of competence will all go away horribly as soon as we try to ring a touch, however. Ringing plain courses we were relatively speaking level: Gemma and I are still learning, but Albert and Leandra haven’t done it in a while and were rusty enough they made the occasional mistake. But they’re extremely good and extremely experienced ringers—slightly less so on handbells, but not all that frelling much less so. A few more plain courses and they’ll be ready for anything. I won’t. It is taking me FOREVER to learn to ring touches in bob minor . . . it’s not going to be any better in major. Sigh. However, last night was excellent.***
So today I had off from the ringing thing. Thursday is Niall, Colin and my usual handbell evening, but Niall was going to be pretending to be a normal civilised human being and doing some frelling cultural thing with his wife who thinks he rings too much.† Since I had all afternoon and evening to work uninterrupted, I permitted myself a little burst of badly overdue remedial gardening after hellhounds and I got back from the morning’s hurtle. Maybe it wasn’t such a little burst. Well, it was very overdue and one thing led to another, or maybe I should say that I couldn’t get to x till I’d hacked my way through y, and meanwhile I’d got entangled with z.†† Also it’s HOT again so I have to water everything. Feh. ††† So I got down to the mews late for lunch but feeling all mellow and relaxed‡ and my SHADOWS focus was all clear and unwavering and . . .
The phone rang. It was about four o’clock. We usually meet at 4:45. Hi, said Niall.
Hi, I said suspiciously.
I’m not going out tonight after all, he said. And Colin’s free. Are you? Can you ring handbells?
I looked at my computer. There’s always later.
So we rang handbells. And they just had to put up with the fact that the biscuits at the tea break were sub standard, because I wasn’t expecting to be hosting handbells today.
I am not ringing anything anywhere tomorrow.
* * *
* Gemma drove. I wouldn’t be able to drive that far and ring. She was a bit late—I was meeting her at her house, and comfortably waiting knitting in her sitting room^ and being gloriously entertained by her theatrical son^^—and rather than go through the whole complex urban parking thing she decided to take the vehicle she was already in, which was the family camper van.^^^ It’s not large as such things go but you are higher up than in an ordinary car and I kept thinking of Merry. Thus does life reproduce . . . er . . . blog serials. #
^ I have begun Second Front of First Cardie. I am going to do a proper Knitting Blog here one day soon. Fiona’s and my adventure was a teaser.
^^ It was rather a pity to have to leave for mere bell ringing. But obsession is like that.
^^^ She and her husband had taken it on a picnic. I’d like picnics better myself if I got to bring my kitchen along.
# Vikkik wrote:
Okay, now I NEED a t-shirt that says “If I wanted your opinion I would read your entrails!”
Me, too!! Something with a looming Lovecraftian graphic.
I’ve seen that T-shirt at larger SF conventions! Don’t remember who the dealer was, though. If I see it again in a few weeks (going to WorldCon in Chicago) I’ll grab a card from the dealer and post it here for those who want one.
I’ve actually got the ‘Entrails’ T-shirt. We do need ‘GerbilCon 2008′ shirts, though……
Yes. I have one too. A friend, who reads the blog and can identify herself if she wishes to, saw it at a convention and for some reason immediately thought of me. I agree that some Lovecraftian graphics might have been nice.+
I’m a bit relieved that no one has immediately posted about GerbilCon, one of the oldest, most reliable and best-attended cons in the entire SF&F world, Ursula LeGuin/William Gibson/HG Wells was the GoH in 2008, Kestrel who? Get with the programme, McKinley. I did (nervously) google GerbilCon, but gerbil, I mean google, and I are not always best friends. I dunno, should we design a GerbilCon 2008 t shirt after I turn SHADOWS in and clear off the auction backlog? Although, speaking of getting with the programme, I think most of the lumps have been hammered out now, but in KES’ first couple of months there seemed to be a surprising number of readers who didn’t immediately twig it was a story++. I know I didn’t make it easy, but . . . well, I thought it was easy. A friend suggested creating a t shirt that says: KES. IT’S FICTION, BITCHES. Which I totally want.
+ All you knitters are aware of all the awesome Lovecraft possibilities there are out there? A lot of them on Ravelry. A friend knitted me a Cthulhu—I don’t immediately see it here, I can’t remember where she found the pattern—and she said the best thing about it was knitting on the bus, having someone ask her what she was making, and being able to give the truthful response: a tentacle.
++ I, however, have been living in the so-called real world too long. There was a wild noise from the corner of the kitchen I have my back to as I sit at the table at the mews. I did not think, oh unholy gods it’s the zombie apocalypse! I thought, oh unholy gods it’s a rat!
It was, in fact, the cheap fizz in the refrigerator blowing its stopper. There is a clear answer to this: drink more.
** Gemma, who believes that support and encouragement are the answer to everything, keeps insisting that all I have to do is keep coming to practice—which is pretty much the one thing I can do reliably—and everything will be fine. She did admit, however, to chasing after me on Sunday for that frelling quarter because she thought it would be good for me.
Well. She was right.
*** They also have a great house. It reminds me of mine for some reason. Something to do with the Too Full of Interesting Stuff.^
^ Theirs is bigger though. Everybody’s house is bigger than mine. But then I have a second/third in reserve.+
+ Most people don’t have a backlist problem.
† Penelope rarely goes to extra practises at other towers, and doesn’t ring handbells at all. Incredible.
†† I also owe you a gardening blog. Soon.
††† It is a curious fact that you have more pots that need watering when there is no rain. It’s one of those little mysteries of physics.
‡ Well, let’s not get carried away here. For example, we met two St Bernards while we were out hurtling today. We got past the actual dogs without incident^ but . . .the piles of dog crap on the footpath were knee high. Now an ancillary reason to my having no desire to have St Bernards is the idea of trying to pick up crap that needs both hands. Picking up hellhound crap is not a joyous life-affirming experience but it’s just not a—ahem—big deal. St Bernards . . . well. But if you have a St Bernard you frelling PICK UP AFTER IT.
^Fortunately. One St Bernard head is the size of an entire hellhound
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