Thorns are a part of life. GAAAAAAAH.
SHADOWS IS DRIVING ME CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY.
Okay, okay, like this is unusual or surprising or anything. Books exist to make their so-called authors crazy. It’s part of the system. I’m sure there’s a good evolutionary reason for this.* But I’m like hours from FINISHING THE DAMN THING AND SUDDENLY. . . . ARRRGGGLLLLGGZZZZRRRRMMMMMP.**
So let me tell you about my major breakthrough in the garden at the cottage.***
I’ve been taking out some of my literary frustrations in the garden.† This began about a fortnight ago when somehow or other Gemma got out there. I don’t let people out in my garden when . . . well, when you basically can’t get through the kitchen door without a machete and/or flamethrower. I tried to block her but she feinted and swerved and escaped past me (wielding her machete).
It’s a mess, I said, following her crestfallenly.
No, she said judiciously—Gemma has a gift for finding the nice thing to say—it’s just very full.
But look, LOOK! I have been labouring extremely, and see what I have produced! Unveiled! Chairs! A table! I could sit down in my garden! With a friend! —I only have the two chairs. There aren’t more hiding in the shrubbery or anything. But you haven’t been able to see either the table or the chairs for months. They’ve—er—had plants on them.
. . . And then look what a friend brought me recently. I looked at the roses before I looked at the label, and started to laugh. I didn’t need to look at the label. I’ve been resisting her for seven years now.†† But as my friend (who does not live in Hampshire) said, Look, you have to grow her. How many roses named after famous Hampshire landmarks are there anyway?†††
To be continued.
* * *
* Like there’s a good evolutionary reason for forty-three species of parrots and nipples for men.^
^ Pop culture reference alert. I feel I need to tell you, since I don’t do pop culture very well, and you won’t be expecting it.+
+ Old pop culture. TIME BANDITS was 1981?!?!?? There are grown ups who weren’t born in 1981.
** C’mon, Mongo the Wonder Dog! Pull another rabbit out of your hat-equivalent!^
^ Although for anyone who doesn’t read the forum+ b_twin posted a Wonder Dog clip:
+ You should, you know. I don’t drag all the interesting comments out here.
*** And then maybe I’ll go back to SHADOWS for a bit. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll go sing something. I quite fancy Pirate Jenny this evening. Kill them now or later? —Right now.^
^ Okay. I admit it. I’m often in the mood for Pirate Jenny.
† When the weather lets me. We’re still having YAAAAAAAH INCOMING rainstorms. Occasionally with thunder. I’m not sleeping well anyway and I found myself about two feet above the mattress with my hair standing on end a couple of nights ago when there was a thunderstorm. Generally speaking I like living on a hill—a little hill—but when the sky-giants are using your town as a bowling alley suddenly subterranean looks really good.
And one of these nights the new Late Hurtle is going to be interrupted by inclemency. If not sooner, then later, like, December, when there’s frelling ice on those murky black surfaces. Meanwhile hellhounds have taken to Late Hurtling with distressing enthusiasm. When I was just bringing them back to the cottage they would stagger out of their bed at the mews, make the supreme effort of jumping into the back seat of Wolfgang^, and be determinedly fast asleep by the time we drove twenty-three seconds down the road to the cottage, and I’d have to haul them back out of the car again.
Now I totter down to the cottage from Wolfgang’s slot at the top of the hill with all my frelling kit^^, and by the time I return to fetch hellhounds they’re pressed eagerly against the back window saying, what took you so long?
Despite my notorious time-related depravity, I have hitherto not been accustomed to wandering around outdoors at mmph o’clock and . . . there are hundreds of hedgehogs out there. I hope this means that hedgehogs, at least, are having a good year. I fear that some of hellhounds’ delight in late hurtling may have something to do with a prevalence of hedgehogs: but I’ve prevented them from catching any yet so I hope they’ll come to appreciate^^^ the quieter joys of . . . chasing the THOUSANDS of cats infesting the landscape at night. GAAAAAAAAAAH. I knew we had a cat problem in this town but this is ridiculous.
At the moment, however, the lack of aggressive off-lead dogs is worth even six cats to the square foot.
^ Haven’t you bought that ramp yet?
^^ I swear one of the best things about knitting is how much it doesn’t weigh.
^^^ At least till December
†† I grew her at the old house, and she didn’t do all that well. Some time recently, but I can’t find the thread now, someone in the forum was ranting about what useless pieces of rubbish Austin roses are and she wouldn’t be caught dead with any of them in her garden, etc. Hmm. Well, I do think Austins are overrated because they tend to be presented (at least around here) as the only thing or at least the most desirable thing. You go to the rose section of your local nursery and there are maybe two or three random hybrid teas and then ranks and ranks of Austins. Lighten up. There are other roses. But roses are like real estate: it’s all location, location, LOCATION. If you can find a place where an Austin is happy, she’s as lovely as the next rose—and sometimes lovelier. I think I’ve mentioned here before that I’m doing much better with Austins in feverishly over-fed pots in a tiny sheltered in-town garden(s) than I did at the old house, which was in a frost pocket.^ So I’m hoping Mme Winchester Cathedral will be fat and contented here. The flowers are divine.^^
^ I know. Every garden is in a frost pocket. Ask every gardener. Still. The pocket at the old house was frostier than here.
^^ Which is appropriate after all.
††† If I ever have several thousand pounds to throw away, I’ll sponsor Austin or Beales or Harkness or someone to produce a Forzadeldestino Abbey rose. There are other important Hampshire landmarks.
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