The day after
I’m just back from bell ringing with Colin and Anthea and the gang at Glaciation. Colin said, Did you get the book turned in? And I said YESSSSSSSS.
And everyone cheered.
Is it too much to hope that Mongo will take an instant dislike to Val and “take him down”?
Unfortunately Mongo, who is brilliant, fabulous and amazing* in many ways, loves everybody.** Even at the end, when mrrgllvgbllgg and jgfffrrggh!, believe it or not, although it’s true he was otherwise occupied ggrhhllxk and zgdnmmmm . . . still. But he needs a few faults.
Also bells, whistles, cheers, balloons, garlands, and even the dreaded (though I’m not sure why dreaded) bunting.
You know you can knit*** bunting? I keep tripping over patterns for it and stumbling away hastily. It’s been a bad year for bunting with the multi-blasted Jubilee and all†. And I’m thinking, you can’t possibly dread something you’ve knitted. But why would you want to knit BUNTING?
And that snippet? That’s not the something you’re going to cut out. Uh-uh.
Thank you. No, that part stays.
Yay! Hurray! Huzzah! Although I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the snippet yet, because then I would still have SEVERAL LONG MONTHS before I get to read the rest. I might still give in.
‘Several long months’? Oh dear. Try a year. If you’re lucky. The manuscript should have gone in months ago. I’m once again up against publishing schedules. I’m so late turning in the raw ms that the schedule for next autumn may already be full. My editor has hauled me through the closing deadline gate more than once before, as long-term blog readers will recall, but this is not always the best choice even when it’s possible.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go exise a few paragraphs.
* * *
* Sugoi in Japanese. This will be one of your vocabulary words. You can write it down now.
* * *
** “Mom’s in the kitchen,” I said ungraciously, but he didn’t seem to notice the ungracious part. His face lit up at the mention of Mom. As he took another step forward he made a tiny bow and waved me to go ahead of him, which should have charmed me, but in this case it didn’t, maybe partly because there was something freaky about the shadow of his arm against the wall—there was a sudden sharp ragged line along the smooth (well, hairy-smooth) line of his forearm, and then just as suddenly it collapsed into the proper arm-shadow like it had realised I could see it. I tried not to stare but by now I was totally creeped out and I couldn’t wait to get away from him—but getting away from him meant leading him farther into my house, farther away from the door. My great-grandmom’s quilt hangs on the other, long wall by the front door, and I put my hand on it, either like I was dizzy or like it was going to protect me. Protect us. I actually had a moment when I thought, I’m not going to let this shadow-man near my family: I’m going to tell him to go away.
Too late. The evil magician was already over the threshold. And the quilt was just a quilt.
I don’t guess all of this took more than a minute. It was a long minute. It was long enough for Mom to call, “Vaaaaaal?” Yuck. When we went into the kitchen Mom’s face was so bright I could hardly stand to look at it. Even Mongo liked him, although Mongo likes everybody. (Also Mongo was so thrilled with himself for staying in the dog bed till I’d released him that nothing was going to blow his mood.) Then Ran found out that Val would listen to him about cars—cars were Ran’s biggest thing—and that was pretty much it for the rest of the evening. Ran talked and Val and Mom made shiny electric eyes at each other.
Once we were all sitting down and eating (Mom had made her chicken, apples and cream which usually only came out on birthdays) I was busy watching the shadows on the wall behind Val’s chair. They were too lively and there were way too many of them. It wasn’t just the twinkle of the electric candles in the (fake) chandelier or Ran waving his hands around as he talked about this week’s favorite car. One or another of the shadows always seemed to be about to turn into something I could recognise—a Komodo dragon or an alligator or a ninety-tentacled space alien. No, I was imagining it (especially the space alien. Sixty tentacles, tops). I hoped I was imagining it.
I looked at Mongo, who was fast asleep against the manic wall, paws twitching faintly and looking utterly relaxed. That made one of us. After this was over I was going to ask Mom to put normal light bulbs in the chandelier again.
* * *
*** SPEAKING OF KNITTING. Which I so often am.^ WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND A SIMPLE PATTERN? Maybe it’s just sweaters. Maybe it’s just that you’re supposed to have done your apprenticeship on scarves and hats and plain stockinette shawls and things^^ before you get to sweaters and so by then you’re BORED with simple and want cables and intarsia and stranding and fair isle and charts ALL AT ONCE. And I do have a couple more simple cardis lined up for when I finish First Cardi.^^^ But I took it into my head to look out a simple straightforward pizzazz-free long sleeve crew neck sweater AND COULD I FIND ONE??
In fact I have, finally,^^^^ but it’s been epic.
^ Although what with one thing and another I haven’t done a knitting blog in a while. A clear lapse in my responsibilities.
^^ Possibly including socks, but I think socks are hard. Which is why, as well as not wanting to spend all that time knitting something no one ever sees, I’ve never tried.+
+ My feet mostly get along fine in cotton-with-a-little-elastane~ shop socks.
~Snork. You know how Google tries to learn what you want? I was just looking up cotton stretch socks to see if it is usually elastane, and Google presented me with sock knitting patterns and stretchy cotton sock yarn at the top of the list. Farther down there were ordinary boring purveyors of shop socks.
^^^ I am most of the way through the first sleeve. Then there is only the second sleeve . . . and a lot of swearing when I try to figure out the frelling underexplained frelling collar. I left both ‘fronts’ unfinished because of the collar thing, which grows, in some mysterious way, out of the folded-back drape of the front. I should lay the bits out and figure it out NOW, but I’m . . . avoiding the issue while I knit the sleeves.
^^^^ Details upon request.
Gaaaaaah. And I like Rowan.
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