Ringing Madness. Also just madness.
In theory I was going to ring eight times in seven days, between last Saturday’s wedding and this Friday’s handbells* and then spend this Saturday taking deeeeeeeep breaths in preparation FOR THE ARRIVAL OF PUPPY ON SUNDAY. I imagine that most activities will be a trifle curtailed for a while, while Pavlova whips us into shape.** But then Fustian went and cancelled last night’s Slow Stupid People tower practise . . . which I didn’t find out about till I had slowly and stupidly come home again and found a message on my answerphone. Sigh. Fortunately there is knitting. I had my knitting with me*** and I had a nice little break, sitting in Wolfgang, listening to the radio, and knitting. I didn’t really need to drive forty-five minutes to spend half an hour in Wolfgang listening to the radio and knitting, but . . .
Sunday was ridiculous. There were twelve of us at the abbey, which is very good for Sunday afternoon . . . and four ringers at the Crabbiton harvest festival at evensong. I had tottered through my Grandsire Triples and then watched in a kind of despairing awe as most of the rest of them rang Grandsire caters, which is ten bells.† Three hours and several cups of tea later†† and with thoughts of the Saturday wedding I nerved myself for the worst and . . . there was the priest and the attendant priest and a brace of deacons and the flower-arranging lady and the four of us ringers and††† . . .
Felicity said through gritted teeth that every village in a ten-mile radius was also having a harvest festival and she had tried suggest that some of them combine forces but no, no, everyone should have their own. Felicity is a bit ferocious. We were there to ring the harvest festival and we rang pretty much for forty-five minutes straight. We rang call changes, and we rang full-pull plain hunt‡, and we rang bob minimus, and then we started over. It was a very well rung harvest festival, and I’m sure all those other towerless churches in a ten-mile radius were very glad to have us.
And tonight, despite being very short of sleep,‡‡ it wasn’t too bad at abbey tower practise. I rang another plain course of Stedman triples and Scary Man said afterward, that was a nice uneventful course. Which means I didn’t screw up. This is high praise from Scary Man.
* * *
* Who knows, I might even go to New Arcadia tower practise and bring my average back up. But I doubt it.
** Possibly a large round shape like a layer of meringue, baked to melt-in-mouth^ perfection and then THICKLY LAMINATED WITH CHOCOLATE.^^
^ I do not approve of meringues with sticky middles.
^^ Or similar. http://cheezburger.com/6546949888 Hee hee hee hee hee. Thank you, b_twin+
+ AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE. A mouse just ran across the kitchen floor. I do not like field mice indoors.# Do not.## Peter, roused from his post-prandial snooze on the sofa, staggered toward the kitchen under the impression that I was being trampled underfoot by a wild buffalo stampede###, and was a trifle underwhelmed when I told him it was a mouse. He produced a mouse-trap with a flourish . . . baited with chocolate. I viewed the chocolate suspiciously. No, no, he said, it’s really old. But the Rat Man said that mice like chocolate better than cheese. —What is this, mammalian solidarity? I wonder if anyone has done a study on chocolate to cheese preferences in mouse society as a whole as opposed to specifically menopausal mice.
Fortunately the hellhounds slept through all this.~ In a space the size of this kitchen the advantage is the mouse’s and I don’t want to watch Darkness trying to two-dimensionalise himself so he can squeeze between the freezer and the cupboard. I will put down the trap on our way out tonight. We do not need any more small furry creatures that scuttle unpredictably underfoot~~ than the one arriving on Sunday.
# Where’s an extra-gigantic house spider when you could really use him/her?
## You know about the urine slick, right? That mice leave wherever they go? Ewwwwww. Keep your cutting boards upright and scrub those counters.
### No, wait, this is England. Wild boar, then.
~ They’re used to me screaming. At my computer, say.
~~ And pee inappropriately
*** I am making a TOTAL mess of the second sleeve of First Cardi. WOOL IS STRETCHY. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE. Besides, my arms aren’t perfect replicas of each other, why should my sleeves be?
† It gets worse. Then they rang Stedman caters. WHY AM I BOTHERING. I should just learn to crochet^ and get it over with.
^ Then I can bungle crocheted sleeves too.
†† You can kind of tell where I am in a book by how many cups of tea, let’s say per hour, I am drinking. The later, the more. By now, and especially when the latest hopeless plan was to have SHADOWS’ trimming and tweaking DONE by Saturday evening just in time to have my life destroyed for the foreseeable future by a PUPPY, it’s . . . pretty extreme.^ But I might have made it if I weren’t trying to learn to use a NEW COMPUTER^^ WITH A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM. Fate hates me. Okay, I knew this.^^^
^ No, I don’t really wonder why I sleep so badly.
^^ In the really, really stupid design category: the gragglebatting keyboard is this sort of marcasite effect in what if it were this autumn’s must-have little cropped jacket would be called mink, and the lettering is white. I can’t frelling read it. So while I’ve been QWERTYing for fifty-one years+ where all the little dingleblargs are varies++ as well as every frelling laptop having its own unique approach to crucial basic commands like ‘page up’ and ‘delete’.
+ Yes really
++ And my ability to remember has taken a body blow by the fact of Astarte’s add-on keyboard having an American layout for all the stuff that isn’t letters and numbers. I’m used to double quote marks being above the 2.
^^^ In a previous life I could ring Double Panjandrum Cornucopia Maximus and she never got past Grandsire Triples. She swore revenge. And then she’s the one got the promotion this time while I got sent back as a storyteller.
††† But I went to the abbey evensong on Monday again and there were more priests than there were parishioners. And when I came out the door there wasn’t even a plate. I said to the nearest supernumerary priest, isn’t there a retiring collection? And he looked totally nonplussed and said er, no.
I’m not surprised the Church of England is losing money.
‡You don’t really want to know, do you?
‡‡ Because I had to get up this morning and let Raphael in. He’s excised one or two of the New Beast’s annoying habits but there are lots and lots left. He also took Faithful but Doolally Old Laptop away with him. When I rang Gabriel later to consult about an insufficiently excised annoying habit, he was hoovering out the insides of Old and opined that once the strata of hardened corn-thin crumbs have been stripped off it might work again. The New Beast, in theory, has a sealed keyboard so this can’t happen.^ Hey. I eat at my computer. My computer(s) have to deal. But this is where Faithful Old is promoted to be the composing computer, and I haven’t got enough hands to play two keyboards and eat corn thins so it should be okay.
^ Although I expect this is something like the unoverturnable dog food bowl.
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