Announcement. And puppy photos.
I am ringing my first wedding at the abbey. On my sixtieth birthday.
Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.
Hey, doesn’t this have to be a good omen?*
* * *
Meanwhile I’m falling down badly on puppy photos. I think I must have THOUSANDS of the things. I may have to buy a new hard drive to hold them all. I’ve ground my way through sorting and cropping over a hundred tonight, so you’ll forgive me if tonight’s text is a little sparse. But I didn’t want to keep you in suspense over puppy-learning-to-knit.** But first . . .
I’m still amazed I managed to remember my camera to record First Walk. I didn’t record it very well, since you frequently need two hands for the puppy, but I feel honour was satisfied.
Meanwhile, yesterday the little freller snatched a ball of yarn out of my knapsack*** and . . . It’s amazing how fast a puppy making off with the swag can move, even a little short-legged tank like Pavlova. It must be all the hucklebutting.
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* What could go wrong? No, don’t answer that. I was a little drily amused today that for the afternoon service we rang nearly half an hour of call changes. Some of this is that while we had a good turn-out for a Sunday afternoon, two of the turn-out were Spaulding and me. While Spaulding is still grappling with trebling to his first methods I can’t ring anything but plain hunt on more than eight, and the rule of thumb for any service ringing is that you have as many of your bells going as possible for as much of the time as possible—although if you have forty ringers and thirty-eight of them can ring Spliced Parallelogram Kedgeree Bunkum it is perfectly acceptable to expect the two duds to sit out for a touch. But apparently the call changes for the wedding yesterday—which you may recall I got out of because I was stupid enough to agree to ring handbells for a late October wedding^—Did Not Go Well and it was decreed that we should practise call changes. Call changes in this area are mostly considered beneath the dignity of real ringers and are only resorted to when your band is encumbered by dweebs and losers. Like Spaulding and me.
I was, reprehensibly, a tiny bit pleased that the abbey band had come a trifle unglued without my assistance. Call changes on ninety-four is not beneath my dignity—merely ringing rounds on ninety-four is not beneath my dignity because of the whole awful business of hanging your wretched bell up and WAAAAAAAAAAAAITING till all the other ninety-three bells have rung and it’s your turn again. This varies with the bell, but it can be VERY DIFFICULT to get your thundering great bonger to stand still—and then to yank it back into action quickly and accurately enough. The bell I happened to be on for the call changes was almost impossible for a jerky over-ringer like myself to hold on the balance and then pull in behind the bell in front of me fast enough. I could either hold it up there or I could try to get closer to the bell in front—and trying to get closer tended to involve having the beastly thing come down too soon and go CRASH on the previous bell. ARRRRRRRRRRRGH. I’VE BEEN RINGING EIGHT YEARS AND I CAN’T RING ROUNDS. And then . . . imagine ninety-four people standing around the edges of a ballroom. The conductor shouts, FOUR TO SEVENTY-TWO! Which means bell four is to stop following whoever it’s been following and follow the seventy-two. You have one third of a second to make your bell BONG in the right place, okay? How fast can you count to seventy-two to see who you’re supposed to be following?^^
^ Handbellers have to ring outside. In a contest between handbells and even the tiniest, plinkiest organ, the organ wins.
^^ I’m misleading you for what I fondly imagine is simplicity’s sake but maybe it isn’t. Bells can only move one space at a time. If you’re in rounds and you’re ringing the four, you can only be called to ring after the five or the two (because you’re following the three). But a good conductor JUMBLES YOU ALL THE FRELL UP so after a few minutes and some brisk calling you could be anywhere in the row.
*** You CAN’T put everything out of puppy reach. You run out of SURFACES. I don’t have any counter space left at the cottage.
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