Dogs. Whose idea was dogs?
I have HOW many of these creatures? I did what recently (on the subject of creature accumulation)? WHY? Why didn’t someone STOP ME?
I’m one-handed again and CRANKY, which makes two of us: little miss madam is extremely cranky. Sigh. This shouldn’t have crept up on me but it did. Puppies have good days and bad days just like absent-minded human dog-food-buyers do and there’s been a lot going on.* But it didn’t occur to me till yesterday that eruptions from madam’s crate were on the increase. She’s got through the night clean pretty consistently for a while now so for example it has seemed to me reasonable that she gets a little excitable in the mornings, and new people** and new experiences can be a little overstimulating*** . . . but I think what has tipped furry adorableness incarnate into ravening red-eyed hellterror is that she and Chaos positively have a relationship lately—that was unmistakably playing going on in the sitting room at the mews† the last few days. Even Darkness emerges from the—er—darkness of the bigdog bed occasionally and views the proceedings. Dubiously, but (I choose to believe) with a slow increase of resignation to the inevitable. All four of us were on the sofa for about half an hour the other night. Pavlova was being suppressed like crazy†† but when she briefly came in contact with one of Darkness’ feet he did NOT leap off the sofa and run away. This is major progress.
But I think bonding with the hellhounds, with whom she is obsessed, has given the hellterror airs above her station. We are therefore into our fourth hour of Remedial Holding today and I am VERY BORED with being one-handed.††† I am GETTING A LOT OF READING DONE.
However the best part of a day that has needed a best part?‡ FIRST BRUSSELS SPROUTS OF THE SEASON. No, really. I love Brussels sprouts. I’m also a poor sad thing with no life and too many dogs, but I absolutely do love Brussels sprouts.
* * *
* The frelling synod voted against women bishops? AGAIN? Last time, of course, I didn’t care, beyond the distant barely-relevant fact that the C of E was thus reconfirmed as nowhere, barring bell towers, I’d ever find myself. But . . . this makes me feel like I’m still living in the 1950s or so. I really don’t want to live in the 50s, you know, again. June Cleaver gave me the creeps even at the time. ARRRRRGH. I realise that everyone is saying that the change has to come eventually but . . . except that the last two and a bit months have not been the most fabulous time I’ve ever had, and I’ll be very grateful when the general level of tempest-tossing and major destruction of self and belief systems begin to subside because I am a little old^ for this level of upheaval, I could almost wish that I hadn’t had my conversion-zapping till tomorrow or next week, after the women-bishops question was done and dusted for another five years.^^
^ See: first-run memories of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. I’d hate to think that’s where my pearl fetish started. No, no! Audrey Hepburn! Ingrid Bergman! Even Grace Kelly! Not Barbara Billingsley!
^^ FIVE YEARS! FIVE YEARS! We have to hang around getting older for another five years before they can put it to the vote again!!
** It continues to confuzzle me, the reactions Pav and I receive. It still amazes me, the besotted owner, the number of people—have I mentioned recently that the whole ‘Britain is a nation of animal-lovers’ is a load of old cobblers?—who don’t want to talk to my puppy. But of the ones that register her, and (mostly) stop to say hello, the majority are the generic ooooh-puppy sort, but at either end of reaction range, and about evenly balanced, are the Do you know what you’re getting into, those dogs are savage brutes^, which Olivia and Southdowner both did warn me about, and the They are the most beautiful dog and so charming. I had one woman telling me how intelligent they are and while you have heard me on the subject of ‘intelligence’ as opposed to ‘easy trainability from the wanting-it-all-their-own-way human standpoint’, still, bullies are not the most trainable, and I wondered if perhaps she was very short-sighted and had confused Pavlova with a border collie.
^ I feel like I’m being accused of not doing my homework. I wasn’t going to have a bullie because it’s not a breed you want to make a mistake about. That was before I met Southdowner—and her bullies. But do I look stupid? No, don’t answer that.^
^ I’ve had the dangerous-dog savage-brute reaction several times in various bell towers when I’ve told people about her . . . where, okay, I do look stupid.+
+ Trying to readjust to the energy drain of a voice lesson in the afternoon and still go ringing that night IS GOING TO TAKE SOME DOING. I was very stupid last night at Colin’s . . . in front of two visitors, siiiiiiiigh, one of whom has recently moved back to this area and rings at the abbey, where they are all over her because she is very good, and the other one who hasn’t rung in ten years but had remembered her Cambridge minor by the end of the evening as well as successfully turning in South Desuetude’s heavy, bad-tempered tenor for a touch of bob minor. SIIIIIIIIGH. Maybe I should hire out as a Remedial Canine Holding Agent in the evenings, which would keep me out of bell towers.
The voice lesson went pretty well, within the limits of what Nadia can do with me. I AM SO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPY to be singing again. She had her arms full of baby this week, so rather than playing the piano she sang with me to give me a little support—also because it’s very easy to slide off pitch with frelling Purcell, and she said if I got the tone and the ‘lift’ right the pitch would come, but the piano would just keep reminding me of what I was doing wrong. I really like singing with Nadia, despite the fact that she has a voice and I don’t, and even with her barely humming along this is obvious, because I am a masochi—because I still have it in mind that eventually I will find other people to sing with. But it’ll be good next week when the baby has done a little studying and can join in on the bass line.
*** I went to evensong again tonight. I went alone. Unless you count the knitting.
† I’d have to put up a mezzanine at the cottage to create equivalent floor space. The walls are tall—taller than average—but they’re not that tall. And I don’t feel like spending the rest of my life walking on all fours because of headroom problems.
†† I could get tendonitis.
††† Even though Peter nobly suppresses her so I can go have a pee occasionally. And then make more tea, of course.
‡ Which has signally failed to include the weather. Torrential rain at least means bottoms of hiking boots get REALLY CLEAN.^
^ PEOPLE WHO LET THEIR DOGS CRAP IN CHURCHYARDS SHOULD BE SHOT. CHRISTIAN CHARITY MY ASS.
Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.