The things one does for one’s resident wildlife
I had a computer archangel here for MOST OF THE DAY and I HOPE that some of the more egregious nonsense has been despatched to Computer Gremlin Purgatory where it can either repent or, after a decent interval in which to realign its wiring to holiness and humility, be sent on to headquarters and fry. Love that smell of burning hardware. I seem to have my email addressbook back WHICH WOULD BE NICE. Possibly email will now revert to, you know, sending and receiving. The best thing however, supposing it has been genuinely exorcised, is the SELF ZOOM feature on this laptop, which is where I (theoretically) do the most work, although it’s been getting harder and harder* as my screen ratchets around like . . . a hucklebutting hellterror.
But the presence of an archangel does tend to throw the lower orders into disarray. This would include me and dependent hellcritters. The pattern of the day was perhaps set when I stepped in dog crap not only in the churchyard but ON THE MAIN PATH THROUGH the churchyard. What is the MATTER with people?!? Every time a little old lady glares at me, out with one of my shifts of hellcritters (and I never am out without a hellcritter or two), I cringe. It’s not me lady! I PICK UP!
. . . Anyway. I was in the churchyard with the puppy at the time, juggling lead and Pooka while I texted Raphael asking for ETA since he could not possibly have got past us on our way there: Already here, he texted back, laconically. Pavlova can move surprisingly fast on those little short legs and we hucklebutted back in unison.**
But by the time he left I was dazed*** with . . . failing to understand anything he told me.† And I had three pairs of beady little eyes all wanting to go out. Now. In fact, a couple of hours ago. The problem is that the hellhounds always go out first. I put the hellterror out for a pee so she’ll last till it’s her turn, but in terms of actual hurtles, the hellhounds have precedence. But Pav was already showing signs of dismantling her crate and I couldn’t entirely blame her, while hellhounds will go back to sleep more or less indefinitely. I’ve mentioned that it’s WINTER, right? It’s FREEZING out there. There is ICE on the ground†† and your seventeen-year-old car needs to run about fifteen minutes to get the needle off COLD. I casually tucked Pav under my arm, nonchalantly picked up her lead on our way to the door, and left in my house slippers and ONE light cashmere pullover††† and no hat, no gloves, no coat . . . while the hellhounds watched suspiciously but were clearly appeased by the lack of any sign of a Real Hurtle, ie, shoes, gloves, coat, hellhound harnesses. . . .
I lasted our shortest ten-minute round and had to bite my tongue not to scream COME ON every time she stopped for a sniff. But it worked. Pav had her second mini-hurtle, hellhounds were positively friendly when we got back, and rioted with Pavlova while I shivered into my proper gear, locked her up, and prepared to go out for a real hurtle.
Oh, and I’ve written this entire blog AND THERE WAS NO ZOOMING.
* * *
* Meanwhile Astarte the iPad has connectivity issues. Neither Raphael nor I have much idea how much of them is the weird, I mean unique, I mean weird, way connectivity is set up (apparently) on the iPad (I think Raphael made an attempt to explain this to me but I started wailing and rending my garments really soon and he didn’t get very far) and how much is the ongoing and apparently permanent fact that all the wiring on the cottage’s cul de sac is made of cheap string and chewing gum, and broadband cough cough cough sits on this unstable framework uneasily, like a dowager on a shooting stick.^ Have I mentioned recently that the local MPs and the town and county councils keep announcing high speed broadband for this area? They’re still announcing it. I don’t know if ‘high speed broadband for this area’ includes rewiring cul de sacs that are presently making do with cheap string and chewing gum.
But this means that when I am having a Bad Night, as it might be last night, and I decide I might as well turn the light back on, grab Astarte and do some work, if said work includes emails or the blog, I probably can’t because The Server Is Not Available.^^
Fortunately there is reading, hard copy or e-. And knitting.^^^
^ Depends on your dowager, of course.
^^ Yes I take Astarte to bed with me.+ And no I am not going to get up and go sit at a desk. If I did that I’d never get any sleep at all. Also, in the WINTER? There are three good location choices during the winter at the cottage: in front of the Aga. On the sofa covered with hellhounds.++ And in bed+++. You will note that ‘sitting at my desk’ does not appear in this list.
+ Hands up people with iPads who take them to bed.
++ The only occasions the hellterror joins us at present is when she’s being Suppressed. We will, eventually, all four fit on the sofa at the mews. I’m not sure this can be done on the littler sofa at the cottage. I may have to ask Atlas to build an extension.
+++ Possibly with supplementary hellhounds. I know hellterrors have a remarkable line in pogosticking but I’m not sure my tall bed is ever going to be an option. At a little over seventeen pounds Pav is still quite haul-aroundable especially because she’s used to it and has always dangled well# but I will start losing ground here shortly. I’ve said before that I can carry Chaos at a pound or two under forty but Darkness at a pound or two over is a struggle. I’m hoping for a delicate svelte hellterror like Auntie Missy. A nice little square short-legged thirty-five pounds I could probably carry around in brief bursts indefinitely so long as she remains agreeable.
# I have mixed feelings about her supporting her own weight by standing on my hip or my leather belt: this also gives her rocket-launch capabilities.
^^^ One of my favourite yarn and knitting sites is as bad as the blog.+ Arrrrgh. If this is supposed to be a money-saving add-on it needs to be attached to my other favourite knitting sites as well.
+ My own blog doesn’t love me. How unfair is that.
** I’m not as good at it. It requires four legs and attitude. More to the point she was happy to gallop out in front and not linger to get under my feet, pull my shoelaces and hang off my jeans hems—going HOOOOOOOOME where there is FOOOOOOOOOOD. Usually I’m proceeding much too slowly for her. Lead manners. We are attempting to install lead manners.^
^ What do you mean, walk? FOOOOOOOOOOOOD.
*** I spent a good hour clearing off and scrubbing down the deep windowsill over the sink, and repotting most of the plants that live there undisturbed for months and months barring watering and the occasional jolt of food. Mostly I neglect my houseplants because . . . I neglect my houseplants, but as I was doing an unusually good job of tying up a repotted begonia^ I was thinking that the other reason I tend to ignore the teeming and seriously untidy jungle that are all the windowsills at the cottage is that houseplants are marginal at best—plants don’t actually like living indoors—and that while pruning and feeding outdoors usually results in a gratifying burst of growth, pruning and feeding indoors is usually the sign to die.
^ Whose name is Buffy. No, really. Buffy and Peardrop tend to be sold together so unfortunately I think it refers to the colour.
† Where is that wax tablet? I bet my iPad stylus would work on it just fine.
†† ::Checks the location of her Yaktrax::
††† Although there were two cotton turtlenecks under it. And the longjohns. And the two pairs of socks.
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