June 30, 2013

KES, 85


Mike roused himself with a visible effort, like Swamp Thing rising from the murky depths.  “Several thousand?” he said.  “Into five figures.  At least.”

“Maybe,” I said, my sympathy evaporating.  It was a small van.  “But you got a fabulous sandwich out of it.  And the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start a durable and tenacious feud between me and my new neighbors.”

“It was a good sandwich,” said Mike, trying to look modest.

“Oh, wow,” said Serena.  “Your neighbors were there?  They’re never there.”

I gazed at her with as much dislike as was possible toward someone who made a pear and ginger crumble as divine as Serena’s.  “If one more person says that to me, I shall become violent.  I will crush your front lawn with my terrifying new juggernaut.  I will order my dog to throw up on your shoes.”

“You haven’t seen our front lawn in daylight yet,” said Serena.  “Nothing Merry could do to it, unless you’re planning on hiring a hydraulic hammer, in which case get the large size, okay?  Our front lawn would be a lot more interesting with a couple of craters and a rock pile.  And I’m sure Sid is too polite to throw up on anyone’s shoes but her owner’s.  I’m sorry about the Lanchesters.”

You know them?” I said.  “This small town thing could get on my last remaining nerve.”

“Yeah.  Well.  You’ve signed the lease, right?” said Serena, stomping on my last remaining nerve more comprehensively.  “Get used to it.”  It is perhaps not generally known that even divine pear and ginger crumble will take you only so far.  I repressed a snarl.

At this critical juncture of developing interpersonal relationships, there was a shambling noise behind us, like maybe Frankenstein’s monster wearing badly fitting shoes.  I turned around gratefully, and there was JoJo.  There might have been a smile on his face.  It was hard to tell through all the hair.  The bits that weren’t hairy were pierced.  And he couldn’t walk properly because it was beneath his dignity to tie his shoelaces.

“Hey, JoJo,” I said.

“Hey,” he said.  “Keh.”

JoJo was perhaps not a great talker.  Mr Screaming Skull had done all the talking when I’d visited his garage, in that slightly too emphatic way that suggested he was used to doing all the talking.  The several large, hairy, well-pierced young men lurking in the shadows had done no more than twitch slightly when he’d said their names—calling it ‘introducing’ them was a little extreme—although JoJo had stopped whatever it was he was doing long enough to gesticulate vaguely in my direction with a tool of arcane purpose that looked like something Gurgsmeel the Malevolent might have used to unpleasant effect, when Mr Screaming Skull identified him as the chosen one to fetch the van home again.  I wasn’t sure in the present instance whether JoJo didn’t remember my name, or whether the bolt he was wearing through his tongue was preventing the crisp utterance of sibilants.

He was wearing a black t shirt with what I feared was a design of exploding heads on it.  I didn’t want to look too closely.  And I didn’t know they made even black death metal jeans that size:  approximately 26 waist and 48 inseam.  He’d been wearing some kind of overall at the garage.  He should have been cold.  Maybe what I had taken for a smile was a rictus of frostbite.

He lumbered past us and went straight to the van and put his hand on the hood like a man petting a favorite horse.  Awww.  He didn’t quite raise the lid but you could see he wanted to.  He was right, anything might happen to a motor vehicle in my hands.  I might put molasses in the radiator.  (Did cars still have radiators?  I knew more about horses.  Horses did not have radiators.)  I might put antifreeze in the gas tank.  In New Iceland in April you needed to have antifreeze somewhere.  Mike should not be turning a rare, valuable antique like Merry over to someone like me.

JoJo turned back to me, keeping his hand on the van.  “Okay?” he said.

Okay what?  “It runs great,” I said at random.  I decided not to mention my doubts about the shock absorbers.  “I’m really grateful to Mr Scre—er—to your boss for letting me have it at such short notice.”

JoJo now opened the driver’s door and stared at the steering wheel.  Then he stared at me.  I was involuntarily reminded of Sid looking at her bowl of dog food.  “Key,” he said.

“Oh—uh,” I said, fishing in my pocket.  String.  Tissues.  Jackknife.  Bits of dog kibble.  Three quarters and a dime.  Arrgh.  Ah.  Keys.  Including, fortunately, the two belonging to the van.  I gave them to him.  He was clearly about to get straight in the van and drive away.

Serena said, “D’you want a cup of coffee or anything before you go?”


Not the Greatest Day That Ever Was*


But hellcritters are all crapping solid** so it could be a lot worse.  I was saying wearily to a friend recently that it’s a little pathetic when the height of your aspirations are that your critters crap solid and keep eating but . . . life is like that sometimes.

The weather’s  gone all thick and clammy-hot and muggy and horrid, with enough rain to wet down you and your hurtleable creatures but not really enough to do your garden any good, although you’ll get soaked brushing through wet leaves trying to bring top-up cans of water to various and sundry.***  I had approximately zero sleep last night, worrying, which is just so useful and intelligent.  The thing is that your freak-out mode eventually gets stuck on and there you are twitching like the eveready bunny, your adrenals resemble exploded balloons and you’re having trouble remembering your name, let alone your phone number.†

Which is my excuse for bottling out of singing for Oisin yet again today.  I’ve missed several weeks of my cup of musical tea on Friday afternoons for the standard recent reasons plus Oisin occasionally has to play for an inconveniently scheduled wedding.  But here I’m singing like mad this week. I’ve learnt three new songs.  THREE.  Am I overcompensating for the frelling German lied?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Or you could say fleeing in terror with a few adrenaline tatters adding depth to my tone.  Also they’re only little folk songs.††  Still, you know, THREE.†††  But with reference to Nadia needing to reset me every Monday lately . . . by Friday afternoon, even without any comprehensive anatomic tightening-up experiences like a sudden outbreak of domestic geysering I’ve slipped a lot from the level Nadia had vellicated me to the previous Monday.  I, you know, squeak.  Insomnia tends to be fairly squeaky too.  So Oisin and I merely discussed the state of the world‡ and music.‡‡

But I paid for this lack of moral fibre.  I tried to go to the evening prayer at the monks’ tonight and the door to the chapel was locked.

* * *

* Although there’s a seriously long afterglow to some recent news.  Which makes a change.  We’re all up on DOMA and Wendy Davis, yes?





Although ugly reality will apparently re-intrude soon in Texas


I’m one of those who believes that big noisy symbolic acts are worth making.  Self-righteous self-absorbed Republican white boy ****heads mouthing that their abortion bill is to protect women makes me puke on my own shoes.

** So far.  Two hours to midnight and there’s always tomorrow.  Also Chaos has decided that dinner is not to his liking.  ARRRRRGH.  I’m 95% sure he’s just being a 100% jerk, but I can still do without it.  Remind me why I have dogs.

Skating librarian

In defense of cats … I am reading a book called Cat Whisperer . . . her point is that cats’ emotional make up doesn’t include vengeance, but does include anxiety and stress and a need to defend one’s territory with marking.

She has also studied the lives of various wild cats and thinks many of us make the mistake of judging cats in comparison to dogs, an animal genetically programed to a very different way of life and much longer domesticated. As a cat behaviorist she apparently has considerable success in knowing what will make puss happy and training humans to provide it. If it saves kitties from abandonment, more power to her.

It is possibly worth remembering that I write the blog late at night when brain cell function is low.  And while I am certainly cranky even when I’ve been getting enough sleep for the last several months, some of my more provocative statements are from failure to express myself clearly and not from a desire to poke anyone in the eye with a sharp stick.^  I believe individuals, human and critter, are fully capable of malice and vengeance.  My first whippet, Rowan, never forgave me^^ for bringing her overseas to a new house, a new country, and a new situation where she was a dog among dogs.  She didn’t have the sweetest, most wonderful personality to begin with^^^ and she spent most of her last fifteen years trying to make me pay.  I’d say my friend’s cat who threw up along the row of LPs had a pretty good idea that she was being ultimately annoying.  But to call cats or dogs as a species ‘malicious’ or ‘vengeful’ is clearly nonsense.  You can also reverse ‘ . . . thinks many of us make the mistake of judging cats in comparison to dogs . . . ’ which has indeed been more my experience:  writers or fantasy writers or the writers I’ve known run more to cats.

As I did manage to say last night, it’s what the human caretaker is willing or able to put up or negotiate with, when the local critters start acting out or falling from the grace of perfect health.

^ Happy to poke anyone in the eye who wants to take abortion rights away from women however.

^^ See:  if you want stubborn, GET A SIGHTHOUND.

^^^ She was one of those arguments against backyard breeders.  Sigh.

*** Bad language not really optional.

† When I moved over here I adopted the British habit of repeating the last three digits of your phone number when you answer the phone.  Lately I’ve gone back to ‘hello’.

††And Beethoven, Haydn, Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten all set folk songs.  So hmmph.

††† Plus Linden Lea, speaking of Vaughan Williams.

‡ Oisin’s wife’s sister and husband are visiting.  The husband wandered through the kitchen while Oisin was making tea and I was knitting.  This is a piano lesson? said the husband.  Piano and voice, actually, I said, still knitting.

‡‡ It bothers me you never see or hear anyone singing just to be singing any more.  When I was a kid you did:  your mother sang, your neighbour sang, the school bus driver sang.  They may not have sung very well (especially the bus driver) but you knew what they were doing and it wasn’t all that weird.  Now the only time you see or hear anyone singing in public is a mum (or occasionally dad) to a little kid.  Mostly people are plugged into their iPods.  Now some of those people are listening to ANNA KARENINA or the podcast of Cardiff Singer of the World.  But some of them are plugged in because it doesn’t occur to them not to be plugged in.

Death, Decay and Lungworm


Peter and I went out to dinner tonight because it is a 26th -ish, which is to say that I went bell ringing last night:  Wild Robert was having one of his roving last-Wednesdays at a tower I can actually find.*  Tonight we were so fortunate as to be sitting next to a table where a gentleman with a carrying voice was describing his misfortunes in rich and graphic detail, including, as they did, the decline and eventual death of his mother and the social benefit and moral uplift of donating corpses to forensic science because you know one of the things they do is let them rot under carefully controlled conditions and then keep detailed notes of what happens just like on CSI and WE’RE TRYING TO EAT DINNER HERE YOU KNOW and then there was his dog, which had lungworm and epilepsy and a cough that went on and on and . . . eventually it died too.  We at the next table meanwhile were losing the will to live.  Even the cards didn’t love us:  we do this thing of laying out bridge hands and then Peter tells me how I should play them HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Although sometimes this is pretty interesting and while I wouldn’t have a hope of successfully doing any of it** I can at least follow, especially when we’re playing with all the cards face up and I don’t have to REMEMBER anything.***  Tonight all the hands were ‘hmm, difficult’ from my seventy-years’-experience bridge-playing husband.  Plus lungworm.  And did I mention that next table’s mother never regained consciousness after her final stroke, although it took her a while to die?

This morning I had been planning on telling you a funny story about Dog Throwing Up.  Maybe you have to be a critter owner.  But I heard the Telltale Preparatory Heaving Noises when, as ill luck would have it, the hellterror was loose in the kitchen, and the Heaver was Darkness, who is still apprehensive about her, so I was trying to drag him out of the hellhound crate onto the floor and she was saying, oh!  Playing with Darkness!  I loooove playing with Darkness and mostly he won’t play with me!, so I’m trying to fend her the flaming doodah off, and meanwhile every time I let go of Darkness he . . . doesn’t necessarily bolt into his crate but he does bolt for another piece of carpet.  Now the kitchen is chiefly lino, but I have those dirt-attractor mats by both doors, and a rug-like item in front of the Aga because hellcritters like to lie there.  NOT ON THE CARPET YOU IDIOT HELLHOUND.  Previous canines of my acquaintance do a quick hack and it’s all over, but hellhounds approach the process of throwing up in a gradual, cumulative fashion.  This means that, hellterrors and other distractions aside, you have quite a good chance of getting him onto a piece of easily washable floor, but on an occasion like this morning it’s more Keystone Cops.  WHY A PIECE OF CARPET?  WHY, OH WHY, A PIECE OF CARPET?***  I ended up chasing him around the kitchen while he trailed bile-tainted spittle, so I had far more cleaning up to do than I would have if I’d just left him alone in the back of his crate and let him get on with it—even if I did just change the crate blankets a few days ago and don’t much feel like washing any more right away, involving, as this does, several subsequent loads of human laundry coming out VERY HAIRY because BRITISH FRELLING WASHING MACHINE FILTERS DON’T, ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, FILTER.  As it is, the kitchen floor is a good deal cleaner than it was yesterday.  And I think I got away with scrubbing the mats with my super-bristly [flower]-pot cleaning brush and some biological detergent. . . .

At that point it was still more or less a funny story.  Then we went for our morning hurtle and the geysering began.  Nooooooooooo.

What I haven’t told you is that all hellcritters are now on homeopathic treatment for environmental pollution by a bloke who specialises in detox.  Darkness has always been more affected by whatever-it-is, and Chaos after about five days of the stuff is clearly brighter and bouncier and eating better and it’s kind of to be expected that Darkness is going to be having the rougher time, even if we are on the right track.  Whatever-it-is is, after all, highly erratic, and they’ve cycled out of it before without benefit of anything but time and what I can figure out to do for them myself.  I got frantically on the phone to the bloke today after we got home and he agreed that Darkness is due to struggle more, but he said he’d do a bit more research and have a think.  Meanwhile Darkness, or, more to the point, Darkness’ insides, have settled down again, so Peter and I went out to dinner after all, and were much edified by the stories of death, corpses, and lungworm.  This wouldn’t have happened if we’d gone out on the 26th.

* * *

* Old Eden, in fact, whose bells do not improve with absence, nor does the heart grow fonder, although it may thud harder after some time trying to ring the wretched things.  I don’t understand the frelling physics of the way they behave:  how can a bell, swinging higher with every frantic yank on the rope by the ringer-up, and however grudgingly said bell cedes every fraction of an inch, how can it suddenly just fall on you^ out of its arc, so you suddenly have a big floppy snarl of rope in your hands and no responsive weight of bell at the other end.  ARRRRRRGH.

^ In terms of full-circle ringing, I mean:  the bell is firmly attached to its frame and doesn’t literally fall out of it.  Can’t, if the steeplekeeper is doing his/her job and keeping an eye on the fittings.

** Partly because a detestable amount of successful bridge playing is based on keeping track of how many of a given suit have been played, and which ones:  is your jack high or is the queen still out?  When you drew trumps did you get all of the frellers or not?  COUNTREMEMBER WHAT I’VE COUNTED? ARE YOU BINGLEFARBING KIDDING ME?

*** See previous footnote.

† And don’t tell me splash factor.  Trust me, it’s not splash factor.  It’s not malice either:  none of the three current incumbents have a malicious neuron in their entire twitchy, hairy bodies.  Perverse, intractable, deaf and stubborn, yes.^  Malicious, no.^^

^ If one more person tells me in a hushed and earnest manner, oh, you know, bull terriers are very stubborn, I’m going to say GET A FRELLING SIGHTHOUND.

^^ It’s all what you’re used to/what your own neurons are wired to put up with.  I had a friend whose cat, when it was cross with her, used to throw up along the top of her shelf of LPs—you old folks will remember LPs, with their narrow cardboard sleeves—I have a friend now whose cats pee on her bed if she dares go on holiday and leave them.  I am not wired to put up with this kind of thing.  I’m pretty sure I’ve told you the LP story before, it’s just one of those, BINGO!  WHY I DON’T HAVE CATS! stories.   That cat would have been at the shelter the next day, if it had been mine.

Dark chocolate mezzo I wish



Did anyone else listen to the Cardiff Singer of the World competition last week?  Twenty to-die-for singers from all over the planet trying, and mostly succeeding, to knock your socks off.  Meanwhile last week was again not a great week locally in terms of sleep, stress levels, and hellcritter digestion, and while I can tell myself that singing cheers me up—and intellectually I do know this—after you’ve listened to the latest elimination [no puns intended] round, for someone who only hits high C when she’s found a slug in her tea pot* it’s like why bother.**

I missed some Mondays due to exigencies of the above plus Nadia had a week of streaming children and cancelled so voice lessons have been patchy anyway.  But I think I’ve had them three weeks in a row now because I was musing driving over there this week that it’s beginning to be just the thing I go for, I don’t have a voice lesson, it’s much more basic than that, I need Nadia to reset me.  So I can sing.  At all.  Every time a hellcritter starts streaming again my throat closes up and my chest gets all tight.  Arrrgh whimper gacking noises etc.  So I go in and croak at Nadia, Please reset me!  Ah the life of a singing teacher.  She has me lying on the floor practising breathing and then on my feet doing complicated calisthenics that involve figuring out which is your right hand/ear/shoulder/hip/knee and which is your left hand/ear/shoulder/hip/knee. . . .

I am supposed to be learning my first German song.  It’s some blasted Schubert thing with a name like Noswurrdvegglfruzngnarlgarglefrau.  You haven’t even looked at the music yet and you already know you’re in trouble.  Nadia has patiently and painstakingly dragged me through the frelling pronunciation several times and the tune is actually rather jolly, except for the places where you have to enunciate BLORGLERFFIED at the exact same moment you are supposed to be taking a breath.***  Jeepers.

This explains why I’ve been learning another Italian song—there’s nothing like German to make Italian look dead easy—and handfuls of folk songs.  But I am singing.  And it is cheering me up.†  I could sure use more sleep though. . . .

* * *

*  Yes.  The memory lingers.

Diane in MN

If you held on to the teapot while recoiling in horror and hitting the high C, you’re a better woman than I am.

I’m fond of that tea pot.  It came overseas with me twenty one and a half years ago.^  And the slug was on the inside.  And slugs don’t move fast.  If it had been a SPIDER. . . .


Reminds me of the time I was about to take a big drink from the mug of water beside my bed and thankfully opened my eyes first. SPIDER.

 I now refill a plastic bottle of water beside my bed.

Yes.  I have a cotton handkerchief over the glass of water by my bed because I got tired of things drowning themselves in it.  Furthermore the handkerchief is a pretty Liberty pattern so it’s a positive addition to the décor.


If I found a slug in the teapot (or any container I was about to put something to drink in) I would undoubtedly make a noise (not a lovely high C) and drop the container, probably on something hard even if soft things were available.

It was not a lovely high C.  I believe the neighbours have been discussing the distressing noise that accompanied the earth tremor last night.  And I could tell you a story about how the hellterror rushed up just in time to be in the way for the tea pot to land safely–she having assumed that the noise I was making must have something to do with FOOOOOOD since what else could cause such emotion?


And then, right after reading [last night’s blog], someone asks “does the coffee taste funny to you this morning?” No. No it does not. No. Nope. Not at all. No no and furthermore no.

::falls down laughing::


I think I’d have to wash my teapot about fifteen times before I could bring myself to drink from it.

Yup.  Wire brush and industrial strength cleaner.  Plus the sulphuric acid and the blowtorch.


This incident shows the importance of warming the pot – it can double as a Unwanted Guest Removal Procedure!!!


^ Although it has had a change of lid.  Since the first lid broke by falling off onto a hard surface once too often, I cannot understand why the second lid, which, not being made for it, fits even less well and falls off even oftener, hasn’t gone the same way.  Yes, I should hold it on while I pour.   But it’s, you know, hot.

** The Cardiff competition only happens every other year so I can’t remember if I always say, oh, it’s a particularly amazing group this year, or not.  Well, I’m saying it this year.  At the same time I think the woman who won—won both categories, the lieder and the opera—blew everyone else out of the water WHAAAAAAANGGGGGG BOOOOOOOOM.^  But I would also eagerly and rapidly pay money to hear two of the other finalists, the bass-baritone^^ and the Argentinian soprano^^^ sing anything they had a fancy to.

^ If I’m going to be snippy, however, I’ll say I was just a weeny bit surprised she won the lieder.  She totally won the opera, the rest of ’em might as well have not bothered, she’s got one of those ginormous, dazzling dark-chocolate mezzo voices, and I hope she spends a long time singing Verdi before she moves on, as I’m sure she will, to Wagner.  But while her lieder were spectacular, I’m not absolutely convinced that you don’t want a classy intense sorbet for your lieder rather than the death-by-chocolate approach.  If you follow me.

^^ Who just by the way is cute.  He also has a nice deep speaking voice.  I always feel cheated when baritones talk tenor.

^^^ Who is GORGEOUS and has a yowzah figure.  Yeep.  And she sings?  UNFAIR.  —Our winner, Jamie Barton, is another big girl, like Stephanie Blythe, but while I’ve read reviews of Blythe’s earlier performances that praise her timing and her footwork, that hasn’t been my experience of her:  she can sing but she can’t move.  Barton, on this showing, can do both—she did a very funny take on an aria as the witch in Hansel and Gretel—I hope she keeps this skill.  I agree that casting should be blind in terms of age, weight, race and so on, but I feel  you need to have the stagecraft to inhabit the role to some extent, like mezzos in trouser roles clearly must.  I seriously want the stand-still-wave-your-arms-and-sing style of opera to be over.

*** And furthermore there may be a trill involved.  Because you’re SURE it’s not possible, you break training and go look up professional performances on YouTube and . . . I think professional singers have an extra lung or surgically altered throats with teeny-tiny hinges put in or something.  I’m way too mortal.  And skittish.

So long as there is no more streaming.  And at least a certain amount of eating.  Knock on wood.

I was going to write about something else entirely and then . . .



GROOOSSSSSSSSSSS.  How the (*&^%$£”!!!! did a slug get in my TEA POT?!?  I make a pot of peppermint tea every evening at approximately blog-writing time.  The salad stage of the day—when, I acknowledge, unfortunate encounters may occur, the whole organic thing does have its downside—is long over.  I am not programmed for slugs when I’m getting my tea pot down from its shelf and scooping two heaping teaspoons of loose peppermint tea from a tin.  WHAT IF I HADN’T NOTICED?  WHAT IF I HADN’T NOTICED THERE WAS A SLUG IN MY TEA POT AND JUST WENT AHEAD AND . . . I mean, do you usually check your tea pot for slugs?  Is this standard defensive behaviour as described in one of those rule books I missed, like checking your shoes for scorpions if you live in scorpion country, if you live in slug country CHECK YOUR TEA POTS?  AAAAAAAAAAUGH.*  I may give up peppermint tea.  I may give up drinking.  I may give up EATING.  The hellhounds can teach me how.**

. . .  Well, that threw me the flipping doodah off my stride.  Where was I?  Um . . . so I hope everyone was outdoors last night admiring the supermoon?  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2013/jun/23/supermoon-elliptical-orbit-world-in-pictures **  I wanted to add that on midsummer night, the 24th of frelling June in the south of England, I had to put my coat on to take hellterror and hellhounds for their last nominal hurtle(s), it was 48 degrees when I went to bed and my highest/lowest thermometer informs me it got down to 45.  That’s 7 to you moderns.  I remind myself that I’d much rather have it too cold than too hot, and that’s still true, but it is disconcerting to be wearing thermals and a woolly jumper when it’s daylight at nine p.m.

And can we have some rain, please?  It’s too cold to be sloshing water over your feet when you miss the pot or the plant or whack the side of the barrel as you’re lifting your refilled watering-can out of it.†  I’m also wondering if it’s this bizarre weather that is filling my meconopsis(es) with the joy of living?  I’ve got a second one flowering now and there’s going to be at least one more—and there are at least three further pots that I just hadn’t got round to throwing out the contents of yet that are now eagerly putting out hairy meconopsis leaves and thinking about stems.††  One of them, I’m embarrassed to say, has four meconopsis in it because when they arrived as plugs a year or, cough-cough, maybe two years ago, they sat there and sulked and didn’t come on at all so when the time came that I should have potted them on again, I snarled inarticulately and slammed all four of them in a pot that should have held one of them, if any of them had bothered to grow.  They’re growing now.  Maybe next year I should bring all four hundred and twelve of my meconopsis forest††† indoors in March and put them in the REFRIGERATOR for a few weeks??

 * * *

* During which Robin hits that elusive high C, the hellterror barks, and the hellhounds sprint for cover.

** There are people who claim to live on air, on chi or prana or what have you.  I admit I’ve always suspected this to be a trifle bogus . . . but maybe your metabolism can be SHOCKED into plugging into ethereal nutrition by . . . oh, something like finding a slug in your tea pot.

If I find a slug in my Green & Black’s stash, it’s air from that moment on.

***  I am frequently confused by the difference between the on-line version and the hard-copy version—this happens most often with the GUARDIAN since it’s the only thing I read regularly in hard copy that lets you link full-content stuff for free.^  But I liked the selection of photos in the paper paper better.  Is there some additional selection process going on, what is deemed to look better on a computer screen?

^ I know they’re supposed to have a financial survival plan but I really don’t understand why they haven’t crashed and burned—or aren’t going to, tomorrow or the next day.  I would love a system that allows more media to do what they’re doing+ but . . . it just looks like the Charge of the Light Brigade from where I’m sitting.

+ Says the fiction writer who would like to worry less about where the next bag of gold-standard hellcritter food is coming from, and is freaked out all over again by every instance of piracy.

† Sigh.  If clumsy idiocy were an Olympic sport, I’d’ve found my niche at last.

†† You can’t have everything however.  My eremurus robustus is GIGANTIC . . . but there is no sign of a flower stem.  Sigh.

††† I’m not surprised I have bought so many—they’re so pretty, and they frelling die so briskly—I’m a little surprised I haven’t thrown more of them out.  The labels are, of course, long gone but there are always kind of a lot of maybe-empty maybe-not pots lurking in corners in the cottage garden.  A surprising number of them evidently contain meconopsis, who is a lurky kind of plant even when it’s happy.

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