February 25, 2014

Behind the headlines it was an exciting weekend

 

So there’s this major yarn and stuff to do with it, stuff to do it with and accessories like buttons and ribbons show that is not so far from here I can’t toy with the idea of going to it . . . especially if Fiona was driving.

But this is now the second year that Fiona has declined to go on the flimsy grounds that she had to WORK that weekend.*  And I was feeling obstinate and cantankerous.  And I happened to mention that there was going to be a fabulous yarn show with lots of STUFF to Nina, who said, oh, that sounds like fun.  I’ll come.

Now Nina, once you bash past her British self-deprecation, is good at kind of a lot of stuff;  she plays the violin, she cooks, she gardens, she sews, she embroiders, she does long-distance bicycling, and her end of the charity she works for runs very well.  But I didn’t know she knitted.

I used to, she said.  But a friend has started me crocheting, and I’ve been thinking about picking up knitting again.  What I need is a project to inspire me.

So we arranged to meet at the venue, which is one of these Ancient Buildings Repurposed, and half the experience is about going the wrong way through the wrong end of the wrong aggregation of corridors and small crooked well-raftered rooms, and seeing the proud civic collection of sealing-wax stamps and the sepia photos of Prince Edward at the opening of the new railroad in 1887, but failing to find what you were looking for. 

Which was a lot like my experience of getting there at all.

There was actual sunlight [sic] that morning [sic] and I set off in a hopeful and positive manner/deeply guilty that I wasn’t staying home and working in the garden**, and about the first third of the way is pretty familiar and the last two-thirds used to be pretty familiar before age, decrepitude and ME set in.  I had my Google map print-out taped to the dashboard and just before the stoplight where I was going to have to turn off the modern roads, built for fast-moving fossil-fuel-propelled vehicles, and into the frelling medieval frelling maze . . . they changed the road layout.  AAAAAAAAAUGH.***

So I made one of those hasty decisions, the way you do at fifty miles an hour with lorries the size of WWII blockhouses bearing down on you, and shot off toward the centre of town a lot sooner than I meant to and I was now in the wrong end of town† without a clue how to get to the right end.  Whimper.

I think I saw the small town-centre Sainsburys six times as the one-way system kept chewing me up and spitting me out and I kept stubbornly turning around and coming back for more pinballing, ka-chung, ka-chung!  There was ONE sign for the dratblasted yarn show with one of those ambiguous directional arrows that could have meant anything including finding a flagpole to climb and looking around from the top of it;  and one overhead banner stretched from one side of the (narrow medieval) street to the other proclaiming the existence of the yarn show but failing to say anything about where to find it.  Some of the surrounding melee was, in fact, on my Google map, but Google does not feel the need to include any street names but the ones immediately relevant to your journey.  Haven’t these people ever driven anywhere?††  Have they no sense of the clue, the hint, the landmark, the burning need for the adjacent street sign?†††

By the time I got to a car park somewhere near the centre of town, feeling that if I couldn’t find the yarn show I could at least go to Sainsburys and bury my sorrows in chocolate, which said car park would actually let me in rather than telling me that the apparent gate-like aperture with a clear view of parked cars beyond it was nothing of the kind and I had to enter by another gate-like aperture that a car could not, in fact, approach on account of the cemented-in bollards in the way . . . the car park was full of cars driven by people who had sacrificed virgin black goats to the appropriate gods earlier in the day.

But—!  There was a brief lapse in the forces of anarchy and bedlam!  THERE WAS A PARKING SPACE!!!!  I hurtled into it, had only just bought my ticket and displayed it prominently on the dashboard‡ and was beginning to worry about where, exactly, Ancient Building Repurposed was in relation to Car Park that Will Let Cars In, when Pooka started barking at me‡‡.  I knew it was Nina:  I was thirty-five minutes late.  I’m sorry, I said . . . No, no, said Nina, I’ve only just got here myself;  I misread the bus schedule and. . . .

TO BE CONTINUED.

* * *

* She says she’s blocking out that weekend in her diary for next year NOW.^

^ Like all you Americans—at least all you east coast Americans, and there’d better be a few schlepping in from at least the Midwest and the southeast or I’ll feel underappreciated—are blocking out 13-15 February for Boskone next year.  There will be a certain irony if Fiona has to go alone next year because I’m in Boston.

** The hellpack would also have preferred this latter option

*** I didn’t even have Fiona’s satnav to abuse.

† I would start seeing sepia photos of Prince Edward at any moment

†† No they were born with a silver computer in their mouths and the only time they venture outside is to go jogging, well wired up to their iPods and wearing dark glasses, or to pick up Chinese food/pizza when the delivery Vespa is broken.

††† Or the not so adjacent.  At one point I found myself passing the hospital, which meant that I had gone from the wrong end of town to the right end of town but hadn’t noticed, and instead barrelled on through and out the other side and was now approaching . . . Wales.

‡ Ever had your Pay and Display ticket blow off the dash in the backdraft (presumably) of you closing the car door and be found several hours later in the footwell upon your return?  I have.  I am very happy to say that the Parking Enforcement Officer didn’t come to my end of the garage that day.  Either that, or PEOs are specially trained to see through the dark of footwells to the honestly obtained ticket that may be lying there.

‡‡ Er.  New Blog Reader Alert:  my iPhone’s name is Pooka, and her default ring tone is a barking dog.

comments

Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.