The yurk part: experiments in raising my activity level to previous modest heights are proving unsuccessful, or at least inspiring undesirable repercussions. Which is to say I have barely got the hellpack hurtled today, and possibly in slo-mo, I’m too whacked to be sure of what my legs have been doing, but Pav can create her own alternate realities, and hucklebutts rather well on her extending lead, given the absence of large inconveniently-placed trees. And the hellhounds are, after all, well into middle age, and are happy to saunter along, looking elegant and fabulous, with a brief sprint when no one is looking but me.
The rest is a daze.* And this one. Word. After. Another. doohickey, whatsit, blog is just beyond me tonight.**
But I don’t want to leave you entirely without frivolous reading material. So here’s the ridiculous part:
B_twin, knowing my feelings about Peter Jackson***, sent this to me several weeks ago and I laughed and laughed and saved the address so I could hang it on the blog some day† and today is the day. Some of you’ll have already seen it . . . but there are paragraphs definitely worth revisiting.
The sublime part: http://www.diegrossestille.de/english/
Aloysius loaned me the DVD . . . oh, months ago. Probably months and months. I watched it once fairly quickly but really—even after you’ve watched all the extra bits and clips—it raises more questions than it answers so I wanted to watch it again before I gave it back . . . and that plan of a plan went on kind of a while. Poor Aloysius finally asked for its return so I hastily rewatched it right around the time B_twin sent me the SMAUG review . . . and these two so clearly belong together.†† You know. Ridiculous. Sublime.
The SILENCE web site is a little obscure but keep clicking. The film is a documentary about a ‘closed’ Carthusian monastery and it’s . . . well, it’s amazing. I didn’t, myself, ever forget I was watching a film—I’m a trifle resistant to arty films and this one has AAAAAAAART stamped on every frame, and the suggested use of it as a meditation aid I’m like, what?—but the mixture as demonstrated in these monks’ lives of the spiritual and the practical, the outer and inner, the ordinary and extraordinary, was lovely and moving. And the landscape is spectacular. Although I’m glad I don’t live there, aside from the whole no-talking thing.
* * *
* There was a lot of lap time today. This is now the second and third generation of critters to think that ME is a great invention.
** Also I need to claw myself together to go to my monks tomorrow night.
*** The brief polite version is that I thought THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING was a mostly honourable failure, I hated TWO TOWERS and never saw RETURN OF THE KING. There was never any way in any universe similar or dissimilar to this one that I was going to see what smashed and broken melee he was going to make of THE HOBBIT.
† Preferably before the third film comes out, but greatness, in reviewing as in everything, is timeless.
†† I am sick. Yes, I know.
|But back-yard mutts can surprise you. The woman who first taught me dressage . . . did wonders with a series of back-yard mutts.|
I’m glad to hear that on a couple different levels. One is that some day I will need to look for another horse for myself, and it’s good to have those stories tucked in my memory to encourage me to look at “any” horse. . . .
Yes—with those quotation marks firmly in place. I was trying to think of what I would say you must absolutely look for in a horse—four sound legs is always a good place to start, and while Grace’s mare always was sound, no, you know, sane person would have risked her, with that crooked leg. In Grace’s defense she was very experienced as well as knew the mare from a foal, had done most of her Heinz 57 mum’s training and was a friend of the original owner who as I recall insisted she’d always have her back as a pasture ornament if she broke down.
I’d say the bottom line non-negotiable in a horse for ordinary—um, rider mutts—like you and me is a kind eye, very visible, I might add, in the photos of Amore. Having established the eye you want something who likes its work—which is a little harder to ascertain in the usual for-sale try-out, but that’s where your secret weapon, Rachel, is deploying herself on your behalf. Rachel will know!
The second reason I’m glad to hear that is because of a big change that’s coming to our barn…it’s time to get my girls their own horse. . . .They are OVER THE MOON about this, naturally!
Snork. Naturally. When are you going to get your husband on a horse?
. . . we can get whatever horse is the best fit for us and worry about getting a next step horse for the girls later. Another thing I love about my trainer is that she is happy to work with ANY kind of horse, which is a great attitude to be working with.
It’s really the only attitude to be working with. Yaaaaay for Rachel.
And if there’s a good story attached to it, I’ll see if Robin wants another horse guest post.
YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT? ROBIN ALWAYS WANTS ANOTHER GUEST POST. IF IT’S ABOUT FABULOUS HORSES, SO MUCH THE BETTER.
I’m still assuming—by not thinking about it too clearly—that I’ll ride again some day, but I admit I don’t know how or under what circumstances. The problem is that I went over the casual-hack line decades ago. I don’t want to have the occasional amble on horseback over the countryside, even this countryside*, I want to have a relationship with a specific horse, and contribute to its quality of life, well-being and training as it contributes to mine. And that kind of relationship takes an investment of physical energy I simply haven’t got.
But I still think in horsy terms. My MGB, who is still in the garage at the cottage while I dork around endlessly about selling her, was my little cream-coloured mare from the moment I set eyes on her—the old-car garage who found her for me had actually brought her in from Dorset or Lithuania or something. I’m pretty sure describing her as such still exists on the web site somewhere—and shortly after I’d put that bit up I received a Very Huffy email from a preteen girl who had a horse telling me, more or less, that she had Lost All Respect for me for preferring a car. It wasn’t a question of preference, it was a question of bank balance.
And, about a year later, it began to be a question of ME. Feh. But there are other things. I totally identify bell ringing as a partnership with a live creature with a mind of its own at the other end of a rope/rein. One of the tangential pleasures of Nadia as a voice teacher is that she rides.** I’m not one of her, cough-cough, better students, but I’m easy to get stuff across to, first because I have more imagination than is good for me, and if Nadia tells me to close my eyes and become a tree, I close my eyes and become a tree. . . . And second because I’m another horse crazy and she can tell me to get my weight off my forehand and my hocks under me.
Possibly on account of Bratsche’s horse story I’ve been thinking about singing in horsy terms even more than usual. But I’ve mentioned here that for some time now my voice has begun to feel a lot like another critter, some live thing that is my responsibility, that needs kindness and exercise and attention. Gleep. It no longer feels like my voice—where is all that NOISE coming from??—and ‘I’ feel overhorsed. I don’t know what I was expecting when I got into this voice-lesson shtick but I was not expecting this disconcerting mixture of strength and lack of control. Horsy metaphor: when my voice is warm and full and open I can’t frelling do anything with it, and it reminds me rather a lot of the four-year-old warmblood I exercised for a while many years ago. Four years old can be pretty young in a big horse. This one had barely been backed and had everything to learn, including how to make his legs function in an orderly sequence. Some of you will know about teaching a young horse to canter under saddle and how all over the landscape they can be as they try to figure out how to perform this complex task. This boy was a sweetie—speaking of the kind eye—and totally willing to try, but oh my. Mostly we trotted, which is, of course, what you do with a horse that can’t canter yet. The more stable and rhythmic the trot, the more possible the canter. But he had one of those gigantic warmblood trots as well as being a loose cannon. Actually he was a lot of fun and I hope he grew up to make some nice human rider very happy. But at the time trying to enable him to move in a straight line or a gentle curve even at the trot . . . is a lot like me trying to carry a tune now when my voice is up and running. If I shut down and go all control-freak on myself I can hold that tune, no problem, as I’ve been able to carry a tune fairly reliably all my life . . . but it’s not a sound quality you want to encourage. As soon as you—or more often, Nadia—wakes up my inner young warmblood . . . I’m all over the planet, tune-wise. Arrrrgh. One of the ironies is that at the moment I sing worse for Nadia than I do at home—because she can get the voice out of me whereupon I go to pieces. ARRRRRGH.
Another horsy metaphor: I was singing some poor innocent song this Monday at my lesson, soared up to my Big Note and . . . lost my bottle and went flat. I said to Nadia afterward in frustration, this is exactly like coming up to a biggish fence on a horse you know can do it backwards and if you put it up another foot, and at the last minute you bottle out and sit back on her—and she raps it with her feet and brings a rail down. ARRRRRRRGH.
I’m still hoping I’m going to grow up to make some nice human rider very happy.
* * *
* Which at the moment is eyebrow-deep in mud anyway.
** She was a bit of a hot shot in her youth. It wouldn’t surprise me if she dusted off her hot-shot status once her own kids are a little older.
The nice thing about dressage is that there’s LOTS you can do without needing to sit the trot; so if that happens to be a problem, you can still do a ton without dealing with it. . . . your comfort will also probably vary a lot from horse to horse since different horses’ gaits feel so different.
There’s pretty much always something you can do with dressage, given that you have a good trainer, a sound horse, and can get yourself into the saddle. One of the ironies in this skill as in so many is that sometimes what you need is precisely the skill you haven’t got yet: I know I’ve told this blog before that my great breakthrough about sitting the trot was when I realised it was my stomach muscles, not my back or my seat, that were crucial—at which point my back stopped bothering me. But I don’t think it would have done me much good to be told that I would sit the trot with my stomach when I was first starting to learn; I had to be mostly there already and needing only the final thud over the line.* The really counterintuitive thing for me was the way then that those frelling gigantic warmblood trots** became if not precisely easy, then comprehensible . . . and thrilling.
My trainer says jumping is pretty much just dressage where someone left some jumps in the way. . . . That makes some sense to me, but I’m sure it will feel VERY different at least sometimes if I do try some jumping eventually. . . .
But the bottom line about dressage is that it’s about making you and your horse and particularly you-and-your-horse happier, more supple, better balanced and more flexible about anything and everything . . . so jumping is dressage where someone left fences in the way: dressage is the bottom line, whether you call it ‘dressage’ or not. This was really making some good sense with Connie . . . siiiiiiiiigh. . . . and Jenny was a show jumper.*** Jumping was her first love and the years she had suitable horses she even earned money at it. But she absolutely believed that dressage was the necessary basis, for show jumping or anything else. Although she was funny about some of dressage’s little foibles. The point of show dressage is that the horse does exactly what you tell it to† when you tell it to. The last thing I want, Jenny would say, is some animal that waits for me to tell it to perform a flying change. And of course a good show jumper is figuring out the next fence as soon as the rider has settled on their line so it knows where it’s going—which may be about half a stride to spare, depending on the course, so it needs to be able to make some of its own decisions. Connie had lovely flying changes—not that I was necessarily in the right place at the right time, riding her, either to ask her or to let her do them.
. . . I am SO spoiled! I would never in my wildest dreams have thought I could have a guy as great as him! . . . . It does mean, however, that the kind of horse I’ll be wanting for my next one (when Amore can’t be ridden any more — hopefully many years from now) is going to be much different than if my first horse had been a back-yard mutt (so to speak)
Well, add me to the forum chorus of JEEEEAAAAAAAAALOUS. But back-yard mutts can surprise you. The woman who first taught me dressage—and totally did my head in by proving I could learn to ride††—and who had no money, did wonders with a series of back-yard mutts. I learnt the extended trot on her first success story, one of those ‘Quarter Horses’ that has about as much QH bloodline as I do, but they arrive on the East Coast in gigantic truckloads for auction, and the paperwork says ‘QH’ I suppose because they’re from Out West Somewhere and the paperwork has to say something. He had a back as long as a city block and his shoulders and his pasterns were perfectly upright (speaking of the comfort/discomfort of sitting to certain horses’ trots) and he had no business ever so much as coming on the bit and getting his hocks under him . . . but he did it, with Grace training him. It was pretty funny really: his back accordioned about six feet as he came on the bit. Suddenly he was (almost) a normal-looking horse. And his extended trot was amazing.
She had another horse, a mare, she’d (also) got cheap, because she’d broken a foreleg as a yearling and it hadn’t set quite right, and the foot turned out. Eh, she’ll never amount to anything with that leg; and furthermore, as she grew up, her rear end grew more than her front, so she was that disastrous creature, a horse who is ‘higher behind than before’ and will spend its life running downhill. And of course never ever be capable of coming on the bit and getting her hocks under her.
You can see where this is going. The mare loved working and couldn’t wait for Grace to ask her to do something.††† Grace competed her in the New England finals at third or fourth level . . . and I swear every last judge Grace rode for, from her first training show, hissed through his/her teeth and said that the mare would never go any farther because of her conformation and she’d never stay sound on that leg. She retired sound at, I think, sixteen; she had her third and last foal two years later. ‡
And of course my hellhounds are back-yard mutts. . . .
* * *
* Your mileage may vary. I was a very slow learner about riding as about so many things, although some of that was my going into it with the conviction that I was clumsy and stupid and wouldn’t be able to learn. Self confidence? What would that be exactly?
** I don’t know if this is true across the warmblood spectrum—and I’m not going to spend the next frelling hour googling my way through a lot of horse sites, I want to sing tonight—but a lot of warmblood breeding was to produce carriage horses where gigantic sit-at-your-pelvis’-peril trots were a total plus^. The dressage thing under saddle came later.
^ Although I don’t know what the postilions may have thought. In my admittedly limited experience posting to an eighteen-hand warmblood powering over the landscape is even less possible than sitting.
*** Connie was the last horse I rode regularly, before the ME objected. And Jenny was her owner and my teacher.
† Because you and your horse are a PARTNERSHIP. A good horse is never a thousand-pound machine that does the same precise thing every time you flip a lever. I’ve never ridden a true ‘push button’ horse but I’ve ridden several excellent schoolmasters, and they have their ways of getting their point across by doing what you told them, not what you wanted. While your human teacher, standing in the middle of the ring, tries not to laugh.
†† I’d been mostly taught by riders with natural talent who had no idea what to do with someone like me. Grace was herself not naturally talented in that way; she’d worked for her horse skills and had gazillions of approaches to any given horse/rider situation . . . and endless patience. We’ve lost touch, but I hope she’s healthy and thriving, wherever she is.
††† That mare was one of my schoolmasters. And she was . . . a character. Her desire to do stuff was genuine, and she’d try till she exploded—but she loved working because she had a fantastic trainer. She could have been a serious handful for the wrong person—for someone who didn’t allow her to be herself. She didn’t suffer fools gladly, and it was a pretty great compliment that Grace let me ride her.
‡ The downside of this story is that she wasn’t going to get any farther, not because she couldn’t but because she was a back-yard mutt, half thoroughbred, half Heinz 57 and in show dressage, it matters. If a Shetland pony can heave itself over the fences clean in an open jumping class when nobody else has, it’s won. If a Shetland pony does every figure in a Prix St Georges dressage test perfectly, it’s still going to lose to the eighteen-hand warmblood who is perhaps only 98% perfect but is so beautiful you could cry. And Grace’s lovely mare looked like exactly what she was—TB/mutt—and this was also happening right when the dressage fashion was turning away from TBs to warmbloods.
I was putting Pav’s harness and lead on for a hurtle late this afternoon while listening to the weather report on the radio. Dry for the rest of the evening and overnight, said the radio. Pav and I stepped out the door. It was raining.
I’ve spent way too much time looking for good Hampshire-flood photos for you. Is it because flooding, managing or trying to manage the floods and beginning in some cases to clean up after floods which may yet return is still very actively going on that the photo record of all the hoo-ha is such a mess? You google for ‘Hampshire’ and you get Gloucestershire, Dorset, Somerset and Wales, with a little Kent and Surrey thrown in. Not that Gloucestershire, Dorset, Somerset, Wales, Kent and Surrey haven’t been flooded too—poor old Somerset is in a bad way—but I wanted to show you Hampshire. Anyway you can troll through here—or not. These are all at least 2013-14—I think—although with the occasional disconcerting ‘historical’ flood photo, which may or may not be in Hampshire either. I found a really good Hampshire flood photo gallery but before I got too happy fortunately I noticed it was from two years ago. I don’t even remember flooding two years ago.*
Anyway. It’s already too late for Short Wednesday. Maybe we’ll have Short Thursday.
. . . bad weather IS claustrophobic, and inside with three hellcritters, one in heat and a bit too interesting to the others is definitely a major trial.
It was a lot more histrionic than a BIT too interesting. But she’s now OUT of heat and . . . Chaos doesn’t believe it. Darkness, while still inspecting her carefully every time she reappears, is reverting to his previous attitude, which is, Bark! There’s an interloper! Bark! Remove her at once! Bark! —Siiiiiiiigh. I was HOPING that there might be some positive long-lasting effect on their relationship as a result of that hideous recent ninety-four year stretch when she was on high spectacular heat and Darkness was her slave . . . but I guess not. Siiiiiiiigh. Meanwhile there is an effect on her relationship with Chaos . . . he doesn’t believe she’s off heat and keeps trying to hump her. Mind you, he’s humping the wrong end and he’s never got his—ahem—tackle out, so it’s not exactly Sex As We Know It Jim but it still must frelling stop. Arrrrrrrgh. The slightly funny thing, if I were in a mood to be amused which I am NOT, is that Chaos was a lot less bothered by the whole situation than Darkness was. Darkness was out of his tiny furry mind. Chaos was la-la-la-la Chaos, although he was happy to stop eating to keep his brother company. ARRRRRRRGH.
We convinced our old cat to come in during severe weather and she’s now convinced that–if she’s indoors–someone should be . . . paying attention to her anytime she’s not dozing. . . . Yowwwwwwl. Yowwwwwwl. Yowwwwwl. One critter is driving me frantic several times a day . . . I cannot even imagine three critters sharing the house with me.
Three critters keep each other company. This is why I brought two puppies home seven years ago. This does not always work out perfectly to plan (see: happy to stop eating to keep his brother company) and introducing a new one to an established hierarchy is always tricky, even if you’re not bringing a girl into a household with two entire males. But for a human prone to guilt resisting the huge mournful puppy-dog eyes is easier when your single dog is not alooooooooone every time you go out for a cup of tea with a friend.
Diane in MN
There probably is a way to adapt a bigger gauge pattern to a smaller gauge—isn’t there?—but in the first place it would require MATHS and would be beyond me and in the second place . . . I’d run out of yarn.
I do this kind of a lot because I knit tight and I substitute yarn, so getting gauge is not guaranteed for me. The arithmetic doesn’t go beyond multiplication and division, but you can find knitting calculators online that will do it for you. Here‘s a pattern conversion form that should do what you want.
Oh, cool. Thank you. I think.** I like the part about how all you do is fill in the first bit and it does all the rest, but I haven’t finished my swatch yet so I don’t know what unexpected tentacles may lie in wait. I have found the needles that make the right fabric however: 8 mm, so a whole two (or four, depending on how you’re counting) down from the recommended 10 mm. Hmmph. Yarn manufacturers. They know nothing.***
Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
Perhaps a dickey?
Yes, yes! A dickey! What a good idea! There will be enough left over for at least one mitten!
Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
At this point, I’m not sure there’d be much point left to knitting a bulky-weight pullover…
Snork. It must be hard, living a life of such strict rationality. Not one of my challenges.
There’s a very good Lion Brand pattern for a top-down raglan-sleeved cardigan, knitted in one piece (the sleeves are knitted downwards later), which is pretty much infinitely adjustable. Cast on enough stitches to go round your neck (high- or low-line), increase at the raglan points till big enough to fit round your chest at armhole level, put sleeve stitches onto holders and join up the gaps, knit downwards till long enough. Put sleeve stitches back on needle and knit till, er, long enough. Add a button band, either knitted separately and sewn on, or picked up along the front edges, if you want buttons.
So you leave yourself a ball, or two, for the sleeves (depending on how long you want them), allow another one for button bands, and you can knit the cardi till you run out of yarn!
Yes, I was thinking I’d look for a top-down for that reason—that, in fact, I need to overcome my circular phobia and learn to love some basic top-down thingy because I am a relatively small narrow person and short waisted with it and I’m pretty sure I could learn to squeeze a basic top-down thingy out of slightly too little yarn, which would be very nice. Do you have a link for the Lion Brand pattern? There are a million gazillion Lion Brand patterns and I tend to lose the will to live on their site pretty quickly. Also so many of their patterns are extra-large and up. When it’s some ordinary person on Ravelry who has created a pattern and she’s a 48” chest and her pattern is for 46-50” this seems perfectly reasonable. When it’s a frelling commercial yarn site, even though the patterns are free, it seems to me perverse that when you look at what they mean by ‘small’ it says 44”. Um. No. That’s not small.
Now you’re going to tell me there are pattern converters for this problem too.
. . . Meanwhile. It’s raining again/still. What a good thing wool stays warm when it’s wet.
* * *
* I remember five-foot-of-water-in-the-cellar 2000-01 very clearly.
** But I also knit tight and . . . substitute yarn? You mean there’s some other way to do it? You mean some people actually USE THE RECOMMENDED YARN? ::stops to fan herself::^ This comes up with me perhaps more than with better knitters: for some reason easy patterns tend to assume you’re going to use cheap acrylic or acrylic-mix-but-mostly-acrylic yarn. Noooooo.^^ You do get fancy yarns that suggest a simple pattern that will leave the effect up to the yarn, but not so much the other way around. Or maybe I just read the wrong magazines.^^^
^ Although that may just be another frelling hot flush
^^ The hellhound blanket is acrylic but they’re allergic to wool AND I AM NOT GOING TO WASTE MERINO ON CREATURES WHO ROUTINELY CLAW UP THEIR BED TO MAKE IT FLUFFY.
^^^ And so far as I can tell it’s a publishing rule that a knitting book shall not be issued till all its recommended yarns have been discontinued.
*** Nothing in comparison to someone who has been knitting erratically for about three years and hasn’t FINISHED anything but a few leg warmers and some baby bibs.
Hellhounds and I took a turn by Soggy Bottom today to see how it’s, um, flowing . . . and the personhole covers over the storm drains have been shoved off by the pressure of the water driving up through the inadequate apertures. It’s almost as good as a play, or it would be if we didn’t live here: the little round-headed jets of water boiling up through the holes, and this great wave sluicing out through the gap where the personhole cover has lost its place. Three of these rush together with the naked overflow from the ditch and, well, hurtle down Soggy Bottom toward the raging torrent that used to be a ford over a quiet little Hampshire stream that the locals call a river. If I’d been in wellies rather than All Stars* I might have been tempted to leave hellhounds dry-footed in Wolfgang and slosh down in that direction and see how far I could get. The lake by the Gormless Pettifogger is deep enough that the person approaching as Wolfgang and I paddlewheeled through stopped, apparently aghast, at his shoreline . . . and turned around. Oh, come on, it’s not like you’re driving a Ferrari with zero-point-four inches clearance.**
It rained today. Of course. It’s Tuesday. It rained yesterday. Of course. It was Monday.*** It’s going to rain tomorrow. Of course. It’s Wednesday.
HAVE I MENTIONED RECENTLY HOW TIRED I AM OF RAIN?
* * *
* Well I wouldn’t be in wellies rather than All Stars but I used to have a spare pair of (ordinary black^) wellies that lived in the, ahem, boot. It occurs to me to wonder what I’ve done with them. Maybe I’ve just forgotten giving them to the itinerant mage in exchange for . . . for . . . well, I certainly didn’t trade them for a rain stopping charm.
^ From the days when you could only get black or child-of-the-earth green wellies
** I saw an SUV—the kind you need a stepladder to get into—turn around at the edge of a large puddle some time recently. I laughed so much I nearly ran off the road.^
^ She’d probably heard the rumours that giant squid from the centre of the earth were using southern England’s floods to lurk in wait for their favourite snack, SUVs. No, no! Relax! It’s a ridiculous rumour put about by people who don’t have anything better to do than retweet silly urban myt—SLURP.
*** Monday had even less to recommend it than the rain. I got to Nadia’s and discovered she wasn’t teaching this week either. ::Sobs:: I wrote it down wrong in my diary; I knew she wasn’t teaching last Monday, but this Monday I thought if I didn’t hear it meant she was, when it was if I didn’t hear she wasn’t.
Fortunately I had hellhounds with me so throwing myself off a cliff^ wasn’t a good plan because neither of them can drive Wolfgang to get themselves home.^^ So we went to the farm supply shop and bought compost and fertilizer^^^. I was wearing singing-lesson-day clothes, not going-to-the-farm-store-in-the-rain-day clothes#. I considered asking one of the stalwart young men to heave the nasty bags around for me but while, generally speaking, I’ve got over the extreme feminism of my youth when asking a bloke for help was SELF BETRAYAL##, I still occasionally get all tough/stupid virago with bare-able teeth and (metaphorically) bulging muscles. I slung the frelling bags myself. And while I managed to keep my cute little cropped cardi safe, my jeans were goners.
And then I destroyed another pair of jeans today, getting the blasted bags up the stairs### to the greenhouse ARRRRRRRGH. This shouldn’t happen at home. I have a lovely pair of gardener’s chaps, which snap over your belt and around your legs and heroically repel mud (and thorns). But in one of the monsoons of the last few months, when the rain was not only coming in sideways but from a funny direction, EVERYTHING IN THE GREENHOUSE GOT SOAKED. Which I didn’t realise till later. I’m still unearthing little quagmires in corners arrrrrrgh. The chaps are still drying out. I think they’re resuscitate-able. Please. I have no idea where I bought them and google is not forthcoming.
^ Which are in short supply in most of south-central England. At the old house when circumstances conspired I used to threaten to drown myself in the pond, of which we had two, and both Peter and Third House have ponds here. But somehow drama-queen drowning doesn’t hold the appeal it does when not drowning is a daily goal and preoccupation.+
+ Dentist from R’lyeh has been driven out of his large glamorous multi-storey office by floodwater. I’m not laughing ::mrmph:: really I’m not ::MRRRMMFFFF:: Being from R’lyeh and all you’d think he’d be fine with a spot of drowning, wouldn’t you?
^^ They like the central heating+ and the soft bed out of the rain. THE FOOD DOESN’T INTEREST THEM AT ALL.
+ Or the Aga
^^^ Which is to say cow crap. Organic cow crap. I prefer it to chicken—which is the other common commercially-available one+—because it smells less. I admit I don’t know how the plants feel about it. They’d probably say they were missing an essential element without the pong. Like dogs adore tripe. TOO BAD. I don’t know how long I can go on with Pav’s dried pigs’ ears either. She doesn’t eat them fast enough.
+ When I had a horse we made our own critter-crap fertilizer and it was lovely.
# I have enough trouble fighting with my wardrobe every morning. I get dressed once. I do not change for anything less than serious festivities that include Taittinger’s or the Widow, and not merely Prosecco.
## I don’t entirely fault my young self for this attitude. Back in the early 1800s or whenever it was I was young, blokes offering, or responding to requests for help tended to do it with a gloss of patronage.+ Men have died for less. I would know.
+ Not that this doesn’t happen now. But either it happens less, or I hang out with a better class of bloke than I used to.
### The only young man who lives on my cul de sac is slenderer and more willowy than I am and so far as I can tell he doesn’t do the adrenaline-rage thing that enables slender willowy people to do things they can’t. I wouldn’t be so unkind as to ask him to help me with large muddy bags of compost and other even less salubrious substances.