I actually am going to bed (somewhat) earlier and getting up (somewhat) earlier. It doesn’t seem to be working. The frustration just moves around a little. This reminds me of those dingdongs who say that Daylight Savings Time gives you more hours of daylight. NO IT FRELLING DOESN’T. IT JUST GIVES THEM TO YOU AT DIFFERENT HOURS. I mean, duuuuh. Twenty four hours is twenty four hours, more’s the pity. And this time of year I’m seeing dawn occasionally, not in a good way, in spite of being able to have the afternoon hurtle any time up to about eight o’clock—it’s still afternoon because it’s still daylight. You see my problem.
Anyway. I yanked myself out of bed BEFORE NINE O’CLOCK* . . . I swear there really is a hole in my life where time leaks out. Although today was additionally depleted by another live** baby-plant tray delivery . . . of the wrong plants. They were, however, gasping to get out of their useless little plastic containers, so I’ve potted the frellers on while typing (okay not quite simultaneously) a sardonic email to the nursery in question***. I now have three outstanding queries in to plant nurseries about botched deliveries—all three have sent me robo letters telling me My Inquiry Is Important To Them and they will respond as soon as they are able. One of these nurseries is one of these specialist bozos that go on and frelling on about being a family business through seventeen generations and how dedicated they are to customer service . . . and their dratblasted advertising always comes with a photo of some smiling family member with a phony signature scrawled at the bottom. They not only sent their robo letter a week ago but I’ve had both a street mail catalogue and an email from smiling family members since AND I THINK THEY SHOULD PAY LESS ATTENTION TO FORM AND MORE TO FUNCTION.
The point is that despite having all these HOURS this morning I was still late getting sixty-seven hellcritters and an awful lot of stuff † into Wolfgang for the outgoing journey to the mews.
I turned the key. The radio came on. Nothing else happened. I stared at the dashboard in disbelief. I turned the key again.
Nothing continued to happen.
I sat in my dead car and punched in the phone number of the RAC on Pooka. Forty-five minutes, they said. At least. I sighed heavily. I brought everybody back indoors again. I sent out an emergency lunch bulletin to Peter—I have critter food at the cottage, but I require daily injections of several gallons of lettuce, most of which are consumed at lunch. I had barely got my hands covered in greasy chicken carcase shreds††, the hellterror was just warming up for flinging herself frantically against the sides of her crate . . . when there was a commotion outside, which was one of my neighbours having her ingress blocked by a large orange RAC van. YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE HERE FOR ANOTHER THIRTY FIVE MINUTES. AND YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO CALL ME FIRST.
Other than that, the service was exemplary. Although I was feeling a little cranky about my neighbours all queuing up to tell me I needed a new car. Hey! It’s a frelling dead battery! Any car can have a dead battery! —And this battery is several years old, although I feel it would have been polite if it gave me a little warning that it was about to pop its clogs. Phineas said that he’s amazed every time Wolfgang starts and I drive away anywhere. The neighbour whose ingress was blocked was so busy laughing she could hardly get the words out: Robin, you need a new car. —I DO NOT NEED A NEW CAR.†††
And to support this attitude I bought a battery that is guaranteed for five years.
* * *
* Yes, in the morning. Very funny. Ha ha ha ha ha.
** You hope
*** And they had better not tell me to return them.
† It was a big day for deliveries. I also took delivery on a GIGANTIC box of non-perishable groceries . . . only the heavy items of which had to come down to the mews.
At least I was there when they delivered it. I have yet to be home when the Gold Standard Kibble boxes arrive. You have to buy two of the extra-large size to get free shipping and at these prices IT’S WORTH IT. But it means that every few months I find myself grappling sixty-plus pounds of large rectangular shipping box down a perilously steep flight of stairs from the back of the greenhouse which is where deliveries are left^ and then back up the less steep but equally perilous steps to the front door aaaaand then through the pit-and-pendulum arrangement of stable-style (front) door, permanent puppy gate^^, chimney breast with coathooks bearing far too many coats, and the grandfather clock. And possibly some hellhounds, who enjoy the pranks the hellgoddess gets up to to entertain them.
The latest consignment arrived two days ago. I swear the deliveryman hides around the corner and waits till he sees me leave with some assortment of hellcritters or other and then nips in and deposits the by-this-time-starting-to-disintegrate cardboard box full of tungsten chips. He’s going to have to heave it up some stairs or other, and this way he can luxuriate in the awareness that the customer gets a double shot.^^^ All of this rant I am pretty sure I have ranted at you before. However I was thinking, this time, as I tried not to destroy anything, like an ankle or a pot of pansies, that I don’t know why I’m complaining, it’s only like carrying two hellterrors. I’d rather carry two hellterrors. Which may give you an idea. . . .
^ Except when they weigh more than half what you do, this is a sensible place to have things left
^^ which has been there since the hellhounds were puppies, and very glad I am to have it, except when wrestling annoyingly large parcels
^^^ And trust me, this is still better than trying to negotiate the greenhouse and the kitchen door, even though there would be no stairs involved.
†† ‘Chicken carcases’ are what’s left after butchers have cut all the separately-packaged bits off. They’re CHEAP and they’re CHICKEN but they are a pain to deal with.
††† And aside from the sheer fact of his advanced age, Wolfgang looks worse than he is. There are kind of a lot of dents. Er. And most of the chrome strips have been ripped off. And the bumpers may dangle slightly. And some of the headlight housing is missing. And the taillight housing leaks. And some of the doors work better than others, and let’s not talk about the frangledrabbing electric windows at all. Other than that . . . well, other than that I never wash him. I could do that. I could give him a nice bath. The once a year I do this I’m always surprised at how much better he looks (in spite of the dents). Poor Wolfgang.
Yesterday evening when Fiona and I took my assortment of hellcritters out for final pre-prandial scrambles Darkness produced a crap that Did Not End Well. My heart sank to the centre of the earth. Twice in one week? What on, in or beyond earth is the matter?
When we got home I whacked some Ars Alb into him immediately—the classic food-poisoning and Montezuma’s revenge remedy—which is my first line of defense with the hellhounds’ digestion, on the presumption that when it goes wrong it’s probably because the hellhound in question found a sandwich-end in a hedgerow when I wasn’t looking. The thing is that I am pretty well always looking, especially the last couple of months when everything is pretty dire hellhound-wise, and since last Thursday night I can barely blink for watching Darkness. Which raises the appalling spectre of the possibility that whatever is wrong with their digestion, at least Darkness’, who is the worse, is coming loose from being a specific reaction to a specific allergen, ie the sandwich-end. This does not bear thinking about.
He seemed all right the rest of the evening. He ate dinner* if with less than overwhelming enthusiasm, but we haven’t seen enthusiasm toward food in anyone except the hellterror in months. He crashed out in the dog bed as if he hadn’t a care in the world.** Usually when he’s bad there are signs: you know your own dog. But he sure caught me out last Thursday.
So last night when I let them out in the mews courtyard again I didn’t merely go out with them—which I always do, I was just really, really unlucky last Thursday—I went out with their leads. Not really expecting trouble. He can’t have found a sandwich-end without my noticing. He can’t. I was not expecting trouble enough that I wasn’t wearing my coat.***
Darkness set off briskly for the archway.
Oh, no. Nooooo.
He stopped long enough for me to get his lead on, and Chaos’. All hurtles are fine with Chaos.
We were out about half an hour. And golly we were moving. We probably almost got to Turpitude again. It was not pretty. But I kept thinking I am SO GRATEFUL he wasn’t gone HALF AN HOUR last Thursday. I’d probably have exploded or something. I don’t know if he heard me screaming, or didn’t like being out on his own, or what. But he came back. Last night he had Chaos and me with him so he could, I don’t know . . . ‘relax’ seems singularly inapropos in the circumstances. But I’m the one finally turned around—I was freezing to death† and he couldn’t have anything left to lose. . . .
I was also whapping myself up longside the head, or I would have been if I hadn’t had my hands full of leads. Ars Alb works pretty well—but one of the basic rules of homeopathy is that you stop dosing when there is improvement. How are you supposed to know if there’s improvement? He hadn’t been restless or visibly unhappy or any of that. I should have kept giving him Ars Alb all evening—BUT HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW?
Instead I gave him Ars Alb all night. I’m a little short of sleep . . . again. Last night however I decided I was tired of lying wide awake in the dark worrying, and I wasn’t really in the mood for fiction†† so I’ve been tearing through my homeopathy books looking for ideas. You can’t cure something like a violent allergy, I don’t think, but you can strengthen the system . . . if you can find a good enough match for the system in question. People are hard enough††† to find the exact remedy or remedies for, and they, at least, will answer questions‡. A dog . . .
Darkness has been fine today. Jolly, even. I’m a wreck.‡‡ I took him along to the vets‡‡‡ this afternoon: I want informed input, and maybe a few big guns. Homeopathy is a precision instrument: sometimes if you can’t see what you’re doing what you want is a sledgehammer. The vet looked back through the records and pointed out that Darkness had tested positive for campylobacter six or so years ago when both of them were streaming almost nonstop and we didn’t know why. Campylobacter is something that doesn’t go away, and may flare up for no reason—with reference to my terror that whatever is wrong is widening its range. He also said, and while he said it with great plausibility, well, he would, wouldn’t he, that these awful bouts may look worse than they are—one of my bottom line fears, especially strong at 4 am with an eyestrain headache and surrounded by homeopathy books, is that hellhounds are going to be seven in August, and that’s getting on for late middle age in a dog. How much abuse can Darkness’ gut take? The vet said, you can’t know without a biopsy, but his guess is—the additional damage is less than I think. Although since I’m sitting there with the kind of all-over bad hair day that comes of very little sleep and lots of worrying ‘less than I think’ may not be all that reassuring.
Still. So we’re going to re-test for campy, and I have a big gun to try: Buscopan. This is based on my sense that it’s not the runs per se that trouble Darkness, and which the Ars Alb will usually deal with, but the unpleasant kaleidoscope of effects I call ‘colic’, and which may make a bad stretch a great deal worse, especially because of the speed an ailing hellhound goes downhill. If I knew this, I’d forgotten, but the vet said that sighthounds are like this: they are pulled down really quickly, their coats get stary and they look like death’s door.
Roll on not needing to find out if Buscopan works.
Oh, and the hellterror is slightly constipated. . . .
* * *
* I’ve said before that if I starved them every time their guts went a little ropy—the classic advice about dealing with diarrhoea—they’d’ve starved to death years ago.
** And lay on his back with his legs in the air, to Fiona’s considerable hilarity.
*** It was about forty degrees—four Celsius. You would want your coat.
† Adrenaline does help keep you warm. Warmish.
†† Although I can feel a Georgette Heyer/Diana Wynne Jones fit coming on. No, not Peter Dickinson—his underlying view of humanity is way too bleak.
††† I’m sure I’ve said this before: I believe homeopathy does have all the answers. The big steaming problem is the delivery system—the homeopath. The set up as it now is, it seems to me, expects the homeopath to be superhumanly intelligent, preternaturally intuitive, prodigiously well-read in the relevant literature, and divinely observant. Not too many homeopaths live up to this standard. There are excellent homeopaths out there—but there ought to be more and there ought to be better. I think we’re missing a crucial step/stage/link/trick in the study and practise of homeopathy. I just don’t know what it is.
‡ Or if they don’t, that’s a clue. Homeopathy is about the entirety of a person, and not answering questions totally counts.
‡‡ I went to abbey practise tonight. Speaking of things that aren’t pretty. But at least I went.
‡‡‡ The conventional vets. There’s a homeopathic vet in this area I haven’t tried, and am beginning the long grim phone-tag process of trying to get hold of an independent consultant who is at different clinics in different towns on different days of the week and doesn’t have a secretary-type person keeping the bits plugged together.
Last night at St Margaret’s the vicar, fresh from a ‘retreat’ with his Leadership Group, attempted to light a fire under the rest of us—possibly slouched down in our seats praying for the strength to keep our eyes open*—about what one thing we were going to start doing this week to deepen our relationship with God, make the world a better place, or generally become a bigger, gobblier holier-than-thou turkey. And in our groups people were talking soberly about being more organised** about time for prayer and volunteer work and this or that course they have been meaning to go on*** and when it was my turn I said, Go to bed earlier. So I don’t hit the floor already in a panic of lateness the next morning. It’s a whole lot harder to do the contemplative prayer routine when the monkey mind is gibbering like a whole treeful of monkeys.
I got to bed early enough last night to be talking in nearly complete sentences by the time Atlas showed up to finish nailing the shelf up in my greenhouse this morning. And I totally have to go to bed early tonight because Fiona and I are going to have a YARN ADVENTURE tomorrow.†
* * *
* Fortunately I’d caught a ride with Minnie. Even Wolfgang might have found it a bit challenging keeping me on the road by yesterday evening: I’d had a rotten night for sleep even for me, worrying. It wasn’t all bad: I finished another book for the Book Recs list.^
^ I kind of wasted that last hundred pages of LOCKWOOD by reading it in the bath, with all the lights and the radio on, hellhounds snorting in their sleep round the corner in my office and the hellterror moaning about injustice downstairs+. It would have been much more effective if I’d been reading it Saturday night tucked up in bed with everything turned off but the bedside light and the demented robin singing to the streetlight outdoors.
+ As soon as ‘go lie down’ conveys meaning, the hellterror will be allowed upstairs. It will be a while. It will be a much longer while before she’s allowed upstairs while I’m in the bath and at a disadvantage. It is interesting, however, watching the Development of Relationship. Puppies are adorable, as we all know, so we don’t kill them, and you have to hope that you develop a relationship before they stop being murder-resistingly adorable. Ahem. I’m also not so hot on the formal training thing—I can get away with this (mostly) because I’m home all the time and can encourage or mercilessly crush certain behaviours. An awful lot of relationship is just being there. And sometimes you get a break you not only didn’t earn, you had no idea what you were going to do if the problem didn’t just magically disappear. I had no idea how I was going to oblige hellhounds—hellpuppies at the time—to LIE DOWN in their box in the car. When we’d had the three whippets# both of us were still driving, and Peter drove and I Suppressed, till they got the idea. Hellhounds just . . . lay down. It was never an issue. I have no idea. Thank You God.
Hellterror is either going to learn not to gnaw the short strap that attaches her to the seatbelt or I will buy a few short lengths of chain. I’m not, perhaps foolishly, anticipating a huge problem about this. She’s not actually a big chewer, although she likes her thighbone of mammoth.##
But she is still the possessor of hellterror jaws. And when you need to get something away from a puppy you generally need to do it fast, and unless you are carrying desiccated liver in your mouth, which I am NOT,### you don’t have time for fancy swapping routines, or let’s be blunt, I don’t have the coordination.% So I was getting bitten and IT HURT. Not to mention being bad for hellgoddess/hellterror relations. Speaking of relationship.
Well, I did get a bit cleverer about tactics for getting stuff away from her, and, when there’s time, she is ALWAYS open to a bribe—and once she’s learnt that bribery is a possibility, she will often meet you halfway. But I realised recently that she seems to have decided that I’m allowed to take stuff away from her. There is sometimes a trifle of resistance. And she can stab you with a look out of those little beady eyes that would bore through cement. But if I am wearisomely DETERMINED to get something away from her . . . she lets me.
THANK YOU GOD.%%
# Which were, all three together, small enough to fit in the box. That was sixty-maybe-slightly-plus pounds of dog. Two hellhounds are eighty-definitely-plus pounds of dog. Even if the hellterror were a model of decorum~ there isn’t room for her in the box.
~ And not in season
## All those fancy expensive guaranteed-your-dog-will-LOVE-them Kong toys? She spurns them.
### All other things being equal, which they are not, I need my mouth immediately available for yelling, which I suppose is not a show-dog-handler’s first priority.
% I’m frantically fishing in the wrong pocket anyway
%% It’s probably connected that she’s a surprisingly tactful accepter of treats from your bare hand. You can give her a tiny fragment of kibble and she nails the kibble but not your fingers. I hadn’t thought about this till I was giving her infinitesimal scraps of chicken the other night, having misjudged the amount of chicken available—all three hellcritters get a bit of neat chicken as dessert—and despite the significantly higher frenzy level for chicken as opposed to mere kibble—she was snatching the chicken without nicking my fingers.
I wonder if all that screaming when she play-bit me when she was tiny has an effect here? It was a different situation with the hellhounds—they mostly taught each other how hard (not) to bite, and sighthounds are bred to bring things down, not to mangle them, as a fighting dog is (presumably) encouraged to do. I also don’t have a problem with a dog mouthing me so long as there’s no pressure behind it, so all my hellcritters are somewhat accustomed to having bits of me casually in their mouths.
** ::weeps:: I was so standing behind the door when they passed out organizational skills.
*** Minnie’s taking one on teaching Sunday School to the tinies
† God created everything. Therefore he created yarn.
So yesterday evening hellhounds spent crashed out as usual in the mews dog bed. The system is that I then scrabble everything back into my knapsack and canvas briefcase-shaped object, let hellhounds out for a pee in the mews courtyard—they’ll have their final hurtle from the cottage—schlep knapsack, canvas object, and anything else that may have silted up over the course of the day into Wolfgang’s front seat; encourage hellhounds to leap into the hellhound box in the back, having first removed Pav’s abominable falling-apart plastic carrying crate; encourage hellhounds to get all eight feet into the box so I can get the crate back in, replace crate, fetch hellterror, encourage her to relieve herself, bribe her into nasty plastic crate with small handful of kibble, pick up anything hellterror may have produced, lock up, drive to cottage. Reverse process. . . . **
We have one of our organic-grocery deliveries on Thursdays. I let hellhounds out, had a fast look around for cats or rabbits or any other untoward distractions, and went back indoors to load my week’s fresh fruit into a carrier. This took . . . maybe a minute.
When I went back out to put the fruit bag in the front seat with the rest of the stuff . . . there was only one hellhound waiting for me.
I looked around. It took me a good five seconds to panic. I trotted down toward the archway and called Darkness’ name. Nothing. I trotted—rather faster—back to Wolfgang and Chaos, still standing there looking rather bewildered.*** I put Chaos on lead, picked up Darkness’, and pelted down the driveway toward the main road.
Last few times Darkness has been double-ended geyseringly ill, he has lit out for strange parts as soon as I put him out—but hitherto I’ve already been keeping an eye on him, and have managed to get a lead on him and go along when he sets off. I’ve always had WARNING. With one—appallingly notable—exception, he’s always been able to give me warning, ie to get him outdoors NOW. Last night . . . he had eaten only two thirds of an already minimal dinner but, so? He hasn’t been eating enough to keep a chipmunk alive for weeks†. There was nothing about last night to make me take notice.
Till he disappeared.
I’ve never lost a hellhound before: I’m paranoid, and I know how fast they are—and generally speaking their recall is pretty good, and I’m careful not to strain it. I hadn’t allowed for Darkness having a geysering fit come on without giving me any SIGN.
Chaos and I were wandering around helplessly only a few minutes. Probably less than five. Well, maybe five. I was by this time crying and screaming. It was after midnight, it was dark, at least there was no one else around—no other dog walkers, no juggernauts on the roads—and that stretch of the main road is mostly parkland on either side, so my screaming was probably not heard by anyone but owls. I had just turned to go back to the mews courtyard. This is one of the basic emergency drills of a sighthound owner—your runaway will come back to where he last saw you to find you again. So long as you keep your nerve and stay there. Chaos and I had turned to creep back to the mews courtyard . . . when a bit of darkness detached itself from the rest, slunk through the gate ahead of us, and turned around to throw up at my feet. At least that meant he stood still long enough for me to get his lead on.
Adrenaline spike? If any of you saw a strange bright burning light in the sky last night emanating from a southern-Englandish direction, that would have been me, having an adrenaline spike.
Today has not been a very lively, awake day. The hellterror’s more dramatic difficulties seem to have lessened, although she’s not entirely enjoying coming on heat. She’s still showing no signs of flirting, but she’s licking those Weird Swollen Parts a lot in a kind of LIE DOWN AND LEAVE ME ALONE manner, and while she still wants her tummy rubbed I keep stopping to check that all those tiny but stiff little nubbles are only her nipples, and there are no ticks involved. Hellhounds are . . . hellhounds, although there has been no further geysering.
I’m about to have to attempt to feed hellcritters for the third time today. Whimper. Score so far: Chaos, one third lunch, one third dinner. Darkness, no lunch whatsoever, all of dinner. Pavlova, I’M FINE, CAN’T YOU SEE I’M FINE. I’M ALSO STARVING TO DEATH. YOU CALL THIS A MEAL?
* * *
* We have in fact had a try with the clip-your-dog-harness-with-dog-in-it to the seatbelt apparatus. It works fine. Except for the part about the hellterror setting to with a will to chew the seatbelt apart. Those hellterror jaws, crikey. I’m surprised miners and engineers and things bother with rock drilling tools. Put a bowl of dog food on one side of the mountain and a hungry bull terrier^ on the other and . . . stand back. Gnar gnar gnar gnar crunch crunch crunch crunch.
^ Bull terriers are of course always hungry. It’s part of the breed standard: little beady eyes, prick ears, roman nose, hungry.
** Yes. I hate my commute. It’s always been way too complicated^ but a manic hellterror and a hellhound who is still hoping he’s going to wake up one morning and she’ll be gone complicate matters. The sheer logistics are a big fat pain—in both arms, shoulders and back, chiefly. It would HELP A LOT if hellhounds could jump in from the other side, but that means making the extra height over the side of the box, and Darkness doesn’t always want to leap to seat level.^^
^ It’s a daily version of—you know how that last t shirt/woolly jumper you threw in your suitcase on a whim and that last book you threw in your carry-on before you got on the plane are the only things that prevent your journey from being an utter misery? Yes. Now imagine making those same final forty-six decisions every day.
^^ And thank you, Judith and Diane in MN and anyone else I’ve missed, for those links to Dog Travelling Strategies. I’m looking very thoughtfully indeed at the folding stair.
*** Although ‘bewildered’ is one of his standard expressions.
† Although I believe all those small rodenty creatures have very high metabolisms.
It’s been another fabulously gorgeous SHIRTSLEEVE day and . . .
. . . I’m not in a very good mood. In the first place . . . yurk, where do I start ‘in the first place’? Okay, top contenders for ‘in the first place’:
1. Speaking of fabulously gorgeous shirtsleeve weather WE’RE GOING TO HAVE FROST AGAIN OVER THE WEEKEND. And I have several brand-new trays of snapdragons and diascias sitting around waiting hopefully to be planted. As well as a few dahlia tubers that have been planted in pots* and will therefore join the frelling kitchen queue this weekend . . . Not to mention the petunias, begonias, geraniums, hippeastrums, sweet peas etc that have been out there a while already, when they aren’t cluttering up the Winter Table and the kitchen floor. And if I don’t get my glads in soon they won’t bloom till . . . after the first frosts this autumn.
2. Hellhounds are eating about one meal in three. Sort of. It’s hard to tell because I’ve cut back to about half rations . . . and they’re still playing a sort of hopscotch game the rules of which are opaque to me, where one of them may eat one meal/day while the other one doesn’t eat at all, or one of them will eat one third of this meal and two thirds of the next while the other one finishes the first meal and has two and a half mouthfuls of the next. Their ribs look more like toast racks every day. And as I have just been telling Darkness, who ate none of his lunch and has deigned to eat about two-thirds of his (half-size) supper, if I weren’t worrying about their making themselves ill, I’d just frelling let them starve themselves into a citation from the RSPCA. Fine. Let the RSPCA try and get the little ratbags to eat. How am I supposed to know:
(a) When they’re just being total little scum-sucking ticks and
(b) When they’re going to go over the line into making themselves ill?
I want to know BEFORE we reach (b), okay? Meanwhile the recycled kibble levels are getting extreme and eventually you have to throw it out. £££££££. Not amused. Not amused at all.
3. The hellterror has the runs. No, she has the fountains.
3b. The hellterror is also coming into her first heat. JOY. I don’t know if these two items of interest are in any way connected. I have known bitches who suffer bowel irregularities while they’re on heat but this is a little . . . ultimate. Hellhounds are not, fortunately, the slightest bit interested in local hormonal mayhem—at least not so far, but she’s not in full, you should forgive the term, torrent yet either—and maybe the first puppy heat causes maximum internal uproar and minimum exterior captivatingness? Dunno. But if she’s planning on having excretory melodrama every heat, she’s not going to keep her ovaries long enough to have a litter. Stay tuned.
The good news, such as it is, is that none of this is bothering her in the slightest. She’s the same manic little furball as usual.
4. The ME is biting me. Hard. Still. All this sunny shirtsleeve weather in the garden has been lovely, and the whole sudden change of season thing stuns normal healthy people too, and it may take them a few days to find their summer rhythm**. And the plants don’t care if you’re moving kind of slowly.*** But. . . .
4b. I’ve officially quit the Muddles . . . again. Damn. But I haven’t got the stamina for those two and a half hour rehearsals and I feel a little less than enthusiastic about exposing my never-a-strong-point lungs to that air in that church when I’m coming off flu; furthermore there isn’t time for me to learn the music, now, before the next concert. I don’t know what I’m going to do about singing; I am NOT giving up my voice lessons, but it feels dumb and silly not to be doing something with what I’m (theoretically) learning, and at my level of ability that’s some kind of undemanding group. And undemanding-group choices in this area are limited.
4c. Having cut back significantly on the amount of time I spend on the blog† . . . I probably haven’t cut back enough. I don’t like the feel of this go of the ME: I don’t like the glint in its steely little eyes. I think that look it’s giving me is telling me that the Muddles is only the beginning. I think I am going to have to do more hacking and hewing. This is sure to hit bell ringing . . . especially because of all the driving to this and that tower, and driving is always my most obvious weak point. At least the blog I can do on the sofa/kitchen table/bed.
Maybe I can knit more.
Maybe I can READ more.
But . . . sigh.††
* * *
* Large pots. Dahlia tubers tend to be large.
** Especially if it keeps going away and dropping everyone back in their fleeces and flannels again.
*** Yoo-hoo! Over here! Don’t forget us! We’re hungry/thirsty/an impenetrable jungle too!
† And GREAT GROVELLING REPEATED THANKS to all you guest-post providers who help with this.
†† And I am NEVER going to try to write an outline on Microsoft Word again. ARRRRRRRRGH. I can hardly wait to see what WordPress does to my attempts to outflank bloody Word’s idea of how to write an outline. . . .