I thought I’d ordered a swift and nostepinne. But two days went by and there was no reply to my email. Whimper. Here you are trying to support local/indie talent and not order from frelling amazon and THEY DON’T ANSWER.
They answered. Today. There was a spam bin involved. WELL OF COURSE THERE WAS A SPAM BIN INVOLVED. THIS IS WHAT SPAM BINS DO, IS EAT GOOD MAIL AND LET THE TOXIC GARBAGE THROUGH.*
I now have a swift and nostepinne coming. But the indie talent are still a business, drat them, and they’re not sending them out till MONDAY. Monday is three days away. And then it still has to get here.
I spent a good deal of the afternoon in the garden again, working off Lack of Swift.*** There’s a rather unfortunate Spending Time in the Garden Syndrome however. You’re not a big bedding plant person—you’ve already let the labour-intensive thing get out of control by having too many roses, you don’t need bedding plants too—you’re a mental case of course, gardeners are, but you have no illusions about ‘tidy’ or ‘design’. Stuff goes in where there’s room† and the weeds are really healthy because the one thing you are usually pretty good about is feeding. So you look at the labyrinthine wilderness out there and you think, all I really need is a few good days.
The garden at the cottage is tiny. All I need is a few not-freezing, not-raining afternoons—!
Wrong. The more you do the more you see. And the more you see the more you DESPAIR. Having got most of the urgent stuff potted up or potted on††, the most hostile of the roses tied ferociously back††† and (semi) pruned as necessary, I was reduced to WEEDING today. I actually like weeding‡ but when the forest of ground elder closes over your head and the enchanters’ nightshade twines up your ankles and pulls you down—and enchanters’ nightshade grows fast enough to do this, if you stay somewhere too long, levering up wild poppies or creeping buttercup or those black-leaved pansies that look so cute and innocent and have long almost-invisible roots reaching to China or possibly Mars—AAAAAAAUGH. I’d rather be winding hanks of yarn.
What’s the weather this weekend? I should probably hoover the floor indoors before my friend arrives on Monday. Just don’t let me notice how much else I should be doing. . . .
* * *
* Griselda is in Pago Pago and all her money has been stolen and would I please transfer the entire contents of my bank account to the Evil Scam Holding Syndicate so she can get a glass of water?^ But . . . but . . . I had a cup of tea with her yesterday afternoon and she didn’t say anything about Pago Pago. There must be some mistake. . . .
^ Which is about what the entire contents of my bank account would be worth. Tourist traps are expensive.
** NOW. NOW. I WANT THEM NOW. —You know I’m expecting a mere eight-months’-old puppy to calm down and stop being a manic git. Clearly we were made for each other.^
^ Hellhounds open one eye. Possibly one eye each. Does whatever this thing is run? Can we chase it? —I think a swift on end given a push downhill might canter a bit.
*** Stop laughing. Hmmph.
† And sometimes when there isn’t. That’s where the tiered effect comes in handy.
†† Although it’s been a bad season for mail-order errors. The usual response of big on-line gardening sites is ‘keep it and we’ll send you the right one.’ Or ones. I didn’t actually want four hundred and twelve osteospermums or nine hundred and sixty apple blossom geraniums, some of which actually are apple blossom geraniums, and which are all going like thunder and will need somewhere to put their roots down soon. I was poised to send the sellers photos of their errors as evidence but they must have a certain percentage of goofs built into the system. Do they keep track of who protests? Do they put tick marks against your name? Or merely fry in oil the staff responsible for the blip that caused Hampshire to be carpeted in non-apple-blossom geraniums?
And of course, like every other year, I am waiting breathlessly to see how many of my dahlia cuttings grow up to be what I ordered. I go on ordering them because they’re so much cheaper than tubers—and the awful truth is that I rarely have a cutting failure, while my tubers rather too often decide that the accommodations don’t suit them, they were looking for something a little more up market, with designer chocolate on the pillow and free wifi. But cuttings are wildly unreliable in their own fabulous way. Up to about a quarter of the frellers are anything but what you ordered. It does make you wonder, speaking of staff, what the staff are, you know, smoking.
††† That faint unfriendly humming noise you hear, like a nest of wasps in a bad mood, is the sound of various whippy-stemmed roses with known violent tendencies gnawing through their restraints.^
^ I am still sad I didn’t get around to buying the ‘some days it’s not worth gnawing through the restraints’ t shirt before they inexplicably cut it. There are still cheap knock offs available—and one of these days when it’s not worth gnawing through the restraints I will probably buy one—but this one was a QUALITY t shirt.
‡ There’s a quote out there somewhere that I am failing to google into confirmation, that says something like ‘No one is a gardener who doesn’t like weeding’ which is just a specific-object version of one of the quotes on the blog’s quote thingy: ‘The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.’ Yep. You don’t like rewriting, don’t be a writer. Anthony Trollope may have got away with turning in his beautiful copperplate handwritten first drafts to his publisher, but you and I won’t. Aside from the beautiful copperplate part.
I HAVE JUST FRELLING ORDERED A FRELLING [YARN] SWIFT AND A FRELLING FRELLING NOSTEPINNE. Two days ago I didn’t know what a nostepinne was. I think I’ve seen the word somewhere and assumed I was too young/old and that ignorance might not be bliss but was probably better for the blood pressure and the too easily over-stimulated fantasy-writer’s imagination.* And then I brought up the yarn bowl question on Twitter the other night and someone else started talking about her nostepinne and I’m like whoa, are you sure you want to discuss this in public? **
Diane in MN
Does anyone out there have any useful guidelines for when you cut your losses and frog again and when you soldier on
A glance around my house would reveal that I can tolerate a lot of imperfection in some areas, but I HATE visible mistakes in my knitting and will rip (or tink, if I catch any soon enough) back to get rid of them. More than once, if necessary and if the yarn will take it, if I like the project.
I don’t think I’m a perfectionist about anything any more***. Spending a lot of time and effort at something you’re essentially pretty awful at—let’s say bell ringing—will do that to a person.† But I agree about actual errors. Part One of this particular project has only one really gruesome error which I think would disappear when I got to the seaming-up stage, supposing I got that far—and I left it in because I had NO idea what I had done and therefore no idea how to undo it. But especially on something that is, for me, relatively small-gauge, which is to say 4 mm needles [US size 6], and a non-stretchy yarn, which is this cotton-bamboo stuff I’ve made several baby bibs in and I like it but it’s not very forgiving, the—ahem!—slight variability of my stitch-making starts to show up over time and distance. I ripped out my first couple of bibs once each, but they ended up not too embarrassing.†† This New Secret Project is bigger and . . . well. So I’ve got to the end of Part One and put the wretched thing on a stitch holder—it’s getting so that every time I order yarn††† I automatically order another pair or packet of stitch holders‡—rolled it up and put it aside. I’ll think about it later.
Which leaves me with only ::urglemmph:: other unfinished projects and therefore of course I need to start something NEW!!!!
Which is going to be Manos del Doohickey—I’ve left the tag back at the cottage‡‡—and it’s mostly silk with some wool so it’s NOT VERY STRETCHY again, uh-oh‡‡‡, but I want to make myself a LARGE SQUARE (SOMEWHAT) WOOLLY SCARF. Because I’m tired of how difficult it is to find Large Square Wool Scarves. And the reason this is the particular New Project that leaped to mind—despite the small-gauge-unstretchy thing—is because it will be ACRES AND ACRES OF MINDLESS GARTER STITCH YAAAAAAAAAY. I’m always amused at these high-falutin’ knitters on Ravelry going on about how this or that pattern is too boring because there’s too much garter/stockinette/ribbing. I LOVE GARTER/STOCKINETTE/RIBBING. I tend to knit to calm down. I don’t want to have to think! I don’t want to have to memorize a frelling pattern! I don’t want to figure out why my sleeve-shaping decreases look like tiny stairs rather than a nice smooth line like in the frelling photos! I just want to keep looping the yarn around the needles!!!
But first I need to wind these wretched hanks into something I can use. . . .
* * *
* I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I nostepinne in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Not all of Monty Python is totally deathless and mesmerising, in my cranky^ opinion, but I would have trampled a few grandmothers to have written that particular piece of dialogue. Although some of my attitude problem may be due to having a few issues with Monty Python. For some reason. I mean, it could have been Sir Rupert. For example.
Minstrel: [singing] Brave Sir Robin ran away…
Sir Robin: *No!*
Minstrel: [singing] bravely ran away away…
Sir Robin: *I didn’t!*
Minstrel: [singing] When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
Sir Robin: *I never did!*
Minstrel: [singing] Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.
Sir Robin: *Oh, you liars!*
Minstrel: [singing] Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat. A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.
^ And easily grossed out. Just by the way.
*** Although I still want my socks to match what I’m wearing, even if nobody but me is going to see them. Or nobody but me, Peter and the hellcritters none of whom care. I care.
† Circumstances are not helpful. Last Wednesday due to the very mixed assortment of ringers who turned up for practise I rang ONCE. ONCE. I got a lot of knitting done. Speaking of knitting. On Sunday afternoon there were eight of us. Which meant we all had to ring all of the time. Which since most of us were the weak end was a trifle challenging for the ringing master and I was somewhat drily amused to note that I was being relied on to hold it together in a way that I would not have been if he’d had any choice. You know I would get to holding-it-together better sooner if I got more practise time in. Sigh.
†† And I finally asked one of the recipients if the thing, you know, WORKED? Because babies keep getting born, in the alarmingly incessant way of babies, and bibs are something I can, apparently, do. Yes, he said. It’s very chewable, and it goes through the washing machine fine.
††† Not that this would be often or anything
‡ And another frelling tape measure. What do I DO with tape measures?!? Is there a Tape Measure Planet like there is an Odd Sock Planet?
‡‡ Oh please. What is Google, chopped liver?
‡‡‡ McKinley, not that we expect you to be relentlessly intelligent or anything, but the two most outstanding unfinished projects^—which is to say well enough started to count as ‘unfinished’, which are First Cardi and First Pullover, are NICE REASONABLY LARGE GAUGE STRETCHY FORGIVING WOOL, you meatloaf, why don’t you go FINISH ONE OF THEM?^^
^ Plus legwarmers. I think I’m on my fifth pair. You know this weather may be my fault. It’s the middle of May, WE MAY HAVE AN OVERNIGHT FROST LATER THIS WEEK+, and I’m knitting legwarmers.
+ And I am not going to dig up my petunias/begonias/gladiolas/dahlias/osteospermums, so I hope they FRELLING COPE. Maybe I could lay some legwarmers over them.
^^ And the current not-given-up-on-yet Secret Project is also mostly wool.
A fortnight or so ago a New Friend sidled up to me at St Margaret’s and said that she’d bought a ticket for a charity concert—so she wouldn’t chicken out of going at the last minute, I know that one, on the day you’re too comfortable on the sofa with hellhounds or similar—but she wondered if she could bamboozle me into buying a ticket and coming too? It was a worthy cause and we could hang out. We’ve made half-hearted attempts to hang out previously but they’ve never come off because we never nail one down by saying THIS place and THIS time and putting it in the diary, you know? Modern life. Who has time for spontaneity?*
So despite a qualm or two about the concert itself I said yes. You can put up with a lot in congenial company. And she and I were finally getting somewhere, you know?
And then last week at St Margaret’s when I told her I’d got one of the few remaining tickets** she looked all doleful and woebegone and said she hadn’t rung me because it hadn’t been confirmed yet but for Inarguable Personal Reasons it looked like she wasn’t going to be able to go after all. . . .
Oh. Feh. So I’m now stuck with a ticket to a concert I was only looking forward to because I was going to see her.
But I had the frelling reservation and, at this point, a close personal relationship with the venue’s box office, who had hired a uniformed guard with two Alsatians and a Darth Vader clone to protect my investment till I arrived IN PERSON and offered my palm print as proof I was the correct individual to cede the ticket to, so I’d better go. I went.
Fortunately I took my knitting.
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLY DIRE. UNBELIEVABLY. DIRE. The concert. It was. AAAAAAAAUGH. Words fail. Words need to fail or I will be banned from WordPress for the rest of my life.*** The one minor stroke of good fortune was that I’d arrived early enough it was worth getting my knitting out immediately so it was already on my lap when these jokers got up on stage and started prancing about doing whatever the frell they thought they were doing ARRRRRRRRRRRGH. After the first . . . incident . . . I firmly picked my knitting up again and got QUITE A FEW ROWS done by the time it was over. I swear I would have run away screaming† if I hadn’t had my knitting. . . .
Which leads me to the next thing. I’ve been torturing myself, and some harmless hanks of yarn, trying to make another gift. Me and my frelling Secret Projects. GIVE IT UP, MCKINLEY. I’ve already frogged this one once. This second time it looks a lot better than it did the first time but it’s still what you might call . . . clearly hand made. Does anyone out there have any useful guidelines for when you cut your losses and frog again and when you soldier on on the grounds that your friend will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to even if SHE BURIES THE FINAL OBJECT IN THE BACK GARDEN IN CASE IT’S CONTAGIOUS?
Siiiiiiiigh. . . .
I also got distracted on Etsy the Evil†† from my (relatively) honest quest for a needle roll††† into yarn bowls. And I made the perilous decision to ask Twitter if any of the twitterverse’s knitters use yarn bowls. Am I just being flimflammed by a pretty face? Hand-thrown pottery bowls are very pretty. Or do they help with what I have dubbed the invisible-kitten problem with your wodge of working yarn? In the rush of helpful answers—including plastic bags, yarn cozies [sic], and teapots—I suddenly had a FABULOUS IDEA.
Was this totally sitting on a shelf waiting to be a yarn bowl through the long years of no longer being required for blanc-mange or what? Stay tuned.
* * *
* Hey, I finished the day’s stint early/it’s raining and I don’t feel like gardening/if I hear my neighbour’s extra-loud telephone bell go one more time^ I shall run mad with an axe, want to grab a cup of tea somewhere? No, sorry, I can’t, I’m working a double shift today/it’s raining so I’m sorting out the garage^^/I have to sort out the garage because I need to hide a body fast.^^^
^ They need fewer friends
^^ No friend of mine would ever use that excuse
^^^ Ah. Okay. Need help?+
+ I found a drowned mouse in a bucket today. Ewwwwwwww. I have no truck with the ‘mice are cute’ brigade and am perfectly happy to trap the suckers, using the fastest, lethalest traps available, but drowning in a bucket is a slow, crummy way to die and made me sad.
** And my email, possessed by demons as it is, failed to accept the confirmatory email from the venue so I’m all AM I GOING OR NOT. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO HERE, CONSULT AN ASTROLOGER?
*** Banned—? From WordPress? Um . . . actually . . .
† Most of the people who preach at St Margaret’s I like and find not merely worth listening to but interesting. But there is one . . . I have been trying to decide if it is worth establishing a habit of knitting during the sermons so that the next time this joker stands up I won’t have to gnaw my knuckles till they bleed so as not to run away screaming.^
^ I realise that a Supreme Being needs a sense of humour, but I feel perhaps we might review some of said humour’s minor manifestations? People who have been at this Christian thing a long time keep telling me that God likes engaging with his mortal children on their level. Okay. So let’s discuss the practical jokes.
†† You know I have been complaining about the mess and confusion of Etsy’s so-called search function and have finally realised . . . it’s all a careful plan to entice you in deeper and deeper.
††† The design I like best is only in a bunch of dumb fabrics. ARRRRRGH. Also I object to spending more than £11,872.33 (most of this is the overseas shipping cost from America) for a needle roll. So this is still an open question.
* * *
WE INTERRUPT THIS WAS-WORKING-JUST-FINE-THANK-YOU-MICROSOFT-YOU-PIECE-OF-**** BLOG POST TO ANNOUNCE THAT I’VE JUST SPENT ABOUT HALF AN HOUR TRYING TO FIND OUT WHY MY IDIOT COMPUTER WENT PING ON ME AND NOW EVERYTHING IS RED AND UNDERLINED AND IN SOME KIND OF EDITING (?) MODE THAT I CAN NEITHER FIND NOR TURN OFF. AND IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT OF COURSE SO IT’S NOT LIKE I CAN RING UP AN ARCHANGEL AND SCREAM. I EVENTUALLY COPIED AND PASTED ‘TEXT ONLY’ INTO A NEW DOCUMENT WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE SOLVED THE IMMEDIATE ISSUE . . . BUT I HAVE TO PUT ALL THE BOLD AND ITALIC BACK IN, DON’T I? AS WELL AS REVIVE THE LINKS. I ALSO HAVE TO GO TO BED. SO THE FOLLOWING MAY END A LITTLE ABRUPTLY.
* * *
Why are the cutest, the very CUTEST, the DIES FROM CUTE/GORGEOUS* knitting needle cases/rolls/organizers ALL FOR SHORT NEEDLES? CRUMMY LITTLE DPNs AND FRELLING CIRCULARS?** AND CROCHET HOOKS. CROCHET HOOKS!
Ahem. I’ve been wasting time on Etsy.*** Generally speaking I avoid Etsy† but . . . one of the frelling knitting frelling sites I’m on the (frelling) email list of had a TWENTY PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING sale for the bank holiday. Twenty percent. Off EVERYTHING. Now I pay attention to twenty percent. I will look at fifteen percent . . . but twenty percent, I’m doomed. And so . . . I was doomed.
I’ve been eyeing up Rowan Big Wool for a while because everybody seems to love it and I’m a bit of a wannabe Rowan junkie although their magazines make me crazy, all those undernourished tragic Pre-Raphaelite-haired women†† wearing clothes that I don’t even understand how to look at let alone be able to read the blasted pattern and make the things. But then there was this: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/heartbeat-3 †††
I want to make this. Well, I want to try to make this. I wasted an INSANE amount of time this weekend, The Weekend of Twenty Percent Off, trying to decide what colours to (try to) do it in. The other thing is . . . needles. GIGANTIC frelling needles. 12 mm and 15 mm needles.‡ They look like police truncheons. The little needle case I bought long, long ago ‡‡ is, ahem, full, and the addition of police truncheons is not a viable storage option. Hence Etsy. . . .
To be continued.
* * *
* Of course I want a dies-from-cute/gorgeous knitting needle case. I could keep them in a plastic bag if I were a plastic bag sort of girl. I’m not. I’m amazed you’d even ask.
** Which all look like garrottes to me, okay? Cooperate, you yarn, or I’ll garrotte you. And DPNs just scare the grrzmph out of me. I subscribe to way too many knitting magazines, and the bottom end of these give you FREE GIFTS!!! every issue.^ Cheezy plastic DPNs and ditto crochet hooks that weren’t broken out of their mould properly so they have little catchy rough places that I’m sure will contribute to the crocheting experience significantly, are popular. They are not improving my attitude toward these outliers of knitting at all.
^ Just by the way the modern coinage ‘free gift’ makes me NUTS. Here, have a gift with strings and caveats. Have an unfree gift. WHAT? Of course ‘free gifts’ that come as part of the PURCHASE of a magazine or a box of cereal or whatever the flapdoodle aren’t free by definition. So what ‘free gift’ is, is the double negative that makes the positive, or in this case the double positive that makes the negative . . . all right, all right, it’s late and I’m mushy-brained. Still. I think there may be a principle here.
Enter at your own risk. It’s the biggest indie-stall craft market in the universe. It will eat your days, your brain, and your credit card. You will also, slightly depending on what category you’re browsing, be caught up short by . . . amazing things that people have (apparently) made and are (apparently) expecting other people to buy. You know, as in spend money on. Amazing. There are a few of these even in the relatively harmless knitting supplies area.
Which brings me to Regretsy, a site honouring—if you want to call it ‘honouring’ which you probably don’t—all that people should not have hung out there in public with a price tag. However I am not going to give you a link to Regretsy—you can look it up—in the first place because the general tenor is RUDE and the opening page is . . . well, it’s not family friendly, and in the second place because she seems to have shut it down? The archive is still there—and jaw-droppingly fabulous reading it is too if you’re into that sort of thing. I find I start feeling as if I’ve eaten too much cheap chocolate too quickly but still . . . wow. You can look her up too—April Winchell—who has a web site that is a sort of very large Regretsy-style collection of the bad, the awful, and the seriously squicky, whose boundaries know no, uh, bounds. You want people being jerkfaces? Go there. She’s very funny. But . . . rude. You were warned.
However, on the subject of the successful deployment of rude, one of the shops on Etsy is http://www.etsy.com/shop/beanforest
which I discovered because FOR SOME REASON people kept sending me a link to this button:
Which I still haven’t ordered because every time I try I find myself running up a tab of about thirty quids’ worth of kitchen magnets (of course I want them as kitchen magnets) and . . . no.^ For example, upon further investigation of the deep luxuriant richness on offer, this one makes me fall off my chair laughing:
. . . Okay. I’ll behave now. Probably. But speaking of FOOTNOTES which I OFTEN AM like NOW^^, several people have sent me a link to a recent xkcd post: http://xkcd.com/1208/ Be sure to do the mouseover thing.
^ My refrigerator isn’t large enough.
^^ I’m sure it’s all very meta-whatsit to be talking about footnotes in footnotes.
† For all the reasons detailed in footnote *** above.
†† Most of the Brotherhood however would be appalled at the starved-teenager look.
††† Is anyone else getting a little cranky about the months’-old THIS JUST IN!!! opening page on Ravelry trumpteting three million users? Fine. They have three million users. I’m impressed. But I was impressed a long time ago and I think they might take the ‘just’ out.
‡ Heartbeat only requires 10 mm, but http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/may-2
is 15 mm. I thought I might finally try a hat. Especially a hat with none of this circular nonsense.
‡‡ Two years, I think? It was two years ago this past winter that Fiona tied me to my chair and showed me how to knit and purl and cast on and off while I begged for mercy, wasn’t it?
I am beginning to feel—irritably—that I am forgetting what it feels like not to feel shattered. I did go to my Bowen lady today* which always whacks me out and then went to Fustian open practise tonight siiiiiiiiiiigh. The problem with going even to the dummies add-on practise at Fustian—their real practise is about as far over my head as I am over Pav’s**—is that even the dummy advice is to a level and precision that I only aspire to when I imagine being someone else with a good sense of rhythm and fewer nerves. Arrrrgh. I was also the only beginner there tonight—which is another aspect of the problem—I am not a beginner—but compared to everyone else at Fustian I am. I’m not sure this isn’t more demoralising than inspiring—why am I BOTHERING??—and then just to finish the job of deciding that I’m going to devote myself single-mindedly to knitting for the rest of my life I made a complete compound hodgepodge botch of poor old Grandsire Triples which I should have developed some kind of auto-pilot for by now, for those days when you’ve recently been to your Bowen lady and are still feeling a trifle rubbery and glutinous about the brain cells. ARRRRRGH.*** Nobody threw me out of the tower window or laughed nastily or anything, and they still let me ring a touch—a touch!—of Stedman Triples† and a plain course of Cambridge Minor, neither of which I did perfectly but I didn’t do too badly either so I didn’t have to rush out to the car park afterward and order Wolfgang to run over me, in the absence of a sword to fall on. They’re even going to continue to let me come back. And I got some knitting done while they rang spliced Demmelhemmeldrigglefarthing Doodah.
* * *
* We. We went. I hurtle critters while Peter is on the table and then Peter gets tea while Tabitha goes after me.^ Just because he’s eighty-five years old he gets tea! And biscuits! However I’ve made the system work. Tabitha usually gives him two biscuits—beautiful crisp chewy homemade biscuits!—and he only wants one. I nail the second biscuit. Well, I need the strength to drive home, right? After all the hurtling and everything.
^ And critters, strenuously hurtled, flop in the car. I now feel guilty every month for pleating Pav up in that too-small travelling crate for that hour I’m on Tabitha’s table but she actually does curl up in it without looking like Alice after she follows the instructions on the cake to Eat Me. Although, speaking of eating, as long as there is foooooood involved, I’m pretty sure the hellterror would figure out a way to fold herself up like a handkerchief in a pocket, and she goes eagerly into that mingy crate in pursuit of the kibble I have thoughtfully thrown into the back—even if I have to kind of wedge the gate shut behind her.
Did I tell you she’s smaller than Southdowner’s two? They initially looked HUGE to me, but that may just be the effect of the Delighted Bullie’s Response to Getting Out of the Car—Pav tends to get larger under these circumstances also—and they can’t be that much bigger because I managed to lift each of them in turn+ and they are less svelte than Pav. Anyway. I think it is really very sweet and cooperative of Pav to stay small enough to fit in that thrice-blasted piece-of-junk crate—because it’s the biggest that will fit in the space available. Meanwhile she seems to be coming back out of her heat without having ever quite fully gone into it, which means I should probably re-experiment with the fasten-your-critter-to-the-seatbelt harness, except that that will be the moment when her hormones do a u-turn and she PLUNGES into her proper season . . . and there could be Terrible Things Done in the back seat before I frantically pull over to the side of the road and break it up.
Besides, she still chews on any harness I put on her. One of the reasons she’s still wearing her nasty little nylon collar is that she chews harnesses because she can reach them. She’ll shift over to a harness as soon as she either (a) sits quietly to have the beastly thing fastened on or (b) doesn’t CHEW the sucker. Southdowner was expressing the professional dog trainer and behaviourist’s horror at my admission that I allow Pav to take me for a walk occasionally by a pant leg.++ And I daresay I should be obliging her to sit quietly to have a harness put on (and taken off). But . . . puppies do calm down. Well, sort of. But the hellhounds used to eat pant legs and do airs above the ground while their harnesses were put on. They grew out of it. Choose your battles, I say, not being a professional dog trainer or behaviourist, and contain the battles you aren’t engaging with at the moment. I can live with slightly gnawed pant legs and a nasty little nylon collar for the fact that she lets me pry her jaws open. And I’m not doing everything wrong: she checks back pretty often when we’re out, and Southdowner says that checking back is not a big bullie trait. As I keep saying, Pavlova isn’t a bullie really, she just looks like one. . . .
+ It was DARK and I couldn’t SEE PROPERLY beyond that there was a very happy out-of-the-car bullie somewhere in my immediate vicinity and lifting seemed the better choice than falling down, even if it was rather like clutching the Large Hadron Collider only with legs and fur. Both Fruitcake and Scone are white which does make them glow in the dark rather#, but that only adds to the effect of size and several dozen titanium-piston legs and tails.
# Probably something to do with Particle Acceleration
++ There are disadvantages to a public blog. But I knew that.
** Farther. She boings quite a ways, straight up, on those steel-spring hind legs.^
^ And the hellhounds don’t even have to try. They can jump over me. Standing up. Ask me how I know this. I have the scars that are the result of lack of faith.
*** In hindsight I do kind of know why. I haven’t rung there in some time due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unnerved by being the only beginner and I was on the wrong bell. Still. The bottom line is still that I’m a moron.
† It’s a bit depressing ringing with a band who rings Stedman frelling Triples as an indulgence to the feeble. At a normal tower ringing Stedman (frelling) Triples is mostly kind of a big deal.