Yarrrrrggggh. I promised Blogmom a doodle update today. And I’ve had my head down over stuff today* SECURE in the knowledge that I had a dozen doodle photos to choose from as illustration for the unwelcome news that . . . yes, I’m still turning the poor neglected things out. I mean, no I’m not done, no, I didn’t put the final load in the post today. At the moment Third House is getting in the way of [ever snail-like] doodle production: the sad truth is that doodles are the first thing to be shoved back in a corner when life starts whapping me up longside the head again.**
I know. It’s been two years. Two years. In fact OVER two years.
I’m sorry. Which with £3 or so will buy you a Starbucks Gooey-o-rama with chocolate sprinkles and a paper parasol.
As I have said on more than one occasion on these virtual pages I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS AGAIN. But I will still ask Blogmom to set up a Doodle Shop when—and only WHEN—I get this ancient hoary backlog cleared. It’s not the doodles that are the problem: doodling, when I’m actually sitting there doing it, is fun. The problem is the doodler’s lack of a sense of time. Or lack of sense full stop.
So . . . I had twelve*** photos from which I would choose eight or ten to DEMONSTRATE that to the extent there was ever any touch to this silly business I haven’t lost it.† And when I stuck my memory card into my computer I discovered that I had had one of my UNUSUALLY CLUELESS MOMENTS, although I admit I have them rather a lot with this camera, and all but two of said doodle photos are dark grey and blurry. AAAAAAAAAUGH.
All right. That leaves two.
Oh. And Happy Thanksgiving.
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* Well, and handbells. One of the many dumb things I feel guilty about is handbells, change ringing on handbells being one of the difficult frelling skills I have no frelling gift for that I’ve somehow managed to let myself get tangled up with.^ Having no (frelling) gift for it means I should spend more time studying and I, um, don’t. I don’t have time or I don’t have brain energy or I have too many dogs or [other explanations insert HERE]. But I like ringing handbells, except that it makes me feel even stupider than usual. So when Niall rings up and is insinuating my brain starts to explode. No! Yes! No! Yes! Noyesnoyesnoyesnoyes!!!! Niall, being Niall, only hears the yes part.
Niall rang up and was insinuating and heard ‘yes’. So we were going to ring handbells tonight. And then Colin’s builder discovered that the dumbleg trumwale^^ had morveldinky, and had to be FORKLED. RIGHT NOW. Which meant Colin wasn’t going to be able to get away early enough for handbells. OH THAT’S REALLY TOO BAD [I had no sleep last night and feel like death not at all well warmed over] I said, trying not to hiccup with delight.
And then I took Pav out for a supernumerary hurtle. She’s so self motivated that it’s rather too easy, when circumstances oppress, to decide that she expends enough energy in a relatively short space of time that merely getting underfoot counts to some extent.^^^
Pooka started barking at me as we were making our zigzag way home from Old Eden. Curses. Who invented mobile phones anyway.
It was Colin. The forkling had gone with unwonted dispatch. He was free for handbells after all.
So we rang handbells. THEY MADE ME CONDUCT. THEY MADE ME CALL THE FRELLING BOBS. AND THE EQUALLY FRELLING SINGLES.
^ Niall, you ratbag.
^^ It’s a particularly large and valuable dumbleg trumwale I believe.
^^^ No you may not eat my slippers. You may nest in the dirty laundry, you may not shred it. No you may not chew the corners of the furniture. No you may not chew any of the corners of any of the furniture. No you may not excavate the Ancient Magazine Pile under the kitchen table.+ No you may not wedge yourself under the tallboy++ to retrieve+++ the dustpan, the assortment of brushes, and Peter’s spare slippers.# No you may not torture hellhounds. No you may not torture me.
. . . At this point I frequently find myself thinking that it would be a lot simpler just to take her for an official hurtle and then feel justified in making her long down for a while.
+ This is a scary one.
++ I was HOPING she would get too big to do this.
+++ Retrieve, cough cough. Retrieve. Well, it starts with the retrieve.
# This list pertains to mayhem at the cottage.
** I know. It should be handbells. Although one of the reasons I don’t do my handbell homework is that if I have a few brain cells left at an unexpected time of day I don’t whip out a handbell method line, I whip out a pencil for a doodle.
*** No. Actually I had sixteen.
† Another way of saying this is that you can’t lose what you didn’t have.
The thing that amuses me is that that flowered paper on the far right appeared three times this birthday: people seem to think they know what I like. They would be right about this.
I was going to post birthday photos yesterday and then frelling Niall and his frelling handbells intervened. To put my tiny triumph into perspective, by the way, tonight at tower practise one of Forza’s good ringers was telling me excitedly that she’d rung her first full peal on twelve bells. In the tower, this is, so she was only ringing one bell, but she was standing up for three and a half hours to do it and it was some infernal surprise method—I don’t think anyone bothers to ring anything but Infernal Surprise on higher numbers of bells—so while I don’t think she rings handbells, and I did tell her about my quarter, it was still like telling someone who’s just earned a place in the Horse of the Year show that you won your walk-trot class at the local gymkhana.
Anyway. I wanted to get my NEW WATCH back from the jewellers before I posted photos: I needed about nineteen links taken out of the massive wristband* but I wanted the blog photo of it ON MY WRIST.
This is however slightly a lesson in ordering things on line. As soon as I discovered that pink gold [plate] and rhinestones were in in wristwatches I stopped looking at anything else. And as soon as I noticed this one had a day dial—I haven’t had a watch that told me the day of the week in decades, and I love having a watch that tells me what day it is: us stay at home free lancers can be seriously pathetic that way**—I knew this was the one. Also I love Roman numerals—Roman numerals and it tells me the day of the week?? And rhinestones? Be still my heart. I’ve never had anything half so fabulous.
And it is fabulous. It also weighs four ounces—a quarter of a frelling pound—and is nearly half an inch thick. I knew the face had to be big from the on line photo of everything that’s on it. I did not know wearing it would feel like having a pendant hellterror dangling from that wrist at all times, or that I couldn’t ring [tower] bells in it because it would hook the rope.*** I feel that someone somewhere along the design line absent-mindedly added a zero on the dimensions; and the giant-sized wristband is perfectly in keeping with the watch. It was originally made perhaps for the Brobdingnag market, where pink and rhinestones did not go over.
But it is definitely fabulous. And yes, those are rhinestones in the face as well as around the border: the border ones only look pink because they’re reflecting the pink gold.
You will now see me coming any time I have my sleeves pushed up.
Oh, and my favourite silly present from a friend:
In case I never find that blank needlework pillow I’m still covered. † This is one of the other things that arrived in that rose paper in the first photo. . . .††
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* This was part of my running-around day yesterday. I also did thrilling things like buy vitamins. And puppy toys. There’s a very high rate of attrition in the puppy toy category.^
^ Ignorant, naïve people say to me, she’s not a puppy any more, she’s a year old! Hollow laughter. Whippets (and perforce whippet crosses) and bull terriers are apparently notorious for being slow maturers, but are there any dogs out there who are actually ADULT at a year old? I’ve never met one. I’m not planning to panic about the lifestyle of the adult bull terrier for at least another nine months.+
+ There is a fifteen-month-old puppy having a swell time with a bit of disintegrating sofa cover right now. She has however earned it: she long downed for AN HOUR with only occasional interventions. I can even get out of my chair to pour myself another cup of peppermint tea without her immediately bouncing to her feet to follow me.# Usually. ##
# Because any excuse will do.
## And having spent 90% of that hour stiff with outrage/misery/disbelief/despair, despite the comfy nest of towels at my feet and the fact that all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, if obliged by circumstance she is quite a good sleeper . . . upon release she spent ten minutes racketing around the house like an extra-large rhinoceros in a china shop . . . and is now completely crashed out on my lap, which practically speaking is a lot less comfy than the towel nest.
** Handbells are quite a useful way of keeping track of the passage of the days however because of the texts from Niall.
*** If I wear it for ringing handbells my left arm will become twice as large and muscular as my right. I suppose I could swap wrists to a carefully balanced schedule.
† Whoever said I’d have trouble finding one . . . you’re right. WHY? There must be other people out there who’d like to choose their own Words to Live By.
†† Bratsche, I’ll post a photo of my dress TOMORROW.^
^ If I forget, nag me.
I almost never drink any more and I am sloshed. But in a good way.
I mean, the glasses are dewy. It’s not just the photo is out of focus. (You try taking a shot one-handed with your overspecified so-called point and shoot with the too many buttons while you’re clinking a champagne glass with the other. Hand, I mean, not camera. But the manual focus button takes a seventh or a ninety-sixth extra-jointed finger and the autofocus invariably chooses the wrong thing.)
What else? Who cares about what else? Oh, all right, chicken liver pate and duck leg confit. There was a little spinach hiding under the duck leg but as someone who spends most of her life 80% rabbit and eating mixing bowls full of raw salad every day nights like tonight are depraved. After such debauchery what’s next? Orgies?
There’s a time for lady shoes and there’s a time for celebratory All Stars.
Well so what’s a woman in major bliss-blast from her first hit of REAL champagne in yonks and yonks to do, especially when she has a gently smiling, enabling husband with a credit card sitting on the other side of the table? (Who doesn’t actually like champagne all that well, had half a glass to be companionable and moved on to red wine.) The wait staff whisked the first bottle away in a tidy and attentive manner and when we left and I was inebriated enough not to care I asked the nice young man who had been our chief server if he could by any chance FIND THE FIRST BOTTLE so I could take it home? Peter had already tipped him, he didn’t lose anything by grinning so hard his face was distinctly beginning to crack at the ears . . . but he produced the desired empty. I think it probably wasn’t hard to find, I doubt that your average village pub has a whole lot of call for baby Moets. So three cheers that they have them at all.
I need to go to bed. I need sleep. I will then need lots of caffeine tomorrow morning: Street Pastors Training Weekend #2 begins.
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* Peter had the vanilla ice cream. Also, this is the token footnote so I don’t get complaints.
AND THEN TODAY’S POST ARRIVED.
So I had it all planned, what I was going to do this week, assuming that the BOOKS would arrive in time for some kind of Big Ta-Da on Thursday. And then the books did arrive, um, today, and I totally LOST IT and had to POST IT RIGHT AWAY. RIGHT NOW. TODAY.*
And Peter and I are going out to dinner on the 26th. I’ll take a photo of a glass of champagne, okay?
YOU’RE GETTING ALL YOUR CONTEST ENTRIES IN, RIGHT?
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* And yes, Pav was going entirely mental while I was doing stuff to/with the hellhounds and not to/with her. But it’s all in the prepositions. I haven’t the energy to discuss posing politely accompanied by a book to/with a hellterror. I was gardening with her this afternoon and then we swept the floor TOGETHER and . . . THAT’S ENOUGH.^
^ Also, recent photos have tended to favour the hellterror. This imbalance must be redressed.
Note rejected dinner. Siiiiiiiigh. *
* * *
* There was a pet-blessing service at St Radegund today.^ Southdowner had been muttering about coming down again one of these weekends so I suggested this one and we could get blessed. Of course there was then a whole Keystone Kops thing of signalless mobile phones and disappearing texts and one gang coming in the wrong door of the church as the other was exiting by some other seemingly door-like opening and so on. But it all worked out eventually.
Because life is supposed to be complex^^ I was up too late last night reading another unexpectedly good book^^^ which is to say the beginning was eh and I was just dutifully reading a few more chapters before I threw it across the room and then—OH. So I had to finish it. Besides, there was a happy mostly-asleep hellterror in my lap.#
This meant that getting everyone hurtled and fed—especially since hellhounds are in a Not Eating## phase again—in time for me to hurtle off to ring at Forza for afternoon service today was a trifle more challenging than strictly desirable. And then my usual car park was closed. Curses. I came panting up that last horrible flight of prehistoric stairs at last### and said to the assembled that I needed to leave a few minutes early because I wanted to go to a pet blessing service . . . and I could see everyone (not a pet owner in the lot) trying not to laugh.
And the car park I got Wolfgang into never has a mobile signal. I don’t remember this from one emergency car park situation to the next, of course, because one of the reasons I like my usual car park is because it usually has a mobile signal.~
I ended up sending poor Southdowner about four messages, the original, a resend of the original, and one or two that were one letter each, which was me trying to juggle the beastly phone—and then a fifth one once I was home again saying ignore all previous, I’ll meet you at the church . . . and that one seems never to have arrived at all.
The hellhounds and I~~ got there and . . . no Southdowner. Who was there however was the thrice-rat-frelling-blasted terrier that lives next door to Third House and craps in my driveway and who objects to our presence in our garden from his side of the fence. And he RECOGNISED the hellhounds and there was near murder done—and the ruckus he was making set all the other dogs off . . . except my hellhounds who did their best bemused, disdainful ‘why are the peasants revolting’ shtick. I retreated several pews further back—so we could see the terrier coming when he escaped his owner—and Darkness, bless his little cotton socks, lay down in the aisle with his back to the rest of the critters in the best nanny-nanny-boo-boo mime I’ve seen in a long time. Chaos, however, was in full drama queen mode, staring at me with huge tragic eyes, making tiny pathetic noises deep in his throat and trying to creep for the door. . . .
We eventually found Southdowner, Ahab and Mississippi Mud Pie, aka Missy, Lavvy’s sister and Pav’s auntie, standing in front of the cottage—with Pav indoors making even more noise than that nasty little Jack Russell—and all six of us went off and deserted her ~~~. . . and went back to the church to see if our nice vicar was still there and he was and we got OUR VERY OWN PERSONAL BLESSING, which was particularly pleasing because I’m sure that nasty little terrier had blocked the first one from getting as far as the hellhounds and me.=
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^ I’ve been to church—three different churches in fact—three times in the last twenty-four hours. I’m such a wild thing.
^^ This is in the Scriptures somewhere. I’m sure it is. Give me a minute.
^^^ Yes, you’re right, it’s been way too long since my last book rec.
# Our last thing at night ritual needs work. At the moment I’m sitting on the floor on spare dog bedding to protect my seatbones from Increasing Weight of Hellterror, next to the hellhound crate so that Chaos can be a part of whatever the deal is. Darkness is delighted to be upstairs alone in the hellhound bed in my office but Chaos is pretty much attached at the hip. My hip that is.+ After about an hour of this arrangement I can’t get up.
+ He will do anything for me but eat.
## With random geysering. Sigh.
### They’re not just Neanderthal, they’re Neanderthal beta.
~ I remind myself that not that long ago mobiles hadn’t been invented yet. True. But in the first place you laid your plans more carefully in advance and in the second place when things went wrong nobody blamed you for not sending them a TEXT.
~~ No, no Pav. I decided that more dogs than I had hands was not going to be a good idea on this occasion. I was right.
~~~ It’s okay, we came back and took the three bullies up to Third House’s garden for a RAMPAGE and if the gods are kind+ we may have a Hellterror Rioting video later in the week.
+ And/or God the Parent tells them to behave
= It was the monks last night, and then of course I went to St Margaret’s tonight, where Maxine had had her observation night with the Street Pastors and it was WAY TOO EXCITING and I’ve changed my mind, I think my way into holiness and Christian community is knitting kneeler cushion covers. . . .