YAAAAAAAH. I got to bed at . . . a little short of 7 am Friday night/Saturday morning.* The rest of the weekend is a bit of a blur. I’ve kind of lost track of when daylight happens, it is so easy to mislay this time of year.** Meanwhile I’ve been playing phone tag with my removal man about getting the big stuff from Third House that Atlas and I can’t shift in his trailer up to the storage warehouse place; I missed Mr Removal Man on Friday and assumed that was it till Monday, but I got a phone message from him today that I picked up on my way out the door to go to church, arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh . . . phoned him as requested when I got home again*** AND HE WANTS TO COME TOMORROW AFTERNOON. I HAVE A FRELLING VOICE LESSON MONDAY AFTERNOON. EXCEPT TOMORROW I’M HAVING IT EARLY. VERY EARLY.† AND THEN I HAVE TO COME HOME AND DEAL WITH REMOVAL MEN?††
I need to sing††† and then go to bed. Fast.
* * *
* It was a slightly odd night out on the street.^ I would have put it down to the fact that it was only my second official night and I still don’t have a clue, but several of the others on the team, including Fearless Leader, mentioned it, that there was a restless unease in the (cold) air that was unusual. I was home by four a.m. but the adrenaline aftermath was bad; the only two at all really tricky incidents were near the end of our watch, and I was actually engaged in one of them—yeeeeeeeep—and came out of it having done the right thing but jangling. And . . . it’s going to take me a while to get used to seeing real live very drunk and/or drugged up people doing the kinds of things real live very drunk and/or drugged up people do, both the hostile and the happy, and also the mere absolutely absolutely legless. It happens on TV. It doesn’t happen, you know, here. Oh yes it does.
^ Although my HEATED WAISTCOAT worked brilliantly, I only turned it on after the break. Ah yes, the break, during which the weather apparently yanks the rug out from under the temperature which, obviously, plunges dramatically, like a keystone kop engaging with a banana skin. So when you come outside again, full of hot tea and a warm glow of self-satisfaction+, it’s like walking into the Yukon in January. I noticed this last time. I think we must snap a trip wire or something and the ice gods all leap to their feet and shout NOW!, and then bang their icicles of office together in solidarity before dashing out to do their worst.
Anyway. I didn’t turn my waistcoat on till after the break when I figured I’d need it worse and it did brilliantly. Except that it was so brilliant that I had it turned up only a third of the way . . . and it was dead in three hours. It’s supposed to last up to six hours depending on how high you set it, and it only lasted for three at one third power?? I may ask the seller a polite question.
I have a set of neoprene toe-socks—they only cover the front half of your foot, which is clever, because your feet don’t sweat that way—that were sent to me by a very nice person++ and I decided to use them Friday night. Another couple of degrees in the wrong direction and I’m changing over to the heated socks, but they worked a treat this time—while I was moving, tramping those mean streets and trying to look like I had the faintest idea what I was doing.+++ What’s interesting is that they don’t work a FILBERT sitting still in the monks’ chapel.++++ Next Saturday night prayer with the monks: heated socks.
+ I’m doing WHAT? And it’s WHAT time of night/morning?
++ You Know Who You Are
+++ Although I’ve now heard my more experienced colleagues answer that—er—diabolical question, Street Pastors? What are you?, often enough that I’m beginning to stop hyperventilating about what I’ll say# the first time someone asks me this in a way I can’t hastily pass on to one of said more experienced colleagues. One of our first training lectures had us trying to come up with an answer and . . . none of us covered ourselves with glory.
I haven’t entirely stopped hyperventilating. But I’m hyperventilating less. But there is also the first time I’m going to have to PRAY ALOUD to worry about. Noooooooooooooo. Usually you can give prayer requests to the Prayer Pastors back at base, it’s what they’re for. But occasionally someone you’ve been talking to asks you to pray for/with them, right there. Right now. Eeeeeep. I’m still in the early hyperventilating stage about praying out loud. I tell myself that I don’t radiate the kind of centredness and authority that would inspire anyone to ask me to pray over them. Reasons Not to Acquire Authority. I wouldn’t mind a little centredness though.
++++ The monks’ chapel is sooooooo cooooooold. By the time I’ve sat there an hour, muffled up in my heavy winter kit and a blanket, in contemplation,# when the abbot finally does his rapping thing and we’re all supposed to climb to our feet . . . I can’t. Although trying to find my way out of my excellent, steadfast blanket does not assist this awkward process.
# Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, I’m so cold, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, I’m so cold. . . .
** Three weeks till the shortest day and then we start climbing back OUT of this pit.
*** And note that Peter is away till tomorrow afternoon so I’m having to do things like steam my own broccoli and cut up my own carrots.^
^ And Pav’s. Very fond of a nice carrot, is Pav.
† Way too frelling early. Just by the way. For someone who doesn’t expect to speak in complete sentences till after noon. Let alone frelling Italian complete sentences. The things one does just because one’s voice teacher is now a slave to the school schedule.
†† Hellcritters aren’t going to like it either. Hellhounds, who are in the 90 mile an hour couch potato category after all, are somewhat placated by Rides in the Car with the Hellgoddess but Pav eventually gets bored with yet another kong and wants to climb the walls and practise her trapeze artist routines for a while.
††† I’ve been having a fabulous time with the [Song of the] Nightclub Proprietress this week. Who is at least in English. For better or worse.
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!*
. . . I went bell ringing.
It does amuse me that there were eight native-British Fustian ringers who would rather ring bells than watch any of the gazillion firework parties laid on by every two-dog village in the entire country. New Arcadia has a good one every year—viewable from either Peter’s spare bedroom window or my attic**—and if I’m not doing anything else I will give a cursory glance out of the appropriate window at the end of the show when they throw everything they’ve got left into the sky at once.*** But it’s not important. Bell ringing is important.
I’d spent too much time today rushing around†; Penelope rang up out of the blue this morning, suggesting we get together for a cup of tea†† and since I hadn’t exactly got out of bed early that kind of was the morning and the rest of the day has been an up the down escalator experience. The hellterror has had the semi-squirts††† so that cancelled the training visit to the vet’s waiting room since I don’t want to stuff a dodgy tummy with treats. But that is somewhat counterintuitively a further drain on time because she’s not the slightest fussed by lower intestinal irregularities and still needs hurtling: ten intense minutes doing sit-down-stand-paw-otherpaw are worth at least twenty merely barrelling through the hedgerows.
Having no sense, and also because it was a beautiful day I wanted the excuse to go for a country hurtle, I pursued another fruitless scheme. The Undesirable Repercussions of Running Out of Money, subparagraph seven: by renting your second house with the bigger garden, you no longer have anywhere all three of your hellcritters can riot properly, including room for Darkness to run away. I think it was Southdowner who suggested a riding school‡; so I went out to see Jenny. Remember Jenny, you long-time readers? Who has a yard‡‡ in Ditherington? Who let me ride her fabulous Connie? Before the ME got so erratic (again) that I had to stop. I know I could go back just to hang out and hug a few horses and even though I miss horses more than I miss riding . . . it’s still really too discouraging. So I don’t go.
Well, the riding school/ hellcritter thing isn’t going to work; the footing’s all wrong and the door doesn’t close properly against something the size of a hellterror. The space doesn’t have to be critter proof because even the hellterror has a not-bad recall and they’ll only be there, supposing we ever find a there for them to be, with me in full supervisory mode. But the fencing has to be recognisable as fencing from a hellcritter perspective. And none of Jenny’s fencing is. Rats. But I did get to meet a few of the current yard residents. . . . Siiiiiiiigh.
But we had a lovely hurtle.
And I came home and sang. Mozart is necessary: see previous entry.
I was too tired to go bell-ringing. But what was I going to do, stay home and watch the fireworks? I went. I think I am going to learn to ring Cambridge before it kills me but I admit I’m not sure. And Fustian’s tower secretary came up to me at the end and said that I was invited to the tower Christmas dinner, that he’d send me the info, and did I want to bring my husband?
Whimper. This is really very nice of them; it’s generally only worthwhile regular non-member visitors who are invited to the Christmas dinner, and I’m only taking advantage of their twice a month extra practise for the [extra] stupid. But I wasn’t even planning to go to Forza’s dinner—and a whole evening of being sociable? Two whole evenings if I go to both?‡‡‡ And that eating in public thing? Whimper.
I’m sure it’ll be good for my character. Both dinners. Maybe I’ll just bring some carrots§ in a bag.
* * *
* For any Americans out there who think that the 4th of July is the only legitimate day for fireworks: http://www.potw.org/archive/potw405.html
** If Third House’s future tenants want fireworks, they’ll have to buy a ticket and go.
*** But I’ve never seen a dragon. Let alone one that rips overhead like an express train and bursts over Old Eden. Okay, is anyone else bothered by the express-train-like firework dragon in the first chapter of THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING? I remember noticing it for the first time on my approximately 1008th reading when I was probably about twelve. Shock horror. I’m totally unpersuaded by the theory that this is an aside to the modern reader; personally I think Tolkien screwed up. But he was a notorious control freak—could he possibly have missed it? Can he, his family, friends and other readers and his publisher have missed it? Alternatively, can a meticulous Anglo-Saxon scholar have deliberately stuck a plonking great anachronism in his own story-telling?^ I don’t like either answer.
^ There are at least a couple of others, I think, but my memory is doing its vague and mushy thing again. If they all concern the hobbits, then there is reasonable support for the theory of hobbit society as a satire on English society sharp enough to contain a few anachronisms successfully. I think I remember that the Shire has umbrellas and pocket-watches. But they’re smaller and less obtrusive. Express trains are large and noisy.
† I should be packing boxes at Third House. Don’ wanna. Sigh.
†† What wins, a cup of tea with a friend or packing boxes? Guess.
††† My life with hellcritters. Well, at least it was only semi.
‡ I can no longer keep my Yank/Brit jargon straight. I think I mean riding ring in American. The place, probably with a fence around it, where you do your training/schooling.
‡‡‡ Peter would only go if I put him in chains and hired a forklift. There are some advantages to being 86: you can just say ‘I’m/he’s 86’ and everyone gives you lots of lovely slack.
§ Yes, I eat carrots. Whinny.
BUT FIRST, BEFORE I FORGET: YO, YOU AMERICANS, PETER’S DEATH OF A UNICORN IS A NOOK DAILY SPECIAL [or something like that] FOR TODAY ONLY. ORDER AT ONCE OR BE ETERNALLY DAMNED BY THE HELLGODDESS TO A FUTURE OF THE LIBRARY HAVING JUST LOANED THE BOOK YOU WANTED FIVE MINUTES BEFORE YOU GOT THERE/ THE BOOKSHOP JUST SOLD THE LAST COPY OF THE BOOK DITTO** http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-of-a-unicorn-peter-dickinson/1000971256?ean=9781618730411
* * *
. . . In fact a ratbag sucking pukefest of a day. It’s probably just as well that poor Nadia is suffering what is probably her first school-soup*** experience† and cancelled everyone’s voice lessons today; I would have had trouble driving that far or standing up for an hour. Thank you so much unnamed off-the-planet ex-colleague; I’m pretty sure there’s a germ involved in my present circumstances of feeling like six kinds of death† but as I whined to Merrilee it’s getting stomped with extreme prejudice by Ms Off the Planet that’s brought the ME back in full gruesome force.
There are at least certain advantages to two middle-aged hellhounds and a hellterror. The hellhounds will forgive me less exuberant hurtling in exchange for extra time on the sofa, and the hellterror will, in her manic, perpetual-motion way, do a fair bit toward keeping herself amused so long as I have enough physical and moral strength to scrape her off the ceiling and drag her out of the hellhounds’ bed occasionally. No, make that often. She liiiiiiiiiiiiiiives to torture the hellhounds. When she’s loose they lie in their bed staring at me reproachfully/ balefully/ accusingly. Darkness tries to hug the shadows and keep a low profile—with less than satisfactory results—Chaos emerges occasionally to pretend to not play with her and also, especially at the cottage where the hellhound crate is around the kitchen-island from where I usually sit, to get a better angle on his hellgoddess glare. I can ignore hellhounds quite successfully if I have my head down over computer/iPad, until—usually just after I’ve registered that it’s been too silent for the last twenty seconds or so—there is a GIGANTIC ERUPTION from the hellhound crate and I am obliged to go enforce some slippery and unstable semblance of order.
It was a beautiful day today—I would have liked to get some gardening done†††, but minimal hurtling was as much as I was capable of. The extra sofa time was performed with dispatch however. I read THE TALE OF GENJI in the original . . . er. Actually I played one of these computer-Boggle-with-minor-variations games on Astarte. There are several of them and the one I like best‡ has an assortment of background screen colours . . . all of them way too frelling dark. What’s the deal? What’s wrong with a WHITE choice?‡‡ Playing this idiot game gives me eyestrain.
I’m going to bed early. And I’m not taking Astarte with me.‡‡‡
* * *
* When you turn the title of the post into a live shortcut, if you’ve used exactly the same title before there’s a little number that appears at the end of the live-shortcut title telling you how unoriginal you are. I’m expecting this one to be Not a Good Day 1,000,000 ^
^ It has been such a bad day I’m sitting here staring into space and considering putting ‘Not a Good Day’ in the title-space in a new-post window, and hanging it publicly long enough to get a live shortcut off it to see what my number is. And then delete the freller.
I think I’ll just let it be a surprise.+
+ The ‘*’ may make it original however. Unless I’ve done that before too.
** Except mine, of course. I need the sales.^
^ I know—I think I know—that libraries that loan ebooks are strictly controlled about copies and number of times let out. What about e-shops? Can they always just press a button and sell another copy of a book in their ‘warehouse’? Until their contract or whatever it is runs to an end?
*** That is school germ/virus miasma: the kids all bring their individual runny noses and coughs and stir them around in the halls, classrooms and playgrounds and soon there is a fug no mere mortal can withstand. Several generations of Dickinsons call it school soup.
† Stella started school this term
- Bubonic plague
- Terminal Crankiness
- Mad Hedgehog Disease
- Colour Out of Space-itis
- The Shock of Discovering that the World As I Knew It Is Ending: Green & Black’s is ceasing production of their mint chocolate which is the rock on which my life is founded.^ This is SERIOUS. I could go into a DECLINE. Yes, G&B makes some very pleasant other kinds of chocolate, and I do eat them occasionally, in a casual and condescending way. BUT it’s the mint that is the nonpareil, the paragon.^^ You need to worry about this. If I decline too fast and too dramatically I might not get PEG III finished. I might lose heart, pack it all in and become a piano tuner.^^^
^ Yes, yes, I know, God and all that. God and mint fondant dark chocolate.
^^ And may I just say that I abominate and abhor that cheezy workaround that some chocolatiers employ, of adding a few drops of peppermint oil to their basic chocolate and calling it mint chocolate. That is like calling Canada Dry Ginger Ale Veuve Cliquot Champagne. It is not. They both have something to do with mint flavouring/fizzy liquid. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.
^^^ I have told you that the end of PEG II is arguably worse than the end of PEG?
††† My winter pansies are all sitting around tapping the tips of their leaves and going, Well? Well?
‡ Despite an EXTRAORDINARILY whimsical list of acceptable words.
‡‡ Or pale pink, of course.
‡‡‡ Oh yes I am. She’s not all evil eye-bashing time-wasters. Aloysius sent me a fascinating, if mostly rather beyond me, pdf book on a sort of arc of Bible interpretation and I’m going, Really? Really?, a lot. I think Aloysius finds me fun to watch. The problem with this late-conversion thing is trying to integrate it into the basic fact that I have almost sixty-one years of experience as a human being. Remember I said 12 September last year that everything changes? Everything? Yeah. And it takes more than thirteen months to catch up.
I have told you about the weirdness of being (effectively) paid once a year.* One of the tangential weirdnesses is that a lump sum year’s salary tends to make the lower level local managers at your bank sit up and get glinty about the eyes. They may even call you in for a discussion. We have a new branch manager at Debt, Deprivation and Piranhas Ltd here in New Arcadia and she got glinty on me. I don’t know what I can have been thinking. I let her make an appointment to talk to me about handling my money rather than just dividing it up into job lots and handing it over to the city council, the national tax floggers and flayers, a range of leaking utility companies, and the makers of gold-standard dog food, retaining a few broken scraps for books, voice lessons and maybe the odd rose bush.
Where I really went off the deep end was letting her talk me into changing my basic daily-use account over to one that offered .000000009% interest rather than only .0000000001%. This might conceivably be worth a new pink harness for Pav at the end of the year. Maybe.
I’ve once changed accounts before for similar reasons, but last time it was the background account where the money lived and was dispensed in curmudgeonly driblets to the account I could write cheques on—and the bank was closing down the old style accounts, so they were motivated to make sure everyone’s funds moved in an orderly manner.
This is not what happened this time. The end of last week I discovered cheques bouncing all over the landscape like turbo-charged kangaroos, and my credit card companies were eagerly offering to attach my house(s) as collateral for paying off my dog food debt. ARRRRRRGH.
I hate money. I just want it to be there, you know? I hate investments, I’ve never read the stock market report in my life, I have nil interest in shopping around for the best rates on car, house, critter and gizmo insurance—I’m not a complete fool, I do read up on this rubbish going in, but I’m not going to dork around with it every year and decide that I’m going to experiment with insuring Doohickey A with a Doohickey A specialist or whatever. And the thing in this case is that the money is there, the bank has just turned the tap off without turning the other frelling tap on. I even got a letter from the triple-blasted blithering bank saying, Do you know that there isn’t enough money in this account to pay x, y and z, which, by the way, are baying for your blood and we’ve given them your street address, a recent photo and the number plate of your car because we’re helpful that way?
That was the end of last week, and I had a wedding. Now the only reason I’m still at Debt, Deprivation and Piranhas** is because the people at the local branch actually make eye contact and do what you ask them to, even if they may have the occasional over-eager manager. So I went into our local office and moved some money back into the old account to buy me some time while I tried to convince all my creditors, especially the ones who were already coming after me with knuckledusters and morningstars, that all they had to do was change a few account numbers.
I WAS ON THE PHONE FOR OVER TWO HOURS THIS MORNING. AND I’M NOT FINISHED. I had one or two pretty straightforward exchanges—for example, as I have noticed before, the local city council seems unusually well furnished with people with brains and a good working knowledge of their jobs—and I totally lucked into the woman I talked to at my major utility company. One or two of the others I think went through okay—I’ll know soon enough. Ugggh. Really the worst of it all is the Pounding Headache of Frustration and Fury and the Throbbing Stomachache of Loathing and Horror. Money, and large bozo corporate entities, wind me up even when everything is more or less behaving itself.
I have two credit cards. They hate me because I pay back to zero every month—which is the only way to do it when money gives you hives and your yearly income is somewhat less stable than a stooping peregrine—and so while I’m sure they’re all over anyone who screws up I always feel that they’re all over me with particular malice because I’m not making them any money. One of them, I think, is now transferred, and has reluctantly started pulling the pins out of the wax doll.***
The other one . . . first you get the chirpy robot voice which wants to talk to you except it doesn’t pick up my accent, and none of its suggestions are what I want to talk to A HUMAN BEING about.† When you finally fight your way through to stage two . . . we’re very sorry, but we are experiencing a very busy period, and all our customer representatives are taking time to ensure that every client receives the best possible assistance and . . . it’ll be at least TWENTY MINUTES before we get to you. FEEL FREE to stay on the line WHILE WE SERENADE YOU WITH UNBELIEVABLY LOUD AND EVEN MORE UNBELIEVABLY AWFUL AURAL SWILL PRETENDING TO BE MUSIC.
I hung up. I rang someone else. I have my new bank account number frelling memorised. I rang Credit Card Diabolus in Musica again. I jumped through the same hoops with the same robot voice†† and . . . the queue was down to fifteen minutes. I rang someone else. I rattled off my new bank account number. I rang Credit Card Diabolus for the third time.
The queue was back up to twenty minutes. Oh, and in today’s post was a letter from them describing in drooling detail what they’re going to do to me when they catch me.
But I had to tear myself away from this fascinating saga of fiscal responsibility, I not only have a voice lesson on Monday afternoon, I had a moderately crucial stop to make on the way. I had at least to hurtle and feed hellcritters. I thought if I ate lunch I’d probably throw up.
I SPENT FIFTY MINUTES STUCK IN TRAFFIC WHEN THE M1302 FELL OFF THE FACE OF THE PLANET AND ALL THOSE CARS HAD TO GO SOMEWHERE.
* * *
* And that’s in a good year, because I’m a slow writer. And yes, you hope for a few royalties, and maybe some sub rights, foreign sales or what have you, but the main chunk of change for someone like me is the advance for the new novel. Which is why I wish I produced new novels a little faster.
** Aside from the major nuisance value, which would include that Peter is a fatalist about banks and wouldn’t come with me.
*** I admit I didn’t ask them what they’re going to fine me for this little show of incompetence, only part of it mine. I can wait till next month’s bill comes. The forfeit will be all mine. Sigh.
† It doesn’t pick up JUST GIVE ME A HUMAN BEING either.
†† Which also fails to pick up INGEST HOT FAECAL MATTER AND EXPIRE, YOU SON^ OF A CRIPPLED HAMSTER
^ It’s a male robot voice.
This is not going to be my most organised blog post.
I had my first meeting with my new SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR today. Scary.
And, from the sublime to the ridiculous, I’ve just wasted over an hour wrestling with frelling frelling FRELLING Microsoft Outlook, which has (apparently) decided it’s not speaking to America. Eh, what do you want with those colonials? it says, shuffling its component crapware. —YOU’RE AN AMERICAN PROGRAMME, I reply. YOU’RE A CRUMMY AMERICAN PROGRAMME BUT YOU’RE AN AMERICAN PROGRAMME. PROGRAM. WHATEVER.
Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries, it responds. America is not on the menu today. Go away.*
ARRRRRRRRGH. I don’t even know how long it would have taken me to notice except that I was supposed to talk to Hannah tonight after I got home from my FIRST MEETING WITH MY NEW SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR. I’d hurtled a startlingly wide variety of hellcritters—the tireder I am, the more of them there are, I’ve noticed this often—and was creating critter dinner. Hannah emailed to check we were still on** and I emailed back that we were . . . and then it was fifteen minutes past when she should have rung and she hadn’t, so I emailed her again, and five minutes after that I received another email from her saying that evidently I wasn’t there*** and we’d have to reschedule . . . whereupon I frantically phoned her while discovering, phone tucked into my shoulder to leave my hands free, that my emails to her were still sitting in my outbox. With every other email to America I’ve written in the last twenty-four hours. ARRRRRRRRRRGH. And none of them will open so I could, perhaps, paste them in new windows or send them by GM-enhanced pigeon post or telepathy or something because Outlook won’t let me open them, claiming that it has ALREADY BEGUN SENDING THEM. In some cases twenty-three hours ago.
And here I thought it was trying to be a good day. The temperature has dropped enough for all of us to throw open all our windows and start as it were feverishly fanning since it’s supposed to get hot again almost immediately—and a little of that rain would be nice†—but at least the idea of putting on long trousers to go to my first meeting with my spiritual director didn’t make me cry.
So I’ve been at this Christianity lark for ten months now. The first eight months or so were all about the run up to Lent and Easter—Christmas is fine, Christmas is all jolly, except for the long shadow of events to come—Easter, I was worried about Easter. But I got through that and . . . gleep. It’s like looking up from picking your way down a very narrow stony path with a chasm on one side and dragons on the other and realising that it’s not just dragons and bottomless ravines but you’re lost in a universe-sized jungle AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU’RE GOING. Where does the narrow stony path go? Is that where you want to go? Is there a beautiful sunset and a cup of tea at the end of it or a larger dragon?
The monks have a little box tucked into a corner of one of their web site pages saying that they offer spiritual direction and to get in touch if you are interested. I read this to mean if you’re another monk or a monk-novice or a priest or a serious plugged-in type Christian but Aloysius said that no, they took ordinary clueless kittle-cattle as well.†† Oh. And he encouraged me to contact them—write to the abbot, he said.
I wrote—emailed—the abbot. And he emailed by return frelling electron saying that he was about to be gone for a fortnight but to contact the prior.
Ah. The prior. Yes. Hmm.
I’m afraid of the prior. When Aloysius took me to the abbey for the first time last autumn to prove that the monks were friendly and that the public was welcome, the prior was having a rant about some piece of the world that did not work properly. I listened to him and thought yes, totally, you’re right and . . . is there possibly a small dark hole I could crawl into before your fiery eye falls on me?
You can see where this is going, right? Ultimately the abbot decided that the correct spiritual director for me is . . . the prior.
I’ve been sort of terrifiedly looking forward to today. But he didn’t singe me or anything. I’m exhausted but . . . more than a little inspired. So I guess it is a good day. But Outlook is still a rabid rotting ratbag.
* * *
* Ithilien wrote
Give me SHADOWS and go away.
I didn’t say that! Although I could have thought it rather loudly…
Very loudly! Very, very loudly! Not that I MINDED! If you do it right your books are MUCH more interesting than you are!
For the record, SHADOWS is even more fabulous than all previous snippets led me to believe. Y’all should totally go and pre-order it now.
^ Note that she’s safely in Greenland. I can’t hold a gun to her head or anything.+
+ Although it may be true that I’m holding her grandmother’s opal and peacock feather brooch hostage. Never mind how I acquired it.
** Which is my opportunity to pull myself together and say, oh! Yes! Of course! as if I was expecting it. If I don’t talk to Hannah for more than a week I start feeling flimsy and as if I have pieces missing, but I am notorious even to myself for writing things dutifully in my diary and then forgetting to look at my diary.
*** Ie I hadn’t looked at my diary again
† Mrs Redboots
You either sleep very soundly or are in the wrong part of the UK! It was absolutely sheeting down in the middle of the night here in the Capital, quite literally a solid wall of water! And lots and lots of lovely thunder, and I think there was lightning, too – funny how it penetrates closed eyelids – but I was trying to go to sleep, having been rudely awakened by rain beating in on me so I had to sit up and close the windows.
We haven’t had a spot of rain. A speckle, a mote, an atom. Stop selfishly keeping it all up there in London.
† This may not have been his exact phrase.