* * *
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 didn’t sleep very well last night because I’m not breathing very well. I was just moaning to a friend that this is the drawback to prescribing for yourself: this isn’t the first time I’ve dodged the flu bullet with homeopathy only to go down instead with a garden-variety head cold which replaces my brains with wet cotton wool and renders me incapable of prescribing myself out of that. Homeopathy isn’t magic, more’s the pity, although it acts like it sometimes, and if a germ really has your name on it you’ll probably get it regardless. But homeopathy can alleviate the symptoms and get you through the freller sooner and at a less severe level of yuck. But only if someone who doesn’t have soggy cotton wool for brains is available to prescribe for you.
I did manage to hear the alarm and was even out of my dressing gown and into structural daytime clothing by the time Atlas arrived, looking like the John Deere with chains big enough to raise Tower Bridge’s drawbridge, here to haul me out of the mire.
So . . . my old refrigerator died a while ago. Hey, it’s winter, the shelf outside the kitchen window will do for now*, most of the cooking and fresh-food storage happens at the mews, and I have a little cash flow problem. But the kitchen-window shelf routine gets old, and my frelling publisher has to pay me some day, so I went on line and looked for a refrigerator. And the one with five stars and customer reviews so fulsome as to be nearly erotic and an eco-friendly green rating so high they include a free naiad with every purchase, was on sale. So I ordered one.
We will pass over the whole dorking-around-for-delivery debacle as this is not the centre of this story. Suffice that it arrived. Let it settle three or four hours before you turn it on, said the delivery person, thus establishing it in my mind that it was supposed to turn on. Perhaps I should have been more suspicious at the speed with which the delivery person and his partner fled out the door.**
As recorded last night, I savaged it out of its box myself, managed to figure out which end was up, and started peeling the astonishingly thick, ugly, logo-emblazoned and adherent inner packaging off the thing, beginning with the gouge out of the back, to check that it hadn’t been damaged in transit. The problem was that said thick, ugly logo-emblazoned and adherent inner packaging did not, indeed, wish to be peeled.
At this point I got a little hysterical and rang Atlas.
Who today confirmed the awful truth: that this cardboard, tin-foil and spray-on plastic gunk are actually part of the refrigerator. They are not meant to be peeled off. They are meant to be covered over. You’re supposed to trot down to your kitchen appliance accessory warehouse and choose panels to complement your décor. It’s supposed to slide under your counter to be a part of your integrated unit display.
I had another look at the description on the web site. There is a photo which is clearly not of the refrigerator sitting in my kitchen: the one in the photo is too tall and too thin. It’s also got a white enamel front, and the text does tell you that your refrigerator will not have white enamel frontage, that if that’s what you want you have to buy it separately. Oh, frell this, I said/thought: it’s a door, right? It’s going to be covered with kitchen magnets anyway. I don’t care. The box is still green, five stars, and on sale.
Nowhere does the web site description say that the rest of the refrigerator is going to be covered in spray-on plastic gunk and topped up with logo-emblazoned, tin-foil-backed cardboard—and apparently missing various other small civilised niceties—like Arnie by the end of THE TERMINATOR—because no one is ever going to see them. Or see them not being there. Nor is there any hint that ‘under counter’ refrigerators have moved on from twenty years ago, from small self-contained objects complete in themselves which could also slide under a counter to form an integrated unit display.
The thing is a good brand and I bought it from a good store. I’m reasonably sure that if I had a meltdown they’d take it away and refund my money and I could start over. I don’t want to. Life is short—and my new refrigerator is still green, five stars, on sale and comes with an excellent warranty. I’m going to finish ripping off the ghastly logo surface, Atlas is going to make me a nice wooden top for it, and I’m going to investigate contact paper. With roses on it.***
* * *
* And burglars peering through the barbed wire stretched across The Hole and wondering if it’s worth climbing through may see the little row of glass jars and think, Crumbs! They haven’t even got a refrigerator! Let’s go somewhere else!
** At least they didn’t demand a Health and Safety release form about lifting the thing over the puppy gate. I was preparing to say that Atlas and I, both of us over sixty and I’m a girl, had managed to lift the old one out, but I didn’t have to.
*** All the drama—I’ll have to catch you up on The Wall some other evening—meant that I was late meeting Tabitha and Joy for a cup of chamomile tea and a CHOCOLATE biscuit. I went roaring down to the mews in Wolfgang because Joy lives near the mews and I could leave the hellcritters with Peter and . . . there was a large delivery van parked for maximum inconvenience in front of the final archway into the mews courtyard. First I couldn’t find the beggar and when I did he looked at me vaguely and said, oh, I’ll just be a minute. They carefully screen delivery-person applicants for strong passive-aggressive tendencies, right? There was one awfully nice delivery man we knew from the old house and he’s still around and still delivering, but for another company. The big famous one must have fired him for not being passive-aggressive enough.
I’ve had my head down over SHADOWS all day and Have No Brain Left. Final editorial corrections always go like this. The manuscript comes in and I sit there staring at it, hoping maybe it’ll go away or be perfect or something. Manuscripts used to come back from your editor in hard-copy pages with little yellow sticky notes frilling the edges, which was at least a large clearly hairy object, deserving of fear and dismay. It’s harder to have the right sense of mystic dread in response to a computer file. Still, once you open it and start flipping through, looking for virtual yellow stickies in the margins, the dread gland starts secreting its sinister serum. Arrrgh.
So first I do a quick read-through and reassure myself that it’s all doable. Of course it is. My editor does not want me to add twin zebras and a jewel thief. The book is basically fine, that’s FIIIIIIINE and my editor’s queries are thoughtful and valid. I answer a few immediately and feel better. Briefly. Then I start going through the manuscript properly . . .
. . . Somewhere around here I decide that I can’t frelling cope with doing it all on the computer screen, and print the sucker out.** There. Now I have the proper Large Hairy Object, Deserving of Fear and Dismay. And my editor’s notes come up red which is suitably alarming.
But it’s still all doable. Yes. Certainly. Not a problem. So after the first more or less soothing*** read through I go through again more slowly and soberly, pausing thoughtfully over each marginal note, grasping its essence and contemplating my sane, astute, attentive response. This time I also answer all the easy queries. These answers take up a respectable amount of space in a new file† which gives me a spurious sense of being ahead of the game. And then I go through yet again, deciding yay or nay on the slightly complex queries, the more subtle and abstruse ones . . . first read through I hadn’t realised there were any abstruse ones. . . . Which is more or less where it all starts going horribly wrong. The queries aren’t as straightforward as I thought, as I made myself think during the Soothing Read Through. And some of the easy ones . . . maybe aren’t so easy after all. Maybe I should think a little more about some of those easy queries. Maybe I should reconsider the twin zebras. Meanwhile I’m closing in on the genuinely tricky queries, the ones I knew from the beginning were going to cause trouble and require actual work to sort out. The ones that my editor had written me in advance about, which warning I had read with one eye closed thinking yes, yes, I’ll worry about that when the whole manuscript arrives and I can look at it in its entirety. . . .
By the fourth read through the world is disintegrating, both this one containing noisy hellterror puppies and a lot less Green & Black’s dark chocolate with peppermint centres than it did a week ago, and that one containing manic border collies named Mongo and a lot less hot chocolate than it did before the story the book tells began, hot chocolate being the default response to stressful situations in Maggie’s family, and I’m reading the want ads for openings for bricklayers and taxi drivers.
Oh, and corrections are due on the 10th.
* * *
* And Black Riders. Maybe it’s Black Riders I have infesting my computers and my internet connection.
** I hate flipping back and forth in a large document on the computer. I start a new KES every ten episodes or so to keep the flip factor under control.
*** YES. SOOTHING. SOOOOOOOTHING. YOU WILL BE SOOTHED, OKAY?
† Figure out how to answer marginal queries IN THE MARGINS? Are you frelling joking? I can barely open a new file, let alone ditz around with fancy text insertion. I admit that Windows 7 is not quite the galactic-trashing monster I was expecting, and there are a few things I positively like about it, but the fact that it takes twenty-seven clicks and the intervention of a minor saint just to open a new dangleblatted document is not popular with me.
I had a computer archangel here for MOST OF THE DAY and I HOPE that some of the more egregious nonsense has been despatched to Computer Gremlin Purgatory where it can either repent or, after a decent interval in which to realign its wiring to holiness and humility, be sent on to headquarters and fry. Love that smell of burning hardware. I seem to have my email addressbook back WHICH WOULD BE NICE. Possibly email will now revert to, you know, sending and receiving. The best thing however, supposing it has been genuinely exorcised, is the SELF ZOOM feature on this laptop, which is where I (theoretically) do the most work, although it’s been getting harder and harder* as my screen ratchets around like . . . a hucklebutting hellterror.
But the presence of an archangel does tend to throw the lower orders into disarray. This would include me and dependent hellcritters. The pattern of the day was perhaps set when I stepped in dog crap not only in the churchyard but ON THE MAIN PATH THROUGH the churchyard. What is the MATTER with people?!? Every time a little old lady glares at me, out with one of my shifts of hellcritters (and I never am out without a hellcritter or two), I cringe. It’s not me lady! I PICK UP!
. . . Anyway. I was in the churchyard with the puppy at the time, juggling lead and Pooka while I texted Raphael asking for ETA since he could not possibly have got past us on our way there: Already here, he texted back, laconically. Pavlova can move surprisingly fast on those little short legs and we hucklebutted back in unison.**
But by the time he left I was dazed*** with . . . failing to understand anything he told me.† And I had three pairs of beady little eyes all wanting to go out. Now. In fact, a couple of hours ago. The problem is that the hellhounds always go out first. I put the hellterror out for a pee so she’ll last till it’s her turn, but in terms of actual hurtles, the hellhounds have precedence. But Pav was already showing signs of dismantling her crate and I couldn’t entirely blame her, while hellhounds will go back to sleep more or less indefinitely. I’ve mentioned that it’s WINTER, right? It’s FREEZING out there. There is ICE on the ground†† and your seventeen-year-old car needs to run about fifteen minutes to get the needle off COLD. I casually tucked Pav under my arm, nonchalantly picked up her lead on our way to the door, and left in my house slippers and ONE light cashmere pullover††† and no hat, no gloves, no coat . . . while the hellhounds watched suspiciously but were clearly appeased by the lack of any sign of a Real Hurtle, ie, shoes, gloves, coat, hellhound harnesses. . . .
I lasted our shortest ten-minute round and had to bite my tongue not to scream COME ON every time she stopped for a sniff. But it worked. Pav had her second mini-hurtle, hellhounds were positively friendly when we got back, and rioted with Pavlova while I shivered into my proper gear, locked her up, and prepared to go out for a real hurtle.
Oh, and I’ve written this entire blog AND THERE WAS NO ZOOMING.
* * *
* Meanwhile Astarte the iPad has connectivity issues. Neither Raphael nor I have much idea how much of them is the weird, I mean unique, I mean weird, way connectivity is set up (apparently) on the iPad (I think Raphael made an attempt to explain this to me but I started wailing and rending my garments really soon and he didn’t get very far) and how much is the ongoing and apparently permanent fact that all the wiring on the cottage’s cul de sac is made of cheap string and chewing gum, and broadband cough cough cough sits on this unstable framework uneasily, like a dowager on a shooting stick.^ Have I mentioned recently that the local MPs and the town and county councils keep announcing high speed broadband for this area? They’re still announcing it. I don’t know if ‘high speed broadband for this area’ includes rewiring cul de sacs that are presently making do with cheap string and chewing gum.
But this means that when I am having a Bad Night, as it might be last night, and I decide I might as well turn the light back on, grab Astarte and do some work, if said work includes emails or the blog, I probably can’t because The Server Is Not Available.^^
Fortunately there is reading, hard copy or e-. And knitting.^^^
^ Depends on your dowager, of course.
^^ Yes I take Astarte to bed with me.+ And no I am not going to get up and go sit at a desk. If I did that I’d never get any sleep at all. Also, in the WINTER? There are three good location choices during the winter at the cottage: in front of the Aga. On the sofa covered with hellhounds.++ And in bed+++. You will note that ‘sitting at my desk’ does not appear in this list.
+ Hands up people with iPads who take them to bed.
++ The only occasions the hellterror joins us at present is when she’s being Suppressed. We will, eventually, all four fit on the sofa at the mews. I’m not sure this can be done on the littler sofa at the cottage. I may have to ask Atlas to build an extension.
+++ Possibly with supplementary hellhounds. I know hellterrors have a remarkable line in pogosticking but I’m not sure my tall bed is ever going to be an option. At a little over seventeen pounds Pav is still quite haul-aroundable especially because she’s used to it and has always dangled well# but I will start losing ground here shortly. I’ve said before that I can carry Chaos at a pound or two under forty but Darkness at a pound or two over is a struggle. I’m hoping for a delicate svelte hellterror like Auntie Missy. A nice little square short-legged thirty-five pounds I could probably carry around in brief bursts indefinitely so long as she remains agreeable.
# I have mixed feelings about her supporting her own weight by standing on my hip or my leather belt: this also gives her rocket-launch capabilities.
^^^ One of my favourite yarn and knitting sites is as bad as the blog.+ Arrrrgh. If this is supposed to be a money-saving add-on it needs to be attached to my other favourite knitting sites as well.
+ My own blog doesn’t love me. How unfair is that.
** I’m not as good at it. It requires four legs and attitude. More to the point she was happy to gallop out in front and not linger to get under my feet, pull my shoelaces and hang off my jeans hems—going HOOOOOOOOME where there is FOOOOOOOOOOD. Usually I’m proceeding much too slowly for her. Lead manners. We are attempting to install lead manners.^
^ What do you mean, walk? FOOOOOOOOOOOOD.
*** I spent a good hour clearing off and scrubbing down the deep windowsill over the sink, and repotting most of the plants that live there undisturbed for months and months barring watering and the occasional jolt of food. Mostly I neglect my houseplants because . . . I neglect my houseplants, but as I was doing an unusually good job of tying up a repotted begonia^ I was thinking that the other reason I tend to ignore the teeming and seriously untidy jungle that are all the windowsills at the cottage is that houseplants are marginal at best—plants don’t actually like living indoors—and that while pruning and feeding outdoors usually results in a gratifying burst of growth, pruning and feeding indoors is usually the sign to die.
^ Whose name is Buffy. No, really. Buffy and Peardrop tend to be sold together so unfortunately I think it refers to the colour.
† Where is that wax tablet? I bet my iPad stylus would work on it just fine.
†† ::Checks the location of her Yaktrax::
††† Although there were two cotton turtlenecks under it. And the longjohns. And the two pairs of socks.
In theory I was going to ring eight times in seven days, between last Saturday’s wedding and this Friday’s handbells* and then spend this Saturday taking deeeeeeeep breaths in preparation FOR THE ARRIVAL OF PUPPY ON SUNDAY. I imagine that most activities will be a trifle curtailed for a while, while Pavlova whips us into shape.** But then Fustian went and cancelled last night’s Slow Stupid People tower practise . . . which I didn’t find out about till I had slowly and stupidly come home again and found a message on my answerphone. Sigh. Fortunately there is knitting. I had my knitting with me*** and I had a nice little break, sitting in Wolfgang, listening to the radio, and knitting. I didn’t really need to drive forty-five minutes to spend half an hour in Wolfgang listening to the radio and knitting, but . . .
Sunday was ridiculous. There were twelve of us at the abbey, which is very good for Sunday afternoon . . . and four ringers at the Crabbiton harvest festival at evensong. I had tottered through my Grandsire Triples and then watched in a kind of despairing awe as most of the rest of them rang Grandsire caters, which is ten bells.† Three hours and several cups of tea later†† and with thoughts of the Saturday wedding I nerved myself for the worst and . . . there was the priest and the attendant priest and a brace of deacons and the flower-arranging lady and the four of us ringers and††† . . .
Felicity said through gritted teeth that every village in a ten-mile radius was also having a harvest festival and she had tried suggest that some of them combine forces but no, no, everyone should have their own. Felicity is a bit ferocious. We were there to ring the harvest festival and we rang pretty much for forty-five minutes straight. We rang call changes, and we rang full-pull plain hunt‡, and we rang bob minimus, and then we started over. It was a very well rung harvest festival, and I’m sure all those other towerless churches in a ten-mile radius were very glad to have us.
And tonight, despite being very short of sleep,‡‡ it wasn’t too bad at abbey tower practise. I rang another plain course of Stedman triples and Scary Man said afterward, that was a nice uneventful course. Which means I didn’t screw up. This is high praise from Scary Man.
* * *
* Who knows, I might even go to New Arcadia tower practise and bring my average back up. But I doubt it.
** Possibly a large round shape like a layer of meringue, baked to melt-in-mouth^ perfection and then THICKLY LAMINATED WITH CHOCOLATE.^^
^ I do not approve of meringues with sticky middles.
^^ Or similar. http://cheezburger.com/6546949888 Hee hee hee hee hee. Thank you, b_twin+
+ AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE. A mouse just ran across the kitchen floor. I do not like field mice indoors.# Do not.## Peter, roused from his post-prandial snooze on the sofa, staggered toward the kitchen under the impression that I was being trampled underfoot by a wild buffalo stampede###, and was a trifle underwhelmed when I told him it was a mouse. He produced a mouse-trap with a flourish . . . baited with chocolate. I viewed the chocolate suspiciously. No, no, he said, it’s really old. But the Rat Man said that mice like chocolate better than cheese. —What is this, mammalian solidarity? I wonder if anyone has done a study on chocolate to cheese preferences in mouse society as a whole as opposed to specifically menopausal mice.
Fortunately the hellhounds slept through all this.~ In a space the size of this kitchen the advantage is the mouse’s and I don’t want to watch Darkness trying to two-dimensionalise himself so he can squeeze between the freezer and the cupboard. I will put down the trap on our way out tonight. We do not need any more small furry creatures that scuttle unpredictably underfoot~~ than the one arriving on Sunday.
# Where’s an extra-gigantic house spider when you could really use him/her?
## You know about the urine slick, right? That mice leave wherever they go? Ewwwwww. Keep your cutting boards upright and scrub those counters.
### No, wait, this is England. Wild boar, then.
~ They’re used to me screaming. At my computer, say.
~~ And pee inappropriately
*** I am making a TOTAL mess of the second sleeve of First Cardi. WOOL IS STRETCHY. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE. Besides, my arms aren’t perfect replicas of each other, why should my sleeves be?
† It gets worse. Then they rang Stedman caters. WHY AM I BOTHERING. I should just learn to crochet^ and get it over with.
^ Then I can bungle crocheted sleeves too.
†† You can kind of tell where I am in a book by how many cups of tea, let’s say per hour, I am drinking. The later, the more. By now, and especially when the latest hopeless plan was to have SHADOWS’ trimming and tweaking DONE by Saturday evening just in time to have my life destroyed for the foreseeable future by a PUPPY, it’s . . . pretty extreme.^ But I might have made it if I weren’t trying to learn to use a NEW COMPUTER^^ WITH A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM. Fate hates me. Okay, I knew this.^^^
^ No, I don’t really wonder why I sleep so badly.
^^ In the really, really stupid design category: the gragglebatting keyboard is this sort of marcasite effect in what if it were this autumn’s must-have little cropped jacket would be called mink, and the lettering is white. I can’t frelling read it. So while I’ve been QWERTYing for fifty-one years+ where all the little dingleblargs are varies++ as well as every frelling laptop having its own unique approach to crucial basic commands like ‘page up’ and ‘delete’.
+ Yes really
++ And my ability to remember has taken a body blow by the fact of Astarte’s add-on keyboard having an American layout for all the stuff that isn’t letters and numbers. I’m used to double quote marks being above the 2.
^^^ In a previous life I could ring Double Panjandrum Cornucopia Maximus and she never got past Grandsire Triples. She swore revenge. And then she’s the one got the promotion this time while I got sent back as a storyteller.
††† But I went to the abbey evensong on Monday again and there were more priests than there were parishioners. And when I came out the door there wasn’t even a plate. I said to the nearest supernumerary priest, isn’t there a retiring collection? And he looked totally nonplussed and said er, no.
I’m not surprised the Church of England is losing money.
‡You don’t really want to know, do you?
‡‡ Because I had to get up this morning and let Raphael in. He’s excised one or two of the New Beast’s annoying habits but there are lots and lots left. He also took Faithful but Doolally Old Laptop away with him. When I rang Gabriel later to consult about an insufficiently excised annoying habit, he was hoovering out the insides of Old and opined that once the strata of hardened corn-thin crumbs have been stripped off it might work again. The New Beast, in theory, has a sealed keyboard so this can’t happen.^ Hey. I eat at my computer. My computer(s) have to deal. But this is where Faithful Old is promoted to be the composing computer, and I haven’t got enough hands to play two keyboards and eat corn thins so it should be okay.
^ Although I expect this is something like the unoverturnable dog food bowl.