So there’s this major yarn and stuff to do with it, stuff to do it with and accessories like buttons and ribbons show that is not so far from here I can’t toy with the idea of going to it . . . especially if Fiona was driving.
But this is now the second year that Fiona has declined to go on the flimsy grounds that she had to WORK that weekend.* And I was feeling obstinate and cantankerous. And I happened to mention that there was going to be a fabulous yarn show with lots of STUFF to Nina, who said, oh, that sounds like fun. I’ll come.
Now Nina, once you bash past her British self-deprecation, is good at kind of a lot of stuff; she plays the violin, she cooks, she gardens, she sews, she embroiders, she does long-distance bicycling, and her end of the charity she works for runs very well. But I didn’t know she knitted.
I used to, she said. But a friend has started me crocheting, and I’ve been thinking about picking up knitting again. What I need is a project to inspire me.
So we arranged to meet at the venue, which is one of these Ancient Buildings Repurposed, and half the experience is about going the wrong way through the wrong end of the wrong aggregation of corridors and small crooked well-raftered rooms, and seeing the proud civic collection of sealing-wax stamps and the sepia photos of Prince Edward at the opening of the new railroad in 1887, but failing to find what you were looking for.
Which was a lot like my experience of getting there at all.
There was actual sunlight [sic] that morning [sic] and I set off in a hopeful and positive manner/deeply guilty that I wasn’t staying home and working in the garden**, and about the first third of the way is pretty familiar and the last two-thirds used to be pretty familiar before age, decrepitude and ME set in. I had my Google map print-out taped to the dashboard and just before the stoplight where I was going to have to turn off the modern roads, built for fast-moving fossil-fuel-propelled vehicles, and into the frelling medieval frelling maze . . . they changed the road layout. AAAAAAAAAUGH.***
So I made one of those hasty decisions, the way you do at fifty miles an hour with lorries the size of WWII blockhouses bearing down on you, and shot off toward the centre of town a lot sooner than I meant to and I was now in the wrong end of town† without a clue how to get to the right end. Whimper.
I think I saw the small town-centre Sainsburys six times as the one-way system kept chewing me up and spitting me out and I kept stubbornly turning around and coming back for more pinballing, ka-chung, ka-chung! There was ONE sign for the dratblasted yarn show with one of those ambiguous directional arrows that could have meant anything including finding a flagpole to climb and looking around from the top of it; and one overhead banner stretched from one side of the (narrow medieval) street to the other proclaiming the existence of the yarn show but failing to say anything about where to find it. Some of the surrounding melee was, in fact, on my Google map, but Google does not feel the need to include any street names but the ones immediately relevant to your journey. Haven’t these people ever driven anywhere?†† Have they no sense of the clue, the hint, the landmark, the burning need for the adjacent street sign?†††
By the time I got to a car park somewhere near the centre of town, feeling that if I couldn’t find the yarn show I could at least go to Sainsburys and bury my sorrows in chocolate, which said car park would actually let me in rather than telling me that the apparent gate-like aperture with a clear view of parked cars beyond it was nothing of the kind and I had to enter by another gate-like aperture that a car could not, in fact, approach on account of the cemented-in bollards in the way . . . the car park was full of cars driven by people who had sacrificed virgin black goats to the appropriate gods earlier in the day.
But—! There was a brief lapse in the forces of anarchy and bedlam! THERE WAS A PARKING SPACE!!!! I hurtled into it, had only just bought my ticket and displayed it prominently on the dashboard‡ and was beginning to worry about where, exactly, Ancient Building Repurposed was in relation to Car Park that Will Let Cars In, when Pooka started barking at me‡‡. I knew it was Nina: I was thirty-five minutes late. I’m sorry, I said . . . No, no, said Nina, I’ve only just got here myself; I misread the bus schedule and. . . .
TO BE CONTINUED.
* * *
* She says she’s blocking out that weekend in her diary for next year NOW.^
^ Like all you Americans—at least all you east coast Americans, and there’d better be a few schlepping in from at least the Midwest and the southeast or I’ll feel underappreciated—are blocking out 13-15 February for Boskone next year. There will be a certain irony if Fiona has to go alone next year because I’m in Boston.
** The hellpack would also have preferred this latter option
*** I didn’t even have Fiona’s satnav to abuse.
† I would start seeing sepia photos of Prince Edward at any moment
†† No they were born with a silver computer in their mouths and the only time they venture outside is to go jogging, well wired up to their iPods and wearing dark glasses, or to pick up Chinese food/pizza when the delivery Vespa is broken.
††† Or the not so adjacent. At one point I found myself passing the hospital, which meant that I had gone from the wrong end of town to the right end of town but hadn’t noticed, and instead barrelled on through and out the other side and was now approaching . . . Wales.
‡ Ever had your Pay and Display ticket blow off the dash in the backdraft (presumably) of you closing the car door and be found several hours later in the footwell upon your return? I have. I am very happy to say that the Parking Enforcement Officer didn’t come to my end of the garage that day. Either that, or PEOs are specially trained to see through the dark of footwells to the honestly obtained ticket that may be lying there.
‡‡ Er. New Blog Reader Alert: my iPhone’s name is Pooka, and her default ring tone is a barking dog.
The expert bozos and the news-dispensing people are already saying that even if it stops raining we’re going to have excess-of-water troubles, including some increased flooding, for the next few weeks and possibly the next few months, because of saturation and groundwater levels and so on. And it hasn’t stopped raining. It rained yesterday. It rained today. It’s raining now.
According to the five-day it’s going to rain every day this week. It’s (maybe) going to rain less on Wednesday . . . but it’s still going to rain. ‘Sometimes heavy. Sometimes with thunder.’ Sometimes with three hellcritters linking arms/legs and bracing themselves against whatever is available* and thus preventing the hellgoddess from dragging any of them outdoors for a hurtle.**
It’s been sucky recently for other meteorologically inaugurated reasons. I didn’t make it to silent prayer Wednesday afternoon because the ME and the weather linked arms/legs and prevented me from dragging myself out the door and going anywhere.*** I cancelled going Street Pastoring on Friday, as I told you at the time. †
Saturday . . . I got to the monks’ a little early because I’d been worrying about water on the roads—one of the intersections not far from them is on the official list of closed roads, and I wouldn’t have said it was the lowest patch of country in the area—and then sailed (so to speak) through with minimal splashing. I noticed the monks were blacked out (also so to speak) more than usual—the abbey is often really dark when I turn up for Saturday night prayer†† but there’s usually a light shining somewhere. No light. As I walked down the path to the chapel the security light failed to come on. Power cut, I thought, but I kept going. They’re monks. Monks have been doing this for almost two thousand years. They’ve been doing it without electricity for most of that time. I assumed they’d break out the candles and get on with it. Maybe some of them would have blankets too, in the circumstances.
The door was locked. Nooooooo. Robin bursts into tears. It’s been a crummy week.
I’ve emailed Alfrick, but I have no idea when, or if, he’ll get it. I assume what’s happened is that they did have a power cut, but that they have no back-up for things like heat and cooking—they live on a frayed shoestring, so while I might have expected oil lamps, a camping stove and a substantial log pile for the fireplace(s), I’m not at all surprised at the lack of a generator—and most of them are, you know, old.††† The average temperature of their chapel is challenging enough. So I further assume they’ve evacuated themselves to somewhere that the central heating still works.‡ Or maybe I should say that has central heating. I just hope they don’t decide they like it and refuse to come back.
And then last night . . . I was going to go to church. I have three services I go to pretty faithfully every week, and I’d already missed two of them, due to circumstances beyond my control. I really had to get to church Sunday night because otherwise I’d’ve had no official public worship all week and would instantly become a heathen. And it shouldn’t be a problem; there was nothing too exciting going on with the weather. I mean, sure, it was raining, but the Pope is Catholic, isn’t he?
I need to leave at about 6:45 so at about 5:30 I stood up—from laptop on kitchen table at the mews—to perform evening hurtles.
And the lights went out.
We hung around, the way you do, waiting for them to come on again. I shut down and unplugged the laptop. Eventually Peter went off to have a nap and I took the first critter-shift out. It was only Peter’s end of town; I had power at the cottage. But the cottage is (still) full of stuff from Third House and my steep, narrow twisty stairs are not ideal for someone who had a stroke a few months ago and whose right leg still doesn’t work too well. Hellhounds and I hurtled back down to the mews, where the lights were still out. I took the second critter shift for her hurtle.
We returned. The lights were still out.
I didn’t go to church. We found a pub that (a) had power and (b) served dinner on a Sunday night. I dropped Peter off while I schlepped hellcritters, hellcritter dinner, laptop etc back to the cottage. I was very glad to see the glass of champagne Peter had ordered for me when I finally got back to the pub. And the food was really good: add that pub to our list for future reference. So I may be a heathen but I’m a well-fed heathen.
And Pav is definitely coming off heat. Yaaaaaaay.
* * *
* This is really easy at the cottage. Finding one’s way through is the hard one.
** I’m not cleaning any litterboxes.^ You’re going out. I admit that I’m a little disheartened that Pav the Thunderer, Pav the Riotous, dislikes rain as much as the hellhounds.
^ Cats are small. Maintaining litterboxes for a hundred and fifteen pounds of critter(s)? NO THANK YOU. Aside from where I would put this yacht+.
+ I seem to be preoccupied with watery things. I wonder why.
*** Also the village next door was under water and the way around is not only longer, it involves the kind of fast ‘A’ road I try to avoid when the ME is whacking me.
† The weather was plenty dire enough for me to be glad to be staying home, but not as dire as it might have been so I was enabled to feel horribly guilty for not going. But there was enough wind from an unfriendly direction that my eaves at the cottage started doing their banshee imitation, whereupon Darkness shot out of the hellhound crate and cowered trembling by the front door. Arrrrrrgh.
†† One of the minor pleasures of driving in in the dark is that while they’ve got a big official VISITORS WELCOME sign out by the road, there’s another small sign that just says WELCOME as you trundle down the little drive to the (unlit) car park—it’s like ‘just in case you thought we didn’t really mean it’—but if you’re coming in after dark your headlights pick it up and it’s like a smile from a friend.
††† Alfrick is nearly as old as I am.
‡ Have I mentioned that my central heating at the cottage crapped out about three weeks ago? Feh. But while my hateful bank is hanging onto my brought-over-from-America money for Bank Reasons that for some reason the government and judicial system let them get away with I can’t afford to hire someone to mend it. Fortunately I have an Aga, it’s a small house, and the weather is only really fierce in terms of precipifrellingtation, not temperature.^
^ Although being helped to dress by a hellterror, as I shiver by the Aga, is not ideal.
Pav is still in full bloody streaming heat and I want to run away from home. Except I can’t because Darkness is trying to starve himself to death and my severely chapped hands* and I are the only thing(s) between him and the ultimate whatever.** At that we’re not doing a great job. He’s lost so much weight that he disappears behind his final pair of ribs: there’s just spine and a tail. Chaos is eating badly*** but he does occasionally eat a few mouthfuls that I haven’t had to pry his jaws open and stab down his throat. A few. He’s also pretty awesomely ribby—but Darkness is worse. I have the radio turned up REALLY LOUD which goes a little way toward drowning out the incessant moaning. I do frelling separate them for some hours during the day, usually taking the hellhounds back to the cottage and leaving Pav at the mews. This doesn’t work as well as you might think. There is less moaning, but it doesn’t stop altogether, and there is a lot of pacing and anguish. She’ll be kidnapped by aliens, their agonised looks declare. She’ll run off with a mongrel.† And I feel like a bigamist, trying to satisfy two families. And failing, of course.
I usually have a voice lesson on Mondays. Ordinarily both voice lessons or the prospect of a voice lesson cheers me up but I feel that this week is a good week for Nadia not to have been teaching. In the discouraging annals of Things That Squash My Voice Down Flat the present circumstances rank rather high. Peter and I decided to have an excursion, this Monday afternoon without a voice lesson, but since neither of us is feeling exactly lively and enthusiastic†† we kept thinking smaller and smaller and . . . smaller. . . .
We went to the library. Or what used to be the big regional library and is now the Random Media Centre full of random media.††† And a few books. ‡ And a rather nice café.‡‡ So we hit the cheezy SF&F section first and then I took a detour to the knitting shelf ‡‡‡ on our way to the café. And then we sat and read like a couple of old married folks out on an excursion.§
Of course then I had to go home to the hellpack. . . .
* * *
* My hands now smell permanently of dog food no matter how much I wash them^. This is kind of off-putting when you’re eating chocolate.
^ Ow. Yes, I’ve thought of one-use gloves. But force-feeding is a delicate operation and even latex gloves are clumsy. I suppose if I thought I was going to be doing this the rest of my life I’d learn to use the gloves. But I’m not going to be doing this the rest of my life. Pav is going to come out of season any minute. And hellhounds will revert to being ordinarily crappy eaters rather than pathologically crappy eaters. SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH.
** Yes. Critters go to heaven too. I say so.^
^ Although some of them may have quite a lot of repenting to do first.
*** But then Chaos never eats well. He’s secretly convinced that he could live on air, if only I’d let him try it out properly.
† I don’t know if this is because Aroma of Bitch in Season hangs heavy on the air, despite frequent changes of hellterror bedding and mopping of crate and kitchen floor, or whether they’re just, you know, not stupid. I have frequently noticed that dogs are not stupid at just the times when you wish they were.
†† Also there are these, you know, floods. They do get in the way. The uni campus on the outskirts of Zigguraton is impressively under water.
††† And men with beards. HUGE beards. Long thick massive losing-small-animals-your-iPhone-and-the-tickets-to-tonight’s-concert-in type beards. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many gigantic beards in a smallish area before—and they weren’t with each other for the Southern England Beard Festival either. So what is it about beards and random media? Not all geeks have face hair and only one of these guys really looked geeky.
‡ Snarl. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. Us book people are proportionately less likely to hang out at libraries the fewer books the new random media centres contain. But libraries are morphed into random media centres because fewer people seem to be reading books—in hard copy anyway, she adds hastily. Also . . . how many of us Book People suffer from Too High a Percentage of Disposable Income Is Spent on Books-itis, plus Life Is Short and the TBR Pile is Tall? Although in my case what eventually killed off most of my go-to-the-library instinct is that the centralised Hampshire library computer system stank and I got tired of wasting my time.
‡‡ Not only did they have acceptable weedwash—I mean herb tea—THEY HAD SOMETHING I COULD EAT. ^
In case you’re wondering.
‡‡‡ The knitting half a dozen beat up old books quarter-shelf, speaking of snarl. Knitting is popular and fashionable, you not-paying-attention random media people. BUY MORE KNITTING BOOKS.
§ Okay, now here’s the philosophical debate. I brought two of the knitting books home with me. They’re both out of print. One of them only has two patterns I’m interested in; the other one has several, plus some useful-looking general how-to-design-your-own-version stuff. Neither of these books appears on ravelry, and while the author of the book that appeals to me more has a lot of individual patterns from other books available for individual purchase, I don’t see any from this book. I’ve wasted some time on google looking either for a used copy or for non-ravelry knitting sites where this author might also hang out. Nada.
Now I’m a little touchy about copyright, since I myself earn my living thereby^—you can also insert a terse rant here on the subject of secondhand book sales kicking back nothing to living authors^^, so looking for a secondhand copy of the book I liked is just a kind of twitch, rather than any courtesy to the author. But these books are OP and I’ve made a genuine attempt to find the patterns I’m interested in for sale somewhere. Do I now brashly make photocopies? Or not? And if I do am I a bad person? And if I don’t . . . why don’t I? Presumably it’s legal, moral and non-fattening to knit something from a pattern from a library book? Does it remain legal and moral as well as non-fattening only so long as you are doing it directly from the book?
I imagine the answer is that I don’t make copies, because the rights still belong to the author and there’s always a chance she’ll resell them somewhere—or hang them on ravelry or similar. There’s also that feeling that instructions to make something are somehow different in kind to, say, fiction, but that’s probably illusory. Creative rights are still creative rights.^^^
^ And so long as society still uses money, piracy is bad and evil and just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free or that you’re not making some creator of something’s life unfairly harder and punching them in the morale they need to maintain to go on creating stuff you want.
^^ Paperback exchange and ‘reading copies’ for a few dollars/pounds, no blame, no harm. But the signed first editions that go for a lot of money? That’s stealing. Full stop.
^^^ Please note that I write the blog last thing anyway and at the moment I’m even more chronically short of sleep than usual. But it does seem to me that on-line knitting sites, chiefly ravelry but there are others, are a game-changer about knitting patterns. Maybe I write to the author(s) on ravelry and ask her/them if any of these patterns are going to be reissued in a new book or possibly hung on ravelry?
THE FRELLING FRELLING FRELLING HELLTERROR IS IN SEASON. IN JANUARY.* WHAT THE. THE. THE. . . . FRELL. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I assumed, fool and inexperienced entire-bitch owner that I am, that when she missed out the autumn I was, in the first place, safe till spring, and in the second place, possibly going to be lucky and she’d be a one-annual-heat bitch. I’m very strongly of the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it philosophy, and aside from questions of whether or not I’m going to try to breed her** if she doesn’t make the hellhounds crazy she will probably keep her bits. If she doesn’t make me crazy. Which is presently being reassessed.
We have here the Incredible Hulk-ette. I swear she’s bigger (and greener) than she was last week. There’s noticeably more noise*** including her seeing off a much-wider-than-usual selection of invisible monsters in her crate—and her telling everyone in Hampshire, when we go for our hurtles, that she is not interested, that her swollen rear end has a mind of its own and she does not share its manifest desire for immediate copulation and to keep your distance, whoever you are. I believe this is the stage described as ‘will not stand for the dog’.
Honeybun, I have no intention of letting you stand for any dogs, now or next week. The hellhounds, at present, are saying, oh, gah, this again, and putting their heads under the blanket. But it’s still early days. Waaaaaaaaaaah. . . .
* * *
* That is, in the northern hemisphere. It’s probably a perfectly good month to get your livestock preggers in the south.
** Which I am putting off absolutely for at least another year.
*** It’s always welcome to have your resident goblin barking her head off when the neighbours have the poor judgement to be holding their conversation under your kitchen window. Especially at, oh, 8 a.m. or so. At the moment hormonal sensitivity seems to be extending her aversive range to the entire length of the cul de sac which is not short enough. Plus her hearing is much too acute. If a beetle farts in the hedgerow I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.^
^ Wildlife. Feh. Did I tell you that the local Pet Shop Proprietors say that birdseed take up is bad all over Hampshire? So it’s not just me. I did eventually get Birdseed Feeder #2, now so clean it hurts,+ put back together again, despite the manufacturers’ best efforts against, my success mainly due to a misspent youth playing those horrible hand-held tilt games where you’re trying to get the coloured ball to fall through the right coloured hole. I performed this feat of dexterity with the frelling microscopic screws that hold the base on and whose sub-microscopic holes are unattainable by super-microscopic human fingers. I got the nasty little frellers out with a miniature screwdriver whose business end is about the size of a hummingbird’s tongue, but getting them in again? Through the squirrel-repelling hard wire cage? Whose base is a crosspiece perfectly sited to prevent you getting a finger through (let alone two, since you probably need two fingers to HOLD a microscopic screw)? AND THE BIRDS CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO EAT MY BIRDSEED? Fine. You guys all need to fly to Tahiti next winter. I’m sure I can create a few tall thin planters out of these ex-birdfeeders.
The fat balls are disappearing at a rate however. I hope it’s my penguin-sized robin (who is too robust to get through the squirrel cage wire) who is consuming these.++
Further in wildlife news: We haven’t seen the frelling churchyard hedgehog in a while +++ but a few nights ago hellhounds and I came around the corner onto the main street again and . . . saw a fox loping lazily away ahead of us. I think foxes are dangerous vermin and while this town, plonked down in farmland as it is, is doubtless swarming with foxes in the vicinity I prefer to avoid close encounters. Therefore imagine the adrenaline spike when we’d rounded that same corner two nights later and . . . there’s a break in the terrace row of little old houses where the let’s-make-it-obvious-we’re-fabulously-wealthy owners of the big house on the corner have installed ye Gate of Gates at the back~ thus creating a niche. Hellhounds’ heads came up and they careened round the wall into the niche before I, it’s very late even by my standards and my reflexes are not too good right now anyway, hit the brakes on their leads and apocalypse by the sound of it ensued. I thought it was the fox, and that the vet bills were going to be really expensive. I had done my hellgoddess in a panic trick and thrown myself against the ends of their now-fully-extended leads and began dragging them away from whatever was happening, like fishermen winching waterlogged nets up onto the shore where they can get at them. I was amazed that, as hellhounds emerged, backwards and mostly on their hind legs, no one seemed to be bleeding.
Nothing else emerged. I waited a couple of seconds, got hellhounds on very short lead—the kind of very short lead I can hold them on—and we walked past the niche.
And there was Phineas’ marmalade ex-hellkitten, sitting at the very back of the niche against the closed Gate and his tail curled around his feet, looking utterly unbothered. Cats are masters of the Happened? Did anything happen? No, I didn’t notice anything happen, nonchalance, but I assume my winching had taken effect at an opportune juncture. Although I would have sworn there was more noise than two hellhounds, even two excited hellhounds, could have made. Speaking of noise.
+ And therefore badly out of the cottage décor.
++ One of the items B_Twin brought from Australia are . . . wait for it . . . peppermint chocolate frogs. I’m sitting here eating peppermint chocolate frogs. I want you to know I find it very disturbing to bite the heads off frogs, even chocolate ones.#
# No of course I’m not going to eat them tail first. I want them to die a swift, clean death.
+++ I hope it’s just hibernating and hasn’t drowned. The sky pitched it down again yesterday and we’re back to standing water in all directions.
~ With the glittering high-tech dashboard set into the wall which keeps going wrong so the Gate of Gates often stands helplessly open and any riffraff could wander in. Hee hee hee hee hee.
At least I had previously confirmed with our tower captain that this was going to be the only open door on the way out too so I didn’t instantly rush away to check all the other doors—it’s a big close and there might always be another frelling door down another twisty frelling medieval alley. . . . I may have done a little un-Street-Pastor like snarling. I turned back toward the tower thinking that there were a number of other people who were going to be wanting to get out of the close one way or another and maybe the bishop could bless a door open or maybe we could have The Miracle of the Falling Down Wall* or something.
As I circled back toward the door that was supposed to be open** I saw one of our more volatile senior ringers approaching the shut door. Under other circumstances what was about to happen might have been amusing, but I like the idea of ringing and SPing on New Year’s Eve, and the SP admin are not going to let me do it if I disappear into the bell tower and am never seen again.
And at this point Mr Cock of the Walk materialised, striding around the corner in rooster-coloured day-glo waterproofs. He had the look of a man with a key to a large Saxon-echt door and I, who sometimes knows when to keep a grip, addressed him humbly. Yes, he says, taking up the entire pavement with his swinging I Am the Man gait***, I’m going to open the door.
And now our volatile senior ringer catches sight of him.
. . . Okay, it was pretty funny. Fortunately Mr Man did still open the gate.
And my team were happy to see me again and said they’d listened to the bells and thought of me ringing.†
And, as New Year’s Eves go, it was pretty mellow. Except for the not getting home till nearly 5 a.m. part.
But I hope I’ll do it again. If they let me.††
* * *
PETER UPDATE: We had our appointment with Dr Goodpotions yesterday and HE TOOK PETER OFF THREE DRUGS.††† YAAAAAAAAY. I don’t generally go with Peter to his GP—why would I—only when there’s something extreme going on, you know? When I’m probably feeling a trifle extreme myself. Whereupon I have to remember to be calm and understated‡ because Dr Goodpotions is VERY BRITISH. VERY VERY BRITISH. VERY. I’m an American. I don’t know how to be that British. I don’t have the right glands. I’m missing a crucial blood component. It’s taking me YEARS to learn how not to frighten/repel Dr Goodpotions into not talking to me.
It worked pretty well yesterday though, the attempt at calm and understated. What I wanted to hear was that Dr G had any idea what all these drugs were beyond what it said on the packet—um, I tried not to say it quite like this—and he said that they were all common and familiar and had been around in heavy use for years and their little idiosyncrasies were pretty well documented and not to worry, and furthermore that the particular nasty interaction that had freaked me out was old news and had been discredited. Oh. I’d still rather have the internet available to find out scary things on that may be untrue, but I admit I wasn’t instantly ready to view Medscape through my DISTRUST filter, shiny with use elsewhere on the webz as it is.
And then today Peter and I went to Mauncester for the first time since he fell ill. It was going to be an adventure, and would include how well his stamina is holding up. But I had been late picking him up at the mews and was busy blithering and rescheduling the rest of the day, and we divided up the errands as if everything was normal and I shot off in my designated direction and got about halfway to my first stop and suddenly thought I’ve just cut loose an eighty-six-year-old man who had a stroke less than three weeks ago alone in a large noisy confusing city MCKINLEY HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? Well. Yes. Frequently.
He was fine. I nearly had a nervous breakdown before I found him again.
And on the way home Peter said, you know, it’s the 3rd. Yes, I said, we’ve been thinking about going out to dinner.‡‡ No, he said, I mean it’s the real 3rd, the 3rd of January, the actual wedding-anniversary 3rd.
I’d forgotten.‡‡‡ How embarrassing is that.
So we had to go out to dinner.
Yes. There was champagne.§
* * *
* Theodora and I would have been happy to let them have our falling-down wall experience from last winter, if we’d only known.^ We could have told the Falling Down Wall fairy that its services were going to be vital the coming New Year’s Eve at an abbey close not far away and it should conserve its resources.
^ Despite the loss of photo-blog posts. I would be willing to cede these.
** It was also raining. Just by the way. Heavily.^ I was bad and wicked and put my coat back on.^^
^ This footnote got left behind last night. If you look closely you will observe that the ‡ footnote is missing. Well, this is it.
^^ I also dropped my gloves in another puddle. The wages of sin. Sigh.
*** You can sure see where the term ‘wide boy’ could have come from.
† Also, nobody laughed. God is kind.
††I’ll remember the large black plastic trash bag to cover up my logos next year. Or maybe I could knit a very large Navy blue shawl.
††† He’s still on quite a few. But three fewer.
‡‡ New readers or those with better things to remember: Our two important dates are the 26th of July^ and the 3rd of January. The rest of the year, if we want a random celebration, we tend to choose either a 26th or a 3rd.
^ We’d met before. But this was The Meeting.
‡‡‡ I told you I lose my mind frequently.
§ And we’re both shattered.