I got to bed too late.* I had Raphael coming in the morning so I had to get out of bed before the middle of the afternoon.**
I had a list for Raphael. I always have a list.
There is apparently no way to turn OFF the wretched monster photos that have taken over everyone’s Twitter feed. I’ll click on the photos I want to see, you know? Stop frelling trying to make clawing my way through the last twenty-four hours even more of a ratbag.***
There is apparently no way to tell Windows 7 NO I FRELLING DO NOT WANT TO HANG AROUND ANOTHER TWENTY MINUTES WHILE YOU DO A FRELLING UPDATE, I WANT TO CLOSE DOWN, PUT MY LAPTOP IN MY KNAPSACK AND GO HOME. You could on XP. You could tell it, no, later, and it said, okay, you’re the boss, and shut down.
My email is a NIGHTMARE and there isn’t much Raphael can do about it.† The settings all sit there sniggering behind their half-eaten address books and whimsical spam filters saying, We’re all optimally configured! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
When I finally got the poor patient hellhounds out†† there was not one but two off lead dogs in the churchyard, being ignored by two different irresponsible humanoid-shaped ratbags. And the middle of town was jammed solid††† because Father Bloody Christmas had arrived and his grotto was open for business.
Maybe I’ll go to bed what passes for me as early with a good book or twelve. Maybe I’ll even sleep. That would make a change.
* * *
* Duuh. In this case partly because I had loaded up my FABULOUS NEW EFFECTIVELY-IF-NOT-LITERALLY WIRELESS PRINTER with second-side paper and ran off a lot of knitting patterns.^ And when I pulled them out, having enjoyed the sound of a printer printing—no pings, no dings, no mysterious stoppages, no flashing lights, no screaming. Just printing—I discovered that my new printer wants paper loaded with the already used side up. Rather than down. Oh. My last several printers have wanted one-sided paper loaded BLANK side UP.
There was screaming after all.
And of course I had to do it all over again right then. It couldn’t wait till morning^^. A dozen knitting patterns I may never get to at all and certainly not any time soon since I have . . . um . . . several projects on needles already. BUT I HAD TO PRINT THEM OFF LAST NIGHT. YES.
^ Can some clever knitter person tell me if I could knit these on circular needles rather than DPNs? http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/f163-cleckheaton-country-silk-fingerless-gloves
I don’t do circulars+ but I really REALLY don’t do DPNs. Just looking at them makes me think of deep puncture wounds and the TOTAL FAILURE I was at cat’s-cradle.
+ Have I told you this story? After I started my big plain square JUST KEEP KNITTING winter scarf out of mind-blowingly gorgeous wool and silk yarn on circulars, thinking that it would be easier to manage that way and in less danger of spilling off too-short needles—broomstick-length needles don’t fit in your knapsack, and they probably won’t let you on public transport or in the bell tower where you’re a hazard to the already somewhat risky flying ropes—AND INSTEAD the wretched rows jammed every time they had to come back off the cable again and onto the working needle tips. The needle tips also needed screwing back on every time I got the fabric shoved onto the cable again. AND THEN, ONE DAY, ONE OF THE NEEDLE TIPS UNSCREWED ANYWAY. MID ROW. KNITTING ALL OVER THE LANDSCAPE. There was screaming.
I gave up circulars forever that day.# Interchangeable ones anyway. I still have a few basic bamboo-and-plastic fixed ones that Fiona gave me early on, saying to me in soothing tones that I would like circulars once I’d tried them. HA. HA. I’m sure the Romans told the Christians that the lions they were about to throw them to were pussycats really. But I could try knitting a glove on fixed circulars. You only cast on forty stitches, instead of a hundred and forty.## And I’d quite like to try this seamless deal.
The interchangeables came as a Yaaay! You SUBSCRIBED!### bonus from a knitting magazine. Moral: don’t subscribe to knitting magazines.
# And yes, I lost the two and a half or so inches of knitting I’d managed to wrench out of those ratblasted needles. Which is when I found out that my beautiful yarn doesn’t rip back very well.
^^ Or, you know, afternoon.
** I sent him a text at umph-plus o’clock asking him if he could please Not Be Early. I hope he turns his phone off when he goes to bed. Although he has three little kids: he may never sleep at all. Nadia has only two little kids and she never sleeps at all.
*** On the other hand I asked Twitter if there was a programme that would let me have more than one Twitter account open simultaneously and lovely Twitter people answered and I am now the more or less proud owner of a copy of Tweetdeck, which is already massively to be preferred in all the ways I can figure out.
Speaking of the kindness of computer nerd strangers, has anyone reading this ever had their Word 7 randomly turn blocks of text into italic? IT DRIVES ME FRELLING BANANACAKES. ALSO CREAM PIES. AND SOME COCONUT ONES WHILE WE’RE AT IT. COCONUT IS RELIABLY BONKERS. Sometimes it won’t turn off again: you highlight it, click, and it judders sideways and back and . . . stays italic. Sometimes it turns normal again as soon as you highlight it. Sometimes this block goes normal and then you flick up a page and discover a different block of text has gone italic. You tend to need a biggish block of text to set off whatever this is: it doesn’t happen (yet) to individual blog entries, but it’s really REALLY bad with KES, which I keep in files of a dozen or so eps per, because single words of italic seem to set off the gremlin and there’s kind of a lot of italic in KES.^
Anyone else seen this? Raphael looks at me warily when I tell him about it since (of course) I’ve never managed to reproduce it for him.
^ For some reason.
† Except maybe help me look at real estate ads for houses in areas with better broadband.
†† They don’t want to use the courtyard any more, even if they’re DESPERATE. WE’RE NOT THAT DESPERATE, they say, crossing their legs harder. The courtyard now belongs to the hellterror.
And, speaking of things going wrong, Raphael showed up before she was finished with her breakfast kong. By the time she is finished, she, her bedding, the crate and the kong are METICULOUSLY FREE OF ANY SUBATOMIC PARTICLE OF FOOD. But it’s a little messy on the journey. I don’t like keeping her crated when there are Exciting Visitors, it doesn’t seem to me fair, so I got her out and clutched her frantically to my bosom as I let Raphael in and shooed him (and hellhounds) hastily upstairs. I didn’t quite need a bath by the time I shut her back up with the remains of her breakfast. Quite.
Hellterror has had a good day however. After poor Raphael finally left to go attend to some normal, corporate client, we all went out to Warm Upford to put petrol in Wolfgang, and had a sprint around an empty sheep field before we came home. Hellterror doesn’t get out to deep country all that often and she was ECSTATIC. And I have two dislocated shoulders. One from an ecstatic hellterror, and one from two hellhounds trying to elude the ecstatic hellterror.^
^ The next field over was not empty so I didn’t dare let them off lead to sort it out among themselves.
††† Mind you this is easy to do in a town this size
The dress with the extreme skirt is my favourite dress in the universe . . . the ninety-seven yards of skirt on my dress
Oh, pictures please? Pretty please! Even if it has moth holes, I’d still love to see your favorite dress, especially if it has ninety-seven yards of skirt!
I realise I should post photos of me in it and I’m sure there are some but the only one I can lay my hands on easily is a lot better of me than the dress.* Peter won’t touch my current camera because it has too many buttons** and I am not going to race upstairs and put the dress back on the next time a non-camera-phobic friend drops round. So this will have to do. It’s a very very fine wool—you’d need like .00001 needles if you were knitting it—and the bodice fits snugly and then the skirt drapes and swirls from the seam, including that fabulous deep V in the front, which is what really makes it. ALSO THE SLEEVES ARE LONG ENOUGH.
Because I am a silly person I’ve left it sitting on the sofa. It’s very like having a friend visiting, even if she can’t take a photo of herself. Although I’ll have to put her away soon because in this weather the indoor greenhouse’s need is greater.
. . . but you were so busy talking about the champagne that you forgot to tell us what you ate!
Not exactly forgot. One gets a trifle shuffly-footed about what one puts on a public blog: menus are like holiday photos, most people groan. I had chicken liver pate because I always have foie gras or chicken liver pate any time it’s on offer, cod with lentils, and petit pois with bacon. And a chocolate pudding. Peter had onion soup and swordfish—yes and red wine: the sommelier produced something that could cope—and wilted spinach, and then he sat there drinking coffee while I ate my pudding, although he helped me with the ice cream since I shouldn’t really eat any ice cream.
. . . And that was supposed to have a paragraph suggesting that accessorizing the Doc Martens with painted roses and rhinestones might make it perfect for the dress. DUH.
I totally understood that! No need to explain! And I’m sure ANY regular reader of this forum ALSO understood immediately! We’re a highly intuitive bunch!***
Diane in MN
I think it’s perfectly okay to be slow after a birthday celebration, especially one that included several glasses of champagne, which I find quite stealthy in producing its effects: a big red wine is up front about its alcohol content, but champagne seems so innocent until it isn’t. Hurtling hellhounds in heels must have had a few interesting moments.
Yes about champagne: it’s all jolly and effervescent and it slides down so easily,† it can’t possibly hurt you. Um. Oh, and heavens, I changed my shoes before I took critters out—!!!
* * *
* Yes, it is from quite a few years ago.
** He’s right about this.
*** Also we’re mostly girls. Girls make sideways leaps of topic, logic and network-iness with grace and aplomb. Well . . . maybe not always grace and aplomb. But we do it, and we think it’s normal.
† Especially when it’s very cold. That was the other problem about Peter’s free glass: you want to drink it while it’s still cold. I won’t say I chugged two glasses of champagne on a nearly empty stomach, but they did go down pretty briskly.^
^ It’s probably just as well I didn’t get Astarte out and try to type anything. Did I tell you we printed out, to have another look at, the beginning of GHOST WOLVES from . . . I forget, some restaurant celebration of yore.+ It foundered because we had no idea where we were going, and while Peter has written most of his books that way++ I tend to like to have some vague idea of what’s ahead, and this ridiculous attitude was holding up progress. And I know some people collaborate easily but Peter and I each suffer from Minds of Our Own.+++ However we’ve now got a workable plot-idea, so all we have to do is . . . go out to eat a lot++++ and the typist must not have champagne.
++ I would have sworn I’d told you the story that goes with the fabulous ending of Chapter One of YELLOW ROOM CONSPIRACY but I’m not finding it from ‘search’. Here is the fabulous ending of Chapter One of YRC:
The point is that this was the first Peter Dickinson book I read from the beginning of the beginning. I must have told you this story . . . oh, maybe it’s back on lj. Well, I’m not going there. But when Peter and I decided to get married, I was in the final edit of DEERSKIN and I really REALLY wanted to get it finished before I blew up my life, and my ability to concentrate, by frelling packing everything up and frelling moving to England. This ended up meaning that Peter lived in Blue Hill with me for about two months, and after he put up shelves and redesigned my garden# he needed something to do, so he borrowed my ancient manual portable typewriter and started YRC. After a bit he gave me the first chapter. I read it, gasped, and said, What happens next?
He replied: I haven’t the least idea.
# Garden cough cough garden. I didn’t start gardening till I moved over here and married a gardener.
+++ Yes, each of us has several minds of his/her own.
++++ Way too distracting, trying to do it over dinner at the mews. Place is full of critters. Also there’s a piano. And books, some of them unread.
* * *
PS: Yes, I know the caption is a misquote. But it’s a misquote that has entered the language, and the original doesn’t work (say I). And this ought to be a footnote, but I was already here in the WordPress admin window when I put the caption in, and I can’t face changing all the headings with WordPress having the screaming meemies, which it would.
The thing that amuses me is that that flowered paper on the far right appeared three times this birthday: people seem to think they know what I like. They would be right about this.
I was going to post birthday photos yesterday and then frelling Niall and his frelling handbells intervened. To put my tiny triumph into perspective, by the way, tonight at tower practise one of Forza’s good ringers was telling me excitedly that she’d rung her first full peal on twelve bells. In the tower, this is, so she was only ringing one bell, but she was standing up for three and a half hours to do it and it was some infernal surprise method—I don’t think anyone bothers to ring anything but Infernal Surprise on higher numbers of bells—so while I don’t think she rings handbells, and I did tell her about my quarter, it was still like telling someone who’s just earned a place in the Horse of the Year show that you won your walk-trot class at the local gymkhana.
Anyway. I wanted to get my NEW WATCH back from the jewellers before I posted photos: I needed about nineteen links taken out of the massive wristband* but I wanted the blog photo of it ON MY WRIST.
This is however slightly a lesson in ordering things on line. As soon as I discovered that pink gold [plate] and rhinestones were in in wristwatches I stopped looking at anything else. And as soon as I noticed this one had a day dial—I haven’t had a watch that told me the day of the week in decades, and I love having a watch that tells me what day it is: us stay at home free lancers can be seriously pathetic that way**—I knew this was the one. Also I love Roman numerals—Roman numerals and it tells me the day of the week?? And rhinestones? Be still my heart. I’ve never had anything half so fabulous.
And it is fabulous. It also weighs four ounces—a quarter of a frelling pound—and is nearly half an inch thick. I knew the face had to be big from the on line photo of everything that’s on it. I did not know wearing it would feel like having a pendant hellterror dangling from that wrist at all times, or that I couldn’t ring [tower] bells in it because it would hook the rope.*** I feel that someone somewhere along the design line absent-mindedly added a zero on the dimensions; and the giant-sized wristband is perfectly in keeping with the watch. It was originally made perhaps for the Brobdingnag market, where pink and rhinestones did not go over.
But it is definitely fabulous. And yes, those are rhinestones in the face as well as around the border: the border ones only look pink because they’re reflecting the pink gold.
You will now see me coming any time I have my sleeves pushed up.
Oh, and my favourite silly present from a friend:
In case I never find that blank needlework pillow I’m still covered. † This is one of the other things that arrived in that rose paper in the first photo. . . .††
* * *
* This was part of my running-around day yesterday. I also did thrilling things like buy vitamins. And puppy toys. There’s a very high rate of attrition in the puppy toy category.^
^ Ignorant, naïve people say to me, she’s not a puppy any more, she’s a year old! Hollow laughter. Whippets (and perforce whippet crosses) and bull terriers are apparently notorious for being slow maturers, but are there any dogs out there who are actually ADULT at a year old? I’ve never met one. I’m not planning to panic about the lifestyle of the adult bull terrier for at least another nine months.+
+ There is a fifteen-month-old puppy having a swell time with a bit of disintegrating sofa cover right now. She has however earned it: she long downed for AN HOUR with only occasional interventions. I can even get out of my chair to pour myself another cup of peppermint tea without her immediately bouncing to her feet to follow me.# Usually. ##
# Because any excuse will do.
## And having spent 90% of that hour stiff with outrage/misery/disbelief/despair, despite the comfy nest of towels at my feet and the fact that all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, if obliged by circumstance she is quite a good sleeper . . . upon release she spent ten minutes racketing around the house like an extra-large rhinoceros in a china shop . . . and is now completely crashed out on my lap, which practically speaking is a lot less comfy than the towel nest.
** Handbells are quite a useful way of keeping track of the passage of the days however because of the texts from Niall.
*** If I wear it for ringing handbells my left arm will become twice as large and muscular as my right. I suppose I could swap wrists to a carefully balanced schedule.
† Whoever said I’d have trouble finding one . . . you’re right. WHY? There must be other people out there who’d like to choose their own Words to Live By.
†† Bratsche, I’ll post a photo of my dress TOMORROW.^
^ If I forget, nag me.
Arrrrrrgh. I am not getting on with sorting out Third House for rental as fast as I should through a combination of factors: gremlins, gremlins, ME, native disorganizational genius, deep personal reluctance imperfectly repressed and gremlins. Did I mention gremlins? Originally I was going to start moving [Peter’s and my] backlist to the storage warehouse last week but Atlas and I got our diaries crossed* and he showed up on Thursday when I was going to the dentist.** ARRRRRGH.
First opportunity for a reschedule was today. I am not sleeping well*** and I have all these CRITTERS to hurtle and Peter and Atlas are detestably early risers so they played pinochle or something till I pantingly arrived, having run the hellterror 6,728 times around the (tiny) kitchen at the cottage, including over the island and across the ceiling† while I mainlined black tea, then locked her back in her crate with her breakfast†† and threw the hellhounds in the back of Wolfgang for ballast. We convoyed to Hrothgar’s Hall††† with Atlas going uphill at about twelve miles an hour with all that backlist dragging him down, and Peter noted lugubriously that it was too far for him to come on his bicycle. !!!!!!!*&^%$£”!!!!!!!! YES, IT IS.
We fell out of our various vehicles and I made a horse’s ass of myself trying to break into . . . I mean, use my honestly-acquired keys and instructions to get us into the flipping warehouse and open the loading gate. I’d still be there‡ if Atlas hadn’t cleared his throat and indicated salient features a couple of times. How does he KNOW? These frelling mechanical people. It’s like being able to do maths in your head or fly by flapping your arms. You’re either born with the gift or you aren’t.
I took hellhounds for a sprint around the perimeter while Atlas and Peter got on with unloading. There were sheep, white-winged doves that made me come all over Emmylou Harris and make a nice change from pigeons, and horses. This may have possibilities: I’ll have to look at the local footpath map. I quite like the idea of going for six copies of THE SUNSHINE ROSE HERO AND THE OUTLAW BLUE PEGASUS CHALICE END and having a nice country hurtle with some critters while I’m at it.‡‡
I looked at the space remaining in the tiny cubicle—the barely-more-than-a-cupboard—after Atlas and Peter had made tidy box-piles against one wall, and thought dark, evil thoughts. Then we all went home for lunch‡‡‡ . . . after which I crept, bent and oppressed with woe,§ back up to Third House and squinted, with the other eye squeezed shut, at the remaining boxes of backlist and 4,341 other people’s books still on shelves. . . .
Bottom line. I haven’t got a prayer of getting all those books in that space.§§ Never mind the odd box of towels§§§ and maybe kitchen china too.#
So Atlas brought the next load, this time of my backlist, along since that’s what he was there for and we weren’t going to burst out of the confines of the cupboard till the third load, and I applied to the Nice Man## who runs Hrothgar’s Hall and . . . of course he’s just rented the last remaining next-size-up cupboard and only has small airplane hangar—sort of helicopter hanger—sized units left. So I am faced with ENTIRELY READJUSTING my plans for only having stuff like backlist that we need to have available in this place and storing the big stuff in the very-slightly-cheaper, but-your-stuff-goes-away-and-you-can’t-get-at-it warehouse.
I’m so happy. Not.
* * *
* A little like pistols at dawn, but not very
** That whole side of my head is still irregularly flaring and snarling and saying DON’T DO THAT AGAIN, OKAY? Whimper. But he’s not done yet.
*** I am still breathing = I am not sleeping well
† The pans hanging from the ceiling rack making a musical noise as she weaves among them like a barrel-racing Quarter horse
†† She is now getting most of her food via kong. http://www.kongcompany.com/en-uk/
This is supposed to help keep her amused. Rather than just chowing down the contents of her bowl faster than the speed of light^ she has to work for her meals. Well, yes, but trust the hellcritter that belongs to me to find an alternative application. Your dog is supposed to chew the thing: Pav mainly throws it around. She does some chewing . . . but mostly she throws it around. Whang. Whang. WHOP. Whang. As musical accompaniments go I prefer the ting-tong of clashing pans.
^ This is totally true, you know. Scientists should investigate the physics of bullie food-inhalation. I’m sure the resulting warp drive would be better than dilithium crystals. We might make it to the stars after all.
††† Big storage facilities are creepy. I’m sure there are some really excellent horror stories about big storage facilities. Don’t bother to tell me: there’s no way I’m going to read any of them.
‡ And the hellterror would be very cross and HUNGRY.
‡‡ ::Urgently looking for reasons not to hate everything about renting Third House::
‡‡‡ Variously. The lunch part did not include the hellhounds. Siiiiiiiigh. Hellterror says, Put me in, coach. I can handle it. I’ll even play with that dumb rubber thing if it makes you happy.
§ Including non-eating hellhounds
§§ Also I think there’s a Pit and the Pendulum vibe and with every box you deposit in the space the walls move a little closer together.
§§§ There’s nothing the hellterror enjoys more than a nice towel shredding, so I can use the back-up
# We don’t need any hellterror help for breakages. Although she did take out the plate glass window of my ex-glass-fronted bookcase about a week ago. I spent hours sweeping, scrubbing and patting the floor for splinters. Also moaning. Moaning goes with this kind of work. The kitchen floor hasn’t been that clean in years.
## He probably needs a name. He will probably appear on these pages again. Also, he has two adorable spaniels. One of them wags her tail in her sleep.
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.