MAY I JUST REITERATE HOW MUCH I FRELLING HATE FRELLING WORDPRESS? IT JUST LOGGED ME OUT AS I PRESSED THE ‘PUBLISH’ BUTTON FOR TONIGHT’S KES. WHICH IT THEN ATE. GULP. NO TRACE. YES, OF COURSE I HAVE THE ORIGINAL AS A WORD DOCUMENT, BUT I DO FINAL TWEAKING IN THE ADMIN WINDOW, WHICH I THEN HAD TO GO TO THE BIG STUPID FAFF OF DOING ALL OVER AGAIN BECAUSE WORDPRESS SUCKS DEAD BEARS. THANKS A LOT, YOU PIECE OF CRAP, WORDPRESS. THANKS EVER EVER EVER SO.
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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 actually am going to bed (somewhat) earlier and getting up (somewhat) earlier. It doesn’t seem to be working. The frustration just moves around a little. This reminds me of those dingdongs who say that Daylight Savings Time gives you more hours of daylight. NO IT FRELLING DOESN’T. IT JUST GIVES THEM TO YOU AT DIFFERENT HOURS. I mean, duuuuh. Twenty four hours is twenty four hours, more’s the pity. And this time of year I’m seeing dawn occasionally, not in a good way, in spite of being able to have the afternoon hurtle any time up to about eight o’clock—it’s still afternoon because it’s still daylight. You see my problem.
Anyway. I yanked myself out of bed BEFORE NINE O’CLOCK* . . . I swear there really is a hole in my life where time leaks out. Although today was additionally depleted by another live** baby-plant tray delivery . . . of the wrong plants. They were, however, gasping to get out of their useless little plastic containers, so I’ve potted the frellers on while typing (okay not quite simultaneously) a sardonic email to the nursery in question***. I now have three outstanding queries in to plant nurseries about botched deliveries—all three have sent me robo letters telling me My Inquiry Is Important To Them and they will respond as soon as they are able. One of these nurseries is one of these specialist bozos that go on and frelling on about being a family business through seventeen generations and how dedicated they are to customer service . . . and their dratblasted advertising always comes with a photo of some smiling family member with a phony signature scrawled at the bottom. They not only sent their robo letter a week ago but I’ve had both a street mail catalogue and an email from smiling family members since AND I THINK THEY SHOULD PAY LESS ATTENTION TO FORM AND MORE TO FUNCTION.
The point is that despite having all these HOURS this morning I was still late getting sixty-seven hellcritters and an awful lot of stuff † into Wolfgang for the outgoing journey to the mews.
I turned the key. The radio came on. Nothing else happened. I stared at the dashboard in disbelief. I turned the key again.
Nothing continued to happen.
I sat in my dead car and punched in the phone number of the RAC on Pooka. Forty-five minutes, they said. At least. I sighed heavily. I brought everybody back indoors again. I sent out an emergency lunch bulletin to Peter—I have critter food at the cottage, but I require daily injections of several gallons of lettuce, most of which are consumed at lunch. I had barely got my hands covered in greasy chicken carcase shreds††, the hellterror was just warming up for flinging herself frantically against the sides of her crate . . . when there was a commotion outside, which was one of my neighbours having her ingress blocked by a large orange RAC van. YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE HERE FOR ANOTHER THIRTY FIVE MINUTES. AND YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO CALL ME FIRST.
Other than that, the service was exemplary. Although I was feeling a little cranky about my neighbours all queuing up to tell me I needed a new car. Hey! It’s a frelling dead battery! Any car can have a dead battery! —And this battery is several years old, although I feel it would have been polite if it gave me a little warning that it was about to pop its clogs. Phineas said that he’s amazed every time Wolfgang starts and I drive away anywhere. The neighbour whose ingress was blocked was so busy laughing she could hardly get the words out: Robin, you need a new car. —I DO NOT NEED A NEW CAR.†††
And to support this attitude I bought a battery that is guaranteed for five years.
* * *
* Yes, in the morning. Very funny. Ha ha ha ha ha.
** You hope
*** And they had better not tell me to return them.
† It was a big day for deliveries. I also took delivery on a GIGANTIC box of non-perishable groceries . . . only the heavy items of which had to come down to the mews.
At least I was there when they delivered it. I have yet to be home when the Gold Standard Kibble boxes arrive. You have to buy two of the extra-large size to get free shipping and at these prices IT’S WORTH IT. But it means that every few months I find myself grappling sixty-plus pounds of large rectangular shipping box down a perilously steep flight of stairs from the back of the greenhouse which is where deliveries are left^ and then back up the less steep but equally perilous steps to the front door aaaaand then through the pit-and-pendulum arrangement of stable-style (front) door, permanent puppy gate^^, chimney breast with coathooks bearing far too many coats, and the grandfather clock. And possibly some hellhounds, who enjoy the pranks the hellgoddess gets up to to entertain them.
The latest consignment arrived two days ago. I swear the deliveryman hides around the corner and waits till he sees me leave with some assortment of hellcritters or other and then nips in and deposits the by-this-time-starting-to-disintegrate cardboard box full of tungsten chips. He’s going to have to heave it up some stairs or other, and this way he can luxuriate in the awareness that the customer gets a double shot.^^^ All of this rant I am pretty sure I have ranted at you before. However I was thinking, this time, as I tried not to destroy anything, like an ankle or a pot of pansies, that I don’t know why I’m complaining, it’s only like carrying two hellterrors. I’d rather carry two hellterrors. Which may give you an idea. . . .
^ Except when they weigh more than half what you do, this is a sensible place to have things left
^^ which has been there since the hellhounds were puppies, and very glad I am to have it, except when wrestling annoyingly large parcels
^^^ And trust me, this is still better than trying to negotiate the greenhouse and the kitchen door, even though there would be no stairs involved.
†† ‘Chicken carcases’ are what’s left after butchers have cut all the separately-packaged bits off. They’re CHEAP and they’re CHICKEN but they are a pain to deal with.
††† And aside from the sheer fact of his advanced age, Wolfgang looks worse than he is. There are kind of a lot of dents. Er. And most of the chrome strips have been ripped off. And the bumpers may dangle slightly. And some of the headlight housing is missing. And the taillight housing leaks. And some of the doors work better than others, and let’s not talk about the frangledrabbing electric windows at all. Other than that . . . well, other than that I never wash him. I could do that. I could give him a nice bath. The once a year I do this I’m always surprised at how much better he looks (in spite of the dents). Poor Wolfgang.
I have HOW many of these creatures? I did what recently (on the subject of creature accumulation)? WHY? Why didn’t someone STOP ME?
I’m one-handed again and CRANKY, which makes two of us: little miss madam is extremely cranky. Sigh. This shouldn’t have crept up on me but it did. Puppies have good days and bad days just like absent-minded human dog-food-buyers do and there’s been a lot going on.* But it didn’t occur to me till yesterday that eruptions from madam’s crate were on the increase. She’s got through the night clean pretty consistently for a while now so for example it has seemed to me reasonable that she gets a little excitable in the mornings, and new people** and new experiences can be a little overstimulating*** . . . but I think what has tipped furry adorableness incarnate into ravening red-eyed hellterror is that she and Chaos positively have a relationship lately—that was unmistakably playing going on in the sitting room at the mews† the last few days. Even Darkness emerges from the—er—darkness of the bigdog bed occasionally and views the proceedings. Dubiously, but (I choose to believe) with a slow increase of resignation to the inevitable. All four of us were on the sofa for about half an hour the other night. Pavlova was being suppressed like crazy†† but when she briefly came in contact with one of Darkness’ feet he did NOT leap off the sofa and run away. This is major progress.
But I think bonding with the hellhounds, with whom she is obsessed, has given the hellterror airs above her station. We are therefore into our fourth hour of Remedial Holding today and I am VERY BORED with being one-handed.††† I am GETTING A LOT OF READING DONE.
However the best part of a day that has needed a best part?‡ FIRST BRUSSELS SPROUTS OF THE SEASON. No, really. I love Brussels sprouts. I’m also a poor sad thing with no life and too many dogs, but I absolutely do love Brussels sprouts.
* * *
* The frelling synod voted against women bishops? AGAIN? Last time, of course, I didn’t care, beyond the distant barely-relevant fact that the C of E was thus reconfirmed as nowhere, barring bell towers, I’d ever find myself. But . . . this makes me feel like I’m still living in the 1950s or so. I really don’t want to live in the 50s, you know, again. June Cleaver gave me the creeps even at the time. ARRRRRGH. I realise that everyone is saying that the change has to come eventually but . . . except that the last two and a bit months have not been the most fabulous time I’ve ever had, and I’ll be very grateful when the general level of tempest-tossing and major destruction of self and belief systems begin to subside because I am a little old^ for this level of upheaval, I could almost wish that I hadn’t had my conversion-zapping till tomorrow or next week, after the women-bishops question was done and dusted for another five years.^^
^ See: first-run memories of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. I’d hate to think that’s where my pearl fetish started. No, no! Audrey Hepburn! Ingrid Bergman! Even Grace Kelly! Not Barbara Billingsley!
^^ FIVE YEARS! FIVE YEARS! We have to hang around getting older for another five years before they can put it to the vote again!!
** It continues to confuzzle me, the reactions Pav and I receive. It still amazes me, the besotted owner, the number of people—have I mentioned recently that the whole ‘Britain is a nation of animal-lovers’ is a load of old cobblers?—who don’t want to talk to my puppy. But of the ones that register her, and (mostly) stop to say hello, the majority are the generic ooooh-puppy sort, but at either end of reaction range, and about evenly balanced, are the Do you know what you’re getting into, those dogs are savage brutes^, which Olivia and Southdowner both did warn me about, and the They are the most beautiful dog and so charming. I had one woman telling me how intelligent they are and while you have heard me on the subject of ‘intelligence’ as opposed to ‘easy trainability from the wanting-it-all-their-own-way human standpoint’, still, bullies are not the most trainable, and I wondered if perhaps she was very short-sighted and had confused Pavlova with a border collie.
^ I feel like I’m being accused of not doing my homework. I wasn’t going to have a bullie because it’s not a breed you want to make a mistake about. That was before I met Southdowner—and her bullies. But do I look stupid? No, don’t answer that.^
^ I’ve had the dangerous-dog savage-brute reaction several times in various bell towers when I’ve told people about her . . . where, okay, I do look stupid.+
+ Trying to readjust to the energy drain of a voice lesson in the afternoon and still go ringing that night IS GOING TO TAKE SOME DOING. I was very stupid last night at Colin’s . . . in front of two visitors, siiiiiiiigh, one of whom has recently moved back to this area and rings at the abbey, where they are all over her because she is very good, and the other one who hasn’t rung in ten years but had remembered her Cambridge minor by the end of the evening as well as successfully turning in South Desuetude’s heavy, bad-tempered tenor for a touch of bob minor. SIIIIIIIIGH. Maybe I should hire out as a Remedial Canine Holding Agent in the evenings, which would keep me out of bell towers.
The voice lesson went pretty well, within the limits of what Nadia can do with me. I AM SO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPY to be singing again. She had her arms full of baby this week, so rather than playing the piano she sang with me to give me a little support—also because it’s very easy to slide off pitch with frelling Purcell, and she said if I got the tone and the ‘lift’ right the pitch would come, but the piano would just keep reminding me of what I was doing wrong. I really like singing with Nadia, despite the fact that she has a voice and I don’t, and even with her barely humming along this is obvious, because I am a masochi—because I still have it in mind that eventually I will find other people to sing with. But it’ll be good next week when the baby has done a little studying and can join in on the bass line.
*** I went to evensong again tonight. I went alone. Unless you count the knitting.
† I’d have to put up a mezzanine at the cottage to create equivalent floor space. The walls are tall—taller than average—but they’re not that tall. And I don’t feel like spending the rest of my life walking on all fours because of headroom problems.
†† I could get tendonitis.
††† Even though Peter nobly suppresses her so I can go have a pee occasionally. And then make more tea, of course.
‡ Which has signally failed to include the weather. Torrential rain at least means bottoms of hiking boots get REALLY CLEAN.^
^ PEOPLE WHO LET THEIR DOGS CRAP IN CHURCHYARDS SHOULD BE SHOT. CHRISTIAN CHARITY MY ASS.
IT HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE FRELLING FRELLING FRELLING RATBAG OF A DAY. FRELLING.*
It was sunny and gorgeous and around noon positively shirtsleeve weather, which is confusing the summer annuals—most of which are still flowering, and while the fuchsias and begonias are slowing down the snapdragons and geraniums seem to think it’s still August**—and Mortimer Sackler*** is rolling into what I think is her fourth flush. I decided that sanity demanded hellhounds and I have a proper country walk, so we launched ourselves in a brave and forthright manner.
About fifty feet from the last house at the edge of Old Eden, as we set off gallantly along the footpath. . . . I saw a Moron with a Dog. I was not absolutely sure he was a Moron, but the signs were there. Especially the large off lead dog sign. Hellhounds and I veered out into the field. The large dog observed us. The large dog became interested. The large dog began to move in our direction in an interested manner.
Hellhounds and I veered farther out into the field.
The large dog adapted its course accordingly.
The Moron finally noticed and began calling the large dog in feeble and apathetic tones. The large dog, of course, ignored him. The large dog was getting quite close to us by now. It was one of those fashionable Godzillas that was a Labrador a few generations back. Its head was about the size of a V8 engine. Arrrrrgh. I could nearly feel its hot breath on my face. The Moron, having signally failed to get his rotten dog UNDER CONTROL now shouts, He’s very friendly! ARRRRRRGH. His blasted frelling dog is not very friendly: its body language didn’t say I am going to eat you for lunch, but it did say, I am the biggest, meanest SOB in the valley, and I’m going to make sure you acknowledge this fact.
I do not answer the Moron, whereupon the Moron starts shouting in this offended voice, Excuse me? Excuse me? —Excuse you? May I excuse you from living? I shouted back in a voice I did not try too hard to eliminate the fury from, MY DOGS ARE ON LEAD. YOUR DOG IS OFF LEAD.
Oh all right, flounced the Moron, and went so far as to leave the footpath to pursue his wretched dog, and I hope the mud ruined his city shoes. His dog allowed itself to be deflected—he hadn’t caught it by the time we turned through the gap in the hedgerow, but it was having more fun eluding him than it had been chasing us. ARRRRRRRRRGH.
As it happens, on our way home we met up with two friends† who dogsit their daughter’s terrier. They were walking it in Old Eden a few months ago and were attacked by two dogs hanging out unsupervised in their owner’s front garden . . . with the gate left open. The terrier is now so nervous it doesn’t want to go for walks . . . and those two dogs still hang out in that garden with the gate open. Have I mentioned that the police just shrug when you tell them stories like this?
We went home. The washing machine poured water all over the floor of the kitchen. Twice. I wasted ten minutes trying to persuade the frelling hellterror to have her crap in the churchyard†† rather than waiting, with what I can see from behind is increasingly pressing urgency, to get back to Her Spot at the foot of the cottage steps. I failed. And when I finally gave up on the hellterror’s bowel function and we went to the cobbler . . . the cobbler had closed about five minutes before, while we were hanging around POINTLESSLY beside a tombstone.
I got beetroot juice on a favourite sweater. †††
. . . And how badly was bell practise at the abbey going to go tonight? It began with my having to park three towns over and hike because the Christmas Village is going up all over the close and the centre of town and every parking space for miles is occupied either by a chalet or by the car that usually parks where the chalet is. The temperature has also dropped by about seventy-five degrees and I was underdressed. There were ninety-seven or a hundred and twelve of us at practise, and two-thirds of us were at the lower end of ability, so while the comparatively few good ringers rang all night, the rest of us only got put in by ones and twos and spent a very frustrating time standing around a lot.‡
Eventually it was my turn. What would you like to ring? said Scary Man.‡‡ Er um, I said. Bob major? Stedman triples? Stedman triples, said Scary Man. A touch? —My little heart beat faster. I know what’s supposed to happen, I said, I’ve read it up. But I’ve never rung an affected touch and I doubt I can count that high.‡‡‡ Stedman triples! called Scary Man. Albert, will you call a touch?
I did it. I only did it because Scary Man stood at my shoulder and helped me count, but I knew what was happening (except for the counting) and once I escaped the multiplicity of dodges I slotted back into the line again, including seeing which bells I was striking over (the order changes when a call is made), and since ropesight (which is seeing what bells you’re striking over) is probably my worst nightmare at the abbey, this is very good. Yaay me. This is, sadly, undoubtedly beginner’s luck, and next time reality and terrible crashing noises will ensue, but today . . . I will take what I can get. And maybe if I go to bed fast enough nothing else will go wrong. . . .
* * *
* Jack Kornfield, who is a Buddhist, has written a lot of books, most of which I’ve read at one time or another. What I have always liked and been drawn to about a certain style or stream of Buddhism is the awareness of the practical side of life, including that what inevitably happens after a high is that you come down.^ The title of one of his books is AFTER THE ECSTACY, THE LAUNDRY. http://www.jackkornfield.com/books/ Yes. And a real ratbag day includes, speaking of laundry, getting beetroot juice on a favourite sweater. Beetroot juice has been used as a red dye for thousands of frelling years. . . . I do seem to have got it out again, but there was SCREAMING.
^ Making a little hole in the ground and a lot of dust optional.
** Yes, I know. These are all tender perennials, not annuals. But they’re mostly grown as annuals. In my garden the frost will come and they will die. With a hellterror sucking hours out of my anaemic days this winter not to mention a total lack of surface space above puppy-reach level^ it doesn’t look good for the indoor jungle.
^ And she keeps getting TALLER. —You’re a mini, honey. Don’t forget you’re a mini.
† He rings bells. Ninety-five percent of my English acquaintances are bell ringers.^
^ The other five percent are Dickinsons.
†† INSERT STANDARD RANT HERE ABOUT THE MORE-THAN-MORONS THAT LET THEIR DOGS CRAP IN CHURCHYARDS. In this particular case, the churchyard is the only piece of grass in downtown New Arcadia, and if the church admin loses its temper and gets the churchyard closed us with dogs are going to be very unhappy. WHAT DESPICABLE MUTANT TOAD SLIME LETS ITS DOGS CRAP IN CHURCHYARDS???
††† See previous footnote.
‡ And, in some cases, knit.
‡‡ After I fell down laughing hearing someone else refer to Scary Man as Scary Man, someone posted that there were lots of other Scary Men in ringing. Yes, of course. What I hadn’t heard before was it being used as a name, as I use it: Scary Man, rather than a scary man or the scary man, or Blistering tower’s Scary Man.
‡‡‡ There’s a lot of dodging in Stedman anyway: in triples you double dodge on the way up and the way down as well as twice at the back. If the conductor calls a bob while you’re at the back you have to dodge three more times. This is a challenge to my maths skills, especially at the speed that method bells ring.