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?
It’s raining again.
Pav is, of course, still in season.
Darkness is driving me bonkers.
Three is not the charm.
Diane in MN
Darkness is seriously lovelorn. Aaaaaaaaand has stopped eating altogether.
Darkness is not unique in this. Lovelorn boys frequently stop eating, so they can concentrate on the only and most wonderful girl in the world that you’ve hidden away somewhere.
Yes, I’ve met anguished canine swains before now, but they were not my problem. Also, NORMAL dogs NORMALLY eat, so if they hit a FOOD IS THE ENEMY patch they don’t go skeletal in forty-eight hours.
. . . I cannot imagine much worse than a bitch in heat . . . and two male dogs inside the house in a spell of rain and flooding. So the sympathy, and the awe that you are still sane dealing with it.
I AM NOT STILL SANE [she screamed]. NOT. Not only is Darkness not eating* but he’s started doing this little tremulous singing thing that makes me want to kill. him.
Diane in MN
Sometimes they start calling for their beloved.
AAAAAUGH. This noise doesn’t even sound like a dog. It sounds more like something hiding in the whooshing pine trees while Kes hides under the covers in her friend’s Adirondack cabin. Unfortunately I know that it is a dog. A dog that desperately wants to be TURNED INTO A HEARTHRUG. He also just whines, of course. I hate whining dogs.
(Sometimes she calls back. ::shudder::)
Well, Pav has occasional tantrums, but I think that’s about being locked up more than usual rather than about a woman wailing for her demon lover. So to, um, speak. But she’s not pushing at the boundaries of canine articulation the way (*&^%$££”!!!!!! Darkness is**. I’ve ordered the bitch pants, rather after the fact, but this is only the second week and while with the luck I haven’t been having much of lately things will start to calm down the third week, if the pants*** arrive promptly I’ll still give ’em a try.† It’s not like I don’t think I could stop anything happening before it finished happening—sometimes the size differential is your friend††—but I would expect the pants to muffle the effect somewhat, including [graphic description omitted because this is a family-friendly blog†††].
Meanwhile . . . I said it was RAINING? It’s hammering it down out there again now—as I know because I’ve just been ferrying [sic] my assortment of hellish creatures back to the cottage in it, because I have a few more management choices at the cottage. Hellterror has a brief sprint outside as a final opportunity for eliminatory functions; hellhounds expect a ten-minute to quarter-hour stroll around the churchyard. We are going to die.
We actually had a few hours of that random and not-entirely-persuasive phenomenon, sunlight, again earlier. I took Peter to the farmer’s market and the hellhounds and I went on into Mauncester for a city walk. Golly. Egmont Street, pretty much at the bottom of the river valley, is sandbagged: everybody’s gates and doorjambs are barricaded. The river’s exploded its banks and sprawled across the road; people in wellies briskly step over the sandbags at the doors and go about their business. The river footpath that has been officially closed for some time now—that I have reported previously people are walking on anyway, self and hellhounds included, and splashing through the places where the river has climbed up to play with us—is now genuinely closed: the footpath is a frelling millrace, and I am not exaggerating: white water rafting at your doorstep. You can’t even get to the red dedicated-dog-crap bin; you have to go on to the next one.
And, speaking of dog crap. . . . If I don’t post tomorrow it’s because we never got back from the churchyard tonight. . . . ‡
* * *
* We had a brief exciting moment at lunch when, the hellgoddess having stuffed the first two mouthfuls down each of them, Darkness ate the last two by himself.^ And therefore Chaos refused his, because we can’t have two hellhounds eating at the same time.
^ A four-mouthful lunch. Yes. We’re pretty much on starvation rations because as previously observed there’s a LIMIT to the amount of force feeding I’m willing to do. If B_twin were here this week she might think about it a little longer before she said she’d seen skinnier dogs.
** I’ve tried singing (*&^%$££”!!!!!! Daaaaaarkness but it’s a little . . . screechy.
*** I went for their best-selling black with pink spots. You did click through on that link the other night, didn’t you?
† And there’s always next time.^ Yes I’ve thought of stowing her up at Third House but by next time that option shouldn’t be available . . . and I don’t actually like leaving a dog all by herself for long, especially one who isn’t used to it—especially one, furthermore, who is already being stressed out by her hormones—dogs are pack animals and some of the other three or four of us are pretty much always around in Pav’s life. Also she has a rather majestic bark for something that weighs thirty pounds and I don’t want her making any unfortunate impressions on Third House’s neighbours.
But I’m certainly going to have to come up with A Plan. But not until after the current epic is over: I have no brain. I’m as strung out as frelling Darkness.^^
^ I know I look like a clueless wonder not to have expected something like this . . . but dogs and bitches vary. Sighthounds are often just not very engaged, as I have said, with things of the flesh, and the hellhounds’ attitude toward food might have led me to false hopes. And I know dog people who have both genders entire in the same household and hair does not turn white overnight and nobody sleeps in a dustbin+. Of my three Darkness is the problem. Pav is such a trollop anyway I can’t see a lot of difference, and when she protests her incarceration she just sounds CRANKY. Chaos is certainly interested, and I wouldn’t leave him and Pav alone together (!!!!!!!!!!) but he’s not ruining anyone’s life over it. Darkness is. Mine.
+ That would be the human in supposed charge. A well-padded dustbin with a soundproofed lid.
^^ Although I’m a little curious about the mechanism in my case. Is it just that the situation is MY PROBLEM? Am I picking up their stress level? Are the pheromones—and to my dull human nose Pav only smells a little more strongly like she always does+—winding me up in an unconscious UH OH TROUBLE way? I would have thought excited mammalian hormones might have a generalised effect.
+ which just by the way isn’t much like the standard dog smell. Maybe bullies are a different species.#
# Known, however, unfortunately, to breed successfully with dogs.
†† Diane in MN
Mind you, she’d have to stand on the sofa.
Maybe not. Two minds with but a single thought can perform surprising feats of cooperation, alas.
True. I’m sure there are dachshund/Mastiff crosses out there. But one has also seen, for example, a pony stallion giving his all between the tall thoroughbred mare’s thighs, and not where it’s going to do the job. The point is that there is a sofa here, and I don’t want my reprobates figuring it out.
††† Although I was very impressed at the woman who tweeted me that she and her eight year old had enjoyed the Oatmeal link I posted the other night.
‡ I know, tomorrow is KES night, but you can’t murder me if I’ve been washed away now can you?
I realise this is the second Pav the Heroine story in three days*, but sometimes it happens like that. Also it’s to do with her age**: she’s starting to become a little more reliable about stuff—a LITTLE—or a little more responsive to me as mistress of the known universe or at least the corner that concerns HER and so I’m . . . frelling risking it a little more because life is short and being in a constant state of readiness for the worst is time-consuming and dead boring—and expecting the worst eventually becomes depressing. Six months ago I’d’ve probably gone back and picked her up and carried her past the World Order Threatening Grey Balloons because I wouldn’t have thought my chances of persuading her to come on her own recognizance were worth the time and the likelihood of failure.
When I’m letting her out the front door at the mews to have a pee I don’t bother to put her harness and lead on any more; she likes indoors, indoors has hellhounds and fooooood and toys*** and she’s happy to come in again. I do look around before I let her out, in case of innocent neighbours, exciting delivery vehicles, etc.
This afternoon I looked out. Nothing. I opened the door and a small furry torpedo shot past me . . .
At the moment that two large, off lead Labradors† wandered across the open archway into the mews.
Pav of course instantly set off toward the archway, head and tail up, at full prance. I am not a fluent reader of dog body language, but I would have said she was not expecting trouble but was not going to cringe away from it if it addressed her.
And I’m out there in just my shirt and jeans, because we’re only out for a minute. I carry a little plastic bag of emergency kibble and Thrilling Canine Treats††† in my raincoat [sic] pocket. Not in my jeans.‡
Pav! I call. And I can hear the panic in my voice. If I can, she can too.
One of the Labs notices us. It stops. It raises its tail to the ‘alert’ position. Noooooooooo.
Pav! I shout. Sit! —All you dog people will know this. You have a much greater chance of your escaping hellcritter sitting than turning around, away from the thing it is going toward, and coming back to you, if you foolhardily attempt a recall. If it sits, you can saunter gently up to it, you hope, and GRAB IT.
Pav keeps going. The Lab’s tail goes up another notch or two. I’m already seeing the headlines in the local newspaper: American Woman and Her Ten Stone‡‡ Rabid Pit Bull Attack Perfectly Behaved, Kind to Its Mother Local Labrador. ‡‡‡
PAV! I shriek for the third time.§ SIT!!!
And . . . she stops. She looks over her shoulder at me. She TURNS AROUND, trots back TOWARD ME and SITS. Wagging her tail.
Gibble. Gibble gibble gibble gibble gibble.
* * *
* It’s actually the third Pav the Heroine story in three days but I can’t think how to tell the third one on a public blog. Let’s just say that she was uncharacteristically polite to someone it was extremely advisable, not to say critical, that she be polite to.
** Hellhounds were a little over a year old when I started this blog. Gah. How time flies whether you’re having fun or not, as a friend recently said. However hellhounds have just eaten their dinner immediately and with no fuss at all so the world is bright for the next several hours till I have to feed them supper. Sigh. I’m sure some of my insomniac problems are a result of the throbbing blood-pressure headaches attendant on non-supper-eating hellhounds but I need that third meal for the opportunity to tamp a little more food into them and breakfast is spectacularly a lost cause. I might never get out of bed at all if the prospect included feeding hellhounds breakfast.^ It’s funny, sort of, that they’re so jealous of anything the hellterror is getting that they think they aren’t getting—they don’t want to eat it, you understand, just that they don’t think she should be allowed to eat it either—except at breakfast. At breakfast—and Pav roars out her crate I HAVEN’T EATEN ANYTHING IN OVER SIX HOURS. I’M STARVING TO DEATH. WHERE’S BREAKFAST?—you can see hellhounds turning away and delicately pressing metaphorical handkerchiefs to their noses in a gesture that would not disgrace the Duke of Avon.
^ Although since I take Astarte—with her Kindle app, and a live credit card registered on amazon—to bed with me, who needs to get up?
*** This category includes Peter
† Mrs Redboots
I think bulldozer-headed Labrafrellingdors are a Race Apart. Just not far enough.
Noooooooo – they’re LOVELY! Best dogs in the universe! Intelligent, obedient, loving…. what’s not to like?
Well, I’m not going to agree that they’re the best dogs in the universe, but you mistake me. I’m not damning all Labs, just the huge stupid—um, bulldozer-headed—ones which invariably belong to people who don’t have a clue or they’d have bought a real Lab. The old-fashioned working-style Labs are still around and while occasionally they too are rowdy fractious pains in the patootie, generally the old-fashioned ones have manners because they belong to people who teach their dogs manners. I’ve even known one or two this-kind of Lab I’d have been happy to have stretched out on my sofa.
But I think it’s true I’m more drawn to the hard-graft dogs. Neither sighthounds nor bull terriers are terribly interested in the finer points of the human ideas of training. If I were going to get a super-trainable dog it would probably still be a border collie . . . because I like the manic.^ Gun dog breeds tend to be the exact opposite of manic. You don’t see many Labs who’ve been taught to dance. . . . Although Pav’s latest somewhat-on-command trick is standing on her hind legs and she’s good enough at it she could probably learn to dance if I put the time (and the fooooooood) into it.
^ Possibly not all border collies are manic. All the ones I’ve known are, however, including the ones who can speak seven languages and have advanced degrees in quantum physics.
†† These dogs are a *&^%$£”!!!!! sore point. They belong to regular visitors—a bit like me, then—and while they aren’t exactly thrown out and left to their own devices, their people don’t stand there and watch them the way I do mine. And when there is unpicked up dog crap in the mews courtyard, it is not my dogs who are responsible. Or I who am irresponsible.
††† None of which work on the hellhounds. Just by the way.
‡ Clearly I should start carrying Emergency Hellterror Retrieval Rations in my jeans pocket too.
‡‡ A stone is fourteen pounds. I have no idea why. Pav, who is a mini bull terrier, not a pit bull, weighs a little over two stone.
‡‡‡ Who never ever craps in inappropriate places. Its people are not included in the attack, by the way, because they are nowhere around.
§ ‘Never repeat a command. You are teaching your dog to ignore you.’
Since SP teams are a minimum of three, we were going to have to meet up before I peeled* off to my second commitment.** We gathered at the massive great front of Forza and discovered . . . that the door into the close was locked. The door to the bell tower is off the close. Oh. Hmm.
I tried it two or three times, the way you do, feeling a fool. It went on being locked. Emphatically. I don’t know that Forza’s big outside doors are original—since the first abbey was knocked down by William the Conqueror so his bishops could put up something new and flashy, I doubt it. But they’re built to look like they were salvaged when the rest of the old abbey went under the wrecking ball equivalent in the late eleventh century and rehung in the new build for that quaint traditional look. You kind of expect ‘Aethelstan was here’ to be carved into the lintel.
I noticed a group of bellringers striding purposefully toward us. Er, I said, the door’s locked. We know, said Conall. So are all the other doors.
I think most of the other SPs were trying not to fall into fits of helpless giggles. Eventually there was a rumour that the farthest-away and most inconvenient close door was still open, so five SPs went one way and I hared off after the other bellringers, struggling out of my coat and hat as I went. Sic. We’re not supposed to wear our SP gear, flamboyantly logo’d as it is, anywhere or any time under any conditions but when we’re on the beat with our team being Street Pastors. I knew this, and when the possibility had first come up of ringing and pastoring I’d remembered that I was going to have to have something to drape over my coat, but I’ve been so focussed both on Peter and on the fact that I had not to focus on Peter while I was SPing***, that this little detail had kind of dropped out. Fortunately it was not raining. I turned my coat inside out and . . . it’s a big heavy bulky furry thing, bless it, and it didn’t want to turn inside out and there was no question of my putting it back on that way, so I stumbled along carrying a small Navy-blue polar bear cub in my arms.
The rumour was true and we got in through the Strait of Gibraltar gate, picking up hangers-on as we went, since on New Year’s Eve traditionally a lot of people with more sense the rest of the year† struggle up all those stairs to watch us ring in the new year.
We attempted, with mixed results, to scamper up all those stairs. All. Those. Stairs. I haven’t been up them in a while and they’ve got longer again. And then our first hasty pull-off was somewhat marred by the fact that my bell was frelling locked and wouldn’t.†† Meanwhile more and more people were coming up to watch us so we stood around whistling little tunes with our hands in our pockets pretending that this is all part of the New Year’s Eve tradition while someone belted up that last flight of stairs to the belfry and unlocked my bell.
We did finally ring. And I thought about how sad I’d feel if I were out on the street listening instead of in the bell tower trying to tell myself that I haven’t forgotten everything, and mere rounds on eighty-six or four hundred and twelve bells is no big deal even if you do have to hold up and wait about ten minutes before it’s your turn again while everyone else rings—especially those last few bells which range in size and weight from Thomas the Tank Engine through nuclear submarine to aircraft carrier. Bong. The mayor was there. The bishop was there. The Folies Bergere were there. No no I made that up. Although they might have been. It was a frelling crush. And I’ve told you before the ringing chamber is the size of a ballroom. Two ballrooms.
It was a real crush going back down those stairs again. Anorexic Chihuahuas have been known to have claustrophobia on that final staircase. I’d tried to blitz for the head of the queue and I almost made it. But immediately ahead of me were a family consisting of a tall gentleman in a very long coat whose tails trailed up the stairs behind him a remarkably long way, and ahead of him two frelling women who . . . really I have no idea what they were doing, barring whining. Look, you can SEE what the stairs are like, if you are helpless screaming cows, why didn’t you change your minds and go to a nice ground-level party somewhere? Oh, right, you don’t have minds. I am not joking that the rest of us were standing at the top for a good two or three minutes while Barbie and Midge totally failed to negotiate that admittedly challenging last flight of stairs. And I was failing to channel the Holy Spirit about this situation. FAILING. FAAAAAAAILING.†††
Spilled out onto the street at last. Pelted for the one open door out of the close to attempt to rejoin my team before it was time to go home and . . .
The one open door was shut and locked. Noooooooooooo.‡
TO BE CONTINUED.‡‡
* * *
* Pealed. Ha ha ha.
** Maxine^ kept saying, It is so cool that you are doing both.^^
^ Three of the four of us SPs from St Margaret’s were on the job last night.+ Are we the superbest or what.
+ And Eleanor was at home feeling guilty.
^^ I think I told you there was some administrative stress about this initially, but our overall team leader was fine with it, so I got to do my double act.
*** Also that I had to have suitable-for-sharing food to bring for the break. I have my priorities.
† So far as I know theoretically anyone can come watch us any time we’re ringing. But any time but New Year’s Eve you have to ask a ringer first. And possibly hire a Sherpa.
†† When you’ve got eighty-seven bells you don’t want to haul them up and down^ every time you want to ring, especially when the biggest half-dozen of them weigh in total almost as much as the Isle of Wight. Forza has a fancy locking system that bolts the bells in place, mouth up, ready for ringing. But you do have to unbolt them.
^ Ringing up and down: bells are normally left mouth down because it’s safer. Therefore to do method ringing you have to drag each bell by pulling on the rope so it swings higher and higher till it’s ready to stand upright mouth up on its beam. At which point you’re ready for full-circle ringing.
††† I am still failing. In the first place, why didn’t they wait and let the rest of us get out first? In the second place, there is a perfectly good tiny cul de sac at the bottom of that first stair: having held us all up for probably five minutes total while they minced and tittuped and whatever the galflibbet, why didn’t they draw aside at that point—I’ll let them off the profuse apologizing—and let the rest of us by THEN? But noooooooo. They waddled^ on down. And it’s not like Mr Coat-tails didn’t know there was a press of numbers behind him: he looked over his shoulder several times. Maybe he mistook me for a Street Pastor and thought that I was channelling the Holy Spirit at him. These are not Holy Spirit vibes, honey.
^ This is not a weightist remark. I know plenty of people whose doctors wish they were thinner who are neat and nippy on their feet. Both these bimbos were, in fact, slim and slight.
‡‡ I didn’t mean for it to run to three. Well, I didn’t mean for it to run more than one post, last night. This is sort of the KES/PEGASUS New Year’s Eve post.
. . . freller. May it be better than this one. I suppose a ‘13’ year was always going to have a cloud hanging over it. It could have tried harder to buck the tradition.*
I’m going Street Pastoring tonight; Nina is staying with Peter.** The weather is supposed to be dire again—rain and gales and maybe hail, big ugh—but maybe that’ll make everybody stay home and get drunk indoors.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.***
* * *
# How many ways do I hate technology. The frelling blog was off the frelling air earlier, when I wanted to post this before I left. After ten minutes when it was still off the air^ I emailed Blogmom to report it. I added that I was also going to send her this post and if she was around when the blog came back up would she please hang it for me?
I came home to an email from Blogmom saying that yes, the blog really had been off the air . . . but not saying anything about the blog post . . . because, as I discovered, OUTLOOK HADN’T ******* SENT IT.
It’s six o’clock in the morning, I’ve been home about forty-five minutes, the hellhounds aren’t eating and the hellterror is asleep on my lap. I’ll go to bed eventually.
^ And the error screen that says ‘this page cannot be displayed because you are not connected to the internet’ does not improve my mood
* Maybe it did. That’s a scary thought.
**Some other therapist showed up yesterday afternoon as a kind of consolation prize, I think. That they’re thin on the ground over the holidays is not surprising and that they are inclined to shove Peter to the bottom of the list because he’s doing so well is understandable if not exactly welcome. But that they apparently blithely make appointments for each other without any kind of central organizing body is insane. We’ve several times had some other therapist because the one we’d been told was coming was the wrong one—yesterday the woman who didn’t come wasn’t working that day and therefore had no reason to check her diary for any appointments and cancel. COME ON GUYS. PULL IT TOGETHER. Everyone we’ve seen seems to know the therapy side of the job but it’s like they step into a black hole of incompetence the moment they leave their specific expertise. Arrrgh.
And, speaking of Peter doing well . . . they’re all signing him off in droves. I have mixed feelings about this. I recognise that he is doing well and HUGE THUNDERING YAAAY HERE but every therapist still tweaks something or other that he’s doing, or adds an exercise, or whatever. This is not unlike—well, voice lessons, for example, or most learning activities. There’s stuff you can do on your own, and there’s stuff you need a teacher for, or at least someone to look at your work and give professional advice. I would slip back big time, singing, if I stopped seeing Nadia; granted there have been one or two disturbances in the last fortnight that might be having an effect, but though I’m not making a totally bad job of learning my new pieces, my voice is not right, or as right as it is presently capable of, and I can’t fix it. I’m not sure that it’s not similar with Peter, even though of course he’s trying to regain something he’s lost rather than learn something new.
Meanwhile I’ve joined Medscape^ because I can, and like so many of us amateur dorks plunged instantly into their drug reference database . . . and promptly discovered an interactions listing I DID NOT LIKE AT ALL. And rang up Peter’s clinic and spoke to the duty doctor who said, they’re talking about high doses and Peter’s is very low. Still. With iatrogenic illness one of the major killers of our time—and the way specialists specialise so one specialist prescribes one drug and another specialist prescribes some other drug and there may be no overseer who knows enough about both to say um, wait a minute—I’ve booked Peter and me in to have a nice chat with his GP (who is a good guy, and pays attention, and if he doesn’t know he’ll look into it) on Thursday. And while we’re there I’m going to ask about having a few physios check progress in a fortnight or so.
Stay healthy, everyone. It’s a lot simpler.
Just to warn anyone interested: When you sign up it’s all professional, professional, professional, and I was thinking eeeeep, although there are all these reviews out there by ordinary people and there’s an app available on iTunes, for pity’s sake, which is where I’ve got it, on Astarte. And then waaaaaaay down at the bottom of all the forms they want you to fill in there’s a list ending ‘consumer/other’ and I hastily ticked that and breathed easier.
*** In which all hellhounds eat.