Back soon …
One of those random days where none of the bits matched any of the other bits.
We started with reindeer of course, striding away across the snow. Not feeling like doing any striding myself, I ripped back some knitting. Do you know how difficult it is to unravel wool which is both hairy and decorated with sequins? Not so much ripping as delicately untangling each row and removing the snags one by one to avoid spoiling the yarn.
The reindeer were having a little rest. Some of them were asleep. The ones that were asleep chewed slowly. The ones that were awake chewed less slowly.
I cut the grass. I promised myself I wouldn’t complain about cutting the grass. Look: this is me not complaining about cutting the grass. I decided the time for curlicues was past, and mowed straight over the violets. Most of them were finished anyway, and now they all are.
Checking in on the reindeer: they were stepping steadily in the chilly sunshine. A few paused to suck and gnaw at exiguous strands of lichen glued flat to black rocks. I meditated on stripes. Tricky things, stripes.
Episodes of social engagement followed. The sea was blue and sparkly, the hills pale green over the pale chalk, but I couldn’t enjoy – bank holiday weekend, so all the ordeal of homicidal motorbike riders and suicidal cyclists and lost tourists looking at the view instead of the road. Bad combination.
Home again, I made sure the herd was all right. Their humans were amusing themselves by drawing giant patterns in reindeer, right across the valley floor – by laying a trail of what looks like pony nuts, which the reindeer rush into lines to feed upon.
Watering plants next. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, at last, and the timing is rubbish as usual, with hundreds of people in tents, poor loves, and an early garden show kicking off.
Back with the reindeer. I’ve turned the sound off. It’s getting a bit late in Norway and the screen caption says it’s -12°C. The current shot: A reluctant northern night is gathering. A small snowmobile van thing is shown slowly approaching the camera position over a wide field of snow. It passes the camera position. The camera pans to keep it in view. The van thing progresses across the snow. The camera centres on its little flat square doors. It goes further away over the snow. It goes further away some more. It goes away a bit more. The now tiny back view of the van thing disappears gradually over the brow of a snowy hill. The camera continues to look at snow on the now empty hill.
I think the reindeer and I are stuck with each other for the duration.
I passed Winchester’s ancient gate (bit of a lump)
to make significant custard
and play cribbage. Don’t think I’ve seen two players have identical hands in the same round before (though one of these got one-for-his-knob).
These simple pleasures were made possible by the NHS staff, who, with their usual aplomb, briskly excised the very nasty appendix of a nearestanddearest. Bless them. It’s hard to regret The Old Days, knowing that there was no NHS in them.
lxvi : Have a dream
… apparently induced by propping myself up, covers to chin, listening to the house for an hour as it rattled and creaked in the squalls. It seems it was quite a cheerful dream, though the only wrack of it left behind was strange enough to grow a not-sonnet. I’ve called it Superstition.
Still sifting the library, knee deep in small children and the hideously-accumulated errors of the catalogue. No doubt I am adding yet another set of inconsistencies and typos.
The errors pursued me into the picayune literary magazine which is in editing, and throve exceedingly. So preoccupied did I become with formatting (but how did that paragraph get condensed?) that I mislaid an apostrophe. Oh the shame. And now it is too late, I see yet another formatting error. Luckily the infants will not know that a specific word was meant to be bolded. Stop fussing, stupid: time for the blind man on a galloping horse to be invoked.
For reasons too complicated to go into, this has been my latest read:
I had a disdainful nose in the air before I began, but to my annoyance soon began to chuckle (oh dear, I must be a girl after all). The elaborate typographical jokes were a slight pain, but Kuenzler is rather good on the sausage dog so long that his back end was always doing something completely different from the front end. And on the Dingley Dell wedding with man-sized squirrel. Also rather good on the uncle who, trying to please his new fashionista girlfriend, has smartened himself up, and refuses to go to the playground in case he gets his suit dirty, to the horror of his niece:
“Was this the man who had driven across the Sahara Desert in his underpants because his shorts were holding the engine together? …”
Then today was bleak indeed, and raw; the flat sky dribbled a few mean little flakes and it was a good day to stay in, knitting lethargically, daydreaming, and reflecting on the vagaries of literature. And in idleness I had a snow poem; all eight lines of it. The insufficiency of the fall required no more.
… but muddy anyway.
A newish plant I know as Joseph’s Coat (but may not be) has put on new growth and is flowering. I hope that means it likes its corner here by the window.
In the damp cold of the conservatory this little cyclamen is shedding lavish fragrance. Why on earth don’t I have more?
This ravaged item looks sad – most of it has been harvested
along with other plants to do a propagation thing. Some have taken already, and some are thinking about it.
Then I started sowing. These are perennials, which may or may not flower for the first time this year, if I can get them an early start in their improvised propagator.
And then to get properly muddy with the remains of the paper clay I made using beach clay. I’ve not tried to throw with it before, and it feels very soft and temperamental compared with the commercial unpapered stoneware clay which I usually use for thrown pots. Also found a few small stones as I threw – not a great idea either for the pot or the fingers. Unfortunately to avoid this I would have to reduce the raw clay to a slop, push it through a fine sieve, and spend ages waiting for the slop to dry after that. I’m too lazy. Today’s focus was on making small funny shapes to test to destruction.