Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ten good things today

I fulfil my pledge to clear three barrow loads of hedge cuttings before lunch, and get rid of a handful of nasty brambles into the bargain, with only minimal scratching for my pains.

Last night's baroque concert turned out not to be really a concert at all, but an excruciating, facetious kind of 'educational' programme about the court of Louis XIV, with about ten minutes of talk to every two of music, though the musicians, clavichord, viola de gamba player and singer, were good. Dutch E, her friend S and I slip away early. It was disappointing not to have enjoyed good music, and I do so enjoy the viola de gamba, but so nice to be home having listened to our inclinations rather than timidity and need to be polite. The relief is still with me today.

I don't get to Quessquitricote because my car is in the garage, having expensively failed its controle technique (two-yearly roadworthiness test). Neither of these thing is good news, but with the aforesaid virtuous garden chores, I feel I am justified in spending time this afternoon knitting.

It rains more and more on our afternoon walk. Elfie is the same colour as the autumn leaves and bracken - or her russet-orange bits are anyway - and snuffs the wind and rain with gusto and runs off-leash for much of the way without buggering off once.

Started some mittens with the leftovers of the Icelandic wool (out of which I made this sweater). It's more purple and red than the picture shows. Adding Latvian braids to them. I love Latvian braids. I love Icelandic wool.

Smell of wet dog.

Glass of rosé.

Japanese rice crackers. With one in one hand and the SD card in the other, I narrowly avoid putting the latter in my mouth instead of the former.

The rain and wind is coming from the north, for a change. This makes it cold, and noisy on the bedroom skylight, but means it will not blow in under the doors and windows.

Pork chops and pink onions.


Zhoen said...

Good for you, walking out when it wasn't what you expected or needed. And keeping your chips separate.

Those warm colors fill a place this time of year. Cozy.

I keep working the problems in my head, unfortunately often in the wee hours. Trying to keep my chin up.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes, I wholly approve of walking out and regret the many times when I haven't dared to.

I love "Quessquitricote", such humorous elegance. It wouldn't work in English: whoknits? thosewhoknit? knittersanonymous (made that one up).

"Japanese crackers & SD card":
I'ms about five, in Paris, in a taxi with my father and sister, bringing home a bunch of violets for my mother's birthday. I'm holding the flowers in one hand and a banana in the other. I start eating the violets. We all laugh.

Avus said...

I had to grin about the crackers/SD card! If correctly togged up I quite enjoy walking a dog in the rain (or snow). Whether the dog enoys it is another matter, I suppose.

Roderick Robinson said...

Pretty good. It's hard doing contentment without sounding smug and you avoid that charge (unlikely in your case, anway) with:

"... but so nice to be home having listened to our inclinations rather than timidity and need to be polite."

Proof that intellect was intervening on an occasion that should have been emotionally rewarding but was turning into one of those middle-class dilemmas where you suspected it was dammned if you did and damned if you didn't.

But it was a risky as I found out years ago. We'd booked a Janet Baker recital at the Festival Hall, a heroine to both of us and it would have been the first time we'd ever seen her live. A man came out on to the stage to say there'd been a death in JB's family and JB would be replaced by XX (a thoroughly reputable soprano whose name I've now forgotten). Tickets could be returned, etc. I alone - followed most reluctantly by VR - got up in that vast auditorium and walked out. In a bitter anti-climax we took the next train back to Kingston with VR. justifiably, disinclined to speak. An awful mistake, I unable to see beyond my immediate disappointment; transfixed perhaps by the concept of celebrity rather than my supposed love of music.

I'm glad it was turned out well for you. That it became positive.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

The rice cracker and the SD card were of rather similar shape and size, it was one of the small rectangular crackers rather than a round one enclosing a peanut, that would have been just plain stupid!

Z - I don't know that I'd have had the courage to leave on my own, but once the other two mooted it and I made the move at the first decent break in proceedings. We were generally rather pleased with ourselves.

Natalie - Quessquitricote is my knitting friend Soize's pun, we meet in the library of the nearby town of Quéssoy, of which community she and her family are leading lights; an alternative name mooted for the group was 'les tricopathes', but I said I thought that sounded decidedly sinister! Violets are quite tasty, I gather, but perhaps better crystallised.

Avus - Elfie is quite a rugged dog and up for all weathers, though she was starting to plod a bit by the end, and rather resents being dried off in the hall before she can get to her dinner, which Tom always has waiting for her after her afternoon walk. Her coat, as I've observed before, seems to come up dry and clean very quickly. Molly hated the rain, and her coat absorbed it and didn't dry for hours, which was irksome and irritating to her. I have a very good wide-brimmed waterproof hat, but always forget to put it on!

Robbie - as I said above, I'm not sure I'd have had the courage to leave on my own, but once the other two communicated their wish it was easy to take the initiative and say 'yes, let's do it now' rather than give it the extra 15 minutes E had suggested. It was taking place in the 'chapelle', a big, low ceilinged room with a stage rather like a school hall, of the local retraite. This is a massive and quite old - 18th century I think - institution bearing the name of a saint which houses all manner of folk, from the compos mentis and only somewhat elderly in adjacent sheltered accommodation to the very congenitally handicapped such as I'm inclined to think one sees rather more of in rural France than elsewhere, all of whom like to show up for these kind of events and, um, make their vocal and plausive contribution to the proceedings. It's quite touching really, and we have been to good events there before. In fact I was quite resigned to sticking it out, following the French was a challenge and there were a few historical facts that were mildly interesting, plus I was continually relieved that Tom wasn't there as I knew he would have been in agony. However, S's French is less than mine, and E is a serious musician, so they were really ras-de-bol with it, and I was greatly relieved.

The surreal coda to our departure, however, was that it was impossible to make our escape from the labyrinthine retraite complex; the automatic doors from the reception were closed and no one was there to open them, and we wandered in increasing panic through various corridors, atria, courtyards, walled gardens, rooms dedicated to 'travaux manuels' and other occupational therapies, none of them offering any possible exit, before finding our way back to the automatic doors, where, by pure chance, a woman appeared who knew the code to open them. Otherwise we would have had to wait for the end of the performance anyway.

Your Janet Baker story is painful to hear. I can imagine the situation, as you say, damned if you do... I think Tom would have been like you, too carried away with disappointment to compromise, and also rather bloody-mindedly bent on being the only one not afraid to get up and go, and I probably would have been like V, supportive but miserable and disappointed! Sic transit...

the polish chick said...

back when i painted regularly, it was not unusual for me to find myself reaching for my cup of dirty paint water instead of the cup of tea. yikes!