I hurt. All over. It’s not fun. I think it’s gluten-related. And then to add insult to injury I “did” my back as I got my bike out this morning. (Yes, I did still cycle to work – it was going to be far too complicated to take the day off, and John needed the car later – besides which I think I was probably safer/more comfortable on my bike anyway.)
So I’m very whiny, and feeling very sorry for myself.
So I’m off to bed early.
There has been knitting. Bloggable knitting, but the whole whiny, hurting, lurching-comically-because-my-back-hurts thing makes taking actual real photos too difficult. (Yes, I am fully aware that my tagline claims that this is a knitting blog, but it’s been over a month since you’ve seen any photographic evidence of this – I will do better… )
So I’m off to bed with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – after all, I’m going to Haworth for Skip North very soon. (And I much prefer Anne to her sisters – I can never get on with Emily – Heathcliff is an abusive git and Cathy needs to get a grip – and although I love Charlotte’s books, I still prefer Anne’s.)
On Sunday Angela, our organist and choir mistress, begged on her knees for either John or me to attend the Ash Wednesday Eucharist yesterday evening to swell the numbers in the choir. The last such request was for a service only a day or so after The Rift episode, so John went. This time it was my turn. So, despite having an incipient migraine, and a mountain of marking to do, I grudgingly got in the car (shameful, it’s only 8 min walk away) and went round to the church.
And the service was a true gift. It turns out that I can sight sing Byrd without too much difficulty (esp with the vicar’s wife belting it out next to me). And I did a reading without breaking into a cold sweat (which is a ridiculously big deal – you’d think that seeing as I spend my professional life standing up in front of critical teenagers ad-libbing about such things as the niceties of the sampling distribution of the mean that I’d find a simple scripted reading in church child’s play – uh-uh – I generally get the heebie jeebies). But those are incidentals. Mainly it was a joy to be in church, able to concentrate on the service, and not have to run round after small children. And to have that for a service when there were no moments when I got all fidgety thinking “Oh just get on with it”, but every word was meaningful and pertinent was an even greater joy.
So is it simply self-indulgence to declare that my Lenten observance this year is to rejoin the choir?
| You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant, and analyctical. You have a very “well-organized” mind, which makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it. You’re easy to please and a great person to learn from.|
Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com
(But I’m just as much Neville Longbottom – hmmm)
There’s big and important stuff going on in the Anglican Communion at the moment. So I keep reading and hearing about what the primates are up to. And EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear the word “primates” I think “monkeys”. I don’t say anything because even I (especially I) don’t think it’s funny any more. Please please please can I start thinking “archbishop” instead? (Or does that mean that my silly little head is then going to start getting images of bishops swinging through the trees?)
I give up.
OK, so most of you are knitters, so you’ve already read these, but for those of you who aren’t – 3 takes on Valentine’s Day:
Yarn Harlot – this woman is phenomenal.
The Panopticon (It’s #6, go for #6!)
and Crazy Aunt Purl, just because.
(Coo – I do go for imaginative titles!)
This tickles me – so they’ve found coins that show that Cleopatra wasn’t that beautiful. Er… have they never heard of the concept of jolie-laide? And my impression of Cleopatra is that there was something more to her than just a pretty face. Hey ho.
But in today’s exciting news… you remember how The Rift ate my trousers? Well, today Adam and I went shopping to spend some of his birthday money, and I went back to the shop where I bought the first trousers – and found they still had the other identical pair that I’d seen when I bought the ill-fated ones. Oh happy day! (Just don’t tell The Rift – OK?) Oh, and I have plans for the torn trousers too – I’ll let you know when I’ve done it.
Lying in bed this morning, snoozing through the Today programme I hear…
”... following the discovery of a Hungarian rapper in the bin. ...”
I snigger, then explain to the somnolent John.
“I didn’t hear the w in ‘Hungarian wrapper’ .”
After a pause John replies
“There is no w in ‘Hungarian rapper’.”
Update: For those totally baffled by the above (and who wouldn’t be?), here is something of an explanation.
This is worth reading. I personally can’t bear the woman concerned, yet I know that she manages to convince many intelligent, well-educated people of the value of her ideas. (And yes, I too do find myself lingering by the shelves of her products in the supermarket, wondering if there is a miracle powder that would even out my energy levels – sometimes I’m bursting with energy – the biggest sign is that the house resembles a clean and tidy one – other times the house has to look after itself as I have to focus what energy I have got on the essentials – and the dream that a little bottle of powder or a pot of pills could give me a clean and tidy house all the time is very seductive.)
OK, so you’re getting ready for work. It’s possible that you may have some time during the day (unlikely, but possible), so you grab your sock knitting to take with you – a sensible precaution I think you’ll agree. As you pick it up (toe-up, 2 circs) you notice that the stitches are perilously close to the ends of the needle. Then you notice that some of them are beyond perilously close to the end – they have fallen off. You make that sharp intake of breath sound that another knitter would recognise as “Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh I’ve dropped stitches.” You hasten to the sofa to pick the stitches up immediately.
Unfortunately your husband hears the inarticulate noise and interprets it as “I’m gravely injured and about to bleed to death.” So he follows you, asking what the matter is.
Now I don’t know about you gentle knitter, but when I’m picking up dropped stitches, that is ALL I am doing. I’m certainly not looking for words to explain the precise predicament. I can just about manage an “It’s OK.” This will not suffice for the husband who thinks he’s about to see his wife expire before his eyes. So he persists:
”’It’s OK’ doesn’t tell me anything. What’s the matter?”
“Now really isn’t a good time.”
(I’m sorry, I can’t remember the exact script any more – I was otherwise engaged, but imagine words emerging from said husband’s mouth.)
“Now REALLY isn’t a good time.”
“I CAN’T TALK NOW”
Husband is upset at being shouted at.
Now I know that shouting is bad. I don’t like doing it, but please, please, please people, do not expect the knitter to pick up dropped stitches and hold a coherent conversation. Accept the “It’s OK” and wait for further clarification. Either the stitches will be picked up quickly and order will be restored and an explanation will be forthcoming, or further stitches will be lost, there will be swearing, there may be tears – don’t ask for an explanation at this point, just hide – take the children with you to a safe place and wait until it’s safe to emerge, but DO NOT try to get the knitter to communicate.
John – sorry I shouted at you love.
5 years ago today...
Then 5 years ago to the day (at about 4:20 in the morning) this appeared:
Small and wailing he was (and within seconds of being born he sneezed – I remember being amazed that someone so young knew how to do it).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM!!!
OK, so these are the regions affected by snow in the UK today (according to the Met Office):
so we’re hardly alone.
I remembered! And it’s still daylight!!!
A (Silent) Poetry Reading
Last year I didn’t post my favourite poem of all time as it’s looooooooooonnnnngggggg, but this time I’m going for it:
The Death of the Hired Man – Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. ‘Silas is back.’
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her. “Be kind,” she said.
She took the market things from Warren’s arms
And set them on the porch, then drew him down
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.
‘When was I ever anything but kind to him?
But I’ll not have the fellow back,’ he said.
‘I told him so last haying, didn’t I?
“If he left then,” I said, “that ended it.”
What good is he? Who else will harbor him
At his age for the little he can do?
What help he is there’s no depending on.
Off he goes always when I need him most.
‘He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,
Enough at least to buy tobacco with,
won’t have to beg and be beholden.”
“All right,” I say “I can’t afford to pay
Any fixed wages, though I wish I could.”
“Someone else can.”
“Then someone else will have to.
I shouldn’t mind his bettering himself
If that was what it was. You can be certain,
When he begins like that, there’s someone at him
Trying to coax him off with pocket-money,—In haying time, when any help is scarce.
In winter he comes back to us. I’m done.’
‘Shh I not so loud: he’ll hear you,’ Mary said.
‘I want him to: he’ll have to soon or late.’
‘He’s worn out. He’s asleep beside the stove.
When I came up from Rowe’s I found him here,
Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,
A miserable sight, and frightening, too-
You needn’t smile—I didn’t recognize him-
I wasn’t looking for him- and he’s changed.
Wait till you see.’
‘Where did you say he’d been?
‘He didn’t say. I dragged him to the house,
And gave him tea and tried to make him smoke.
I tried to make him talk about his travels.
Nothing would do: he just kept nodding off.’
‘What did he say? Did he say anything?’
‘Anything? Mary, confess
He said he’d come to ditch the meadow for me.’
‘But did he? I just want to know.’
‘Of course he did. What would you have him say?
Surely you wouldn’t grudge the poor old man
Some humble way to save his self-respect.
He added, if you really care to know,
He meant to dear the upper pasture, too.
That sounds like something you have heard before?
Warren, I wish you could have heard the way
He jumbled everything. I stopped to look
Two or three times—he made me feel so queer—To see if he was talking in his sleep.
He ran on Harold Wilson—you remember – The boy you had in haying four years since.
He’s finished school, and teaching in his college.
Silas declares you’ll have to get him back.
He says they two will make a team for work:
Between them they will lay this farm as smooth!
The way he mixed that in with other things.
He thinks young Wilson a likely lad, though daft
On education—you know how they fought
All through July under the blazing sun,
Silas up on the cart to build the load,
Harold along beside to pitch it on.’
‘Yes, I took care to keep well out of earshot.’
‘Well, those days trouble Silas like a dream.
You wouldn’t think they would. How some things linger!
Harold’s young college boy’s assurance piqued him.
After so many years he still keeps finding
Good arguments he sees he might have used.
I sympathize. I know just how it feels
To think of the right thing to say too late.
Harold’s associated in his mind with Latin.
He asked me what I thought of Harold’s saying
He studied Latin like the violin
Because he liked it—that an argument!
He said he couldn’t make the boy believe
He could find water with a hazel prong—Which showed how much good school had ever done
him. He wanted to go over that. ‘But most of all
He thinks if he could have another chance
To teach him how to build a load of hay—’
‘I know, that’s Silas’ one accomplishment.
He bundles every forkful in its place,
And tags and numbers it for future reference,
So he can find and easily dislodge it
In the unloading. Silas does that well.
He takes it out in bunches like big birds’ nests.
You never see him standing on the hay
He’s trying to lift, straining to lift himself.’
‘He thinks if he could teach him that, he’d be
Some good perhaps to someone in the world.
He hates to see a boy the fool of books.
Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,
And nothing to look backward to with pride,
And nothing to look forward to with hope,
So now and never any different.’
Part of a moon was filling down the west,
Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.
Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw
And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand
Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,
Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,
As if she played unheard the tenderness
That wrought on him beside her in the night.
‘Warren,’ she said, ‘he has come home to die:
You needn’t be afraid he’ll leave you this time.’
‘Home,’ he mocked gently.
‘Yes, what else but home?
It all depends on what you mean by home.
Of course he’s nothing to us, any more
then was the hound that came a stranger to us
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.’
‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.’
‘I should have called it
Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.’
Warren leaned out and took a step or two,
Picked up a little stick, and brought it back
And broke it in his hand and tossed it by.
‘Silas has better claim on’ us, you think,
Than on his brother? Thirteen little miles
As the road winds would bring him to his door.
Silas has walked that far no doubt to-day.
Why didn’t he go there? His brother’s rich,
A somebody- director in the bank.’
‘He never told us that.’
‘We know it though.’
‘I think his brother ought to help, of course.
I’ll see to that if there is need. He ought of right
To take him in, and might be willing to—He may be better than appearances.
But have some pity on Silas. Do you think
If he’d had any pride in claiming kin
Or anything he looked for from his brother,
He’d keep so still about him all this time?’
‘I wonder what’s between them.’
‘I can tell you.
Silas is what he is—we wouldn’t mind him—But just the kind that kinsfolk can’t abide.
He never did a thing so very bad.
He don’t know why he isn’t quite as good
As anyone. He won’t be made ashamed
To please his brother, worthless though he is.’
‘I can’t think Si ever hurt anyone.’
‘No, but he hurt my heart the way he lay
And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back.
He wouldn’t let me put him on the lounge.
You must go in and see what you can do.
I made the bed up for him there to-night.
You’ll be surprised at him—how much he’s broken.
His working days are done; I’m sure of it.’
‘I’d not be in a hurry to say that.’
‘I haven’t been. Go, look, see for yourself.
But, Warren, please remember how it is:
He’ come to help you ditch the meadow.
He has a plan, You mustn’t laugh at him.
He may not speak of it, and then he may.
I’ll sit and see if that small sailing cloud
Will hit or miss the moon.’
It hit the moon.
Then there were three there, making a dim row,
The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.
Warren returned—too soon, it seemed to her,
Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited.
‘Warren?’ she questioned.
‘Dead,’ was all he answered.
Secret Pal 10
I’m not sure that I’m going to do this, but I just thought I’d do a bit of browsing and see what number Secret Pal we’re up to – and I discovered this – sign-ups for Secret Pal 10 start today, and run for the rest of the month. Further details will be posted on the SP10 blog today. So if you’ve been hanging around waiting for it – go now, now, now!!
Oh, and I realised this morning that The Rift reclaimed my gloves yesterday – I’m hoping that that and the “blood sacrifice” (thanks Chris – I’m still chuckling over that one!) will have satisfied it.