The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Wherein I Tip Out The Contents of My Brain into the Waiting Void

I am very hesitant to type anything today.  Our life is so cosily uneventful now autumn has descended that I've got bog-all of interest to write about.  Or should that be blog-all?   So yesterday I decided not to bother anybody with this stupid blog stuff, but the could I? should I? would I? questions, the nagging of a promise broken, a duty shirked, bothered me all day.  It was so much on the periphery of my mind I might better have just settled down and got it over and done with, even if it was as much unmitigated tosh as today's threatens to be, for all the genuinely free time I had.

Free time with a clear conscience is perhaps the only sort of free time a person brought up in the English Protestant work ethic can ever enjoy.  Damn it.  They GOT me in the end, those devil-makes-work warnings, for all my decades of practised indolence...

I was busy enough to see off Satan, I think, even though I was neglecting you, Dear Reader.  I have now crocheted enough squares towards the cot blanket I am making (for The Daughter's in-pod childhood friend) that I decided to arrange what I had and stitch them together to gauge more clearly how the finished item might look. I am smugly pleased that is coming together nicely.  It almost has some of that those jewelled-casket qualities that Viennese secessionist Gustav Klimt achieved a century ago in the hypnotically swirling mosaic patchworks in many of his pictures, such as The Kiss. It's as yummily multi-coloured as half a pound of cellophane and foil-wrapped mixed sweets. Edibly pretty.  I'm very happy with it so far.

It isn't a Kaffe Fasett design, but it jolly well could be at a glance, and it's All My Own Work. I hope the expected infant appreciates it, that (s)he is an aesthete, born with an in-built appreciation of decadently useless sumptuousness stitched in springy wool, a suggestion of silk and (just one special hank of yarn) even threads of cashmere.  But most probably, being a baby, (s)he will sleep on in milky innocence, utterly indifferent to hue and texture, and puke on it with impunity.

Something else that has kept us apart these few days, Dear Reader, is that I've also just rediscovered our  Sky Arts channels.  These are so far up the list on our cable TV box (at channel numbers 284 & 285) that I virtually never get that far from just flicking.  What a pity, as they yield much most days; an episode of The Jewel in The Crown, this afternoon, O Frabjous Joy (Harry Kumar & Guy Perron, what a pair of matinee idols they are!) followed by the ENO's 2009 La Boheme in a production by Sir/Dr Jonathan Miller, the latter-day renaissance man, mind-boggling clever bugger, and all round good egg who makes me feel even more of a rank failure and disappointment to myself than I usually do.  All that cross-curricular learning beneath his hat and bloody funny with it. How many Good Fairies stood by his crib, I wonder?  They must have been jostling!

Unfortunately it grated on me that it was sung in English, even though it's a new translation by Amanda Holden (no, not that Amanda Holden, silly!) a colloquial version far and away better than earlier translations of the libretto that gave us Tiny Frozen Hands and such.  It nevertheless still clunked along for me, clod-hoppingly anglo-saxon and ungainly, having lost the seductive power and easy sinuous flow of the familiar Italian. I'd rather be tugged inexorably along by the melodic tide and the growing tragedy understanding one word in five, than have my attention annoyingly held back grasping so much of the literal meaning. In matters of libretti, ignorance is bliss for me, I now realise

Give me "Addio, senza rancor..." anyday.  How can anyone render the romantic pathos of that in an English argot?  "Tara, then, and don't feel bad..."  That'd scan.  Naah.  Not going to do it for me - I've cut loose well in advance of Rudolfo & Mimi's exquisitely poignant farewell in Act Three before it gets all spoilt.

So here I am, back in the blogoshere, but you can all too easily detect that the titchy, but essential, 1% of comic inspiration is eluding me.  It isn't enough to pound away with the 99% of sweat and effort; producing any quantity without quality  It's not fair on that select coterie, my eight (including myself) Followers and anyone else who lands here on the way to somewhere else, and it wears yet more of the the letters off the buttons on my keyboard for no good reason.

My keyboard is printed with the identifying letters in white on black..  The most commonly used letters are wiped clean with (over?) use.  It looks rather like this

Q  -  -  -  -  Y  U - O  P
 -  -  -  F  G  H  J  K -
  Z  X  C  V  B - M

where the I and the L are no more helpful than little white dots and likely won't last out the week

The Husband bought me a new wireless keyboard and mouse a while ago, but these infuriated me beyond endurance as you have to get them playing nicely with the other bits of the pooter before you can start and the batteries run out so quickly that one has to remember always to have spares on charge.  I reverted to the old ones and their tangled wires with relief and now even more buttons are blank.  Which wouldn't bother a touch-typist, but sure as hell challenges a two-fingered sight-typer like me.

Enough of this nonsense, already.  You go and find something better to do, Dear Reader, and I will do the same.  The arty-farty bohemian baby blanket is nothing like Klimt, not really, but it still deserves more perseverance than my lack-lustre blog has of late.


  1. Love the blanket. It is beautiful.

    Italian: I wanted to learn it, just a bit, just enough to be able to feel confident in a restaurant, perhaps.

    There weren't any lessons in our area of south-west France, but there were lessons in Spanish. So off I went. I still can't follow a conversation, but the soporific rippling effect of people conversing in it has now escaped me, replaced by a stressful straining to understand.

    But Italian! For me, an Italian saying something such as "Shall we put the bins out now?" has all the romance of "I will love you forever," since I understand not a nuance.

    So I made the decision never to try to learn it. I will burn all English- or French-Italian dictionaries in the house. And can dream deliciously through operas and films in Italian.

    I so agree with you about La Boheme. Remember how you made me cry, describing the story-line? It still works, every time I see it. Pink bonnet = tears.

  2. The blanket is gorgeous and very Klimt. I wish I could crochet as well as knit.

    To be honest, even your lacklustre posts are worth reading as you write so well.

  3. I taught myself to crochet granny squares last winter, following a basic tutorial on You-Tube. I tried following words and diagrams, but the video was far more use.