Thursday, April 17, 2008

the cruellest month

No fooling. It's freezing outside, despite the springlike appearance of the tender pink blossom on the cherry tree.I can see snow on the Lammermuirs in the same frame as this pink effusiveness, and the air blows straight from Vladivostok. Tonight, I finally dared do a little light fiddle playing after two months off due to incipient r.s.i in left arm. Wrapping my fingers round my fiddle's neck causes my hand to start up a dull shriek as it goes into a cramp, but I'm so keen to keep on playing that I'm going to force it a bit this week and see what happens.

Such fun. I seem to have new confidence, because I'm attempting loads of jigs and reels that I didn't dare try before. The poppy reel has weirdish timing and looks like a dense page of black-noted difficulty, but it's a rollicking good tune, and I'm determined to become fluent in it. Da full rigged ship is one of Fiddler's Bid's tunes, and having already heard it on Da farder ben da welcomer really helped my interpretation of its lilting rhythm. There's a bellying swell to the tune that could, with the slightest stretch of the imagination, be seen as a musical interpretation of the wind filling a ship's sails.

And now, dammit, I have a new earworm to drive me completely bananas while I run.You know those tunes that stick in your head and replay endlessly, especially when you're engaged in some meaningless task with repetitive movements? Running fits the bill as one of those repetitive things - it's nothing if not coma-inducingly boring, but I don't mean that in a bad way - just that I seem to veg out while I'm pounding the paths and byways of East Lothian doing my half hour stint.

I ran through a deep puddle last time I was out, and mud oozed into my trainers which are now grey instead of white-ish. As were my socks and my feet underneath. On the way back from this run, as I was slowing and cooling down, I spotted some wrecked old fenceposts lying in the hedgerow. Having burned our way through our winter's supply of dry firewood, I'm now always on the lookout for wood to burn in the woodburning stove until the sun finally starts to warm our world up a bit. So I hauled all the dirty old fenceposts back to my car which was parked in the middle of a very modern and squeaky clean housing estate at the start of the railway walk where I'd been running. I loathe housing estates like this one - utterly prissy and up itself and liberally dotted with little f.o.a.d signs pointing out that these premises are protected by sentinel/ armedguardian/ urukhai/ kraken security as if every single person wandering its streets who isn't lucky enough to be a resident, must, therefore be criminally-minded. With my post-running bright red face, sweaty hair and clothes covered in either mud or leafmould, I realised that I didn't exactly look like a vanilla citizen, and when I ran into our old postman from many moons past, I could see that he wondered what the heck I was doing, dressed like a tramp and lugging an armload of old fenceposts along the street.

The wood thing is becoming a bit of an obsession. We heat our house and all our domestic hot water with the woodburner, so no wood equals no heat and no baths. Normally, there's enough wood in four woodsheds to carry our house through the winter. But this year, winter has stretched from October through to April, and we've run out. We've scoured beaches, raked through woods for dead trees, and every time we see any wood lying unclaimed, we stop and claim it. The girls are utterly mortified by our scavenger behaviour, which is entirely understandable when everybody else's parents look as if they've just stepped out of the hairdresser's, and theirs looks like they have not only been dragged through a hedge backwards, but stopped halfway and tried to drag the hedge home with them.


Mel said...

Ah well, so long as you're embarrassing you're children, you can't be doing too badly.

Mel said...

Crap, busted on your/you're! I need a nap.

Debi Gliori said...

Fret not - we operate an a rogue apostrophe high tolerance zone here - missed keystrokes, failing eyesight and general 21stC fatigue all being contributory factors.