Monday, February 11, 2008

IMG_1336So many people did you sending crashing to the floor on Saturday night?

It wasn't entirely my fault. Basically, having been left standing on the dance-floor at the end of the final official dance the girl I'd just been dancing with and I found ourselves marooned amidst polkaërs, so naturally I grabbed my partner by the waist to haul her out of the way of over-zealous middle-aged peril, which she took as a cue to start dancing, which gave me little option but to join in, and so we found ourselves trying to learn to polka in the clearing in the middle of a hall of very mixed abilities, working round the room like a single line drawing of a holly leaf, or possibly ineptly used Spirograph, occasionally having to gallivant to freedom but equally as often bouncing on the spot embedded in the crowd, and naturally intermittent collisions pinged off one another, except just as we'd changed direction I was shunted into my partner clavicle garrotting carotid, and we spun staggeringly round to see, hear and feel the couple who'd charged us initially toppling across one other couple, before landing the legs of another, bringing them down too.

Er... we stand there like lemons, or other still-lifes, not quite sure what to do. I mouth 'sorry' at the woman whose beams of fury are threatening to cremate the floor, and then realise the main knot of dancers is rapidly approaching the half-molten Burghers of Calais, spilling round it directly towards us, thereby blocking our rubbernecking and putting us at risk of a second ramming. We dance on, ceaselessly trying to find a safe way out of it.

Did I mention that I was only there under duress, in line with the three line whip and on pain on in-communication? And that I can't dance? And had no partner, hence having to resort whoever would have me (wives of the band, girlfriends of the injured and IVCers).

It all started because my mother asked her new fiancée-in-law (that doesn't quite work does it? Daughter-in-pending perhaps. And what an odd spelling 'fiancée' has. French -ay sound, English uponned double e) if she'd like to go to a barn dance on Saturday, assuming that young person plus folk does not go and equally that because it was fairly late notice the B and the SIL would have plans. My mother was then forced to protest "I didn't think she'd say 'yes'", thus demonstrating that it's not only when when quantifying an LD50 that one shouldn't make assumptions.

And so a weekend en famille was hastily convened and then endured. Highlights include the SIL absenting herself to watch the Celtic game via some internetted live-feed (a fillip in lieu of my brother's refusal to get Sky), thus cheering the wrong bits of the rugby and occasionally shrieking 'Shit'. Or that's what we all hear through the clutchless shift between accents. Turns out she was mostly crying 'Shoot', but in near Gaelic (although from the intonation on a couple, and the proximity to a very Ruth-from-The-Archers-esque 'Oh no', I suspect what we heard was what was said in some cases).

They also include me being the one to cook on both days, thus discovering roast swede is a really bad idea (and still tastes like swede), as is trying to do roast vegetables for five in the time it should take when we have to be out soon and dancing not much later. I've also discovered my brother interprets the instructions "keep an eye on that" to mean "put a lid on that, turn it down and put the spaghetti on", which isn't really how I'd normally go about reducing down bolognaise that's all gone wrong anyway because it's two pounds of mince in a bloody great cauldron, and yes I'm still sulking because my mother dared to criticise it, albeit in a woolly positing suggestions to add taste way, and probably had a point, but then she was the one who insisted a lid went on when I'd left it reducing and promptly complained it was watery, whereas my brother was the one who stuck the pasta in half an hour too early, assured me it would be fine then admitted to not having tasted it and suggested serving it with a slotted spoon, all because he was hungry because he hadn't had lunch yet didn't think of any of the bread he'd seen other people helping themselves to earlier, and yes, I was reading on the loo while the unravellage occurred, but then had been cooking for bloody hours, due to a combination of doubling everything compounded by the world's bluntest knives which no one may sharpen as the knife sharpener ruins the knives (bizarrely Firefox's En-UK spellchecker thinks 'knifes' is a word... [checks and remembers the verb]).

Cue sitting morosely while having to try very had not to throw mine at my mother, who for some strange reason has decided that now she's sixty she can chop the spaghetti up with her fork like a six year old.

So I think we can conclude that too many cooks turn it into broth. And that my brother infuriating knows precisely what's wrong with me, if not the bolognaise.

But then I'd been wound up earlier by the quick walk to show the SIL the town in daylight, which somehow transformed into everyone bar me dressing for the snows of if not Antarctica at least Kilimanjaro, wearing hiking boots because the SIL was (they were all she'd brought), and somehow deciding this would be a great hike to Pembrokeshire, instead of the brisk trot into town to point out the High Street, the old-new-old oddity, the church, the ancient canoeing bridge and where they shot that film and those adverts. So not only was I forced to endure the local history tour (I must try harder not to correct either parent when they are in absent-minded but authoritarian mode), but my mother managed throughout to find something negative to append to everything my brother pointed out. Belatedly I resorted to antisocial cameradom, having grown tired of counting the countless acts of 'vandalism' thrust upon the town by the incompetents that be, have been and always will be as recounted by my mother. Oh what larks we had (by the way, there are no such birds near the town, nor are there any nightingales despite the place being christened since time immemorial [so probably some Victorian] the valley of them; and for the Googlers out there, I don't mean the one on Samos).

And I'd stopped writing there and can't quite think what else to say. There was the jollity of the dominant dance partner very obviously loitering near me at the end. What should one say to girls who while perfectly pleasant if perhaps a bit not quite intelligent enough tend to have rather too many breasts to interest me? And who persist in lurking nearby, not being courageous enough to approach me yet are very noticeably focussing on me? Eventually I was despatched to put her out of her misery (well, I think my brother and the SIL were expecting the opposite outcome). And so I found myself steaming the frost, the tail having vanished. I wait for the others to come out, the first of which is my brother, with the words "you're rubbish", just steps ahead of girl.

There then followed one immensely fun conversation where very little of any consequence was said, with my brother and the SIL both trying to be discreet nearby, thereby barring me from using my effective Get Out of Wooing Free card. Hmm, it would appear they haven't twigged either. Obviously Plan Osmosis isn't quite worth its name. I came fairly close to just dropping it in, but the weekend of my brother's engagement engagements might be seen as a tad selfish and either oneupmanship or upstaging. So that all went haltingly, stiltedly and awkwardly, with my brother assuming my failure to get a phone number was down to social incompetence rather than by design. He really doesn't know me, as if he did he'd know I'd be even more incapable of useful speech were after a means of contacting someone I liked.

I'm trying to think of what else to write about, but there's not much to tell. Weather's been nice. Not any more (yeah, this is now Thursday, sorry). But it was very un-Feb, especially considering half-term usually means snow.

And Dan, will you kindly improve your musical taste just a little. Having grown tired of the available radio stations I've been listening to output. So far I've learnt that Dan must really like one song by The Cranberries. Either that or there's only one song by them on the server. Anyway, it's currently playing Bonnie How-many-a-day? Tyler. I'm not a fan. And now it's that oooh-oooh Snow Patrol song again. I think I may have to go back to my internal radio, which seems stuck on a West Side Story medley at the moment.

Oh, and before anyone asks, I'm not on because, firstly, I suspect the software would cause my computer to complain it's run out hamsters (when things get difficult I can normally hear it running around its wheel), and also because thanks to the influx from my brother "Track 1" and co would all feature prominently. Suddenly getting that Kid Galahad one too because I can't remember what they sound like doesn't seem like such a good idea any more.

Oh, and someone at Google has too much time on their hands. Google Docs is appears to have nicked Glitter for Brains's template. But then Google Documents is good for spelling, as right-click brings up a GDocs specific menu without suggested alternatives, so the red underline shows the wrongs but the rights aren't easy to find, so the quickest resolution is often to work out what is wrong with the spelling. It's bizarre having to correct one's own mistakes.

Hmm, the end of this post's not as good as the beginning, is it? I'm not sure what else to add. A-ha is now on. That's about as interesting as it gets. Sorry, I think I'm still out of practise, so just am not think "oh, must blog this" at the moment.

Now Shirley Bassey. Except this is a Bond theme and the last was too. Such a cold finger is one of the worst lyrics ever scrawled, is it not? Just unpleasant and probing. And not really conjuring up images of Midas, more medics.

And boy does the boy like Enya.

Sorry Dan, I think I may have to desert you. Sorry all others as I ought to do likewise.


PS. Still haven't got the hang of this actually posting things thing.

my brother infuriating knows precisely what's wrong with me, if not the bolognaise.

Precisely what is wrong with you?

The bolognaise. I don't like being wrong or getting things wrong.
Last time it was a car, this time you're making me glad I don't have to endure family get-togethers anymore. The nearest I am likely to get this year is being Godfather to my ex-wife's son [this might possibly be worth a one-off blog, if only as an act of catharsis]
Haha, not enjoying my musical taste, eh? Admittedly does seem to skew things unfairly... probably because what I listed to for most of the day now doesn't actually get onto there because it's on a different computer than I've got it all set up on.

Surely that's a good excuse? :D
SPW: Oh, what a tangled web you weave. Which only makes me more curious.

Dan: As I'm too cowardly to bare my musical taste to the world, any excuse is probably a good excuse. Possibly worryingly's interpretation of SilverB's taste is less, er, challenging for me.
You may call it a tangled web; I call it life. There isn't much to be curious about.

Funnily enough is heartily recommended in tomorrow's Time Out.
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