Thursday, 24 May 2012

It continues

Life! It's full of challenges, but sometimes it's unexpectedly joyful. I walked from Imperial to the tube today via Exhibition Road, down past all the museums, and felt suddenly meaninglessly happy. Of course the underground soon saw to that -- a ten-minute stop in the tunnel outside Sloane Square, oven-hot and crowded in -- but sometimes I think that moods have wierdly little to do with actual circumstances. And if you're in a bad mood there's always some convenient reason to hand.

Here is a good song, "The Way I Like It" by Mandy Capristo:

I have finished my exams. They were more or less OK except for one but I won't worry about it now. I also helped out with my parents' alpaca auction. This went far better than I feared. They have six left now, including, I'm glad to say, Beth, the matriarch, my favourite. I blogged about her a bit last June. I'm sorry to see the others go but it's the sensible thing to do. The auction itself was nervewracking but rather fun in retrospect. There were two auctioneers -- the first was very country, the second very county -- and lots of people came. I met a ridiculous little dog which looked like someone with curly black hair had had a haircut and the sweepings had come to life. Apparently it was a King Charles cross toy poodle. My nephew thought she was great but wasn't utterly convinced she was a dog at all -- "Mummy," he said, "we saw a dog and it squeaked at me!" The dog's owners bought Jemima the alpaca, who went for by far the most money, which made me feel quite proud when I remembered that I was the only one home when she was born and had to call the vet out amid much stress (part 1; part 2).

My parents were being very like themselves while I was there. I overheard with amusement my father trying to give some poor woman directions from Honiton to the auction entirely in terms of trees -- "Turn right at the Monterey pines". My mother is annoyed with him because he's planning to go tree-hunting in Arunachal Pradesh again this autumn. (When asked exactly when in autumn he just said "After the Deanery Synod" and I haven't yet got around to googling this so am no wiser.) My mother says it will be a tremendous hassle if he dies out there and she has to go to fetch him, so I suggested good travel insurance would take care of that, but that just started an argument about insurance providers. My father has bought a very large number of pheasant eggs -- he did this last year as well, giving me serious regrets about introducing him to ebay. Last year they all either failed to hatch (disappointing) or died in small batches from odd but preventable things (traumatic), and only one lived to adulthood. It was a Reeves pheasant, a notoriously vicious breed, and it has no toes because its siblings pecked them off before succumbing to various ailments (except I think one was eaten by a badger). Consequently my mother and I call it The Pobble, which annoys my father, after the Edward Lear poem: "The Pobble who has no toes, had once as many as we". Anyway my father purchased a bride for the Pobble, and she laid fifteen eggs, and of all the eggs he's been trying to hatch so far this summer, none have except thirteen of those. Which means that he now has thirteen little monsters to try to rear. Reeves pheasant chicks are scrawny and vicious and remind one of the things which pecked the fat computer man to death in Jurassic Park. But my father is so eternally optimistic that I expect he'll be surprised when they all manage to kill themselves and each other, and he'll be upset, and my mother and I will both be nice to him but still aggravated that he didn't see it coming, because that's how families work.

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