Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Harvest of Days

Well, for all of you who find my calamity stories so funny: I am sorry. Today, you do not get a funny story. My car, I am happy to report is still running. The jury is still out as to whether it will truly "run forever" as the English mechanic avers, but it has run for a whole week without the need of boiling water or jiggling wires. And I have taken it off the hill thrice. So perhaps, it shall whinny with us for some months longer.

At present, I am sleepy, so if there are any glaring errors is spelling, grammar, or punctuation in this post, you will know it is because I have scarcely been to bed in 2 days. It is not because I am ailing - oh no, not at all! Quite the contrary. I have not had so splendid a set of days in some time. The dratted White Dog of Life has been distracted for the time being, and I find that I can stand up in the puddle of my existence without being bowled over. The World Pipe Band Championships took place on Friday and Saturday, and as usually, there was a live stream of the proceedings, for those who wanted to observe the event in real time. I, obviously, was amongst that number, so I dragged myself out of bed at 2 ack emma, so that I might have the pleasure of gluing myself to a computer screen for the next 7 hours, and listening to band after band play the most astonishing music. 

Here is quite a low-quality picture of the blogger, taken
with my pathetic wee phone camera. It is about 3 am,
and I am drinking coffee from an appropriate vessels, whilst
wearing my Inverary and District Pipe Band shirt.

Last year's competitions were quite exceptional, and there were a few sets that were mile-markers. This year... Oh, this year! The piping was transcendent. By the time a mere handful of bands had played, the bar had been set so high that you began to feel as if this could not possibly be mortal men, standing there in a circle on Glasgow Green. Perhaps the Fair Folk had come out of the Hollow Hills and were enchanting us all with fairy music.... Do not mock. At 3 in the morning it seemed a very real explanation for the quality of music we were being treated too. I have no idea how the judges were able to produce a winner, the puir men, nor did I envy them the task. Suffice it to say, the title of Champion, after dwelling with Field Marshall Montgomery these last three years, has gone back to Scotland, With Shotts and Dykehead taking the honours, and my two favourite bands, St. Lawrence O'Toole and Inverary and District, coming in 2nd and 3rd, with only a point between them. I have had as near to my fill of piping as I have ever had, and the world is Good.

Here the blogger, having been out of her bed for 5 hours,
is treating herself to a pre-breakfast glass of Laphroaig,
whilst cheering on her favourite bands

Add to that, the unexpected treat of having Mass on the Feast of Our Lady in Harvest (otherwise know as the feast of the Assumption) and a splendid dinner of barbecued corned beef, with potatoes and carrots (also prepared on the grill as we DO NOT turn on the indoor cooking equipment in this weather) not to mention the luxury of two extra days off from work, and you have yourself one well contented blogger. If only every weekend could be like this!

I have also been attempting to apply myself to my arts lately. (My, aren't we preening!) I have produced a few passible little miniatures over the last month or so:

There us this beehive:

And this curious little medieval dragon and border:

There is this painting. There is a marshy bit of meadow, a couple miles from my home, where a little river comes out to the lake. We've been in a drought for long enough, that the grass comes down nearly to the lake in a wide swath of marsh grass and wild flowers. I like to walk down there if it is cool enough in the evening, and watch the sunset. I came home from one such jaunt and made a paint sketch of it - free hand. No preliminary drawing, just wet washes laid down quickly on top of each other, and a bit of drier painting on top for detail:

And lastly, there is this ladybird beetle - otherwise known as a ladybug in the US - painted up yesterday, for the feast of the Assumption, this particular insect being named for Our Lady:

And lastly, I have been trying to write poetry. I am not entirely sure why I am struggling so much with it. I have attempted four poems in the last month, and none of them have made it through the creative process. I still think the ideas behind them are quite good. I just can't get them out on to paper. This one came to me a couple days ago. The weather has been a bit warm of late, and the summer sun here at nearly 6,500 feet, is piercing, but the nights are getting the least bit cooler, and there is a bit of autumn in the wind. So I wrote this:

Turning From the Sun

The air lies heavy still, with heat
And still too fiercely burns the sun -
Too bright the blue, unclouded sky,
Too hard the earth, for want of rain.

But winds have come now, edged and sweet,
And copper needles, slanting down,
A chill curls where deep shadows lie,
And clouds give hope of green again.

Maybe we will finally have a proper winter here on the West Coast, and the drought will ease, if not leave entirely. I miss snow in winter, and green growing things in summer. 


PiperoftheStrait said...

Huzzah for you and your Piping championship watch'n in the wee hours of the morn.
Hope your coffee was as good as I know the Whisky is.
By the By- here's and 'h' to with your Laproaig.
Keep up the good work Lass. Your articles, car ailments notwithstanding (and I hate those things); are entertaining, informative and always a bright spot in one's morning.


Mahri said...

And so it does. I was so concerned about getting the 'oai' in the right order, that I got sloppy with the rest of the word.

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

PiperoftheStrait said...

As I sit here chuckling I must say I also was concerned about getting all the letters in the right order (especially since I was the one doing the correcting). I actually went on to a the Laphroaig website and copied & pasted the name in my comment.