Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Le prochain que je choppe en train de siffler un intervalle païen, je fais un rapport au pape!"

*Cue blues i-iv-i progression*

Woke up dis mornin’
With a back dat was sore
Spent three hours gardenin’
To make it hurt more

Took drugs for the pain
Swallowed them down
Then played da piano
Got lost in da sound

Oh, yeah... 

Now that’s a far more fun way to sum up my days. I should write blues songs for the rest of my blog entries.

The song pretty much sums up my day, actually. My back was not happy with me when I got up, and spending the morning gardening was likely not the best thing for it. Thibaud, Tom, and I went into the far paddock, which borders on the vineyard, and spent all morning ripping/digging/clawing out with our gloved hands weeds and grasses that were climbing over and under the fence and getting under the black matting. This task was made harder by the dry, rocky soil that wasn’t giving an inch under our pitchforks, and the particularly stubborn weeds; my nemesis quickly became the grass that snapped off at the surface when one pulls, forcing one to dig a huge hole to pull out all its roots.

At midmorning break tensions were running a little high; the story is a bit complicated, but the gist of it is Thibaud needed to catch a bus tomorrow morning in Nelson to take him to Christchurch, but there wasn’t a bus leaving Richmond early enough for him to make it to Nelson in time, because Monday is a holiday here for Nelson, so the buses are running on Sunday service. As such, his best option was to take the airport shuttle, which would cost around $32 (considerably steeper than the bus’s $4). Thibaud felt that Rosemarie should drive him in to Nelson tomorrow morning, even though she make it quite clear to him that she didn’t want to do that, and that she and Howard don’t normally pick up or drop off WWOOFers in Nelson. As a result, Thibaud decided he would leave this afternoon on the bus and spend the evening in a hostel in Nelson instead. He was in a bit of a sour mood when we went out to finish the weeding job by laying black matting down, an intricate job that required moving rocks, cutting the matting to fit, and then covering the entire thing with stones and bark mulch.

We stopped work early and had lunch at 12:30pm instead of 1pm so Thibaud could have a proper meal before Rosemarie drove him in to catch the bus in Richmond. We had hamburgers on the barbecue, with Thibaud’s brownies for dessert, and sat outside on the patio. After lunch Thibaud went to pack, and Howard and I ended up sitting out on the patio and talking about skydiving and then janitoring (don’t ask me how those two are even tangentially related... I can’t remember how we got from one to the other).

After saying goodbye to Thibaud, I read a little bit of Dune (no Knight Rider today), and then ended up spending most of the afternoon and evening playing the piano. Howard and Rosemarie went out to a Blackcurrant festival around 3:30pm, leaving Tom and I to cook dinner (leftovers). I had a wonderful time playing both old pieces and new; I found Bach’s French Suite No. 6 in E Major online and had a go at that, and then downloaded some old Scarlatti Sonatas I learned back in grade nine piano. It’s amazing how much more effortless I find trills now; maybe I did actually learn something in all those hours I made Arthur and Karen suffer while trying to teach me to play properly. ;-)

Howard came home around 7pm (Rosemarie dropped him off and then continued on to her string quartet rehearsal), finding Tom and I enjoying leftovers and watching Eddie Izzard’s Où est la plume de ma tante? on Youtube. Tom shared with me Gad Elmaleh’s routine Where is Brian? - he’s a French comedian, and that particular sketch was poking fun at learning meaningless English phrases. When I found out Tom likes Kaamelott, I pulled up a video of La quinte juste, which I first saw while studying counterpoint, and still cracks me up. Tom was laughing hysterically, too... poor Howard, I think he thought we were rather insane.

For the rest of the evening I played piano again; I found a CPE Bach piano sonata I learned in grade nine and had a go at it. Sometimes when I’m relearning a piece I have to simply shut off the analytical side of my brain and play it a few times until my procedural memory has kicked in and gone, “Right, yes, we remember this piece now: alright, fingers, this is how it’s done!” It’s a bit of an odd feeling; almost as if another person has come to life within me and is controlling my hands as they find old fingerings and patterns again.

I have one more day of WWOOFing here, so I had better get some sleep and rest my back. I took two more ibuprofen, and they’re starting to work their magic. Goodnight!


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