Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Busy One

Ruminations on Art and writing here... Battersblog Guest Appearance

Meanwhile: I managed to snaffle a quiet sort of day today. Natalie got herself involved in a social bike-ride down to Tomahawk, a little caravan-park of a town on one of the really sweet beaches down the coast. She'd been looking forward to it all week. There was a barbecue afterwards, too.

Unfortunately, it only became clear yesterday that my job was to be largely unsolicited Support Vehicle Driver.

Normally, I'd have sighed and taken it on the chin. A bit of barbecue with the kids down the beach would be a decent exchange for all the aroundgerfucken that goes with kids and bikes and long rides. But this time... well, Natalie's away tonight and tomorrow night, doing some kind of medical educator thing in Albury. Meanwhile, I've got a list of errands about nine metres long that I have to carry out in Launceston tomorrow... but of course, I can't leave until the kids are off to school, and I have to be back in time to collect them. Yep.

So I begged off, and took a bit of a mental health day. I wrote maybe a thousand words, did some reading, had a nice lunch, took a walk... of course, I also did the shopping, prepped for dinner, handled a bunch of laundry, etc. And after they got back from their ride I unloaded the trailer and fed a bunch of hungry kids (mine plus two extra) and Chrissie the Medical Student (happily, I had three litres of leftover Chicken Sweet Corn soup which was easy to heat up on demand).

Really, I have to get down to this blog thing more than once or so a week. I hate recapping. On the other hand, I've been busy enough that the only way to contemplate the bloody week has been in recap. Back to martial classes; teaching another basic class at the primary school; working up the proposal for an online high school extension class; reading for the MA; catch-up at Iaido classes...

We went to a wedding yesterday, did Natalie and I. Damon the Mad Piper has married Tanya, and it was a fine ceremony at the Holy Trinity Church in Launceston. Luckily, Chrissie the Medical Student makes a very fine babysitter... I left her with the ready makings of chicken won-ton soup, and a chocolate shortcrust flan thing, and Jake can now make popcorn, so they were well set.

"Mawwiage. That bwessed event. That dweam... within a dweam..." I can't help it. Every time I see a priest dressed up in those nifty robes, I flash on Peter Cook in The Princess Bride, and I start sniggering. It's not a good look.

The other problem for me is the bit where the priest does the blessing. He has to raise his hand in front of him, you see... and invariably, I find myself thinking: These aren't the droids you're looking for. You don't need to see his papers. Move along.

Pop culture. It can really fuck up your ability to take a church wedding seriously.

It didn't help that they were piped into the church by Highland pipers, and that an Irish piper played while the register was signed. Don't get me wrong. The pipes were lovely, even with the pipe organ in the background. But the thing is that Nat and I were sitting among other musicians from the regular session she attends, and... well... they have a sense of humour.

As the piper was playing an phis fliuch (a well known Irish piece) we were giggling about the possibilities. You see, a lot of Irish trad pieces have... odd titles. After a bit of discussion, we decided that there ought to be a "Wedding Set" of tunes to be played at these occasions. We figured it would consist of the following three pieces, in order:

Dick Gossip; then Cock Up Your Beaver; and then Oh, Hag You Have Killed Me.

I should point out that the second tune was named in the era when a 'Beaver' referred to a fashionable hat, which could be 'cocked up' at a jaunty angle. (What else could they possibly be referring to?)

So, there we were, giggling like naughty schoolkids. Then Andrew the Piper came over to us after the ceremony, and we let him in on the joke. Or so we thought.

Turns out that Andrew and Damon had a better joke for us.

An phis fliuch is a lovely piece of music. But I've only ever seen the name in Irish Gaelic. And that's odd, since virtually every trad piece I've seen (and I've seen well over a thousand) has an English name, or an English translation.

Well, it turns out there's a reason it's not usually translated. Apparently it translates directly as "The Wet Vagina". (It's not crude in Irish.) It's more often referred to as "The Wet Kitten", or even "The Wet Pussy". Sometimes it's coyly called "The Choice Wife". But the actual translation is very much as shown...

... well played, sir. Well played.

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