Ninja niceties   Leave a comment

And a legion of attack compliments.

On Sunday the 5th I woke to the sound of shovels scraping on pavements; my right-hand neighbour was just finishing clearing the snow from the pavement and the path to our doors. He was not alone; over the course of the day, everyone to my left followed suit. I was the single snowy link.

Why didn’t I? Well, laziness and not wanting much to do with the cold was one thing. And if you ignore snow it goes away; how often does it hang around for more than a day? It’s usually gone by dinner time. In the meantime, why on Earth would you walk on the pavement? There’s plenty of grass, and it has snow on to stomp through! Put on some waterproof boots and stomp through that! I don’t know why you wouldn’t. Or you can just not go outside until the snow goes away, which was my plan.

More practically, I don’t have a shovel, and doubt the garden fork would have been much use. Obviously I could have asked to borrow one from the neighbours, but that would have involved talking to them. I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, especially to ask favours, and expect that they find it just as horrible and terrifying as I – except with added annoyance that their strange, unkempt neighbour is hammering on the door, bothering them. Okay, they generally seem quite friendly (although I’ve not spoken to them since last year), and it’s true that nobody from herabouts has been unpleasant to me yet, but the more I avoid them the longer that shall remain the case.

Even assuming I had magicked up a shovel from somewhere, clearing the snow would then have required standing outside the house for some time. I don’t actually mind the outside; it can even be quite pretty and pleasant; unless, that is, there are likely to be people there. Absolute strangers are ignorable and generally leave you alone, except to be hostile, and that’s easy to deal with (especially when you’re holding a shovel). People I know well are fine. It’s the middle ground that’s the problem; people you vaguely know (or whom you used to know but have become estranged); whose names you probably should (but don’t) remember, or that you’re embarassed you never kept up with; who might assault you with unexpected pleasantries. You’re lumbered with that horrible uncomfortableness: what to say? How friendly to be? What should I remember? How do you end the conversation? Why are they being nice to me, what do they want? What did I do to deserve this? It’s awful. Even knowing that they could be watching you is unpleasant.

Much better to stay indoors and avoid all that. Read in bed and have fried eggs and coffee for breakfast. Eat tasty pheasant for dinner. It wasn’t all fun and games, alas; my shower keeled over. I tried fiddling with it a bit, but it wasn’t anything simple and the spare parts for any of the likely faults would’ve cost a significant chunk of a new shower. As it was battered by the previous owners – it didn’t even have the right screws holding it together – I half-wanted to replace it anyway, so this made up my mind and it got declared deceased.

Fortunately I was half-expecting this (it’d played up a couple of times recently), so I’d put the hot water on and had my two litre measuring jug handy. And having a wet-room means I can splash around as much as I like.

Of course I also played Skyrim. Last thing at night, I came across what I first thought was a statue, but then discovered was a perching Elder Dragon. It didn’t want to be my friend. Eventually I was victorious, but before I’d even reclaimed its soul this nutjob called Krosis popped out of the ground and started lobbing fireballs at me! And, if anything, he was even tougher than the dragon.

He dropped an ace mask, though. My character looks pretty sinister when she’s wearing it.

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Posted 15 February 2012 by Colthor in Diary

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