A Skein of Cherry-Coloured Twist   Leave a comment

Opening with the entire Don Quixotte Suite by that unappreciated master, Georg Philipp Telemann?
May seem nothing to do with the following. It has everything to do with it.

*   *   *


There were twelve pieces for the coat and four pieces for the waistcoat; and there were pocket flaps and cuffs, and buttons all in order. For the lining of the coat there was fine yellow taffeta; and for the button-holes of the waistcoat, there was cherry-coloured twist. And everything was ready to sew together in the morning, all measured and sufficient — except that there was wanting just one single skein of cherry-coloured twisted silk.

Tailor 2… The tailor came out of his shop, and shuffled home through the snow. He lived quite near by in College Court, next the doorway to College Green; and although it was not a big house, the tailor was so poor he only rented the kitchen.Tailor 3

… He lived alone with his cat; it was called Simpkin.

“Miaw?” said the cat when the tailor opened the door. “Miaw?”

The tailor replied — “Simpkin, we shall make our fortune, but I am worn to a ravelling. Take this groat (which is our last fourpence) and Simpkin, take a china pipkin; buy a penn’orth of bread, a penn’orth of milk and a penn’orth of sausages. And oh, Simpkin, with the last penny of our fourpence buy me one penn’orth of cherry-coloured silk. But do not lose the last penny of the fourpence, Simpkin, or I am undone and worn to a thread-paper, for I have no more twist.”

(It’s a miraculous story in its way, right up there with A Christmas Carol… Mum and Dad used to read it to us on Christmas Eve…)


*   *   *


100 assorted pads for a piccolo… 200 assorted pads each for flute and clarinet.. Flute washers and pad screws… a set of white roo pads w/o resonators for an 80-year-old alto saxophone that should be worth $1,800 when it’s done … should be… 6 flutes (4 Artleys, an Armstrong, a King “Cleveland” and a piccolo (a “LaFleur”) I hope to get $150 each for; one Artley sterling silver open-hole intermediate/entry-level professional flute I hope to sell for $500, 2 “Boozy and Squawks” clarinets (those wonderful rare old (over here anyway) English “wide-bore” horns) for $175 each and one Noblet clarinet (a good intermediate instrument but it’s 35 years old) for $250…

… For a total of… $3,550…

… All in junk condition at the moment and worth at the most, at the moment, $30 apiece…

… but hopefully I’ll be able to sell all this stuff once it’s been resurrected and really have $3,550 or so in my coffers as a result. I’ve emptied my savings account to do it. And this had better work, or in Beatrix’s words, I am undone and worn to a thread-paper, for I have no more twist.

… Those items, and a weight set… And some more silver-plate solution…

… Going downhill’s real easy. Getting back up again. There’s the hard part.


*   *   *


So.. Friday last week.. Halfway point between two cheques.. Other than that? Another day’s write-off of wasted time. Quartet rehearsal that didn’t focus very well but my chops were still shot by the end of it; then again, maybe we’ll be performing in May. Home, crash, rouse myself, out the door to wrap up another job… Took a lot of pictures since it was my last day there even if the place looks like a blend of the moon’s surface and Dachau; I’ve given those people a year of concentrated effort… Erich the Übermanager was telling me how he was going fishing on the weekend and showed me a picture of the halibut he’d caught last time; if it weren’t my last day he’d give me some of his next catch… (assuming he caught any… and if he remembered…) If it were some halibut that would be great: The two fish I like to eat: Halibut and swordfish.

… Well, there’s some others… (Tuna… and… um… er.. That’s it!)

And the time went by and I managed 90 minutes of drawing practice between calls, my replacement materialized a bit early, I found an Esso station with diesel on Bloor but not the one Medea was telling me about (think that one was a Shell), bought $20 worth (= about 14 litres), poured it into my fuel tank before hitting the hay, and that was Friday…

Medea Herself arrived the next day,  lunch at The Prancing Mule, she had poutine, I had shepherd’s pie, chocolate fudge cake ÷ 2 for dessert, I promised next time I’ll pick up the tab; then to Roma, which was disappointing, thence to Home Dumpster which was also disappointing…. but, a thought: 3 skylights at $400 each = $1,200… and $300 for a set of kitchen cabinets x 6 = $1,800… so $3,000 just for that, and I haven’t mentioned kitchen sink, upper cabinets, countertops, wood panelling…  $17.00 will cover 13 square feet…

How do you do desperately-needed renovations when you don’t have two twonies to rub together? I’m thinking at the moment, lots of imagination and elbow-grease, filched scrap lumber from here there and everywhere, used items which will be a lot cheaper than new, and imaginative use of cement to make a countertop…

… and by and by seven o’clock-ish rolled round, Medea headed out… rehearsals to do, of one kind and another…

… And I realized I was absolutely wiped.

Managed a bit more work on the Silver Saxophone, but only a bit. Watched a bit more of “House of Cards”… Francis Underwood and his darling wife Claire… the season opens with our Mr. Underwood, now President of the good ol’ US of A, making a special trip to his father’s grave (he bought the headstone, paid for the funeral, was the sole attendee… who does that remind me of… ?)

And now it was time to demonstrate his gratitude and respect, by urinating on it…

To think of Frank and Claire Underwood… Utterly ruthless, utterly unprincipled, completely amoral, their one and only quality / ambition / intention / purpose / drive is their lust for power, just as if it will help them where we’re all going to wind up. They care about nothing else, and of other people? Only as far as they can use them.

Are the people who run things, truly this despicable? This portrayal is likely if anything highly sanitized. I know this. But still not nearly well enough.Frank and Claire


*   *   *

Stockman's Hat

Church next day,  found my Stockman’s hat just where I’d left it two weeks earlier. Learned I was supposed to be there a week earlier, to play recorder. Didn’t show up. Didn’t know, and I was bagged….. Oops. Visited Mom and Dad’s and Paul’s graves like I usually do, looking at the date on the latter’s (January 27, 1995) I note with astonishment Paul kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil, ran down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible more than 20 years ago already…

Anyone else starting to notice 20 years isn’t such a long time ago?
— David DeAngelo



The Christmas wreath someone left on the grave just above Marg and Perky’s is getting more and mTemptationore grey and decrepit, but the Agéd P.’s and Paul don’t seem to have done anything much since the last time I saw them.

And off, the thought of a bite at A&W on the way home.. As opposed to eating at home of salad and beans and the inevitable thought: “Fuck it. I could be dead tomorrow”. And almost immediately after that, the notion of eating at The Pirate’s Bay instead… more comfortable, better food… so I went there for brunch…

For crying out lEconomic Collapseoud, I have to learn how to relax and enjoy myself, savour my food slowly, sip my coffee instead of chug-a-lug… And read my book more attentively about the Argentine Economic Collapse.. As it was I horked down my lunch way too quickly, but still I managed to digest some of Sgr. Aguirre’s memoirs… talking about stocking up on food and water and guns and ammunition and supplies and hand-to-hand combat… And while the idea of an economic collapse in Canada seems pretty far-fetched… if you trouble to look at things a little too closely…

… er, ah, hmm

What if, something like what happened in Argentina happened here? What the Hell would you do? Where would you go? How would you hide? What about all your stuff that you’ve so carefully garnered? It doesn’t bear thinking about. But it has to be thought about. Things are not as they seem…

… How do I take care of that, without two twonies to rub together?


*   *   *

Whatever. I’ve transferred $500 from savings to order pads and parts, and that’s what has to be thought of next…


*   *   *


Sunday afternoon, 4:30 – nearly 6:00 looking up catalog numbers and prices — Medea re-materialized and it was dinner and off to lovely Acting Ordinary Seaman and Lance Corporal’s Band…  9 people showed up… Somewhat like my poor old church where I counted 19 people in the congregation, none of them under 70. Down quite a bit from the 30-odd of just a couple of years ago, when none of them was under 65… Mortality is doing its inevitable thing, 2 years from now it’ll be down to about 5 in the congregation and I imagine that’s when St. Victor and an Angel will be shutting its doors… Some might gainsay my point of view, but it’s sad, really… this atomization of humanity in favour of The Internet, Texting and Computer Games… and of course, Television… while stuff like amateur bands and orchestras and dance groups go the way of the Great Auk… People like Frank and Claire and worse are in charge; the fish in the ocean are dying and the jellyfish are multiplying; the island of plastic the size of The State of Texas in the Pacific… is now appreciably larger than The State of Texas… Have a look at Jeff Wells’ piece from a long time ago.. Alas he seems to have given up blogging; nevermind he’s a much better writer than me.



*   *   *


Those items, a weight set, some more silver-plating solution… and screws to fit New Wonder and Tru-Tone Saxophones…Kitchen Sink

And the thought of making my own kitchen cabinets and a polished concrete countertop… apparently the result can look as good as marble or granite.. The investment in materials likely 1/3 what it would cost to have buy them ready-made… $1,500 versus $4,500. Maybe even less than $1,500.

And when I’m done.. I have another skill set.


*   *   *


Two days later and the inevitable: Bought my weight set. And a tank of gas. And not nearly enough money to pay my immediate bills, buy my pads and supplies, and still enough money for gas and grocs till the next payday… What did me in? Among other things I lost the adapter-widget to my computer’s power supply, and they don’t sell the widgets alone… No: I had to blow $70 on a whole new power supply, for the sake of a $5.00 widget. Remember this, Gentle Readers: As Sgr. Aguirre and Argentina demonstrated, our economic system does not serve us.

In for an appointment on Friday to see what is to be done about the mess, and I may have to split payments for that (if I can) to juggle other obligations, including my pad order. In the meantime found a book in the library, Busting Loose from the Money Game… hoped it would have something useful to tell me… but it’s merely another solipsistic twist on “The Law of Attraction” rubbish spewed by the likes of Abraham Hicks and Rhonda Byrne.. “Just click your heels together three times, Dorothy and say ‘No Place Like Home’ ”… and while the notion that everything I see and feel and hear and smell is an illusion (just like in The Matrix) provides a Kafkaesque kind of comfort, that all I have to do is think the right Happy Thoughts and everything will be better (it won’t)… Sorry: I ain’t buyin’ the notion it’s all a game that I’m playing and everything and everyone in my life is my own creation…

The CoatSurely I would come up with a better, pleasanter illusion than this one… ? … But just like the one I’m working on, The Tailor of Gloucester does have a happy and miraculous ending…

No More Twist

PS Was visiting work, happened to look down, and there was my widget. Back goes the new power supply.



Posted March 13, 2015 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: