Z achieves

I did have the study ready and I made sourdough bread too. The carpet has been cleaned and Rose dropped in for lunch. And I cried. I do not like this and want to pull myself together.

Paul the Fish called as usual this morning and suggested various easy meals – but I saw herrings and said ooh. First, it was going to be herring for dinner and then I thought ooh again and bought half a dozen extra for rollmops.

So, already tired from clearing out a room – furniture and all (most of it) and cleaning the carpet, I then had to gut and bone herring. Then prepare a brine to soak them and spiced vinegar, onions and pickled cucumber for preserving them. I have no idea. I don’t know why I think this sort of malarkey is a good idea, however briefly.

All the same, it is all done and I had the roes on toast (new-baked bread, of course) for dinner. Eloise cat had raw herring, which is her absolute dream food. She actually whimpered for more, which is a rare thing because she’s a polite and laid-back cat.

Before I cooked the herring roes (too much for me, the rest is in a ramekin in the fridge, I suddenly had an impulse to get out my new clarinet. I picked it up the Friday after Tim died and I hadn’t opened the case until now. So I did. Cork grease. I looked in the case of my old clarinet and, mysteriously, there was no cork grease. The tube must have fallen out and I haven’t found it yet, mostly because I haven’t been looking. I did get out a soft reed, because I knew the one given is a 3 and, not having played for a year and a half, I’d never get a note out with that. I usually use 2 1/2, but I found a new 1 1/2, which was plenty.

I was indignant. You’d think they’d have provided cork grease. Then I looked in another pocket of the case and yes, they had. I smeared it on the corks, but I’ll need to use a lot more grease, it’s very stiff. The clarinet has a lovely tone, though. It sounds beautiful, even with my inexpert playing. Now I’ve started, I’ll have to carry on, though I mustn’t play for long at a time, because too much moisture in a new instrument might crack the barrel. 20 minutes a day for a month and then it’ll be fine, said the tuner.

The timer went off at 8.30, so I’ve rolled the rollmops and will leave them in the fridge for a few days. Now, though it’s only 9 o’clock, I am looking forward to bed. Clean sheets after a busy day, surely I’m bound to sleep?

5 comments on “Z achieves

  1. 63mago

    I think you achieved a lot. And hope that you had your deserved, refreshing sleep. What are you playing on the Klarinette ?
    Thinking about it, I find “rollmops” is a strange word.

  2. Z Post author

    Just a few easy tunes and scales, I was only trying the clarinet out. I still made my lips bleed, I really am out of practise.

    It is a really strange word, the roll is obvious but rollmop? So I looked it up and the origin is German, according to Wiki. Rollen + mops (pug or fat young boy??) singular rollmops, plural rollmöpse.

  3. 63mago

    As you say – das Rollen ist der einfache Teil – to roll something is the easy part, the “Mops” is the problem. I first had to deal with this word when I learned about 18th century “Mopsorden”, orders of Mops. Usually a “Mops” is this small, fat dog animal pug. It was also used as nickname for chubby little boys, but is not à la mode anymore. “Mops” seems to describe generally something that has, or resembles, the form / figure of a reel or barrel. The adjective “mopsig” has a wider range of sense, it can also mean “boring”, and (especially when used in sich mopsig machen / one makes himself “mopsig”) become or be “frech” – maybe cheecky is good, for pug’s cheekies.
    V.v.Bülow loved dogs and coined the phrase “A life without pug is possible, but senseless”.
    I was not aware of the fact that clarinettists have to pay with their own blood. I only heard once that many violinists sooner or later become deaf in one ear.

    1. Z Post author

      I don’t usually play until my lips bleed, it was rather a surprise. It’s the inner lower lip that can become sore, until you play regularly enough to be hardened to it. The solution is to pad your bottom front teeth with a cigarette paper.


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