blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Theme and variations (verbal)

Our friend Mr. Vulpe has lent us a book, Exercices de style ––un des ouvrages les plus célèbres de l'écrivain français Raymond Queneau, as the French Wikipédia puts it––in which the author retells the same anecdote in 99 different registers. I took one glance at it and thought, I'd like to do that. So I gave it a try. I haven't got as far as 99 versions yet, but have spent far too much time attempting a few.

Here's my theme:

This evening, after practising the Schubert songs Chris has to perform at his singing lesson tomorrow, I asked him if he would like to go for a walk. He said he would do half an hour’s work at his computer, and then go out for the walk.

And here are a few of my variations on the theme:

Supper was served, after which two songs from the Winterreise song cycle by Schubert were practised by Chris. The piano accompaniment to these was played by his wife, Alison. A question was put to Chris afterwards regarding his preferences for or against an immediate walk. In the event, work had to be done in the basement for half an hour before the walk could be undertaken. Tomorrow the songs will once again be performed and on that occasion Chris’ progress will be assessed by his singing teacher.

To: C.Hobbs
From: A.Hobbs
Bcc: Family, Friends
Re. Evening walk, Mar. 17, 2014
Schubert song completion on schedule. No further action on Winterreise Nos. 1 and 20 required at present. Can we arrange for a walk ca. 20:30 or would that impact your plans for the evening? RSVP a.s.a.p. 

And it came to pass in those days, that the man left his tribe and took his tents and his cattle and his wife and all that was his, and went to abide in the wilderness across the waters. And there it was that he sang unto the Lord with a great voice. And lo, the woman did minister unto him. And the time came that she said unto him, Master, shall we not go now, even unto the frozen waters? And he answered and said, Woman, I shall first do this thing whereof thou knowest not what I do. Verily I must travail in the bowels of the earth before the Lord, and thereafter shall I come unto thee and do thy bidding. And it was so. Thanks be to God.

So. We were like singing. You know, like songs and stuff. And I was like, shall we go now? So he was like, not YET. I mean like, oh my god, I’ve got to like do this first. Oh my god.

Since thirty minutes I am waiting for hear your desires about stroll in evening with ourselves. Tonight I am first playing piano and hearing songs of you, then sitting. You come not yet up stairs in order to be my company. Do I wait much longer time for this going out, please?

Ah’ve met some right queer folks in me time, but this just about teks the biscuit. 'E wasn’t only singin’ for 'is supper, like, she was aidin’ an’ abettin’ 'im too, playin’ hymns or summat on t’ piano. An’ then she says she wants to go out in t’ park with ’im––in t’ middle of winter, mind, when it was as cold as if tha’d bin on Ilkely Moor b’aht 'at! Plain daft, ah’d call it. They’ll likely catch their deaths.

While he warbled, she played on the keys
Until in the end she said, Please
Let us go for a walk
And then we can talk,
But he said, Let’s postpone it––we’ll freeze!

Well, waddya know? Chris hit that D spot-on, tonight! Hey, that’s great, Chris. Get some more work done while the wind’s behind you? Or shall we hit the town first? Why not, eh? Could be fun tonight. Not for half an hour? OK, that’s fine with me. Give me a shout when you’re done, then let’s get going. Yeah.

Enter ALIS. and CHRISTOPH. Music.
ALIS. Hark, how the music lingers on thine ear with touches of sweet harmony.
CHRISTOPH. It strikes a chord, even to the utmost reaches of my soul.
And yet I fear, my sweet, that I must hence away
To do that which thy gentle nature can but marvel at.
ALIS. You mean, be at your labours, deep within the house
Whither fair music cannot penetrate?
CHRISTOPH. I do. And so farewell a while. I’ll haste away
And be before thee e’er the hour has half way passed.
ALIS. I’ll see thee straight. [Exit CHRISTOPH.] And yet, methinks,
He’ll tarry e’er he comes.


CWC said...

100 supper
110 singing
120 if goforawalk then goto 140
130 goto 160
140 goforawalk
150 goto 170
160 dodrudgery
170 if nottomorrow then goto 100
180 goto 100
666 end

CWC said...

To whom it may concern.

Site instruction river01

Re: Sequence of operation clarification

The following work shall be included in the contract.

1. Contactor shall provide all meals.
2. Contractor is responsible for provision of all training support to the sub-contractor.
3. Site cleanup to take place prior to all breaks.
4. Project review to take place at the end of final day of training.

CWC said...

Avast there! It's 6 bells and that scurvy dog HOBBS be practisin' his Schu shanty. That's a sorry sight fer a sober man. 'Is peg leg'll keep 'im t' 'af an 'our scuttlin' like a crab after 'e swabs the deck. Arrrr.