Winter is i-cumin in, Lhude sing goddamn!

Ancient Music
by Ezra Pound

Sing goddamn, damn. Sing goddamn!
Sing goddamn, damn. Sing goddamn!

Winter is i-cumin in,
Lhude sing goddamn!
Raineth drop and staineth slop
And how the wind doth ram
Sing goddamn!

Skiddth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing goddamn.
Goddamn, goddamn, tis why I am goddamn,
So gainst the winter’s balm.

Sing goddamn, sing goddamn, DAMN!

Something has changed. The visitors’ center and solar toilet have been moved to the berm of spare and idle buildings. The tourist camp looks like it’s gone or mostly gone. The slump — the smoking bar — has closed. People who seem vital, like the welder, are leaving. People are printing Lonely Planet guides. The temperature was -20 a day or two ago. The station is getting ready for the winter.

I’m getting ready too. I’m not counting days yet, but I know there aren’t many left. So far, I’ve enjoyed them all, and hope to keep doing so. I have a few things left to do, including blog entries and science experiments I’ve been putting off. [I’m rerunning the gyroscope experiment now, and if I get six hours I’ll publish. If it rips itself apart again, you’ll hear about it. If it burns down the station, you’ll hear about that, too.] I’m looking at travel options, and hoping I can find a cheap backpack somewhere, since I neglected to bring one. I’ve made all the truly necessary arrangements for a month of travel: I have a charge card, rented a car, and airplane tickets back to home. The California DMV came through with my renewed license and I got an international permit before I left. I’m a bit concerned about that whole “driving on the left” thing.

The contract includes the air fare, or rather the plane rides. Under the past contracts, we could take the money instead of the arranged air fights. That’s no longer true. Since the flights have been arranged on “preferred airlines” which give the USAP deep discounts I’ll be taking the long way home. I’m taking advantage of that by going via Sydney and seeing some folks I haven’t seen in ages. But some other folks in Sydney are moving to Seattle next week, so we’ll miss, but now I have more people to visit in Seattle.

The world looks small right now.

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4 responses to “Winter is i-cumin in, Lhude sing goddamn!

  1. Driving on the left is fun, you’ll do fine. The key is that you’re seated on the other side of the car, so your relationship to the road is the same (you’re near the center of the road).

  2. In 1972 my dad took us all to England for a year. For the first three or four months, every time he got behind the wheel he would start chanting under his breath, “Left turns are easy, right turns are hard.”

  3. I’d just hate it when I’d walk up to the car and think, “oh NO somebody’s stolen the steering wheel”

  4. I think we’re going to have to sing that one in your honor next week, Barry!

    It took me a few days of driving slowly around CHCH before I started feeling comfortable with the whole on-the-left thing. Just had to keep telling myself “left side, left side, left side” and consciously doing the calculation every time I approached a turn. The biggest problem was when I got back to the states, and now had an expanded world view on which side of the street was fair game.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the gyro experiment!

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