house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Start with a Pod

It's sunny, warm, the air still and blue. Bizarre, how this makes people get up and start gardening. Even more bizarre, I find myself joining these people I once used to watch with a smirk...

Look, I had no idea I'd get anywhere near a shovel and a bucket of glorified chicken poo mixed with old potato peel ('high quality compost'!) I'm in my good clothes. Good boots for crying out loud, brushed hair and makeup.

Still, instead of being in the car on my way to the shops, I'm sweating in the garden, pulling weeds. I had no idea there were so many weeds. For some weird reason, I only started seeing them today.

Not just seeing them: it's like waking up with microscope lenses instead of eyes; I came out of the house and a jungle sprung into my face; the whole place appeared to be INFESTED with brambles and mimosa. This fight or flight thing rolled on in my brain and, since I seem to be the hero of this horror, I fought.

Out came the mattock, shears, secateurs, gloves and rake. Soon, I was sweating and struggling, and it was like urban warfare. Had to take them corner by corner, stone by stone. They fought back. There are thorns in my good boots and long bramble arms manage to stab and strangle in one move. I cannot tell you how much that hurts.

And the mimosa? It wins by numbers: there is no end to them, so I stop to make a plan and write a blog. Then it's back to the battleground. I remember Paulo praising their nitrogen fixing roots, just as their spiky fringes poke me in the eye. I see red. I turn and go to find a saw.

Much later, I have: two ruined boots (two wet feet within), smudged makeup, hair all tangled with thorny twigs and foul smelling straw (so probably improved), a mound of evil-looking roots AND three handkerchief-sized plots ready for planting.

One for broad beans, one for mange-touts, one for peas. I swagger to the house to find the seeds. The next half-hour is glorious: standing in the little garden, fruit of hard work and sacrifices, letting the last rays of sun dry one's shiny brow; doing that elegant flick of the wrist that ensures one's plot of peas looks like a game of football in a kindergarten: a lone seed in a corner and all the other seeds crammed tightly in the opposite one; covering it all with earth, compost, straw; scanning the horizon with a thoughtful frown, for signs of rain (mmmh yes, a knowing nod, just enough time to put away wheelbarrow and tools; turning to go, one feels the first drops; smiles; walks with purpose and dignity to the warmth of one's hearth). Eehhh.

Way too tired to go to the shop for a new pair of boots.


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