Learning how to read, write and live on my own for the first time in my life
Saturday, May 12, 2012
A mixed bag
Very cold here this week, winter seems to have set in early. Despite a forecast of wind and rain, my gardening mentor Ali and I managed to plant the lilac tree she had grown for me from an offshoot of hers (which came originally from her mother's, so it has a venerable lineage). She assures me it can cope with neglect, which is probably what it will get from me most of the time.
We didn't get the multi-coloured tulips into their pot, but I can manage those myself, I've done it before. But we did plant ten fancy daffodil bulbs and the rhubarb plant she also brought me. As my food blog shows, I'm very keen on rhubarb, so I hope it survives. It's in a pot, which it may or may not like, but it's a better alternative than the rubble-strewn clay which makes up most of my garden, under a very thin layer of topsoil.
I questioned Ali closely about how to look after it. At first she was far too vague, as good gardeners (like good cooks) so often are - "they like a lot of feeding..." No, no, I said, that's no good, you have to tell me exactly what kind of food, how much of it, how often, and how to put it on. Then I wrote it all down - that's the only way I'll have any hope of getting it done.
I've found a good new way to get myself into town, too. On Monday afternoons I take my turn as a volunteer at the wonderful Eva's Attic, where you can find amazing bargains in smart second-hand clothes and do good at the same time - all the proceeds go to excellent causes, such as the New Horizons for Women Trust. It's in Cuba Street, upstairs next to Olive Cafe. The only hazard is that I get to see the new stock, and sometimes it calls to me, so I have to try it on...
Eva's is lovely and warm, but otherwise it's been a bit damp and chilly indoors as well as out - nothing wrong with the heating, I just can't seem to keep it together very well. Last year's emotions ran both lower and higher; now it feels more like a persistent slough of despond. I have plenty to do, and manage to get absorbed in various kinds of wordsmithing, but otherwise... not so good. Can't be helped, of course, and I'm sure it will pass in time. But I try to tell the truth here, as much as I can, so there it is.
My partner of thirty years, Harvey McQueen, poet, gardener, educator, 13/9/1934 - 25/12/2010
The Colour of Food: A memoir of life, love and dinner
Here's the cover of my food memoir, to be published in June 2013 by Awa Press as an original e-book. Click on the cover to go to the book's Facebook page.
MY FOOD BLOG
Click on the lemons to go to Something Else To Eat
Harvey's last anthology, These I Have Loved: My favourite New Zealand poems, published by Steele Roberts, was launched on 10/10/2010. To see what Beattie's Book Blog has to say about it, click on the cover.
"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most." — Margaret Atwood