My neighbour was going away for a few days last week, so she brought me her arrangement of wintersweet, because she didn't want to leave it languishing unseen and knew I'd like it.
I have it growing in my garden too - it was here when we came - but it's hidden away down the far end of the shrubbery and I'd forgotten about it. Harvey would never have done this, he used to bring it inside to me from our previous garden and was so pleased to find it here when we came. It seems to have heralded in a fairly calm time - although this might also have something to do with the omega 3 fish oil capsules I've started taking (when I remember). I started taking it because it's supposed to be good for your eyes, helping to ward off macular degeneration. But I was telling a friend that I seemed to have been, not exactly happy, but rather not UNhappy, for some time now, and she pointed out that omega 3 is supposed to be good for warding off depression, because it improves seratonin uptake. Who knows - but they're obviously not doing me any harm. And now I've got my son's visit to look forward to - he's coming home for two weeks in August.So I'm getting through the winter better than I thought I would. Many thanks to everyone who posted or called me about my birth mother, it was so kind. She's back at the home now and doing as well as possible.
...there's hope - and despite being 92, my birth mother is obviously made of remarkably resilient stuff. She's now eating and drinking again and it looks as if she'll be able to go back to her rest home in a little while. It's not her time to leave us just yet. If she had been a slight, frail old lady, it probably would have been. But like me, she loves her food, so she had plenty of reserves to draw on - and they stood her in good stead. Like another elderly lady, who is only a few years younger than her (and whom she greatly admires and has in the past borne a striking resemblance to), she's going to be with us for some time to come, bless her.
I've been away seeing my birth mother. She's 92, and she's in hospital and unlikely to recover. I've been lucky - I've known her for over 25 years. If you'd like to know more about how I found her, you can read Chapter 6 of my thesis, which is available online here.
Given her age, I knew that this last visit would probably come soon. I was so relieved and pleased that the way it worked out, I was able to get there in time to see her and say goodbye properly. She loves flowers, and blue is her favourite colour.
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
This is an e-book - click on the cover to see how to buy it.
This Piece of Earth: a year in my New Zealand garden
Harvey's memoir, now available as an Awa Press e-book - click on the cover to see how to buy it.
At my book launch - Lois Daish, me, Mary Varnham of Awa Press. Click on the photo 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