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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

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Dumbledore (left) and Huntsman Who Did Not Heed Me (right)

Sydney’s in the middle of a plague of spiders. Summer forgot to end and for weeks the weather has been like a skipping CD: humid, 30 degrees, sunny – every single day. Mostly people have been enjoying this, except for the fact that you cannot walk anywhere without charging face first into a spiderweb. For safety, you have to walk with one arm flailing in front of you, like a Dalek at a Donald Trump rally.

Apparently because it rained a lot in January there has been a boom in spider food, aka bugs, and the subsequent warm dry conditions meant that more baby spiders than usual have been surviving.

We’ve met some delightful spiders this year. There is a small spider who lives in the passenger-side wing mirror of my car. For safety when driving I have to wipe his web off most mornings with a piece of my children’s artwork, which I mostly keep filed on the floor of the car. I then fling the web collage out the window into the garden. That spider doesn’t seem to mind and he creeps out to start rebuilding the web whenever I stop the car at the lights. (more…)

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compostbin

Hiding in the corner, not doing its job well. Come on, compost bin, lean in.

Hello! Well, Mental Health Week came and went last week, and with it my intentions to write a really great post about mental health. I didn’t, because my mental health got in the way. What a jape! Mental health, you trickster, you.

The last few weeks my mood has been, like the Sydney weather these days, running very hot and cold, with a side of near constant anxiety.

I’ve been anxious about my little girl, who struggled all through the school holidays with the bullying issues she has been confronting at pre-school. She seemed to have read some textbook on being a small child and instead of behaving like a sensible adult about it, as she normally does, and thinking and discussing the problem until it is manageable, she behaved like a four year old and dealt with the problem by drawing on the living room carpet and cutting her own hair. So there was that.

There were also a lot of weeping meltdowns (from her and me), plenty of fraternal envy (mainly her, although I do have a brother living in New York so a low level of fraternal envy is a constant for me), topped off with some sleep regression (both of us). This culminated in a weekend of fevers, just before school resumed, and she now has a terrible cold. On the up side, things have improved at preschool this week and she is generally a lot happier. I on the other hand, have been left in a heap. I’m not as resilient as she is.

We’re also planning a fairly huge renovation of our house, which scares the crap out of me. So much money. So many decisions. So many panic attacks to have in tile shops.

Our plans look so lovely and sensible, and like they will solve so many of the issues the rabbit warren of a downstairs of this place currently has, but I can’t help wondering, when I look at those plans, if the people who previously renovated the house felt the same way when they created all these problems. Did they think it was a really awesome solution to have the main entrance of the house open straight into the toilet? Did they think seven doorways within a two-metre square space was going to look fabulous and lead to a relaxed flow of traffic? Did they have a reason for putting the only phone point so far from a power point, so you have to have cords draping all over the kitchen? Am I just those idiots, with Pinterest?

Basically, my mental state at the moment is precisely analogous to our compost bin. There is a lot of stuff in it, but it’s not breaking down properly. There are too many food scraps and not enough green waste. It’s sort of rotting a bit, in a smelly way, but it’s not turning into compost. And now there’s no room to put anything else in. It really needs to be dealth with: removed from the bin and turned, thoroughly, but ain’t nobody got time for that. So we have squeezed some bought compost in and a handful of worms from my mum’s house and put the lid on and we’re going to ignore it for a while. That’s how my brain is.

I think perhaps I need to write more. For me, writing mixes the eggshells and the carrot peelings with the grass clippings and creates a bit of heat in my head. Maybe heat that will break all this crap down into some lovely dirt I can grow things in. I’ll plant seeds of inspiration and grow a beautiful garden of intensely laboured metaphors. But probably the fucking possums will just come and eat them.

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Are things getting you down? Is your shared backyard full of dead plants, in a metaphorical or real sense? Mine is. Here are three things that make me laugh when I think of them, no matter how awful I’m feeling.

1. When she walks down steps, May Blossom has taken to sometimes refusing the proffered hand of her father or me and instead holds her own hand. Independent much? Lacking understanding of the concept of the stabilising force an adult hand can offer? Very, very funny to watch? All of these things.

2. When she wants to warn anyone of anything — that the heater is on; that there is a flight of steps approaching; that the cat is nearing dinner time and could remove the next digit or limb that gets waved near her — May Blossom says ‘Careful, mate’ in the most splendid approximation of H’s voice. (more…)

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H has been a bit under the weather this week, so yesterday May Blossom and I went out to the back garden, a weedy jungle  that has been roundly ignored since her birth, and picked him a bunch of flowers. We managed to find some dahlias, and oregano and mint that had gone to flower. We arranged them using a canny stuffing technique, shoving them into an alabaster vase I bought H home from Italy four years ago as an apology for running away to America and Europe without him for three months. (more…)

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