Kindness

Social media tells me it is World Kindness day.  Sounds like a good thing.  Although I doubt the people who should be taking note are paying attention.  Still we must do what we can.

Today we had a day trip to the big city, well a city anyway.  We wore our best smocks held neatly in place with baler twine and caught the horse and trap into town.  After a wander around the shops, buying a few essentials, pitch forks and the like, we went to Zizzi’s for lunch.  We always go to Zizzis.  It is great.  If anyone from Zizzi’s is reading this and would like to reward my testimonial with an unlimited life time of pizzas, I would not refuse.   I am sure I could do better than “it is great” if I put my mind to it.

Although we were early, the restaurant was busy and our charming Italian waitress was a little flustered.  The meal was delicious and as we were about to leave she apologised for her tardy service.  She then explained that she was quite new to the job and hadn’t known it so frantic before.  I tried to reassure her.  I told her it had been fine, we hadn’t had to wait long, we could see it was busy.  Most importantly she was nice and most things can be forgiven if you are nice.  “You think I am nice?!” she beamed.  “Yes, I do, very nice”.  “Thank you, you have made me feel so much better, you have made my day”.

And her reaction made my day.

It is worth it, a kind word.

To unashamedly quote The Bard, who was actually talking about something else at the time “It is twice blest:  It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

Still it is true.  It is good to be kind.  And once you get going it is very easy.

YMCA

It was a struggle to get an even vaguely in-focus photo today.  This was partly to do with the gale force winds that were assaulting plants and gardener alike, and partly to do with the fact I had so many clothes on it was hard to extricate my camera and take a shot.

In order to keep warm, this vinca was doing the dance moves to YMCA.  For sake of the photo, we are lucky that Y is quite a long note.

Bacchus

This morning I started a new job.  I think it is going to be a good one.

They have compost bins and a greenhouse.  They said the words “environmentally friendly”.  The soil is free draining.  It is a windy site but has sun.  It is flat.  It is only 20 minutes from home.  I haven’t seen any mind your own business.  They say please and thank you.  Coffee is good.  And this little chap lives there.

Hail storms notwithstanding, it was good a start.  I think it is going to be a good one.

Attention

“Quick, quick, come and see this!” Lady Mantle called out frantically.

His Lordship and myself dropped our croquet mallets and ran at full pelt towards her plaintive calls.

“Is it a newt?”  I asked

“No”

“A toad?”

“No”

What other exotic creature could be lurking in the flower bed?  A boomslang, an axolotl, a New Zealand flatworm?

Panting after our exertion, having run a full 10m without a pit stop, we demanded:

“What have you found that is so exciting we had to drop everything and rush to your side?”

“A really big worm”

Lord Mantle looked at me.  I looked at him.  We sighed in unison and walked away muttering “a worm” and “not even a very big one”.

As we retreated we could hear Her Ladyship exclaiming:

“Look! It’s as big as a snake, enormous, come back!”

Attention seeking again.  When will we learn?

There is no photo of the “enormous” worm.  I hope you aren’t disappointed.  Instead you have a picture of a canna seedpod, just ready to drop its contents to the ground.

 

Six on Saturday – November Cheer

I am determined to remain upbeat for this week’s Six on Saturday.   Apparently, according to a memo I received this week from our mentor The Prop, it is important that we keep our happy faces on, given all that is going on at the moment.  And, as we all know, what The Prop wants, The Prop gets.  This morning’s result didn’t help.  Then I heard the story of the South African captain, Siya Kolisi, and my disappointment turned to love and respect.  There is always something there, something to turn things round.  We just have to look a little closer.

Shall we kick off with the psychedelic partnership of Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ and Fuchsia hatschbachii.  Both were distinctly underwhelming earlier in the season.  The same can not be said for them now.  Planted in a collapsing half barrel in the frozen north, they get absolutely no direct sun now.  Do they care?  Not likely!

Next we have Jacaranda mimosifolia grown from Mallorcan seed.  It has had a good summer outside, growing well all things considered.  Last week I moved it to the waiting room, just outside the back door.  Soon it will be moved inside for a winter sojourn away from the elements, attempting to inflict a little class on the spider plants.

Onto nasturtium and friend.  I have reached the time of the year when I say “oh, bless its little cotton socks” rather than reaching for a brick.  This of course is very short sighted of me, they will return in droves to haunt me, punishing my soft heartedness.  You may have noticed by the attractive drops on the leaf that it is raining still.  On a day off I really don’t care.

Now an unknown penstemon, a cutting from a former client’s garden.  It has flowered all summer and is showing no sign of retiring from active duty.

The Lavandula pinnata has thrived this summer.  I really should have taken some cuttings but I didn’t so there is no point worrying now.  It is in a sunny, well drained spot, so the odds are stacked in its favour.  I may have just jinxed myself.

Finally, the exotic glamour of Impatiens flanaganae.  After a dramatic pause it has come into flower just in time to make number six.  Definitely worth the wait.

Not sure that was particularly cheery, but one does what one can, until the next time ….