My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth


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Saturday night ~ it’s humid

Word Press Daily Prompt Saturday Night

Coping with the heat and humidity. That is what I am doing.

Earlier this evening, cold drink in hand, I kept company with Dr. Kay Scarpetta as I turned the pages of crime author Patricia Cornwell’s latest novel, Depraved Heart. At page 256, I stop reading. There is no more ice in my freezer and no more chilled drink in my fridge. That puts an end to that.

Time to venture outside to say goodnight to my garden, to give the plants a cool drink. It is pleasant during the stillness of the twilight hours. The first star makes its appearance, there is the occasional bird twitter as they settle in the trees and the shadows deepen as the dark cloak of the night descends over the land. After shutting the hens in their coop, I set the possum traps. These creatures of the night will soon stir from their daytime slumbers intent on foraging and ravaging my fruit.

Still the humidity persists. Feeling listless, I check out the online International Scrabble Club and play a couple of games, check out Facebook and am now writing this daily prompt. It may be a late night.

Hardly Saturday night fever.

 


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The Public Nature of Private Mobile Phone Calls ~ boring!

Word Press Daily Prompt (YAWN) What bores you?

Sipping my cappuccino at the local scenic waterfront café at times, has become a fraught experience. The very public nature of private mobile phone conversations are made audible across the café courtyard. I can overhear details about commercial transactions, marital woes, family and dinner arrangements. In this small city, it is easy to recognise names and faces. I, the stranger two tables away, become an inadvertent confidante. Yawn!

Hear this loud phone talkers! iPhones and Smartphones are sophisticated devices that enable two-way conversations without the need to shout. Speak in muted tones so that people at the next table cannot hear your personal business. I am not part of your conversation.

Notice that woman, sitting with the man at the table under the red sun umbrella, who just turned her back on you away from the direction of your voice. Quite likely it is me.  I struggle with too much information from unguarded talk. I get bored and to pass the time while I wait for my order, I concoct fictional scenarios around the snippets of information. Are you auditioning to be the central character?

In a café setting, we expect people to be sociable, to laugh, to savour the food and to enjoy face-to-face time with their companions. That is part of the ambience. Stop a while. Be unbusy. Inhale the cinnamon aroma that wafts from the froth in your coffee cup. It is one of life’s simple pleasures. Does that mobile call need to be made now?

Yes, I make and take mobile calls in public settings. I am mindful to talk in a private area so that I cannot be overheard. When I last checked, the café is licensed to sell and serve food and is not a phone booth or designated as an office. Phone etiquette is called for. After a workout at the gym, I like to have a coffee date with my husband away from my garden and to chill out in the sun without being interrupted by noisy nearby phone calls.


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Happy 70th Birthday, Babyboomers ~ say it loud and proud

The Daily Post: Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story on your local paper.

The first of the post-World War II babies born in 1946 are turning seventy this month.

Last Saturday, neighbours and friends joined family  to mark Brother-in-law’s (BiL) three score and ten milestone. BiL thought “about sixty people” were invited. BiL is the fifth generation of his family to live in the farmhouse built by his ancestor. The key to enjoying this occasion is to understand the traditions, the echo of a past way of life. BiL prides himself on being able to provide food from the sea and the land. And the beer must flow. It is the way things are done. Sister has been married to BiL for forty-five years. They have two sons and two grandchildren.

Eleven-year old announces the birthday, “he’s going to be seventy and we’re saying it loud and proud”.

“My mother used this pot” said BiL as he placed butchered lamb into the cast iron camp oven to be placed on the embers. How did women manage to lift these large heavy cooking pots? How did they endure the cooking fire heat in the summer like the warm temperatures in the weekend?  BiL, the youngest of five children, recalled his boyhood, living without electricity. “It was my job to split the kindling and get the fire going first thing in the morning and make my mother a cup of tea.”

It was like the clock stopped at the time when people lived off the land and hunted game animals and fished to feed their families. Into another pot went a dressed wild turkey. Older Nephew told me he “shot it up at the Cape”. The cured ham hanging on a hook came from a wild boar hunted in the “bush at the back of the farm.” Potatoes were dug and peeled and salads were prepared. The helpers picked at slices of locally processed salami made from scraps of the wild pork. Older nephew, a commercial fisherman, filleted and marinated the snapper in coconut milk and lemon juice. Earlier, he had dived for scallops and shucked these ready to be grilled. Sister placed seventy candles on the cake.

“It’s a proven scientific fact that people who have more birthdays, live longer.” After midnight the beer and wine was flowing as were the birthday tributes and old stories. The guests had eaten. BiL yarned about the golden summers of his youth about what he and his mate used to get up to. They worked on the land and hunted “without aches and pains”. Fifty years ago BiL could not have imagined how medical technology would replace his hip.

So the Babyboomers are turning seventy. Growing older is a privilege denied to many. Often friends and family have died or moved away. Seventy is a number to clap and count as the candles on the cake are blown out.

Husband told BiL as he handed a gift of aged Scotch whiskey, ”drink it with me, don’t keep it to drink at our wakes.” Celebrate age “loud and proud”.