Frustrations of the novice urban gardener: reckless weeds, snails that feast on precious greens, seeds refusing to sprout; to the former I should add the hours spent on weeding in stark contrast to the saddening sight of barren beds.
Hope spires when I see my shallow sea of summer flowers and the blackcurrants that ripen of their own accord, asking for nothing in return.
Other sources of joy are the bonus wild strawberries, the lemon grass, thyme and different kinds of sage that I’ve planted; the suede that is growing leaves and hopefully also big and juicy roots.Last, but not least: my budding green pea which is showing me the magic of pure plant willpower!
Status quo: the Greek government has submitted a new bailout plan. I am afraid that despite the recent referendum and more than five years of speculations and devastating austerity, it will just be same-same, but different. What can I say, politics…
It has been raining and raining this week, so anything I’ve said about summer bitter-sweetness I take back. Yesterday, I exploited a window of opportunity and took a bike ride to the flower market and picked some plants for the balcony.
Lavender and marigold.Illuminating the grayness as I write.
Finally summer is here; as the heat takes over, life is conjugated in the present tense and I experience joy tinged with melancholy; somehow the sun almighty, pinned to the same position on the sky for hours and hours, reminds me of the unbearable lightness of being – such is my psyche, what can I do?
I love July, though. This crazy, temperamental summer child that wants it all, now. Even when the rain comes, you just know your at the very heart of the season, and it’s beating fast. So, I have unearthed some summer skirts, bought myself a cheap pair of flowery shoes and found my Japanese style hat. I apply sun cream on my pale face from a tube that was bought on a hot day in Chennai, last March: along with the sunblock come beautiful sticky memories of a lovely weekend of self-indulgence. The landscape is turning voluptuously green including the unsolicited plants that are rampantly taking over my vegetable beds, calling for immediate weeding.Also very importantly, the season of frozen fruit has officially opened. Melons, mangoes, bananas and berries are placed in solitary confinement in the freezer, before they come out deliciously iced. All in all, the pieces of the summer puzzle are coming together. The only element missing now is water – indeed, every cell of my body is longing to plunge into the sea, but a pristine lake will also do.
Managing one’s to-do lists can be a challenge; striking a comfortable balance between the necessary, the would be good to do, and the desirable is an art. I am convinced that over-ambition and not curiosity killed the cat.I think however that I have found a way to make peace. I single out a focal activity for each day. It could be in the lines of, working on the assignment, sending off the agenda, going to the gym, cleaning up, etc. Everything else, like going to work, washing the dishes, cooking, etc., are just orbiting chores and do not count unless there is a particular reason.Also combinations are allowed, as long as they stay realistic, i.e. go to the gym AND bake bread.
Take the other day for instance: I cleaned the fridge, baked bread, made soup, washed the dishes, gardened, worked, met my sister, worked some more; quite a typical level of activity for me; in hindsight, I realise that it is not exactly the definition of slacking. Nevertheless, for the feeling of efficiency to sink in, there has to be a match between projection and outcome. Also, quite importantly, there should be room for good quality rewards, some good old patting on the shoulder to fuel motivation and intention.
Today’s focus is going to the gym. Two loafs of bread are already in the oven, and a tray of muesli is waiting to get crisp and toasty. Before I jump into my training gear, I have a couple of hours of work ahead of me. Being lazy is hard work!
Midsummer has passed without the typical folklore attributes. The longest day of the year was overcast; the unidentifiable weather has not helped in instilling summer feelings. It has been raining profusely. The grass is as green as ever – and not only on the other side of the fence. Snails relish on chlorophyll and happy hermaphrodites risk their lives on wet asphalted paths.
The sun is always out in the early mornings without fail, but the long evenings are still crouched under a duvet of clouds.
Summer is on hold; eventually, it will stretch out its long legs, kick the cover aside, rise and shine. I think we’re ready.
Some realisations dawn upon you while in the deepest slumber of everyday life. Like:
You cannot have a rainbow without rain. You can only have a double rainbow if you have a rainbow to start with. And for that, you need rain.
It is summer if you can have your cereal with pieces of watermelon and delight in the crispiness of the melon and the sogginess of the grains. Knowing that the melon has traveled all the way from Spain does not make it less tasty; it is just a reminder of how striving for perfection is a bumpy road, paved with curvy fruit.
Squash a plant into a pot, and it will still claim its right to a habitat, be it in the confined space of a window sill, because it is born free.
Three colours that just happened to meet on me created a triumvirate and a joyful chain-reaction that started in my eyes and ended somewhere in my heart. I thought, “Wow, this is powerful stuff….”
“May the Force be with us“, I heard the Jedi with the rainbow saber saying.