Finding time; making time.
My response to Ailsa’s travel theme (Where’s my backpack): a clock that has travelled around the world and a book about a family shaped by agoraphobia.
The clock was made by Brendan Adams, a ceramic artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. I bought it on a visit “home” while I was living in England. It was a birthday present for my partner and I had to carefully hide it in my hand luggage on the return trip to make sure, a) it didn’t get broken and b), he didn’t find it before his birthday.
The clock travelled around England with us for about six years then made the trip back to NZ; this time professionally packed and locked in a shipping container. Like us, the clock has been in its present home for 13 years now.
I love ceramics; and to me this wonder rocket-shaped clock has always suggested movement, travel, adventure – the very things that Frankie’s mother – Ma – fears, in Kate de Goldi’s The 10pm Question.
I bought this book for my son who, as he does, devoured it virtually in a sitting. Then I read it and wondered why no-one seemed to write book like that for young adults when I was a young adult. I’ve gone back to it a couple of times, and still think it is one of the best written, most beautiful novels I’ve ever read.
Books are essential to travel. I can’t imagine hours on planes, trains, ferries without a book. Nor nights in strange beds without the lullaby of verse to comfort and soothe.
A textual mash-up; book spine poetry.
Restless old mistresses juggling boring postcards down the rabbit hole. So i am glad.
Ailsa’s “Green” theme (Where’s my backpack) got me thinking about how the word has so many connotations; the colour, the sense of environmental responsibility – and also “green” as in inexperienced. And that got me thinking about my garden.
Last November, lots of seeds and seedlings.
Even though I’ve owned my house for 12 years and wanted a vegetable garden for about that long, this last year is the first time I’ve had one.
And it’s been wonderful. It’s lush and green – despite the drought in Auckland. It’s great for the environment – food miles have become food metres and my plants thrive on the compost we’ve been creating from household waste.
And although I’m totally “green” as a gardener and have made lots of mistakes (note to self – courgettes take up a lot of space and although they look great, they’re still courgettes), I have also grown a lot of fresh tasty organic food for my family, friends and neighbours.
Finally, if green is the colour of calm, then my garden has achieved another purpose. The time I spend planting and thinning and weeding and just generally pootling around eating the tomatoes and radishes and bell peppers is perhaps the most relaxing time in my life at the moment.
The radishes and courgettes are gone. Cucumbers are just hanging on and tomatoes are having a second crop. But the herbs and peppers are still thriving.