Sunday, February 25, 2018

Food Garden!

My brother calls me a forage and gather gardener. This is something I have in common with his wife, V. Both of us like to feed our families as far as possible from our gardens and most of the time we each provide the bulk of the vegetables and a lot of the fruit for our households - and there's usually some surplus for the neighbours. While the vegetables we grow are very similar some of the fruit we grow is not. V. grows a lot of tree fruits like citrus and stone fruit - and mulberries. Oh those mulberries. They are glorious eating. She also grows grapes and a few sub tropical species. My focus is more on melons and berries like strawberries and blueberries but I also have grapes. Since I like a challenge I've got a few exotics too - well, they're exotic where I live - like pineapples, goji berries, plantains and elderberries.

This year thanks to my illness and my foot fracture my poor garden has suffered because I haven't been able to go out and do any of the many things that need to be done to keep a garden productive.. Pisces has tried but he is not a gardener so pretty much anything beyond putting on the sprinklers on our scheduled watering days has just not happened.

Fortunately I had planted a few things in the food garden before disaster struck and, although they have not been fertilised, some at least are doing well. I discovered this because The Boot (which was in place for nine and a half weeks) and I have finally separated and I can actually look at what's happening out there. The herbs (the various basils, parsley, Italian parsley and chives I put in the garden before Christmas plus the perennials like the mints, oreganos and thymes in pots on the veranda) are all flourishing. Much to my surprise when I got to the pumpkin and rockmelon beds I counted twenty two pumpkins and six large rockmelons and I found some snake and borlotti beans. The rainbow chard, spring onions and capsicums are looking very healthy, too. We even have a few surviving beetroot. As well there are ripe blueberries, a few strawberries and some goji berries and there will be quite a few elderberries in a few weeks.

It's so much better than I expected and while it's not the harvest I usually have it's something - and even being able to go out and pick some herbs cheers me up. Fresh is always good as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


On my Facebook newsfeed I came across one of those sites where you ask for help with whatever - mostly what is or isn't appropriate behaviour. (It was a suggestion of something I might be interested in from Facebook, one I'm never going to be looking at I might add). All I read was the headline and after the steam of rage stopped fogging up my glasses I deleted it.

What caused me so much fury? You may well ask. The person concerned was asking if she was too old to wear jeans at - wait for it - 53. Fifty three! You're still middle aged at fifty three. You could conceivably have children who are nine or ten years old and who might want - expect - to have a mother who is still able to live an active life style so why wouldn't you wear jeans - the practical all purpose garment that's fashionable as well as functional.

For that matter who has the right to tell you what clothes you should or shouldn't wear based on age. I don't know about you but I dress according to what I think is flattering to me and is comfortable. I passed fifty three a while back and guess what in winter I wear jeans - jeans that are slim enough to tuck into my boots, jeans that are figure fitting, jeans that are dressy enough to go out for lunch, jeans that are comfortable and flattering and jeans that are ideal for housework and gardening. Will I be wearing jeans when I'm ninety - and given my family on both sides is long lived there's a definite possibility that I will reach that age? Absolutely. As long as I think they are flattering - and I can do up the buttons and zips - why wouldn't I?

I'll let you into a secret. I even wear shorts in summer. I wear them to the beach and I live in them around the house. They're not brief anymore (not that I ever wore daisy dukes which I don't think suit many people). These days I tend to wear longer ones but they're still above the knee and I don't care what the fashion police think. They suit my life style and as long as they are flattering - and, if I doubted my own judgement (which I don't) I've had enough compliments to know they do - I'll keep wearing them just as I'll keep wearing singlet tops around the house because my comfort is at least as important as anything else. Yes, there are a few flabby bits appearing but that's life and I see no reason to pretend they're not happening.

Do I ever wear anything else? Of course. I have a wardrobe full of clothes to fit every occasion - and they are all chosen to enhance my better bits and hide that which needs hiding (of which there is an increasing amount these days), Like everyone else I like to look my best but I get to choose what's me looking my best, not some arbiter of behaviour or age. I remember fondly my old next door neighbour who passed away at 96 and whose choice for casual wear was shorts in summer and jeans in winter all her life. For more formal times she could and did dress very elegantly but otherwise in her jeans or shorts she looked old but fine. (She also wore a bikini until she died and while that may not have been the wisest fashion choice she made - I confess that it wasn't flattering - I defend her right to make that choice and if she was happy about it then why shouldn't she.)

I don't know about you but I intend to continue to make my fashion choices based on what I think suits me and have no intention of letting age define me.