1051. The happiness of predictability
© Bruce Goodman 2 June 2017

Yesterday was the 1050th story. I see, looking back on the index to these stories, that occasionally to celebrate a significant number, I’d take you on a walk around my garden or discuss my dining room crockery or something relating to my real existence! Of course, we literary funambulists (a new word I learnt yesterday from Andrea) tread a thin line between telling the truth and telling an interesting story!

I missed celebrating yesterday’s significant number and the opportunity of presenting something that reeks of the truth, because the next door neighbour (in his 40s) dropped dead suddenly, and to be honest I couldn’t drag myself away from the window long enough to write a story. Ambulances, police, grieving relatives, the late neighbour’s barking dogs...

Also, Derrick of Ramblings, has “accused” me of being predictable by nearly always having unhappy endings. To celebrate yesterday’s significant number, and also to counter Derrick’s arraignment of predictability, I thought a simple stroll around my garden might do the trick. In fact, this posting has been inspired by Derrick’s blog and Andrea’s blog. Put on your galoshes, take up your wine glass, and follow!

The area of our place, rented, is relatively small, compared to what we’ve been used to. The goat is at my brother’s place keeping down wild blackberries and gorse. The cow is in the freezer. The cat has grown old and is happy enough with a greatly smaller territory. The old dog died, and the new puppy thinks the place is big enough to scamper around with a great deal of excitement.

We like to grow our own vegetables, so a decent vegetable garden was near the top of the to-do list. We made raised beds, with some sort of hoop contraption to hold netting to stop the birds. Observe the flourishing of peas, beans, shallots, turnips, capsicums (bell peppers), broad beans, celery, potatoes, cabbages, cauliflowers, Brussel sprouts, parsley, rosemary, thyme, silver beet (Swiss chard), swedes (rutabaga), cucumbers, globe artichokes, and Jerusalem artichokes. Also raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and red currents! We also like to grow decorative gourds for vases in the house when in winter there’s that flowers (you can’t seem to buy gourds here!)

Note (below) the startling growth of one of my favourite things: Jerusalem artichokes. And what a wonderful display and delicious soup it makes!

Of course we love flowers but there’s not much room left! We managed to have a sprinkling of our customary-in-our-household red and white flowers, mainly dahlias, impatiens, gladiolas, and cyclamen. Also Christmas (Easter) lilies.

There are some old established trees and vines on the property: a yellow rambler, a white-pink clematis, an apple tree, a golden kowhai (pictured), a silver birch, a bright orange-flowering gum, a giant bronze (is it cedar? elm?? florists love them anyway because it lasts forever in a vase), a wattle, a pink camellia, lots of pongas (tree ferns)…

All on less than a quarter of an acre! And of course, there are slugs; gigantic ones – up to 6 inches long. I’m not kidding! They are disgusting. (I’m thinking of getting a slug gun!)

Anyway, it’s time to take our mischievously cute puppy and proudly survey the estate! Oh oh… it looks like the puppy’s been doing some gardening too…

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