Mini paradise

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Sub Tropical land. I need a short flower interlude from inspirational posters. So I decided to share with you some photos from our sub-tropical border, cos it’s beautiful.

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I also thought I should let you know the bloke I see every day, who walks slowly up and down with his head hanging, I haven’t seen him since I wrote about him. I’ve decided for simplicity to call him Brennan, since that name means sorrow and he looks like the most desolate man I’ve seen. I’ll let you know when he comes back. I last saw him on his knees facing a house at seven in the morning so I’m a bit worried.

Word of the day: nullibicity – state of being nowhere

Nature, the ultimate accessory

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I don’t even need to wait for Monday to do this, this is ongoing.

I was weeding the garden today – hard as a bone – when I heard someone say ‘excuse me?’ Often I’ll have a chat with the neighbours whose garden is next to mine, but the other side has a gap, a big fence and then flats. Although I see the various occupants sometimes, we’ve never talked. Anyway, a head was poking over the top of this big fence. I turned around and the guy chuckled smugly at my sweaty self, which I didn’t like.

‘Hello,’ he said, still smug, ‘do you pick your apples?’

Now our apple tree has many bright red apples on it, but most can’t be reached and those that can aren’t that nice and often have maggots. So we pick what we need and let the rest fall. I figure they serve as food for the birds and insects, and since they’re more endangered than me, I feel good about it. Occasionally visitors get uppity about it, ‘Don’t let them just fall! Why don’t you bake a pie?’ they say. But when I suggest they go collect some, they last about three minutes before giving up, complaining about inaccessibility and maggots.

‘Sometimes,’ I say.

‘Do you eat them yourself then?’ he asked, and I could hear the lecture about wasted apples desperate to get out of him. I’m aware I sound unreasonable, but he was oozing smug.

‘Sometimes,’ I said, ‘but they have a lot of maggots.’

‘Ah. Perhaps I could try some?’

‘Ok,’ I said, found a maggotless one, picked it and climbed the fence to hand it over.

‘Thanks!’ he said, with a cheeky grin. ‘I thought I should ask before just taking one.’

‘How would you take one?’ I asked looking at the high fence and the metre gap and my fence, he wouldn’t be able to reach.

‘Well, I’d climb over the fences!’ he said proudly.

‘Yeah, I’d rather you didn’t break into my garden,’ I replied, trying to not get too indignant.

‘Hmm, yes, I thought I should ask, so you didn’t turn round and see me right behind you!’ he said chirpily, as if he was doing me a favour and wasn’t acting creepy. ‘It’s good to eat things from the garden, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘More natural.’ Again, smugness abounded. Because, yes obviously it is, so saying it with a patronising tilt of the head isn’t necessary. I was making assumptions, but he struck me like the kind who’s never grown anything, but buys all his fruit and veg at the farmer’s market and thinks that makes him an expert on nature. The kind who believes because he’s watched Bear Grylls he’s a survivalist. In gardening I’ve met a few of these types, they like to stand about lecturing me while I’m working. A Nature Poseur.

Anyway, I went inside and told Hamoudi about it.

‘Oh,’ he said, ‘is he the one with the sword?’

‘Er what?’ I said.

‘The white guy who poses in the garden with the sword? He stands on his own doing stances.’ Hamoudi did a couple of sample man-with-sword poses.

‘I’ll bet that’s him!’ I said. Hamoudi showed me the garden he poses in, and since there aren’t many white guys in the neighbourhood, I’m thinking that yes! He’s the guy that poses with the fucking sword. Like I said, a survivalist!

 

Nature is odd

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I’m not sure this is a good idea. Where would I put it all?

Was reducing a twenty-five foot bay tree to about twelve foot high today. I didn’t have a ladder, so mostly I was cutting huge chunks out by sawing through thick stems lower down, doing a bit of climbing so I could reach. I could see there were two nests near the top of the tree, it’s past nesting season and there was no tetchy birds around, so I was sure they were empty. After a few hours of cutting and clambering I finally sawed through the branch with one of the nests on and those whole thing came crashing down and landed on the ground. But the nest had vanished.

There was the branch with a bundle of dead leaves next to it. No nest.

But then I thought having a bundle of dead leaves in a tree was weird, not like they’d been pruned and left there, they must have been put there. I was working with Ezekiel (don’t think I’ve mentioned him, he’s very mellow and knows a lot about nature) and asked him what he thought.

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See? It just looks like a pile of dead leaves

‘Well that,’ he said ‘looks like a squirrel’s nest, he’d have built it for the winter to hibernate in. Looks like he never properly used it though, there’s no poo.’

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When we broke it open you could see the leaves were rolled up.

Ezekiel even found a nut in it. So there you are, a squirrel’s nest is made up of dead leaves rolled up.

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Ez finding the nut

The other nest was just a bird’s nest and was only used by woodlice.

Wisdom, trolls and mud

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Now this is almost like a real inspirational poster, although I’d say exercise and doctors are also useful in the pursuit of health.

London today was soggy. It was ok, I have waterproofs, but the biggest problem was trying to not to destroy the squeaky cleanness of the messroom when I was coated in mud. And the toilets in the new block are too small, which means just getting past the concertina door meant I painted the wall with a layer of mud from my coat. Then I’d turn around to clean it up and decorate the other wall behind me. And everything I touched, from bog roll to door to sink taps became streaked with brown, I felt like a shitty Midas.

When we were getting ready to go home, Mike said to Dan, now you need to find an umbrella you can hold over me so I don’t get wet. I looked at him quizzically and he said,

‘You wouldn’t understand. It’s a man thing.’

Yes, he’s definitely trolling me.

Word of the day: limicolous – living in mud

Mimics

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When I walked in this morning, Mateo was holding this little guy, still wriggling in his fingers. I thought it was a wasp, but he insisted, no, it’s  fly pretending to be a wasp. He let the poor thing go eventually.

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Accidentally snapped a flowering gladiolus today. I didn’t have anywhere to throw it away to and my hands were full of curb key and hose, so I stuck the flower in my pocket.

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This gave me an eighties flashback to Morrissey (for anyone who won’t know about this, which may be most people, here’s a pic)

And I had to wail ‘You’re the one for me, fatty!’ at the sky.

This blog is just aimless rambling really.