photo of the day

26 06 2008


the garden is planted

29 05 2008

I take it all back…

12 07 2007

I take it all back, all the negative and doubtful things I said about Jamie and gardening. It was worth all that hard slog now that the peas and beans are in and they are glorious.

Not much else to report, just had to share my beautiful peas. I’m still making my way through The Observations, which took me about 50 pages to get into, but now it’s really picked up. Now that my writing has picked up again, I’m not getting through books quite as quickly, but it’s probably a fair trade off. I’ve also started reading Runaway as my short story reading. I’m only two stories in so it’s probably too early to judge, but so far it isn’t my favourite collection. More detailed reports on them once I get done since I really should stop commenting on books halfway through (or in the case of Runaway a fifth of the way in).

A Green Thumb

9 07 2007

I believe I mentioned (awhile back) my garden. My first attempt at a garden. It is – and I hope I don’t jinx it by saying this – thriving. I haven’t had the best luck of things in the plant realm so this has all come to me as a terrific surprise.

Here’s a picture from some time back – when things were just starting to peek above the surface:

And here is it as of this afternoon:

So despite the devious plans set in motion by the resident squirrels, we’ve had the first batch of lettuce and the beans and peas and carrots and potatoes are well on their way.

You might think with all this gardening success reading and writing have gone right out of my head. In fact, the garden takes up very little time and I’ve been whipping through books like I haven’t done in years and I’ve returned to my writing as well.

Here’s a quick catch-up of what I’ve got through since I posted last:

Gentlemen and Players: I figured out “the twist” quite early, but it still was a page turner because I wanted to see if I was as clever as I thought I was (and turns out I was). It also almost made me apply for a teaching job at a private school, which is another story indeed.

The Penny Tree: This seemed a good fit for summer and I think it was. If I’d read this in fall or winter, when I’m in the mind for more serious fiction, I don’t know if I would have even made my way right through it. The story (as presented by the back cover) was intriguing, but there was something lacking…

The Blackest Bird: I didn’t really know any of the history behind this tale and I don’t know as much about Poe as I should (especially since I taught him in a detective fiction course). Everything about it seemed quite long and involved – in some ways this worked, in others I just wanted to get to the solution.

The Woman in Black: Best of the bunch recently, capturing a real sense of that time, but more particularly of that genre and its conventions.

Right now I’ve just started reading The Observations. It hasn’t hooked me yet, but it’s early days yet. I’m also making my way through some Stuart McLean, which I should probably save comment on for a future post.

How my eight year love of Jamie Oliver came to end in two hours…

22 04 2007

Well, not really.

I do still love Jamie and all his works.

But he has caused me hours of back-breaking labour and there’s still many more hours to come.*

You see, I’ve decided to become a gardener. Yes, thanks to Jamie Oliver, I’ve decided to plant my first vegetable garden. Nevermind that my last forary into the horticulture realm could not be counted as a success. I watched one episode of Jamie at Home and I was convinced that I too could grow beautiful potatoes and other assorted veggies.

So the past few days have been spent clearing a spot in the backyard. Right, who knew that clearing grass was such a difficult thing to do? It’s cleared – thanks in large part to the Handy Papa – and now I’ve been told I actually need to turn the dirt over. And then rake it. And then do something to stop the dirt from running every which way when I water it. And apparently I need to be worried about squirrels and some devious plots they intend to hatch in my veggie patch.

I had no idea. Too many books. Too much school. Not enough time spent digging around in the garden.

But I’m making up for that now.


If I can contend with those blasted squirrels and their devious plans.


1. Some (such as the Handy Papa) might say I brought this back-breaking labour upon myself. Six of one, half a dozen of another, I say.