Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Wellington is enjoying an astonishingly fine autumn. On Monday Ali came round for the garden, and we got an amazing amount done, mainly because of her encouragement, energy, skill and knowledge, but also because the weather was so good that I didn't flag as I usually do. She brought me lemons, new plants, and her latest batch of quince jelly (see "The magic quince").
          But later in the week I did flag quite badly - the aftermath of Rarotonga, I expect, plus the approach of a holiday, always a difficult time, beset by a heightened consciousness of being on my own.. It's hard work, this living alone business, especially if you don't go out to work every day. You have to organise all your company and companionship, all the time - it's no longer just reliably there, ready whenever you need it, without having to actively do anything to get it. And of course, by the time you've been together as long as we had, there's such a generous store of shared experience  and knowledge that you implicitly understand so much, being together is easy. (The danger, of course, is that you take each other for granted and don't fully value what you've got, but something of that is probably inevitable.)
              The other problem (maybe it's just me?) is I can get quite nervous about contacting people to arrange things, especially over holidays, thinking that they're probably all busy already, and maybe a bit weary of hearing from me anyway. Silly, I know, but it's easy to get into a downward spiral about it all.
               Anyway, I managed to rally enough to go out last night and buy myself the new House and Garden (to inspire the major tidy-up I planned for the weekend), a block of peppermint chocolate (in lieu of an Easter egg), and one hot cross bun for this morning (though I am totally non-religious, I irrationally cling to the tradition that Good Friday is the proper day for eating hot cross buns). This afternoon I went for a walk down to Harvey's plaque, and tonight my neighbour is coming in for dinner.
                Not sure about tomorrow yet, but on Sunday my lovely long-distance driving friend is taking me over to the Wairarapa, and on Monday another one is coming to the garden centre - I need some new pot flowers, and maybe some tulip bulbs. Harvey always grew them, and  in the photo are the ones I grew (I was so proud of myself) for his last spring. But I didn't bother last year. So I think it will be good to revive that tradition, too.


  1. Thinking of you this Good Friday Anne. have just been enjoying Harvey's 'March-April' chapter, and I can well imagine the sense of absence of deep companionship. I hope the coming few days are v special and I love the idea you have to rekindle the tulip tradition!

  2. One thing I've learned about long holiday weekends is to have at least one social thing planned in advance, otherwise it's easy to feel stranded. Single friends are a great asset at such times. It's certainly a whole different way of being, leading the single life. It's another rhythm altogether from being with someone, but in the end it comes naturally and the danger spots become known. Like 'black spots' on the road, one learns to navigate around them. Treating oneself (as you did) is another good trick. Planting bulbs is like planting hope. I have my tulips 'wintering over' in the fridge right now.