Thursday, August 30, 2012

A peaceful passing

I feel as if I'm living in a muffling fog, and not just because of the hydra-headed cold I've been battling since Friday. On Sunday I talked to my sister in Tauranga and she said my birth mother was fading gently, but the end came much sooner than we expected - she died peacefully at 7.30 this morning. So I'll be going up soon for the funeral. I'm so glad I had that final visit with her at the end of June.
         One of the first things I thought of was that now she, like Harvey, will never get to read (or at least have read to her) my food memoir. It's going to be published early next year as an original e-book by Awa Press, the very first one that they will do this way, rather than in print. So I'll be writing more about that as soon as I get myself properly back together again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Holding our own

Thank you so much for all your empathetic comments on my previous post, they mean a great deal to me.  Jonathan left today, and of course I wished he could stay longer. But as it happened, I was immediately plunged back into other facets of my life, so I haven't had a minute to sit around moping.
         And for the next two days I'll be immersed in the many different delights of the food bloggers' conference. Last year it was in Auckland and I couldn't go, so it's a great treat to have it here. I'll be posting more about it over on Something Else to Eat.
          In next week's post I hope to have some exciting news to do with the book I've been writing over the last three years - a food memoir with the working title of Bittersweet. But as I have to be downtown tomorrow at the ungodly (for me - don't laugh) hour of 8am, I'll leave it there for now.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home company

So, my son Jonathan has arrived and for two weeks, I have what I've missed most - home company. Someone who knows me very well and is there when I go down for breakfast and come home for dinner. Someone who can be talked to and listened to and laughed with, without me having to go out or make any arrangements in advance. Someone who makes cups of tea and sets the table, helps with the dishes and gets enthusiastic about what I'm cooking.  Someone to go to the supermarket and watch TV with. Someone to wave goodbye in the morning and welcome back home in the evening. Now, if it would just stop raining...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The perfect spade

Apart from the almost endlessly soggy weather dragging me down a bit, I've been chugging along fairly well for the last fortnight, cheered as always by my friends and wonderful emails from my son (who's arriving next week for a fortnight's stay). Here's an extract I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing - he's just moved into a new apartment. "I was kind to a large spider who decided to rest herself on my living room wall, I didn't kill her but encouraged her out with a broom. Unfortunately she then took the opportunity to give birth on the balcony and I now have an entire spider family appearing in the evenings. Just baby ones, but they were not in my design plan!"

On Tuesday Ali arrived for her regular gardening day, bringing me a marvellous find from her local op shop - a beautiful small spade, exactly suited to me and my garden. Until now I've had to borrow Ali's or Lesley's - Harvey had one, of course, but it seems to have vanished, and in any case it was too big for me to manage. This one was made by the English firm of Spears and Jackson, the Rolls Royce of garden tool suppliers. We put it to work straight away, planting a new viburnum.

The tulips have finally started to appear - I thought I might have planted them too deep, but five are up, so there's hope for the other four.

And the rhubarb Ali gave me is flourishing in its big pot, though she told me I'm not allowed to start eating it until next May.
It looks a bit surreal, like the astonishing film I saw yesterday, Beasts of the Southern WildHarvey had a much stronger film stomach than me, but otherwise our tastes fitted very well together, and we used to love the annual festival. But I don't mind going on my own, though I miss having him to talk it over with afterwards. I choose my films carefully, avoiding the ones labelled violent, terrifying, chilling, enigmatic, circular...  I probably miss some good things, but at least I can be pretty sure I'll enjoy myself and not end up hiding under the seat or walking out.  So far this year I've been transported to Lebanon, revolutionary France, Japan, and a Louisiana swamp, and every time has been superb.