Thursday, August 4, 2011

Looking and being looked after

It's over four years since I went on a long car journey, so it was a great treat to be driven halfway up the island. The mountains were more thickly covered with snow than I'd ever seen them - they looked as if they were wrapped in shiny plastic, gleaming grey in the shadows. We talked all the way, of course, so the trip went very quickly, and both sisters looked after me so warmly and kindly, especially as it was a busy time for them both - one teaches, and one grows orchids.

I saw my mother twice, and it went as well as could be expected. I think the unfailingly kind and considerate people who work there are saints. As I expected, she didn't say anything to me about Harvey, but she didn't ask how he was either, as she's done every other time. My son had sent a special email for her from China, all about his life there, and she enjoyed hearing it.  On Sunday I showed her this photo, taken on a walk near my sister's (as you can see, it was a brilliant day), and instead of her usual response of  "How lovely!" she said, "Idesia."

But I came home newly resolved to Get On With It - in this case, my book - while I still can. And this week I did make what feels like some real progress.
         There's been progress in the garden, too. Ali came round on Tuesday to give me the first go of my birthday present - a day a month working in it with me. We planted the big purple violets she brought me from her garden (like the ones Harvey grew in abundance and picked for me in Farm Road); two new shrubs to fill a gap in the mulched garden (at this stage the labels look much more interesting than the plants)... 

...and a new tree in the far corner, a kind of magnolia with a splendid name fit for a Victorian heroine - Michelia Maudiae.
         Ali also presented me with a beautiful old-fashioned badge which I wear with totally undeserved pride. It's green, with gold lettering, and it says "HEAD GARDENER".

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely trip. So good that you could spend time with sisters and mother.

    And what beautiful new things for your garden. Hope to see photos of their progress in the Spring!