Friday, September 23, 2011

Drunken Woman Fringed Head

I am not a drunken woman with a fringed head, though I sometimes wish I were (I've never been any good at getting more than mildly tipsy). This is the brilliant full name of the lettuce Ali found for me to plant on Wednesday, when she came to give me my monthly gardening day.

"Italian Heirloom. Attractive bright green leaves with ruffled almost frizzy edges in deep bronze. Leaf lettuce type with dense centre that is very showy and slow to bolt."

Now that does sound like me, at least the slow to bolt part. And here's what they look like now.

They will grow. We put in Cos, too, for Caesar salads, and replaced the one casualty of the snow, the pansies. I know you're supposed to plant everything when it's NOT flowering, Harvey was adamant on that point; but I did that, and after weeks of waiting, when they were just starting to get buds, they were reduced to a sad brown mess. This time I crammed in five little pots in full flower. So there.

I needed them to cheer me up - as I half expected, I collapsed a bit after Harvey's birthday events were over, and wasn't helped by having to go down the road this week to the very nice people at Guardian Memorials and finalise the wording for his plaque. Still, it had to be done, and now it's settled, and I've had a very helpful talk with a friend about the draft of the latest book chapter, I've got through and done some good work. What happens, I think, is that a succession of small upsets accumulate, wihtout you quite realising it, to push you back down for a while. But then it passes and you cope better. And I'm really looking forward to eating the Drunken Woman, leaf by leaf.


  1. I have seedlings growing: sunflower and swan plant and pansies and lettuce and spinach and coriander, and more seeds to sow this weekend, if I can find time. They are so promising.

    The accumulation of small upsets... I'm so sorry. I hope that the small joys of spring, tui chortling in the kowhai bloom and daffs shining bring some moments of light.

  2. Delightful sounding lettuce! Here in Central Otago we're still waiting for frosts to pass before planting much. But the accumulation of small upsets are a damn nuisance in the subtle way they assemble and surprise us sometimes I find! One doesn't necessarily see their impact coming and then ... the tiniest thing is 'the last straw'. Wishing you balancing pleasures is seeing the wee lettuce leaves greet you each day - and hold the promise of culinary fun in the future.