30 March 2014

I spent half an hour watering the plants in the garden today.

I never realised how long it takes, to water a garden full of plants.

So I timed myself today. And now I know.

I went out at six thirty. The sun was low in the sky. The garden still bathed in daylight, but without the heat and glare of a high sun that would evaporate the water as soon as it left the green rubber tube that served as its conduit.

Watering plants is very relaxing. The sound of water, the spray in my face, the soothing green of the plants in our lush garden.

I especially like playing with the spray control. It’s my little game, adjusting the control so the concentrated stream of water can reach the plants in the back, and turning the stream into a soft, dispersed spray for the more fragile plants. The orchids, especially.

My dad is very dedicated to his garden. For such a distracted man – he has been known to walk into children simply because he didn’t see them – the attention to detail his garden manifests is remarkable. All the trees – of different sizes, colours, and species – perfectly arrayed.

You never quite notice how much attention has gone into a garden’s arrangement until you really look at it. And today I did. All the palms, the trees, the firs. Especially the firs. My dad is going through a little fir craze, and the garden is overrun with them.

I slowly made my way around the garden, watering left and right, always adjusting the control so the spray/stream was just perfect for the plant at hand.

Before I knew it, it was dark. Not completely. But the trees had all turned different shades of grey. And the sun was nowhere to be seen.

I had got through just over half of the garden, so I watered the rest in obscurity. To make sure I didn’t miss any plant, I slowed down even more.

Watering plants in the dark is enjoyable in its own way. All the trees looked different. The texture of the leaves – overlooked in daylight – suddenly became the most prominent feature of the trees.

Some of the trees looked so alluring in the dim light I felt myself reaching out several times to touch them, to feel the texture. Some of them were soft, like animal fur. Some coarse, like… what was it like? Some yielded to my touch. Some resisted the tip of my finger.

It was a wholly pleasant experience.

Try it sometimes if you have a garden at home. You’ll never see your garden in the same way again.

Until tomorrow,





23 March 2014

I. Am. So. Hungry right now.

Today is Sunday. Like most of my Sundays, it is spent at home. For two main reasons: (1) it is my dad’s day off (so, like a good daughter, I stay home to spend some quality Sunday time with him), and (2) I’m too lazy to leave the house.

I mean. Why would they call it ‘lazy Sunday’ if you’re not meant to be lazy on the day? (Actually, come to think of it, I wonder whence the expression came… A religious reference, most likely?)

Getting back to my Sunday, it was much like any other Sunday, except that I annoyingly woke up really early (tends to happen when I’ve had something to drink the night before). Waking up early in itself I am fine with, though not when I haven’t actually had enough sleep nor when the first thing I feel, eyes open, is the after-effects of that pint of beer.

Not enough to call a hangover, just enough to annoy and irritate.

So, I proceeded to do as best I could to have a productive Sunday. (See, I’m not actually that lazy. I just pretend to be. Or so I claim.)

I might have mentioned to you before that I’m a morning person. If not, “I am a morning person”. So, naturally, I expected that getting up early today meant that I could take advantage of my morning-person-ness and get some revision under the belt by noon.

Oh no. No no no. Doesn’t work when you haven’t had enough sleep. And yesterday’s pint didn’t make things any easier either.

After trying for a few hours to plough through a reading, I decided that my time would be better spent on other things. So I went to the post. Washed the car (for the second time this week, thanks to it conveniently raining the day after I gave my car a thorough wash).

Having done all that, it was still only 2pm. That’s how awesome waking up at 6am is – despite the almost-hangover and the not-getting-enough-sleep. See why I’m a morning person?

So I decided to go help my dad with the gardening. And the following two and a half hours, maybe three, were happily spent cutting, trimming, and pulling various species of trees and herbs. I can still feel it on my finger. No blister this time though (unlike two weeks ago when I ended up with a hideous blister the size of a really small pebble on my middle finger – damn oversized tree trunk).

Have you tried using physical activity to stimulate your brain’s capacity for mental activity? It usually works for me. After the gardening, I came back to the reading, and it’s like I’m another person.

Everything suddenly seems interesting. And I’m no longer just typing my notes up so I can finish the damned article and move on. I actually feel like I’m learning things.

The wonderful effects of physical exertion shall never cease to amaze me.

But now I’m hungry. Like, really hungry.

They say the brain consumes the most calories of all your body parts (well, it’s actually a scientifically-backed fact, but “Scientists say” just reads weird).

So me being hungrier now than before I started this post can only mean one thing: it’s a brilliant post.

Since, you know, my brain used up so much energy writing it.

Don’t we love logic. *wink*

Seriously now, though, let me go eat something before my stomach eats itself up. I’ve been told that’s no good.

Until tomorrow,

Hungry Val