Searching for a garden

Thursday January 19, 2006

Up and about early again today, and a fair amount of work done before floating off to see my doctor for a quick check up and review. Considering my age, history, and underlying arthritis, everything seems to be in remarkably good order. My only concern has been a massive and growing tiredness; that can be a sign of some hidden cardiac condition. Not so—the old ticker is still going on going on, with no hint of problems. So, after discussion, we decided that my attempt to get through the winter SADs without chemical aid has not been wise and I’m to go onto my normal winter dose of fluoextine from tomorrow and continue with it until April or so, when my body tells me it doesn’t need artificial assistance any more.

I’m happy with that. Sitting under daylight bulbs helps, but I’ve observed a major diminution in the quality and quality of my creative work as winter has eroded my seratonin levels.

No-one knows from whence comes the creative urge. Best I can tell is that it arises out of general good feeling and unspent energy, larded with a modicum of raging discontent. In my case this condition seems to be associated with seratonin and, without it, I drift along the sad path of becoming a grumpy old man who spends too much time watching TV.

We shall see.

Back home I settled to the task of shredding the backlog of paper that’s accumulated while I’ve been too idle to get down to the task of emptying the shredder’s bin, bagging up the waste and putting it out for recycling. The last of that strange job done, I turned my attention to getting to grips with eBay selling once more. I put up the two little figurines I acquired last summer and which I like but in which liking I seem to be completely alone. Graham loathes them. Other people have been more polite. I don’t expect to get any more than a pound for either of them but there are collectors out there and you never know. That’s the delight of eBay and auctions generally. If they don’t sell I’ll pop them in to the hospice charity shop where they always have a shelf of the pretty little things.

I’ll be surprised if tomorrow’s pieces don’t sell, though. The first is a pretty little English cake stand—two nicely decorated English plates connected with a classic chrome rod—“May I press you to partake of another scone, Mrs Arbuthnot?” I think it unlikely I’ll ever be back into serving a proper English tea again, even if Mrs Arbuthnot does come a’calling. The second is a vintage Grundig Yachtboy portable radio, something which is ardently collected by enthusiasts. Then I press on with emptying the boxes Graham is bringing down from the loft over the garage, containing stuff we’ve not used since we moved here two years ago. On past experience my eBay enthusiasm grows with each item and I shall settle down to a routine I can handle and which will see the last of the saleable clutter off into a new life well before we move, leaving me with a small lump of cash to be spent on a new laptop.

Graham’s been doing more research into the laptop question and it looks as if, barring snags, I’ll be connected while we’re living in the caravan between houses. That’s a major relief for me. There are days when the only thing calling me from my bed of a morning is the urge to get the previous day’s journal written up and posted. It’s part of my life, and one which I enjoy.

The plan at the moment is for me to acquire a laptop and, possibly, a new mobile phone, and to use it to hook up to a dial-up connection. Surfing will have to be kept to an absolute minimum—I’ll need to do that through the free service at the libary—but I’ll be able to keep the journal going, do a small amount of email, and manage my bank account from the peace and security of the caravan. Additionally, I’ll be able to download photographs from the digital cameras and, by means of the small printer and copier, keep the business correspondence going.

Which is excellent news. The only snag might be that we’ll be so comfortable in the caravan that the urgency with which we pursue the next house will be diminished. We shall have to see about that, too.

Between chores I took a mooch around the garden, inspecting growth and progress in the hope of seeing the first snowdrop blooms. No luck there but to my great delight I discovered three minute yellow blooms on a saxifrage and a tiny clump of polyanthus flowering merrily away, invisible from the house because they face the sun and are snuggled down behind a rock in the central bed of the back lawn.

Isn’t it a great joy, though, when you find the first new blooms of the year in the garden? It’s hard to think of a more potent promise of renewal, or a more uplifting sight.

My thoughts turn constantly to the next garden, of which I have great hope. I want to grow more roses next time, along with a good collection of spring, summer and autumn bulbs. That’s a kind of gardening I can manage and the urge to get to grips with it will seem me through any amount of house-hunting. This time we’re not just looking for a house, we’re searching for a garden.


The first garden blooms of the year
A polyanthus, slightly tatty but unbowed



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