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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Grow, damn you!




There comes a point in every houseplant’s life when you have to say enough is enough.  Or, there is the strategy of accepting that a dozen leaves on a couple of stems is as good as it is going to get and that is OK.

I do remember that the plant on the dining table used to have flowers.  They were not wholesome British-type flowers with visible centre bits and radiating petals of a bracing and straightforward colour.  No, this plant was more of the cheaper end of the orchid-like plants; possibly a weed from one of the more exotic locations where temperature encouraged growth and depressed wages.  Who knows.  I chose it because it was vertical, cheap and had interestingly linen-white flowers of simple convolution.

But the flowers are very much a thing of the past and the leaves of the plant are of that evergreen-looking stasis variety where it is difficult to tell if they are alive or dead.  I do however push a few drops of water (and the odd cup of cold tea) its way from time to time to show that I care. 

There is a drooping, crinkled offshoot of a more virulent green - part of which looks as though it is literally unfolding – which would seem to suggest that there is something botanical stirring which might be worth tying to the slender stick which keeps the main part upright.

I do remember that Ingrid always had the knack of making any plant that I took down to Devon have a life well beyond the expectations of the shops in which I bought them!  One orchid I bought her became more of a hardy perennial than the delicately elusive whiff of strange beauty that is was for others.

I am inclined to think that the plant is merely taunting me with non-death rather than suggesting that it can bloom again.  But I will persevere and who knows, in the near future I may be using my Grown Up Camera to record its splendour!  Floreat flower!

Toni is now in Terrassa watching, so I am informed, his five-year-old nephew play his first game of club football as a striker.  I am in Castelldefels.  There are some things that . . . And watching five year olds play football is one of them.

Lunch was a sort of bolognaise with fresh pasta with what felt like chicken paste but which cooked up into something approaching mince.  Very nice it was too, through there was far too much of it and I felt that I had done a Paul or a Clarrie and cooked for too many people who were not there.  In a fit of economic intelligence I have saved the remains and will add curry powder and rice to make an entirely different meal tomorrow!  And I will add garlic, which I now realise I ignored completely in my gastronomic spurt!

Revision is not progressing with anything like the rigor which exists in my mind.  I think the basic trouble is two-fold: firstly, I am far too interested in what I am supposed to learn and find myself getting carried away in the reading of it rather than the learning; and secondly with the Disaster of the Third Essay I am now unable to gain the highest grade for the course.  I didn’t fail you understand, I was 33% higher than a fail mark, but I was 6% away from getting the grade I wanted for the writing.  And if you don’t get equal excellence in writing and examination then you merely “pass” the course.  Ah well, it is not as if these first level courses count for the final class of degree, so there is time to get my mind back into the OU groove and follow the instructions in the way that I know that I should have done.  

And revise thoroughly.

I am sure that it is in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” that kids get sent to a house owned by a professor/relative and guarded by a protective Housekeeper who tells the children that they need to be quite because a Grown Up is working.  When I read this (only child, always reading) I felt that this was totally unfair to children who, obviously, did not make that much noise and the “seen but not heard” slur was totally unjustified.

I am British.  I now live in Spain.  I am that Grown Up.  And the purchase of a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights seems more and more attractive as the howling, wailing Banshees who live in the houses two pools away cry aloud for destruction!  As they are Spanish children they all follow their national stereotypes and scream at each other simultaneously.  What their parents do, apart from fill their ears with liquid wax and weep, I do not know – but they certainly to do not restrict the decibels in any way, shape or form. 

God rot them!

Though they have now, it being dark, gone in – and the silence is wonderful.  Isn’t there a heresy that posits that good must be counterbalanced by evil and that as they are co-eternal and co-created one cannot be assumed to be better than the other, in the sense that evil needs to exist so that we can appreciate good?  Probably the ever-loving Roman church preached a crusade and extirpated such heresy with sword and fire, but only in the name of love.  Perhaps those revoltingly obtrusive kids were necessary to make me appreciate the finer delights of silence.  It is the concept of necessary evil!

Tomorrow Toni stays in Terrassa and that is supposed to be the ideal opportunity for me to get Iconoclasm nailed, so to speak.  I fully intend to write an answer on this theme as long as I can get the spelling of the fourth reformer (i.e. not Luther, Calvin or Zwingli, but the one beginning with M) firmly in my memory.  And did I know that Calvin was French?  Always learning!

And now I think I shall have recourse to my iPad not only to download the new operating system which I like on my iPhone, but also to indulge a little in the BBC programmes that are available at the monthly subscription that we distant Brits have to pay. 

One should always try and get one’s money’s worth!
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