Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Anti-Weeding, Trains, and Puns

What a difference a day makes; today was sunny and warm, with not a hint of what we experienced over the past few days. I even had to wear my sunglasses when I was working outside.

This morning was filled with my giving of technological expertise: first I helped Skye insert a new SIM card into her mobile phone (we discovered that it didn't work, but the one from my phone did when put in her phone, so we know the problem is with her SIM card and not the phone itself). Secondly I showed her how hook up her digital camera to her computer and transfer her pictures over (her camera is pretty old, and comes with a 16MB memory card. Ah, I remember those days...). Third, we used my camera (after I explained the 4GB SD memory card in my camera could hold a lot more photos) to take photographs of some of her old sketches and drawings, and then uploaded them to her mac, so she now has an archive of her work.

Today I actually got to plant something in the soil instead of continually ripping things out of it! Skye had me planting silver beet seedlings on one of the lower garden terraces. Of course, to plant them I had to rip out a fair number of marigold seedings that had self-seeded themselves, but after a solid week of weeding I'm pretty much an expert at that. After the seedlings were planted I spent the remainder of the morning weeding two of the garden pathways. It doesn't matter what country you find yourself in, dandelions are still just as incredibly prolific and annoyingly stubborn!

After lunch I walked down to the library (Skye lent me her card) and checked out Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life, which I have been wanting to read since I saw it in a bookstore in Wellington in October. I then headed to the New World and bought tomatoes (I say to-MAY-to, Skye says to-MAH-to) and chocolate (it was on sale, how could I possibly resist?). I took my book and groceries down to the Waipawa River, where I sat on the sandbar about ten metres from the base of the trestle, read, ate chocolate, and waited for the train to trundle on past. I got there about 2:15pm, and just after 3pm I was rewarded with a freight train coming from the Port of Napier (hauling containers) heading down the line. I waved to the driver, and he waved rather amusedly back (I guess there aren't usually young women with books and a camera waiting for a freight train to go over the Waipawa River).

As I walked back along the river I discovered what could possibly be an ideal swimming spot; it's close to the house, the river levels are high enough, and water slows down to wend its way around a gentle curve. I must ask Skye if the water is safe for swimming.

Back here in the afternoon I sat on the very couch were I am sitting now (outside on the back porch), picking the blooms off of lavender clippings with Finn and placing them in a large pan; Skye has been invited (actually, all three of us have) to a birthday party celebration in Napier on Saturday, and she wants to make lavender sachets as presents for the birthday girl.

Over dinner Skye asked me if I knew any good jokes... a bit of a loaded question for someone who hangs around in a rail shop during the summer months! I told some of the more appropriate ones I could think of from the world of band humour, and even some of them weren't very appropriate, such as:

Q. What is the difference between an orchestra and a bull?
A. A bull has horns in front and an ass in the back.

Q. What is the difference between a dead conductor on the side of the road and a dead squirrel on the side of the road?
A. The skid marks in front of the squirrel.

I even told her the "string goes into a bar joke", explaining it was my mom's favourite. She loved it.

Here's the joke Skye told to me:

Q. Where does Julius Caesar keep his armies?
A. Up his sleevesies. (Groan).

Now it is a quarter to nine, the sun is just setting over the hill behind me, and Skye has gone out for the evening to her study group, so it's just Finn and I here at the house. We watched a DVD together on permaculture farming in the UK, and then I read and came out here to write in my blog, while Finn stayed in the Dining / Living Room and sat at his windowseat, contentedly knitting squares. Just your average peaceful summer's evening in beautiful rural New Zealand. :-)


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