Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Compost Compost Compost...

There comes a point when it becomes hard to keep a daily blog interesting... I think that point was reached today when I realised I spent my morning primarily making compost. Oh yes, all the glitz and glamour of slaving away on the driveway in the baking heat, sweeping up leaves and sticks and twigs for the dry layers, and then having Thibaud arrive with wheelbarrows full of freshly-pulled up weeds for the green layers. I felt like more of a janitor than a gardener, armed with my broom and dustpan and brush; it reminded me of the three summers I spent janitoring at the mill in Crofton. You know, I bet you could put me back there on the 3rd floor of the Ivory Tower (a.k.a. #3 Paper Machine office building), tell me I was doing Wray's route, and my brain would pick up right where it left off in September 2007.

Actually, first thing this morning Thibaud and I did get to plant two trees, a lavender bush, lamb's ear, two carnations, and two other flowering plants whose names escape me at the moment in the patch of garden I weeded yesterday. Finally, planting instead of weeding! Thibaud said I should put up a little sign saying "Carolyn's Garden", and then he turned to me, asking, "Carolyn is your name, right?" What he actually meant was, "Carolyn is your first name, right?", as in French, nom is what Anglophones call a last name or family name, and prénom is one's first name. I'm fairly certain that after a week WWOOFing together he had figured out what my name was!

After lunch I sat and played the piano in the dining room; I downloaded some sheet music off the internet, and with my laptop balanced on top of the keyboard, played my way through Chopin's Waltz in c sharp minor (Op. 64, No. 2), Prelude in Db Major (Op. 28, No. 15), and Sarabande from Pour le piano by Debussy. While it was wonderful to read from the music, especially for the Sarabande, it was slightly irksome to have to stop, reach over, and scroll down the screen every twelve bars or so... I much prefer turning pages!

This afternoon Rosemarie went out shopping for groceries, and picked up our new WWOOFer. His name is Tom, and like Thibaud, he is also from France. I think Thibaud was ecstatic at the concept of having someone to speak French with; after Tom arrived I was sitting here in my room reading Dune, and listening to them jabber away a mile a minute on the landing outside. I didn't understand very much, but what I did seemed to be standard backpacker fare: "How long have you been in New Zealand,", "Where are you going next, where have you been", "Do you like the weather here," and then several conversation topics dealing with their shared country and cultural identity. I can't really blame Thibaud; I'm sure if I had been forced to speak French for over a month, and a WWOOFer came to stay who spoke Canadian English, I'd be chattering on with them, too.

I had my chance to exact revenge today, yet I did not take it; and by this, I mean it was my turn to cook dinner! ;-) Thankfully, my choice of chicken stir fry and honey mustard sauce did work out well, and Thibaud and Tom both went back for thirds. I've decided I don't like being the head chef, however; it's too stressful, and everyone keeps asking you for input into how you want the vegetables to be chopped (it's stir-fry, people, not rocket science; just slice them up biasing toward a large surface area and we'll be good to go). Thankfully, tomorrow afternoon we are going to go out to Rabbit Island and have a bbq for dinner, so I think I will be absolved of all food-related decision-making for that meal.

Now it is just after 10pm, Howard and Rosemarie and Thibaud are watching a movie downstairs (Painkiller Jane; just the title scared me away), Tom is already in bed, and I have just had a shower, and am going that way myself. Goodnight!


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