Thursday, January 20, 2011

PYO Veggies, Roses, and French WWOOFers

This morning it was cloudy again; the weather just can't make up its mind. Actually, the clouds were a blessing; today Howard's task was mixing up several batches of cement in the previously mentioned borrowed cement mixer, and because the weather didn't get blazing hot he was able to actually get it into place before it set in the wheelbarrow. I also enjoyed the cloudy weather, as I was outside first thing in the morning, weeding the vineyard, and listening to my iPod. You know you have a lot of remixes of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" when you can weed for over an hour and the whole time be listening to iterations the same song!

At 9:30pm Rosemarie and I headed out to PYO 185, a fruit and veggie farm store (PYO = "Pick Your Own"; I'm assuming the 185 is their address) with the hopes of PYOing some green beans. Alas, when we got there all the PYO beans were gone (their season finished last week), but we were able to pick two great big buckets of tomatoes (at $1/kg) and a bagful of beetroot ($1/kg). I had no idea there was a cylindrical form of beetroot! You really do learn something everyday.

After midmorning snack I was once again out in the garden; my new task? To prune the rosebushes. My experience with roses and gardening is extremely limited, as we can't grow them at home (the deer would eat them). Rosemarie showed me how to snip just above a bud to encourage new growth, and told me that the "more is less" approach is the best one to take; the more one lops off, the harder the rose compsensates by sending out new shoots. Apparently there are two seasons for roses here in New Zealand; a spring-summer and summer-fall, and by cutting back now in mid-summer there will be another flowering in a month or two. I enjoyed the rose pruning, save for the several nasty encounters I had with thorns ripping into and embedding themselves in my fingers (OUCH).

After lunch was again Warehouse 13 time (or if you're me, Dune-reading time). I phoned Air New Zealand and after several joyous minutes spent on hold and another fifteen talking to a representative, managed to change my flight date home (a mere $100 CDN penalty + $50 NZ service fee. Criminal).

At 3:20pm Rosemarie and I headed into Richmond, first to the Pak 'N Save (she needed milk and bread; I needed toothpaste and hair conditioner), and then to the bus stop to pick up another WWOOFer: his name is Thibaud, and he is from Avignon, France. His English is pretty terrible, but I'm not allowed to speak French with him, as Rosemarie and Howard have a strict rule about WWOOFers who come to New Zealand to practise their English being allowed to converse only in English. However, I'm allowed to use French with him to clarify word meanings. It's funny, though; I'm by no means anywhere near fluent in French, but I'm finding it really hard not to speak French with him!

After a dinner of corn-on-the-cob (or as they call it here, "sweet corn") and lasagna, and apple crumble with cooked pears (leftover from the winemaking) for dessert, we all sat down in the living room and watched tonight's TV movie, Nim's Island, starring Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame (as well as Jodie Foster, although I didn't recognise her right away; it's been awhile since I watched Silence of the Lambs). I initially wasn't going to watch it, but seeing as I like Abigail Breslin I gave it a chance. I imagine I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I were 11... oh well. Breslin's performance often reminds me of Mara Wilson, whose acting in Matilda I loved and still love.

Anyway, I've had a shower, and now it is 10:30pm, so I'm off to bed. Night!


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