May I? May 1 (17.2022)

Back from holidays and in need of some catching up with this blog and with all my writing in general. I’m carrying a lot of thoughts around in my head and I really need to start putting them down on real or virtual paper. I need to get back onto a more regular writing routine, or build a regular writing routine. I’m letting work interfere with the far more important (but admittedly less lucrative) task of creating things from words.

There are things I’m grateful I kind of missed while I was away. Things like the Will Smith/Oscars thing. But I’m going to talk about it anyway, because where was Jayda Pinkett Smith’s agency in all this? If she was so upset, why not get up herself and take on Chris Rock? Why get her husband to do it?  I saw King Richard on the plane. It was a good film; I enjoyed it because I wanted to know more about the Williams’ sisters’ background. But in terms of acting, Will Smith was largely playing Will Smith. I can’t see it was worth a Best Actor Oscar.

Back at work this week, logging on from home on Monday morning just over 3 hours after the plane landed at Heathrow and 786 emails to greet me. Oh my people, did you miss me so much?!

And further on the post-holiday blues, does anyone come back from holiday and unpack and return all things to order in a matter of minutes? Our house has been a messy tip all week. We came home, emptied all the clothing in our bags into the laundry basket, and then started working through daily loads of laundry. But then we have all the other things ro put away – travel meds, special travel equipment that lives in “the travel box”, summer clothes that need to go back into storage because it’s not warm enough here to wear them yet. Let alone our actual backpacks that need to be cleaned and put back into storage. It takes days to sort through all these small things and in the meantime, the house just looks messy and cluttered. But we have just about got back to normal levels of untidiness now.

The empty backpacks were the worst. Lurking in corners of the bedroom for several days, they quickly became trip hazards and magnets for other miscellaneous clutter.

After two weeks away and 14 hours on a plane, I was looking forward to some plain, homely food. But we came home to fi d the kitchen cupboard was empty of crackers! No crackers! Crackers form a key part of my working from home lunches (cheese on crackers and tinned mackerel on crackers are two lunch staples). I need to get more organised and get back into food planning, and writing shopping lists that incorporate lunches for the days I work from home, instead of taking the opportunist “let’s see what we can find” approach on a day by day basis.

I woke up with cramp on my first and second nights back. Severe calf cramp. What is muscle cramp? What causes this pain? What makes it happen? Despite the pain, I fell back asleep when the cramp passed and almost forgot about it until I got out of bed the next morning and felt a deep ache in my leg. Jet lag is weird like that. It comes in waves of tiredness that leave you feeling swept off your feet and floating, disconnected, and heavy, knowing you have to go to sleep RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Arriving back, after only two weeks away, I’ve been amazed at the difference two weeks makes. The garden has changed from “hint of green” to full of spring leaf. The pear tree blossom has gone, replaced by tiny buds of pears-in-progress. Most of them won’t make it the way to pickable fruit, but at this moment there is a huge possibility. The aqueligia have started flowering. I associate these with late spring not early spring, so another sign that seasons are messed up. The grass has grown, everything is bursting forth with new life, new shoots, new leaves, new flowers . I feel exhausted just looking at it, knowing that I need to weed and prune and cut and water and feed and generally cultivate.

I thought a lot about gardens while we were away, usually while looking out the window while in transit from one place to another. I was hoping to have papaya while we were in Cambodia but it was not papaya season. I kept seeing papaya trees in people’s gardens with small budding fruits on them, and I thought about my plan for a garden some day when I live in Australia again.

I wanted a small citrus grove with four trees – orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit; a few pawpaw trees; a veggie patch growing chillies and ginger; an arbour or trellis that would be shaded by a passionfruit vine, a kiwifruit vine and some other decorative flowering vine that I haven’t me yet. Maybe also a grape vine? I had all these garden visions but now, I find myself lacking the enthusiasm for even my small garden here. Would I realistically want a house with a big garden at some future date when I move back to a very hot country as an old woman?

For anyone wanting to read my impressions of Cambodia, sorry for the delay, I will put something together soon. In the meantime, happy May to you all.

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