Aug 202018

It’s amazing how the human body and mind deal with things like bereavement.  In fact you don’t even realise it at the time.  When someone very close to you suddenly dies, and just isn’t there any more, it takes a while for the shock to sink in.  Not just the initial shock; like when you get the phone call or visit from the police…  But the after effects – how years can go by before you begin to get back on your emotional feet and are able to carry on close to anything like you were when the person was around.

I reached a point where nothing seemed to matter any more.  Work didn’t matter; writing letters or making phone calls, people, what they wanted, what was good for them or bad for them – what was the point?  All we do is live and die, and so who cares about the in-between.  Really, what difference does it make?  What difference does any of it make?

And on top of all of those rather profound ponderings, there’s the simple basic matter of loneliness, of how you can be in a room full of people and yet still feel isolated and alone, and nothing anyone says or does can make the feeling go away.  After a while you even begin to resent their trying, but you have to keep that to yourself, good manners and upbringing demand it.  And no matter how you feel yourself inside, what you are doing is going on stage – you act the part, the pleasantness, the interaction with others.  And then, when you’re alone again, the isolation suddenly comes round the corner at great speed and hits you like a head-on collision with a train.

Then, eventually, the bricklayers of the mind begin to get to work.  Slowly, the wall begins to appear, protecting you from the pain of what happened, to stop you from thinking of The Event and instead just remembering the good and happy times before.  The mind repairs itself, the emotions become protected again, the sun reappears.  Not necessarily for long; it goes behind plenty of clouds for a long time yet.  But the rays shine through, and you begin to feel warm again.

Aug 042016
My Bottlebrush - or Melaleuca Citrina

My Bottlebrush – or Melaleuca Citrina

In a magnificent few days of glorious sun, my crimson Bottlebrush burst into full bloom. 

I’m no great gardener, but I can appreciate beauty when I see it.  And, there is an interesting story to this little plant.  Well, it’s not so little, the bush is about 8 feet tall.  Originally endemic to Australia, it was first taken away from that continent and brought to England in 1770 by Joseph Banks, the great botanist in the time of King George III.  Banks journeyed with Captain Cook on his first great voyage to Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia, and was President of the Royal Society for 41 years.  It was he who advised the King on the development of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and turned it into one of the world’s leading botanical gardens, a position which Kew Gardens still  holds to this day.

When the plant flowers, I’m always reminded of my chemistry lessons and experiments at school – using the glass test tubes, and cleaning them afterwards with a brush on a long stalk with spikes coming off them – exactly like the Bottlebrush plant, except they weren’t crimson.

Sadly the bloom doesn’t last very long, merely a couple of weeks, but it’s always rather spectacular when it happens, and is always a pleasure to see.


Jul 102016
Yes, It's Time For a New Phone

It finally happened. My venerable distinguished long-serving much-suffering loyal Samsung Galaxy S2, which has been my travelling companion across continents for a number of years, finally ended its service.  It got itself stuck in a boot-loop. I may or may not be able to recover the data that I want – we will see this [Read More…]

Jul 042016
10,000 Bees Turn Up Uninvited!

I had some very unwanted visitors today. A swarm of 10,000 bees or more decided they liked the look of one of the chimneys on my house, and descended down inside to take over.  As much as I like bees and appreciate the honey they produce as good solid workers, I don’t care to share [Read More…]

Jul 032016
There Are Times When...

There are definitely times in an author’s daily routine when a little something special is needed. Now this doesn’t happen that often with me, but somehow today seemed like one of those days.  So I have to confess that I made my way down to the kitchen to the glasses cabinet and picked out a [Read More…]