Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Reflections (10 Years After - part 3)

Marmalade started out in the sixties as a pretty sugary band, but in fact ended up as a pretty credible soft-rock outfit. I still have "Cousin Norman" and "Radancer" on my iPod, but the song that they are probably most remembered for, and rightly so, is "Reflections of My Life" which is a tremendous ballad that never ceases to make me go a bit goose-bumpy.

It came up the other night while I had the player on "shuffle" and, as always, it had me doing just that, reflecting. I suppose we do tend to section our lives into decades after all and, as you probably know, August 23rd saw the tenth anniversary of our move out here.

The previous two posts went on about a couple of things that happened in the first year or so that we lived here. This one though is photo-heavy. I've garnered together a bunch of shots taken over the first couple of years and here they are, along with captions where I can think of something to say about them...


The stuff we dug out of this area. White stuff, yellow stuff, all kinds of builders' stuff in fact, much of it doubtless poisonous to plants. Yet we were determined to make this into a bed, situated as it is right in front of John and Wendy's patio doors.

The local inhabitants often came a calling at the house. As you can see, they may be Catholics (get it?). Those little terrors used to run riot up and down the valley and used to squeeze through the gaps in the pigpen fence at will. The damn things were dead cute, but boy could they eat plants when they wanted to.

Behind that row of roof tiles was my first attempt at growing lettuce. Should have known what would happen though. I wrote the whole sordid tale in chapter 8 of Feta Compli!. Let's just say that the previous photo hints heavily at what transpired. Pretty wicked washing lines too eh? Those welded poles had originally served as our wardrobe!

The driveway when it consisted of only the edging blocks. The rest was sand when this was taken.

First attempt to mark out where a future vegetable patch would be. No point planting at this time though, since no fence and no gates equals Fast Food joint for goats ...and pigs.

Sampling the local beach for the first time.

This was the very first plant we ever put in. An Agave Americana. We'd gone and had a drink around the pool of a hotel in Pefkos with some friends from the UK who were staying there. As we sipped our gin and tonics, I noticed a huge Agave with lots of "babies" growing out of the soil all around it in the bed beside the pool terrace. Quick as a flash I nipped out to the van (we hadn't yet bought the car at this point), grabbed a trowel (what? You mean you don't travel with a trowel in the vehicle?) and we were soon driving home with this in the footwell. It now looks like this...
That's it, just to the left of my head. Agaves grow for about twenty to twenty five years before thrusting those great "poles" twenty feet into the air, which then sprout a huge spray of flowers before dying off, wherupon the whole plant dies and has to be dug out. We've still got at least a decade to go with this baby then.

It wasn't long before we had a few more plants to put in. This was in April of 2006...

Fortunately, a Greek friend told us before it was too late to ditch the one on the left, but not before they'd fallen about laughing at our poor judgment. We'd dug it up in the wild, but were told that it stinks like rotten flesh when it flowers. It didn't stay long after that.

May. And we actually put our hands in our pockets and (gulp) bought that hibiscus.
July. First attempt at a woodstore.

October. That's my dad, who helped me build that gate in what was to become a picket fence between the garden and the orchard. The man was a genius at DIY. I didn't have a "square" so he quickly cut a few pieces of wood, screwed them together and showed me, saying "Now THAT's a 90 degree angle." I still have that home-made wooden square in the shed.

Yea, I'm reflecting all right. We both are. Tell you what though, that song says "the world is a bad place, a terrible place to be, oh but I don't want to die." In view of the stuff we see on the news nowadays one would have to agree that the song was right on the button. But how good it is to still count one's blessings, assuming one has any to count. 

We do and we're losing count.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely photos John, but what are you doing in the bucket (photo number 3, perhaps should have been the 2nd photo so I could put photo number 2!)
    What a great pic of your dad as well. It got me wondering if my sons will keep a stock of memories and items that their dad helped them make and build.
    Time for reminiscing indeed. Must be our age, I know a lot of people doing it.