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Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A special guest blog part II. Strange behaviour in the snow.

The second part of our special guest blog series by wildlife gardener, writer and jam collector Aspidistra. 


Snowed in in the village.

Its not just the wildlife that finds the snow a bit of a challenge, the humans are up to interesting things too. Internet dating sites have gone bananas, as singletons seek new ways to keep warm, supermarket shelves have been cleared and up in the city there are dark mummerings about the new Ice Age. I have had a seige mentality for years, so no need to worry about lack of provisions. It is something to do with my wartime parents who instilled in me the need to always have things in order 'for emergencies' and so I do.

We lucky gardeners may still have freezers groaning with the fruits of our summer labour and I have a dark cupboard that glistens full of berried jams in deep purples and ruby hues. However, when I gaze upon my crisis-proof collection, I am reminded of a friend whose mother died of dementia, who discovered her wardrobe to be filled with jars and jars of jam. One day, possibly not that far off, I will be that mad old lady but for now, one can never have too much jam.

There are those who can't bear to be holed in indoors for an inordinate amount of time, who are neurotically snow-shovelling to release pent up energy. Others are enthusiastically pro-creating, rather like in black-outs, we can expect a fine crop of Snow Babies around September this year. As I have the get up and go of a low energy lightbulb I rather like this enforced isolation. Normally, my world is full of too many choices. Suddenly, it has all been honed down to the small matter of whether or not to eat another piece of cake.

The ramifications of not being able to meet up with anyone because of the weather are wonderful. The mascara was the first casualty, then it started to seem perfectly normal to wear two pairs of trousers together, then I thought I could give my armpits a rest from the chemical horrors of deodorants and now I have given up entirely on any sense of dignity or personal hygiene. I am finding even the telephone rather wearing and it has all set me wondering. Perhaps we need to learn to communicate less, not more. I am wondering if it would be possible to exist contentedly only communicating by the written word?

A challenge which perhaps I should reserve for when I have a wardrobe full of jars of jam. For now, time to go. I shall go out into the snow in search of Seville oranges for the marmalade season is fast upon us and my jam collection is really incomplete if there are not at least a dozen jars of sunset orange shining out from the cupboard like miniature winter suns.



If cabin fever sets in, it is easy enough to make new friends in the snow.



12 comments:

fairegarden said...

Oh what a wonderful post, Aspidistra! I love your reflections of what is and what is not important. Mascara is the devil's invention anyway. Marmalade and jam are beauties in their own, even without being edible. Stay warm and safe! :-)
Frances

Emma Bond said...

haha. brilliant. I love making jam but I seem to have hundreds of empty jars as cant seem to chuck them out ever. I am growing my leg hair too by the way...it's glamour glamour glamour at ours. In my pjs by 6 and in bed by about 8! Emma

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the guest blogger - hope she visits again very soon!

jro said...

Disposable snow-weather friends! what a good idea.

nancybond said...

I shall go out into the snow in search of Seville oranges for the marmalade season is fast upon us and my jam collection is really incomplete if there are not at least a dozen jars of sunset orange shining out from the cupboard like miniature winter suns.

What lovely prose. I couldn't agree more about the marmalade. :)

Aspidistra said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments all, both today and yesterday, I could get used to this blogging business and I must thank dear Rothschild's Orchid for allowing me to ramble inconsequently across her pages, as it were.

Emma,the growing leg hair is a splendid idea; providing an extra layer of warmth in the snow. Besides, I'm sure the defoliation thing or whatever is just so over, so ladies, embrace your inner gorillas. No, no, after you, after you.

Kate said...

What a great post and a fun idea of 'guest blogging!' There are days when I have to force myself out into the cold but I am always glad once I do...

Rothschild Orchid said...

Now I've heard of "Gurrilla Gardening" but I'm sure we're not meant to take it quite so literally?

Having spent the first week of the new year stricken with flu it is an absolute pleasure to have you rambling away on the blog Aspi. I've been thoroughly enjoying your posts,

RO xx

Anna said...

Enjoyed your post Aspidistra. Love the thought of snow babies :) One positive for me has been that my spending habits have been greatly curtailed thanks to a full store cupboard. I knew something was missing though so thanks for reminding me. Jam making here we come.

Andrea said...

Thanks for coming in once in a while Aspidistra. I hope Rothschild Orchid is already well. Your post really amused me, i can visualize what you have been saying and you are right. However, in the tropics we dont experience being confined inside unless we are sick, everything seems to be moving. As for your jams, how i wish we are neighbors and i can have a jar-sample as i am not apt to make those. I will stay in the garden under the heat of the sun continuously but not in the kitchen making jams! Does that sound terrible for you? haha. By the way, be a little amused too by visiting my Vanda orchid blooms. I assure you they are delightful, sweet as marmalades! Regards to R orchid.

Joanne said...

Most amusing post, I hope the snow babies term catches on.

Kathleen said...

how funny. We've been holed up in Colorado too. Its the winter that won't cut a break. We've had snow on the ground since October! I'm so ready for spring. Love the Allium seedhead in the post from the 15th of Jan. I never thought to photograph mine.