Category Archives: garden

Do not want

I’m too lazy to even make a list today!  How pathetic am I?   Answer: very. 

My motivation has just disappeared. I don’t want to do anything except eat cookies and watch tv.  Except maybe take a bath while reading a book.  But not a book with any cultural value, oh no, I only want to read tawdry pulpy novels of very little worth, thanks.

This lack of motivation would be okay if I didn’t have butt loads of stuff to do, but I do have butt loads of stuff to do.  Butt loads of butt loads, even.  I have a house to clean.  A bookshelf to move.  Work that I get paid to do to do.  Novels and short stories to write.  Sweaters and afghans to knit.  An allotment to weed.  Dr’s appointments to attend. Dishes to wash.  Yoga to yog. Laundry to be sorted and done.  You know, stuff!  Butt loads of it! 

But I get home from work and all I want to do is nothing.  This is no good.  I need to get out of this rut of nothingness.  But how?

What do you, dear reader(s), do when you are feeling demotivated and lame?  How do you get yourself off your ass and actually get the butt loads of stuff done?  I need your help, because every time I start to make a plan my brain shuts down and that is no good as I really need it to turn on and never shut off until my house has all those cartoon clean sparkles glinting off of it and my laundry is all folded and pressed and there are three books with my name on the spine sitting on my bookshelf and all that other stuff I said up above that I am too lazy to list again.



Filed under garden, grumpus, homely, Uncategorized

Jumble sale

  1. Do you know how you can tell I’m feeling lazy?  I do a list of unrelated items on my blog.  Other clues include, but are not limited to: Spending all day in bed reading trashy books, ordering curry for dinner and eating the leftovers for the next three days, and the state of my kitchen.
  2. Somebody found me by using the following search term yesterday “is sal paradise a reliable narrator?” and my answer to you, intrepid internet surfer, is NO Sal paradise is absolutely 100% not a reliable narrator.  He spends the whole book hopped up on goof balls for goodness sakes!  Not to mention all that cheap wine.  Seriously, dude is not to be trusted at all.
  3. Vienna, I have lots to say about the trip to Vienna, but will be brief as I don’t have my photos handy.  It was a really surprising city.  I expected it to be pretty and sort of cold (not temperature wise but attitude wise).  I was right in the first case and totally wrong in the second.  Vienna was one of the friendliest and most comfortable cities I’ve been to.  People were super nice and helpful, the city itself was very manageable and easy to get around.  And, of course, it is beautiful.  Really breathtaking at points to be honest.  I would like to go back, maybe in Autumn or Spring and see more of it.
  4. While we were in Vienna we went to the neighbourhood where Jeremy’s Bubbie grew up.  The door to her old building was open so we went in and poked around.  Then we walked down her old street to the square where more of the family lived and then poked around the park, Augarten, nearby and imagined her and her sister strolling through and checking out boys.  Of course maybe the two of them were more serious-minded than all that but I choose to think that even if they were they still had the occasional frivolous stroll through the park and giggled under chestnut trees together.
  5. November is officially the month of action.  I’ve already requested a bunch of time off so I can make a serious attempt at completing NaNoWriMo.  I want this to be the year of the first draft (you know like I’ve been saying every year is the year of the first draft, but this time I mean it).
  6. On that note, if anyone wants to form a posse of support, cajoling and critiquing for November, please give me a shout.  Yes, writers do work in a vacuum, but it also helps to know there are other people in similar vacuums toiling away at the same time as you and with a similar goal.
  7. The allotment has been much neglected due to reasons involving travel and arthritis and laziness.  This week that must change.  Our tomatoes are almost ready.
  8. Arthritis is a demon.  I’m taking a new medication (sulfasalazine) and am only on a half dosage so far and it makes me feel horrible.  Nausea and headaches and super itchy skin and, so far, it’s not helping the arthritis even a tiny bit.  That will take 3 months at full dosage.  Apparently once I make it through the first month and move myself up to full dosage it should get better, right now it just makes me feel miserable.  But I’m pushing through and doing my best and trying not to bitch TOO much (I still bitch about it a little though, maybe more than a little even).
  9. Oliver’s face is back to a normal size although he does still have a sad shaved patch.  This has lead to many off colour jokes that I will not repeat here.
  10. I promise not to be so lazy next time and to provide a real and proper update about something interesting and funny, scout’s honor (insomuch as someone who never made it past Brownie in the Girl Scouts can give a scout’s honor).

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Filed under book? what book?, garden, health (or lack thereof), homely, olimuhver, Uncategorized


I’m feeling grumpy and out of sorts lately.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  Some of these reasons very boring and mundane and not worth going into.  Other reasons are kind of big and worthwhile and almost cosmincally large (almost typed comically there) and not appropriate for this space, at least not yet.  I’m sure some of these things, both big and small, will come up later, just not now.

In the meantime, I’m thinking it’s worth focussing on some good things to bring my head around to a more positive and genial place.

  1. Yesterday in my yoga class I was able to put my hands in prayer position behind my back!  First time ever that I’ve been able to do this.  It was awesome.
  2. I thought I’d lost a new dress and skirt that I bought on Saturday, but just now I located them for sure.
  3. The allotment is doing really well.  We’ll have runner beans and peas and carrots and tomatoes and cucumbers and radishes soon.
  4. The radishes will probably be first.
  5. We already have zucchini!
  6. Tending the allotment always makes me feel like the witch in Rapunzel with all of her delectable home-grown produce that tempted Rapunzel’s biological pregnant mother and caused all the trouble.
  7. I always think that witch gets kind of raw deal, I mean, yeah, asking for a baby in return for stolen veg is sort of disproportionate, but Rapunzel’s folks shouldn’t have been stealing her stuff in the first place.  I bet if they’d just gone round to hers and asked nicely things would have turned out much better for everyone.
  8. Tonight we’re going to see Jeffrey Lewis at the Lexington. He’s pretty awesome.
  9. We’re going to Vienna the weekend of the 12th
  10. Jeremy’s uncle gave us the address of the apartment where Jeremy’s Bubbie Susie grew up.
  11. Also there’s a butterfly house in Vienna.  I love butterfly houses.
  12. Our dining room in clean and tidy for the first time in approximately 3 years.  Let’s not talk about the second bedroom.


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Filed under culture it up, dorking it up, garden, grumpus, homely, literatures, Musics

Near death gardening experience

An old sunflower stalk tried to kill me yesterday.

I was doing some clearing on Sunday and was moving a massive rotten sunflower stalk to the compost heap.  I tossed it onto the heap but either the sunflower didn’t want to accept its fate or the heap was feeling over burdened because the stalk bounced back and beaned me right in the head.  And you may not know this, but sunflower stalks, even old rotten ones, are really, really hard.

So beware the hidden dangers of sunflowers.


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Filed under dorking it up, garden

Exciting news!

Apologies if you are also my friend on Facebook, because if you are then you already know what I’m about to tell you because I haven’t shut up about it since Sunday.

We are number 84

Jeremy and I have an allotment!!!

The American readers of this fine blog (and maybe some Canadians too) may be asking themselves, What the hay is an allotment? Well, my friends (or enemies reading this and hoping to find my life is a disaster so they may partake in some Schadenfreude*) here is Wikipedia’s definition.  Basically though, an allotment is a bit of land set aside for citizens such as myself to garden on.  Usually there are loads of them all together on one big piece of land, but they are shrinking as people try to build housing on every available inch of the UK.

We’ve been on a waiting list to get ours for over 3 years, which is actually a relatively short amount of time (I know someone who’s been on a lists for a decade), and our allotment isn’t really just ours.  It also belongs to an elderly man named Harry who can’t take care of it after decades of tending it himself.  We haven’t met him yet but have been told he only comes by twice a year.  His health is poor and he has a very hard time walking at all, much less taking the 2 busses from Clapham.

Alien allium

Because the allotment has barely been tended over the last few years our first step in caring for it is to clear a lot of it out.  There isn’t a whole lot that’s salvageable at the moment (in one spot there are all these gone to seed broccoli plants that are as tall as I am, no lie), but we are finding more as we work our way through.  We’ll be keeping the artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, asparagus and gooseberries going as it would be silly not to.  And last night we found some garlic while we were weeding.  Otherwise, weeding is our main occupation right now, with trimming the grass around the edge of the allotment coming in a close second place.

We’re trying not to make too many plans until we get it all cleared out and have a better idea of what we’ll be working with and then we’ll begin planting.  On Sunday while we were knee-deep in mud due to all the ran this weekend a really nice man named Allie gave us some tomato plants and advice and shared his rakes and scythe with us.  We saw him again yesterday and he has apparently decided my name is Karen (‘It’s my allotment name!’ I told Jeremy after he left) and he told us how pleased he was that we hadn’t been scared off.

Gardening Wellies

Hopefully by the weekend we’ll have cleared out the bulk of the allotment (minus the corner we want to use to compost) and we’ll have some idea of what we want to do with the bathtub in the middle of the space and most importantly, we’ll be able to start planting.

I can’t wait!

* Sorry if you did come here for some Schadenfreude, because I’m doing pretty okay, outside of losing my dad of course, and if that makes you happy then you’re a real jerk.

If it makes you feel better I’m probably sad about the fact that you, whoever you may be, don’t like me, but it doesn’t keep me up at night or anything.  Also I stubbed my toe yesterday, and I spilled coffee on my shirt on Friday.


Filed under dorking it up, garden

Bank Holiday Overload

It’s the end of summer bank holiday this weekend.  This means that Monday is a stay at home and stay away from work day.  I took off Friday and Tuesday as well, because that is how I roll.

When I made the decision to take off these days I saw the whole weekend as an empty expanse of time.  A treasure of a blank five-day weekend.  Then everything changed.  First we decided to replace the fencing in our back garden.  No big, it’s a tiny garden.  Then two people sent out birthday party invites.  Then there was an opening at a gallery we like.  Then the pub down the road announced they were having a boot fair in the ballroom (boot fair = craft fair / rummage sale in American), then another party was announced for Friday night, THEN I got an email from a friend announcing that I was expected to play Rounders  (a game which makes absolutely no discernible sense at all) on Monday.

What the fuck dudes?  I mean it!  I know this probably sounds miserable of me, you’re all like, oh poor Carolyn her life is so hard, she’s just TOO damn popular.  But for real, I just wanted to buy some full fat milk for my coffee that I would drink whilst sitting in the corner of the second bedroom whilst trying to write a goddamn book and all these jerks (aka my really awesome and wonderful friends) keep planning really awesome and wonderful sounding events.  Maybe if I just don’t sleep until Tuesday I’ll have time for everything?


Filed under book? what book?, dorking it up, garden, Sports? Really?

A simpler life

I keep thinking I want to simplify my existence.  You know, have less crap in my home, make more of my own food, grow things in my garden, sew, knit more, make jam.

Don’t ask me why or how I got this idea, but jam making has always seemed like the most domestic thing you can do to my mind.  10 years ago this would have put it solidly at the bottom of the list of things I wanted to spend my time doing.  But now, it just sounds nice.  Like meditative nice in a way that domestic chores can only truly be if they aren’t born out of necessity.  The choice to make jam is the thing.  I don’t need to do it as the only way to preserve fruit through the winter, like a pioneer would. 

But sitting here in my privileged city based world, with grocery stores around the corner I seem to have developed this desire to become more connected to the process of creating the things I consume.

All that said, I don’t know how practical this desire is.  The fact is I can barely muster the energy to look through my post when I come home from work.  My house gets cleaned on a quarterly basis (if it’s lucky).  And I just tend to sit in the middle of all this sloth talking about all the things I want to be doing without ever actually doing any of them (with the exception of some intermittent knitting).

So I’m not quite ready to start making jam yet.  First I need to get my home in order so it can be an appropriate place to make jam and bread and set aside the necessary space for other endeavours.

But how do I do that?  How do I get out of my current habits of poor housekeeping and negligent benevolence in the garden?  I keep hearing it’s all about making it a habit and staying on top of the little things, but seriously, about the only habit I’ve managed to develop since I was 18 was smoking, and I never even managed to get that up to a pack a day like any of the truly respectable chain smokers in my peer group.

How do other people manage to stay on top of this stuff?  And how do you get out from under it in the first place?


Filed under garden, homely