Our Garden, Part 4

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a proper update on the garden. Our landlord has helpfully dug up most of the back garden, meaning I haven’t had to — and he’s dug up more than I would be willing to do, so I have more room for planting vegetables and more sunflowers.

Slugs and snails have been attacking my primroses, ensuing in an ongoing battle. I’ve since scattered slug pellets around, which kills them, but I’m concerned that one set of flowers just won’t recover. I’ve been bolstering the primroses with coffee grounds so I hope they will bounce back soon. The sunflowers were transplanted outside about a week ago. Slugs got two of them before I could get slug pellets, but otherwise they have been growing heartily. I hope they grow tall!

Yesterday, I planted some seeds for our vegetables. Pumpkins, courgette (zucchini), and corn.

Next I need to clean out some of the pots so I can plant herbs, and then I want to plant more sunflowers.

And, unrelated to gardening, I did spend last Friday watching the royal wedding between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I also played trains with a little boy.

A few notes

Oh look, it’s Thursday. A few notes I’ve been meaning to say something about:

  • I am very disappointed that Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea actually fabricated most of the material in his books, and that the charity he helped found has suffered by its association with him.
  • The Royal Wedding is tomorrow. Practically all of the charity shops in town have dug up wedding gowns to put in their display windows, and the life-size cut-outs of Kate and William in one of the cafĂ© windows kind of creeps me out.
  • Speaking of creepy: DOCTOR WHO, oh my goodness. Ros, Tristan, and I were cowering by the end of the episode. Those aliens are just scary, and it was a two-parter, erk. Cue shouting at BBC iPlayer.
  • I’m baffled that the ‘birther’ conspiracy still has any momentum. Really, people? And I love how completely bemused British coverage has been about it. I agree with the reporter for The Guardian: as Jonathan Swift said, ‘you can’t reason somebody out of something they were never reasoned into’. Let me just say now that if you buy into the birther conspiracy I will think a little less of you. I seriously doubt that any of this hoopla would have happened if his father had been white South African and/or if he had a more European sounding name. Good grief, people. Get over your xenophobia.
  • Specsavers is totally superior to Boots as opticians go.
  • Slugs and snails are my enemies. They ate two of my sunflowers, and kept swarming over my poor primroses. I finally caved and bought slug killer pellets. It’s been working. Now my housemate is sad because I’m killing snails. Just can’t win, can I?
  • In the process of trying to acquire a PhD thesis for the library I now have an Australian academic pen pal. And she’s read Melusine.

Allegory of the cave

EDIT: Also, have you heard? Ten minutes ago it was announced that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down. Bye-bye, Mubarak! Hooray, Egypt!


I like songs about Plato. (Click for lyrics.)

A friend of mine said, ‘This is what crazy feels like. It’s the dissonance between the real world and what I perceive/feel/believe.’ Those are the words I’ve been looking for to describe what this feels like. It’s been several months since I was under water, and many more months yet before I step back onto the sandy shores of sanity. Swimming is hard work.

I can add physiotherapy to my list of health-related things. Hopefully we can get rid of these headaches. I have to be disciplined and actually do the exercises though. I always did hate practicing.

Watching the world

Don’t have much to say, so here are a few things I’ve seen or read in the news.

1. Christians protecting Muslims while they pray in Cairo. From @NevineZaki: http://yfrog.com/h02gvclj

2. CNN: Why more Americans don’t travel abroad. Many of these observations are ones I’ve pointed out when discussing this topic with non-Americans. I am glad to be one of the 30%.

3. Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student, addressing House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. I know several if not most of the readers of my blog will disagree with him, but I found what he has to say very thought-provoking. I ask you to listen and consider what he has to say, too.

Watching, waiting

Internet and mobile phone networks have been cut off in Egypt since early this morning. I hope that my friend Chris, and the students she’s looking after, are safe. They were supposed to go to Luxor this weekend, but they might still be in Cairo. She and I are supposed to Skype on Sunday. Who knows if the Internet will be back up by then?

I’ve been listening to radio reports about Tunisia and have a personal interest in what is happening in Egypt just now. Oddly, no one else I know seems to be following the protests and the ripple-effect they are having across the region.

The ruling party’s headquarters is on fire. It’s right next to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Please, oh please, I hope the museum does not catch fire, too.

Watch live updates from the BBC here: BBC News – Egypt Unrest.

Watch Al Jazeera in English: Live Stream.

In the news

If you haven’t heard yet, Prince William has announced his engagement to Kate Middleton. Why am I mentioning this? Well, they were both students at my university.

Which means that when they made their announcement this evening, the media got on the ball. I don’t know which news agency it was, but a newscaster made the announcement in the university chapel — where my choir happened to be rehearsing at the time. The newscaster didn’t seem too pleased to see us there, but hey, it was our rehearsal time. We sang Josquin anyway.

At last!

It is with great joy on this rainy Remembrance Sunday that I learn that Aung San Suu Kyi is free at last! (Don’t know who she is? Read her BBC Profile.)

No, we don’t know what will happen next, but after two decades of imprisonment, she is free. There is still hope in the world for human rights, however long and difficult the journey.