Friday, April 27, 2007

Well I'm back

That'll teach me to try and put photographs in the sidebar. Glad I kept a word doc of all my changes, but the cut and paste job was still a pain! Kept missing one tiny symbol and nothing worked. I hate the complete logic of Html. And I've just edited this post as it was full of mistakes - feeling tired today, so my brain is a bit fried. Sorry to those who passed this way earlier. I must do better, I must do better......

I've been keeping busy the last few days as N has been waiting for her latest MRI and she seemed convinced it was going to be bad news. She's also had to cope with getting a new oncologist after being treated by the same one for over 10 years, and that's been hard for her as you literally have your life in the hands of such doctors and you tend to put great faith in them, so it's difficult when they move on.

It's been really horrible seeing her so stressed and worried. Anyway the good news, the great news is the tumour is static, and if anything microscopically smaller, so we are all dancing here.

It is hard to believe that this time last year she was in so much pain that she was on morphine, and the palliative nurse was calling on her. So long may this continue.

Her son has also got good news, he's an artist and has just been commissioned by Habitat to design wallpaper for them, along with Tracy Emin and some other cutting edge artists. This is a piece he did for the fashion mag Wallpaper

So I hope her family keep going from strength to strength. She has been a huge part in my recovery, just watching how she deals with set backs and pain has been an inspiration.

I worked in the garden this morning, mostly weeding pesky sticky-willow and chickweed before it gets too big and/or seeds itself everywhere. The bluebells are everywhere, like a colour-wash up all the paths and under the old apple tree.
The birds bring in the odd plant, and one of their gifts was a hawthorn, which I've grown into a standard and clipped to a round, it echoes my standard bay tree, it's a good idea to do this to small trees and shrubs as it frees up space to grow things underneath, and it gives the garden a good sense of structure.

I wrote this a while ago about my bay tree, it isn't very stylish and needs more work but the senitiments are genuine.

The Bay Tree

It started life as a half inched cutting,
in a yoghurt pot, on the kitchen widow sill.
I was amazed it took - my son was only three,
or there-abouts, and I could only offer
it benign neglect. But instead it grew.

For the first wee while it was
no more a few leaves on a stick
and Elizabeth David was to blame
when one them got thrown into a stew.
We moved and it took up residence

in the greenhouse - planted directly
into the soil - as the frost would’ve
got it out of doors. And still it grew,
gaining critical mass. Brush against
it, coming through the door, on summer’s

night and the sheltered air took on the tang
of sunset in the South of France. Years rolled
by, and son and bay both grew effortlessly,
relentlessly. Arms, legs, branches
all a supple, sappy tangle. But the tree

then suckered and started pressing wildly
at the glass. Drastic measures called for,
and with lofty notions of a herb bed
- bay in the middle, and lollipops
of box in all four corners - I dug it

up, gave it a heavy prune and planted
it out in the new, posy bed. Right away
a blackbird made it home, a good omen,
or so I thought, till its glossy leaves
began to fail and the poor bird had to flit.

I felt sure the bay was done for, but -
on the basis that doing nothing
sometime works - I left where it was.
Then I got sick and the garden got left
to its own devices. That was two summers

ago. Today I took another look and
to my delight I found it covered
in new leaves. So it looks like
we’ve both come through. Sometimes
it takes a fright to make you

appreciate this life. The bay knew this,
now I do too. It will look very
fine underplanted with lavendar
and thyme. I’ve just got to hope
the boy transplants more easily........

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Blogger blkbutterfly said...

i'm glad you got the template worked out. it's funny how sometimes we don't recognize how invested we are in our blogs until something goes awry...

congrats to your son! i see the artistic genes rubbed off on him! :-)

6:38 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

You're right BB, it's only when you think you've screwed it up that you realise how much you tend them like a plant!

It's my good friend's son. Mine is npnot artistic, he likes sport, especially golf.

11:32 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

That's great!
My great grandfather was named Bernard Reid! (he hailed from Londonderry.)

4:52 am  
Blogger blkbutterfly said...

oh, my bad. i misread your post.

4:26 pm  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes, it does take some fright to make us appreciate life. Or sometimes, a bit of bad luck. So now I don't wait for bad things to make me appreciate.

4:08 am  
Blogger PI said...

So glad to hear good news. Long may it continue. It must be hard losing her doctor.
Re bay trees When we first moved here we visited our cottage in Yorkshire and I bought an expensive bay tree to plant in out new home. Before I planted it a friend visited us and as she was leaving said what wonderful bay trees we had. We have them everywhere and I hadn't noticed!

8:26 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi bb -no worries, it's an easy mistake to make.

GG, it's a lesson I wish I'd learned sooner

Pat, it must be very mild down thee for them to do so well. Mine is a cutting off an old trees that grew in the big garden I help look after. They do well in Edinburgh, which has its own micro climate.

12:56 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

I like the mixing of the bay and the boy. Ths piece works very well as a poem. With a wee prune here and there, it would be a fine thing ;) like gardening!

6:01 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks B. Yes it needs tightened up, but I'm stuck at what to prune lol!.

12:23 pm  

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