Saturday, 21 June 2008

Soaring cost of living

I've been growing a Lemon bush for two years; from a tiny little shoot in a cardboard box from Wilkinsons at about £2.50. I didn't give it much hope but against all odds it now has seven lemons that will hopefully ripen this summer so that I can contribute to self-sufficiency and my Gin and Tonic.

My runner beans have stopped growing, as have my peas and sweet peas; climate not to their liking I suppose... nor mine. Midsummer has arrived and we are now on the downward slope to shorter days. I'm determined not to be down hearted - yet! There may still be some warm sunny weather to come - she says optimistically. I tried to be optimistic last year, and by Autumn decided not to bother with loads of veg and flowers next time... but, as always the gardener in me took over.

A visit to my Financial Adviser proved that my investments are dwindling to almost danger level and we've decided, (she advises), to wait another few weeks to see how the market progresses, or not. She asked how I was 'doing'. I truthfully replied that I was really doing well now and hadn't cried in weeks and was happier and healthier. I did admit that I miss having a man around and that I'd tried Internet Dating briefly and didn't like it. Not that I miss washing socks and ironing shirts, nor snoring or football, but I miss the comforting arm and shoulder to lean on; the cuddles and laughter, and of course, the intimacy of a loving relationship... to which she advised I buy a 'thing' with batteries. I laughed nervously. How could 'it' ever replace a loving relationship? Then I thought that if nothing else, it could be used for mixing Gin and Tonics.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Orchid survey for the Green Gym

I have never, ever before seen a wild orchid, so when our group descended on the Old Woodstock Railway Line this Wednesday to conduct a survey, I was amazed at the number of orchids we found. I now know the difference between a Bee orchid and a Wasp orchid, as well as discovering three more rare varieties, one of which has not been recorded in Oxfordshire before. I didn't have a picture of an orchid, so instead have posted one of a rose called, 'In loving memory'.

We are mostly a happy band of Green Gymmers who normally tolerate one another's foibles and idiosyncracies; and celebrated one year of 'being' by having a bar-b-que and quiz after completing the orchid survey.

I ended my day by going to the other Gym - pounding on the treadmill, then swimming with all my power until my heart thumped in my chest. Someone asked me recently if I managed to sleep now that I'm on my own. I sleep as if I have died... not waking until the cats sit on me or push their whiskery noses into my face, around seven thirty each morning.

I have recently spoken to two women (through the Green Gym), who have lost their husbands in the last two years, . They are not at the same stage as me - yet. So I encourage them to be patient and that soon they will start looking forward not back. Perhaps it's because of nearly three years of grief that I don't tolerate nasty people any more and will speak up for justice. Perhaps it's why I don't get upset about the little things any more and perhaps it's why I have more tolerance for the simple things in life. I no longer strive for better pay or material things. I smile at lovers and old people who still hold hands. My perspective on life has changed forever.

In loving memory...

Monday, 16 June 2008

A new Dawn and swimming with sharks

This was his favourite rose: New Dawn. I've taken many cuttings and given to various friends. A pale blush pink rose that faces East and gets the dawn sunshine. Everywhere in my home and garden are the reminders of his existence... long may they continue.

I went to the conventional Gym again, (not the Green Gym), and spent half an hour on the treadmill, keeping up with the pounding background music, then some stretching exercises. In the pool I quickly scanned for the sleazy water snake in goggles, but he was nowhere to be seen, allowing me to swim with Gusto, (whoever he may be)!

I may have mentioned before that a predatory woman frequents the pool, sauna, jacuzzi and just about every place on site, looking for men. She came into the pool as I stretched out on a lounger at the far end and away from the gathering groups. Her carefully coiffed hair did not get wet as she glided femininily (if that's the word), up the pool, her gold watch, necklace and bracelet glinting in the evening sun. I reckon she's older than me, but perfectly formed, in fact quite skinny, but suntanned, albeit fake. She moves slowly and purposefully; her carefully painted toenails accentuating her deep tan. There are a group of men talking loudly in the jacuzzi. She glides up the stairs from the pool and saunters over to the jacuzzi, seductively dropping her towel as she steps down into the bubbling water to join them. I watch, fascinated by her movements. The men stop talking and smile politely as she takes a dainty swig from her water bottle. Then the man who was talking earlier, continues. She laughs with them, trying to join in their conversation. As I watch, one of the men glances across the expanse of the pool and stares at me. I look away. I am not predatory and am quite shy. I could never be as bold as she.

I decide to swim two more lengths before leaving, and as I do so, the same man watches me and as I catch him staring, he turns away quickly. I climb up the steps out of the pool and have to walk past the jacuzzi to the exit. I take a quick, crafty (or so I thought) glance at the man who'd been watching me. Eyes meet and I look away. Too much, can't cope and I scurry into the ladies changing room leaving the female shark with her captive males, all bubbling away together.

He is actually quite attractive, well-formed and I've seen him often. It unnerves me though to think of another man in that way. Perhaps I'm still not ready. As I drove home I thought that if only the female shark could meet the male snake of my earlier post, I'm sure they'd be very happy!