I was going to write about something else entirely and then . . .
STOP PRESS. THERE’S A SLUG IN MY TEA POT.
GROOOSSSSSSSSSSS. How the (*&^%$£”!!!! did a slug get in my TEA POT?!? I make a pot of peppermint tea every evening at approximately blog-writing time. The salad stage of the day—when, I acknowledge, unfortunate encounters may occur, the whole organic thing does have its downside—is long over. I am not programmed for slugs when I’m getting my tea pot down from its shelf and scooping two heaping teaspoons of loose peppermint tea from a tin. WHAT IF I HADN’T NOTICED? WHAT IF I HADN’T NOTICED THERE WAS A SLUG IN MY TEA POT AND JUST WENT AHEAD AND . . . I mean, do you usually check your tea pot for slugs? Is this standard defensive behaviour as described in one of those rule books I missed, like checking your shoes for scorpions if you live in scorpion country, if you live in slug country CHECK YOUR TEA POTS? AAAAAAAAAAUGH.* I may give up peppermint tea. I may give up drinking. I may give up EATING. The hellhounds can teach me how.**
. . . Well, that threw me the flipping doodah off my stride. Where was I? Um . . . so I hope everyone was outdoors last night admiring the supermoon? http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2013/jun/23/supermoon-elliptical-orbit-world-in-pictures ** I wanted to add that on midsummer night, the 24th of frelling June in the south of England, I had to put my coat on to take hellterror and hellhounds for their last nominal hurtle(s), it was 48 degrees when I went to bed and my highest/lowest thermometer informs me it got down to 45. That’s 7 to you moderns. I remind myself that I’d much rather have it too cold than too hot, and that’s still true, but it is disconcerting to be wearing thermals and a woolly jumper when it’s daylight at nine p.m.
And can we have some rain, please? It’s too cold to be sloshing water over your feet when you miss the pot or the plant or whack the side of the barrel as you’re lifting your refilled watering-can out of it.† I’m also wondering if it’s this bizarre weather that is filling my meconopsis(es) with the joy of living? I’ve got a second one flowering now and there’s going to be at least one more—and there are at least three further pots that I just hadn’t got round to throwing out the contents of yet that are now eagerly putting out hairy meconopsis leaves and thinking about stems.†† One of them, I’m embarrassed to say, has four meconopsis in it because when they arrived as plugs a year or, cough-cough, maybe two years ago, they sat there and sulked and didn’t come on at all so when the time came that I should have potted them on again, I snarled inarticulately and slammed all four of them in a pot that should have held one of them, if any of them had bothered to grow. They’re growing now. Maybe next year I should bring all four hundred and twelve of my meconopsis forest††† indoors in March and put them in the REFRIGERATOR for a few weeks??
* * *
* During which Robin hits that elusive high C, the hellterror barks, and the hellhounds sprint for cover.
** There are people who claim to live on air, on chi or prana or what have you. I admit I’ve always suspected this to be a trifle bogus . . . but maybe your metabolism can be SHOCKED into plugging into ethereal nutrition by . . . oh, something like finding a slug in your tea pot.
If I find a slug in my Green & Black’s stash, it’s air from that moment on.
*** I am frequently confused by the difference between the on-line version and the hard-copy version—this happens most often with the GUARDIAN since it’s the only thing I read regularly in hard copy that lets you link full-content stuff for free.^ But I liked the selection of photos in the paper paper better. Is there some additional selection process going on, what is deemed to look better on a computer screen?
^ I know they’re supposed to have a financial survival plan but I really don’t understand why they haven’t crashed and burned—or aren’t going to, tomorrow or the next day. I would love a system that allows more media to do what they’re doing+ but . . . it just looks like the Charge of the Light Brigade from where I’m sitting.
+ Says the fiction writer who would like to worry less about where the next bag of gold-standard hellcritter food is coming from, and is freaked out all over again by every instance of piracy.
† Sigh. If clumsy idiocy were an Olympic sport, I’d’ve found my niche at last.
†† You can’t have everything however. My eremurus robustus is GIGANTIC . . . but there is no sign of a flower stem. Sigh.
††† I’m not surprised I have bought so many—they’re so pretty, and they frelling die so briskly—I’m a little surprised I haven’t thrown more of them out. The labels are, of course, long gone but there are always kind of a lot of maybe-empty maybe-not pots lurking in corners in the cottage garden. A surprising number of them evidently contain meconopsis, who is a lurky kind of plant even when it’s happy.
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