This morning, I was sitting in Starbucks, typing up yesterday’s blog post, when Silvi (one of the baristas) stopped at my table and admired my hat.
“I really like your hat,” She said
“Thank you,” I replied.
“I’d like one just the same,” She eyed it voraciously.
“Well, you’d have to go to Prague, cause that’s where I bought it.”
She then told me about her trip to Prague with her husband. They only went for two days. They were in a hotel near the castle and spent the first day just walking. They ‘did’ the castle then just kept walking down, across the river and into town.
Each time they passed a souvenir shop, Silvi would insist they go in because she wanted to buy a fridge magnet. Each souvenir shop they entered (and there’s a lot!) her husband would say everything was too cheap and nasty and they could do better elsewhere.
Having reached the end of their walk, they stopped for a picnic lunch before turning around and returning, stopping off at more souvenir shops and continuing to leave empty handed.
When they returned home, Silvi had a photograph of the two of them in Prague and complained to her husband that she hadn’t managed to get a fridge magnet to ‘stick’ it to the fridge. She, quite correctly, blamed him.
We both agreed that all the souvenir shops in Prague are the same…and so are the fridge magnets. I sympathised with her, suggesting her husband possibly didn’t want her to get a fridge magnet. She thought this was ridiculous.
“Why,” She asked, “Would someone not want a fridge magnet? It’s just mad.”
I had no answer to this so I just shook my head in disbelief.
“But I won in the end,” She added, triumphantly. “I went onto ebay and bought one from there. It cost a bit more but I just told him it was his fault. And now I have the photo on the fridge, under a Prague fridge magnet.”
I congratulated her on her ingenuity and suggested that perhaps we should all do the same. It would save having to scour the souvenir shops and save a bit of weight in your luggage. She thought this was just silly.
She then carried on with whatever she was doing before she stopped to admire my hat.
I should add that I have no idea what they did on their second day in Prague.
Back at home, it was another day of extension preparation transplantation. This time it was the turn of the roses.
I logged on to the RHS site and found out how to do it. One has to be careful with roses because they don’t like being moved. They also hate getting wet feet so the ground they are being moved to must be ‘well draining’.
To check if soil is well draining, there’s a simple test. Dig the hole then pour a load of water in it. Come back in an hour and, if the water has all gone, it’s well draining. If not, don’t plant the rose there.
Something else they don’t like is being planted somewhere that has had something else growing in it. Fortunately I had this covered. The new Hospital Bed was only ever covered in grass and then had a load of topsoil dumped on it.
Anyway, both of these criteria were easily met. Next comes the care with which you have to ‘excavate’ the plant. That’s the word they use. Not ‘dig up’ but excavate.
And so, hand shovel and archaeological trowel in hand, I set to excavating the big purple rose.
Eventually, I had the rose planted in the new bed, complete with its three foot, horizontal roots and sizeable root ball. Fingers crossed it works.
The second (much smaller) rose, wasn’t as difficult and it soon joined the first.
All up the procedure took me about four hours and a fair few scratches on my arms.