Some people waste away, others lose their waist

The weather demanded we have a barbecue today. So, given we didn’t really have a choice, I marinated some chicken chunks and waited for the time to set the coals alight. This latter is much better now I have the light-the-bag type coals.

Being a bushy at heart, I find these new fangled blocks of charcoal quite difficult to work with. Give me a fallen tree, a box of matches and a goanna and I’ll show you how it’s done.

But before the barbie, I had to earn it. A couple of gardening jobs beckoned.

Firstly the Warm Welcome rose needed tying up in order to free the peonies which may actually bloom this year. We haven’t had a lot of luck with the peonies so Mirinda likes to give them all the encouragement she can. If that means tying back the very successful Warm Welcome then so be it.

The Warm Welcome roses are small and perfectly formed. The colour is bright, cochineal and beautiful. The obelisk is covered in them after the new season’s growth. The bush was drastically cut back and the effects of this are many more roses and deep foliage.

While I was carefully handling the many thorned branches, I noticed we already have a purple rose on the ex-kitchen rose that eventually (in summer) smells divine. This is also true of the yellow roses on the gazebo at the beginning of the new Shady Bed, as Mirinda has taken to calling it.

The second job I had was not so easy as tying back a small rose bush.

A while ago I moved the Acer-in-a-Pot to a better position to encourage better growth. Or so Mirinda thought. What has happened is that the tips of the leaves have started to whither, possibly from the wind created along the Rat Run ending at Clive’s Corner. The breeze could be stressing the plant out.

Moving it is always a bit of a trial. It starts with laying some bricks as a level platform then involves using the portable trolley to manhandle the pot to the platform. I think I’ve mentioned before that the acer has one long horizontal arm going one way and a shorter one on the opposite side. This makes manoeuvrability a bit awkward.

Still, I managed to move the acer and, hopefully it will be happier in it’s 100th new position, against the wall of my office.

Speaking of stress, we were chatting on the terrace during a break for charcuterie and wine/beer when Mirinda decided to share her explanation of the nourishment effects of stress in humans.

What we eat affects us in many ways and one of those ways is directly due to stress. The gut response can alternate between weight loss and weight gain.

As Mirinda put it “Some people waste away while others lose their waist.” Which I thought was a perfectly intriguing blog post title.

Fortunately I served a Caprese salad which always aims to de-stress and make happy anyone who eats one. Simple, fresh and delicious.

After our new usual Saturday brunch (scrambled eggs, bacon, asparagus in prosciutto and avocado smash) Mirinda set down to work on her latest article research while I slaved away in the garden. She eventually had her fortnightly guitar class with David via Skype.

While she was strumming away, I printed off and catalogued a bunch of articles she wanted and converted a few academic books for her Kindle. In between print runs I pottered around in my office and discovered (among many other memorable things) a bundle of letters that Mirinda sent me while she was in Scotland in 1995.

She was attending Adele and Dave’s wedding on Loch Ness while I was performing in Pygmalion back in New South Wales. I’d forgotten all about them and it was like re-acquainting myself with an old friend. Her voice from 25 years ago was a delight. (This has to be so much better than old emails.)

I also came across three odd news stories that I thought worth snipping out of the paper and saving. I didn’t write the dates on them. Or any kind of provenance. They are just odd. Here’s one of them:

Late in the afternoon, Mirinda decided she’d take the girls for their daily exercise but suddenly stopped in her tracks (literally) when her foot complained. She has a strange foot ailment that sometimes awakens and prevents ambulation. Today the foot vetoed any form of walk whatsoever.

I took the girls up to the park with the Flicka-stik and they ran around until they were exhausted while I laid on the grass. There were quite a few family groups wandering around, kicking balls about and learning to ride bikes. Everyone was a good distance apart.

There was a couple having a picnic across a path which would have made things quite difficult for anyone coming along the path but I didn’t see any unpleasantness as a result of their thoughtlessness.

Emma resting between retrievals

Eventually Emma decided we’d all had enough and headed for home.

A lovely day which ended with a delicious barbecue. Bliss.

PS: I think I should add that I’ve never actually cooked and/or eaten a goanna.

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