Written 19 November, 2020.
This morning, Dee asked me to help him put in our present to him of his little native plants.
Me, the derisive gardener, loved doing it. His back yard up a steep hill was terraced many years ago by an obsessed stone worker, perhaps in the 1930s and 1940s. There are stone steps right to the top, where there’s almost a road! He must’ve spent his life carrying and placing stones, he must’ve dreamed stones.
So we chose two terraces overgrown by ferns and lantana, pulled and raked and dug out roots, then dug little holes for the tiny plants, which Trip enjoyed and lay in. it was pleasant, quiet work, doing it together with Dee, both of us intent only on making the plants happy. I had no idea that gardening with someone else could be such fun. Co-vid has given me this.
Dee is leaving today for three weeks work setting up someone’s internet in rural Victoria, so he cooked a gluten-free chocolate cake and brought it to our top deck, which he calls out “cafe”. I promised to water his little native plants every day it doesn’t rain.
I’m going to miss him and Tripi. They’ve become part of our lives, almost family. Because of his friendship, and because we can’t go to Melbourne to G’s family for Christmas as usual, we’re seriously considering going to Dee’s annual “event” in Northern NSW, a sort of music and dancing and workshops on anything festival held in a paddock with a creek, taking K, who in the city barely leaves her flat except to shop. It would be so good for her after a year’s heavy, worrying isolation. Everyone camps but K and G refuse to tent, so I had to ring the local pub at Wingham, 20 minutes drive away, and the local motel. The hotel, a lovely old wide verandah’ed country pub, has many rooms, but all ten rooms share one bathroom. Most country pubs are like this, and the ones who’ve put a bathroom in their bedrooms always ruin the look of their rooms. But sharing a bathroom is not Ki’s style! So it’s the motel for her. I love staying in pubs, so G and i may stay there.
As long as the virus doesn’t come again.
And I worked long hours on my novel. I’m longing to have it out of the house, especially before the holidays and summer.