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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The older I get, the more recovery time I need. I had great plans for yesterday, but in the end accomplished very little apart from a few household chores. I washed some bedding the roofers had left behind, and promptly forgot it until this morning.  I pulled out the vacuum cleaner and got rid of the latest crop of insects, after which I felt I deserved a rest. I pulled out a crossword, made myself comfortable in the recliner, and fell asleep for an hour. I must have brought fifty or sixty crossword puzzles with me, cryptic ones I cut out of the daily paper before I left the UK. They’ve been a part of my daily routine for thirty or forty years now, and have been a great comfort – apart from the occasional one which has defeated me.   
Up at the ranch-house I told Matt about my problem with the crickets. ‘I’ll give you something that’ll fix `em’,’ he said. He rummaged around in his workshop and produced a product called Tempo. I sprayed all around the outside of the red house, and inside, along the base of the walls, each room in turn.

Outside, I dismantled the vegetable plot. Rolled up the wire and piled up the posts and poles for firewood.

I guess it was worth trying to grow a few things. I did, after all, get to eat some lettuce, a couple of servings of French beans, one or two zucchini and a plate of baby beets. I’d rather not figure out how much those items cost me, but there was a moment, back at the beginning of July, when it seemed I really was going to succeed. Here it is, at a peak, between hailstorms and before the grasshoppers arrived. I took this photo on my birthday.

I guess I should’ve gone the extra yard and invested in some closely woven wire mesh, enough to cover the entire plot. Oh well, as I have had reason to say several times since I got here… live and learn. The worrying part of that motto is the looming realisation that I am probably going to arrive at death’s door having finally figured it all out. I won’t be the first.

The insect spray seems to have proven pretty effective. A few odd crickets are still emerging; one or two are even chirping, but not for long; and I got an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

The temperature got up to 89 yesterday, and they’re forecasting 95 today, but somehow the heat doesn’t seem as oppressive as it was a week or two ago. I think that’s because the mornings are cool, and of course the days are appreciably shorter now.

Okay, today I really am going to get weaving. Really.

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