If only life were so simple that the Cicero quote “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” covered it. There’s nothing like a pandemic to get you thinking about what’s important to you.
Books. Tick. I’ve more than enough and I’ve also been indulging in a little early birthday-Christmas book shopping. I can’t show you the actual items as the G.O. has stashed them away but they are:
Legend of Little Fur series, by Isobelle Carmody. Ostensibly children’s books which over the years I’ve bought for kids and now, finally, for myself. These re-released editions from the publisher have a luxe felt hardcover, and via the link there are bonus free downloadable colouring pages and a delightful book trailer featuring the author and her friend Crow.
Eat Your History: Stories and recipes from Australian kitchens, by Jacqui Newling. No relation. Seeing Jacqui appear on the ABC television series Further Back in Time for Dinner shifted this book off my wish-list and into the shopping cart.
Inspired by my friend Francesca’s affection for citrus and Italy I bought The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee. I got my copy from World of Books Australia… Their blurb won me… “If you’re looking for great value second hand books, then World of Books is the place for you. As you may already know, we aren’t like other online book stores. For starters, we don’t believe that books should only be read once, or have a single owner. Literature should endure and be continually recycled, which is why we help millions of used books find new homes every year. World of Books also buys directly from charities, taking the titles they don’t want or haven’t got space for. So as well as preventing the destruction of perfectly good books, our customers are helping to support good causes too.” They ship free in Australia. There is also a UK World of Books.
Similarly inspired, I tracked down via eBay an affordable second-hand copy of Patience Gray’s Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia.
Of course, I’d add… Kitchen.
And… Kindness. Just over 14 months ago my friend Celia inspired me to participate in Kiva. I made a US $25 loan to Lilian in Kenya to help fund a loan of US$300 to start an ag-vet business. Regular repayments came in to repay it in full. So now I’ve loaned the repaid US$25 amount to Annah in Kenya to assist her to buy farming inputs. There are 27 days (at date of posting) left for others to join me to fund the remainder of the US$325 loan which is then paid back over 14 months. Each loan is made with a small out of pocket expense of a US$3.75 donation to Kiva and foreign exchange fee. I use PayPal to make the payment. When I posted about it on Facebook; a friend who lives up the road came on board and loaned another $25 which got the G.O. inspired to do the same.
Other things? Off the top of my head… good company, verandah, coffee, wine. But also… Nature. Time in it, with dog of course. Fortunately, during the pandemic the former have been plentiful even if much of the good company has happened virtually, and the latter we’ve done as best we can.
For us -NSW, Australia residents- Covid restrictions are lifting somewhat and we’re cautiously hoping to continue to venture further afield during the remaining three months of what’s been a memorable but at the same time forgettable 2020.
“…You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need…”
The Rolling Stones