not quite everything . . .

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.

Garden. Tick.

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


19 thoughts on “not quite everything . . .

  1. Hoping to inspect your ginger and turmeric bed in person early next year…. Thanks for the link to World Books Australia. So often, I find that something I want to read is out of print, and ordering anything from used booksellers on Amazon is ridiculous because of postage from the US.

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    1. I hope so too, and that we get rain in the meantime… gardens are looking quite dry… or there may be little gardenwise to look at. World of Books was a good find, eBay isn’t bad… at least it’s circulating secondhand books, and in a pinch Book Depository has free shipping and often competitive pricing if a new book is needed. I was very happy though to be able to order the Little Fur series direct from the publisher.

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  2. Kiva is such an amazing idea and will definitely be looking into that … I did see your post on Facebook 😍
    Definitely would love to inspect your new bed & pick your brains especially about the tumeric as it’s good for any inflammation:))

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    1. I hadn’t had prior experience with such things but Kiva has proven good. As per comment to Kate, let’s hope it rains so something grows in the gardens. I’ve held off some planting as the new ground is too dry. I think you’d need a warm spot for turmeric but it’s always worth a try.

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      1. I do have a few nice spots I want to try … I will be building a raised bed due to my pooch being an inquisitive one … that way I can fence it off… will be attempting all this at some stage next year as lots of Reno’s going on during our lockdown to get house up to scratch after 19 years of living here … 😃

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  3. -drool- I haven’t bought a hardback of any sort in decades. I think once this is all over, I’m going to go out and celebrate by buying something delicious. Something to look forward to. 🙂

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    1. Not long B.C. (Before Covid) during my trip to the city my friend and I spent -as we do- quality time browsing inner city bookstores, so good during the ensuing months to have a memory touchstone but quite often practically any book shopping is done online… either way, yes, a new book is something to look forward to and has forever been my favourite gift to give and receive.

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      1. I find print books hard to read these days because my eyesight ain’t what she used to be, but yes, the tactile feel…and smell of a book is the trigger for all sorts of happy memories. 🙂

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  4. interesting thoughts…

    mine have nothing to do with garden or library – although one could say what I’m doing could loosely translate over.

    On shelves, in boxes and table I’m “growing” a pile of art supplies…fun to watch it, then dig through and find that exact non-edible to use (Gardening – tick)

    Cooking and baking – upskilled that and now have quite a good selection of recipes that useful and I like making (Library – tick)

    Adding to library which involved reading online maps and then mapping km walked – daily that occurs and when I get back home I place the walk km into “virtual library” (tick) At the same time, I often take photographs which are also into my virtual library (tick)

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  5. I was inspired by Francesca to read the Land Where Lemons Grow too. I bought it and started it and never finished it, so now you have inspired me to have another go. I’m easily distracted, unfortunately. Your efforts at small loans are kind, indeed. We have a couple of causes close to our hearts too. You and Welshy have really created a nourishing place both mentally and physically. I hope you get some rain soon. We didn’t have that much here in town, only 21ml but it was better than the last effort, and the one long before that! Best to you. xx

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    1. Francesca commented to me The Land Where Lemons Grow was good for dipping into, so I might read it as a diversion with another book… my summer holiday-at-home plan is to read and read some more. Kiva has become a more fun exercise with a few people joining in via the link for which I get free lending credit (a surprise to me). So far as well as lending $100 between us to Annah in Kenya, we’ve also lent the free credit to 3 other people in Ecuador, Samoa and Tajikistan. There are so many good causes because we all do our bit for kindness. Omg… 21ml of rain would be most welcome… I have the welcome mat out for La Nina. Thank you for those kind words, each day that goes by reminds us how fortunate we are.

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  6. Thanks for reminding me about Kiva. Send me a link if you want?
    Glad you’re finding a balance in life. Been a bit turbulent here lately with husband very ill in hospital with pneumonia after diagnosis delayed by waiting for a Covid test result that took more than 48 hours and for which they kept him waiting outside in the rain for 45 minutes. Shambles. Private-company run system. Hospital was brilliant but I wasn’t allowed in of course – had to leave him at A&E after the ambulance didn’t arrive at our doctor’s surgery. He could barely walk by then. Very upsetting. And now as temperatures plummet we’ve had 6 days with no heating and no hot water. Fingers crossed the missing part for our boiler should be here today. We have had rain, rain and more rain too – flooding nearby but not on our sand dunes thank goodness!
    I’ve done precious little reading and envy your selection! Things have become worse Covid-wise around where I live again, we are in a new form of lockdown on Merseyside where infection rates have shot up – universities back in operation and schools open, hmmm… Sigh.
    But yes, things that are important. Writing poetry. Walking in nature. Being alive.
    Stay safe, keep well and keep growing, Dale! x

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  7. Both links in the Kiva paragraph link back to my Kiva. The free lending credit was nice to be able to take the contributions further.
    Omg you have had a time of it. I hope husband is faring better, and you of course… as well as your boiler in time for winter.
    Reading focus has been less than I would’ve liked but a few new books for summer are much anticipated. But I’m not certain what else to look forward to. In the wider scheme of things Australia is doing ok covid-wise but how we might fare during the coming summer and festive season concerns me. So I’ll happily spend my summer holidays safe at home with book in hand.
    Take care… send you best wishes for all the important and wonderful things ♡

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  8. I remember Celia writing about Kiva and you have inspired me to send my own $25 to Annah. Thank you for reminding me. These are difficult times but I am very fortunate compared to so many others. And, I am lucky as you are to have plenty of books and gardening to keep me busy. We both need rain, hope you get some soon.

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    1. I think that’s the thing about kindness, even if it’s a modest act of, it’s a win all ’round… and takes on a larger effect. Thank you for the lovely comment… books and garden are my happy places. Let’s hope La Nina gets its act together soon. So good of you to join in our little Kiva activity… Annah’s loan has been fully funded ♡

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      1. Good news! Because you accessed Kiva through my link Kiva gave me another free $25 to lend. I lent it to 05-Atta Group in rural Senegal towards helping a group of farming women buy seeds and fertiliser. Thank you again for joining in, our small actions make a huge difference 🙂

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