Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gardening, films and stuff

For the record, the weather is foul. The east coast of the US has had record snow and winds, and it's said it's headed our way, except warmer. I don't know if it's got here yet. It's raining lots, and the wind is extreme. Several friends at the marina are reporting having bumpy rides without going anywhere!
"More Napoleon weather here (i.e. we're being blown apart, 50 mph winds again)" (NBAdagio)
So even if we were on the boat - which is where we want to be right now - we wouldn't be wanting to go cruising yet. There's still (or again) flooding in the north, and flood and weather warnings active. Being here means more table space for Grace to be preparing to paint the Castles and Roses on Kantara's sides. And it means gardening for me. Tree surgery, to be more accurate.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.
I sleep all night and I work all day." (Monty Python)
First of all, Naomi, Steve and I reduced an old lilac tree considerably. That all had to be chopped small, loaded into the car and taken to the Recycling Centre. Yesterday, Nome and I made a very good start on felling a large hawthorn, and more chopping up of that wood for disposal.

I was halfway up the tree on a ladder for some of the time, and the wind rocked it alarmingly from time to time. Heavy rain has stopped us from continuing that today.

The garden's looking wintry still, but there are lots of signs of life beginning to poke through.

Naomi has it in mind to enter the garden for an "Open Garden" event in the summer. This isn't a showing-off of beautiful, floricured gardens, but a example of gardens which are of 'green' interest. So ours will feature the rather wild water habitats - a pond and a running water feature - raised beds for vegetable growing, butts for collecting rain water, composting, a hedgehog house. Even the solar panels on the garden side of the roof.

The event is being organised by Transition St Albans, who want to encourage more people to use their garden better to support and enhance the environment, and to embrace sustainability.

Grace and I have watched three more excellent films in the past few days.

Shutter Island
"It's 1954, and up-and-coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. He's been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy's shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals "escape" in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable clues multiply, Teddy begins to doubt everything - his memory, his partner, even his own sanity."

Derailed
"Charles Schine and Lucinda Harris have noticed each other on the commuter train before. One morning their conversation leads to a flirtation which turns into an evening drink and then, before either one can stop it, a passionate one-night stand. But suddenly a stranger explodes into their world, threatening to expose their secret, and luring them into a terrifying game with more surprises than they saw coming and more danger than they may survive."

Rabbit Hole

"Becca and Howie Corbett are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Painful, poignant, and often funny, Becca's experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason - the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny. Becca's fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him something Becca is unable to give. The Corbetts, both adrift, make surprising and dangerous choices as they choose a path that will determine their fate."
Some really good entertainment there! Now back to the flipping hawthorn!

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