from a Hat full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
" Granny Aching had never been at home with words. She collected silence like other people collected string. But she had a way of saying nothing that said it all."
"Most people didn't know about it and just used the traditional method of finding out whether plants were poisonous or useful by testing them on some elderly aunt they didn't need."
I'm going to have to start saying no.
Really. I need to.
Take last Sunday for instance. I'd woken up early after having slept really well and breakfast was over in a matter of minutes. Yoghurt in a bowl, add chopped apricots, eat. Done. so then I cleaned my house. Both rooms! And the kitchen. And the bathroom.
By then it was late enough that I didn't feel I'd be disturbing anybody's sleep if I turned on the washing machine. So I stripped the sheets off the bed and got those started in the machine, with a few other white things, in really hot water. it was looking sunny and hot outside, so I decided I'd hang today's wash out on the line.
Usually I hang things on the small collapsible line in the back porch and here's why: the outside line is a little too high for me to reach comfortably, the wires need to be washed free of dust and spider webs EVERY SINGLE TIME, and the ground is uneven out there. Plus there's a problem with ivy and other climbing plants that grow over the back fence from the yard beyond.
see how dense this greenery is? my line on the left, K's on the right. This is after I cut back all the vines swooping towards the ground and clinging to the washing lines.
While the washing machine was doing its job, I went out with bucket and rag, and the secateurs. I got the lines cleaned, then started cutting on the ivy which was wrapped around one corner of the hills hoist and trailing over several of the wires.
I tried to be as quiet as I could, but the neighbour heard me anyway, and came out to ask, if I didn't mind, would I cut the greenery away from her washing line too? I'd already noticed that her line was caught quite a lot, but on closer inspection saw the ball of greenery was so dense her line was held fast as if with an anchor, so couldn't turn in the wind.
I said I would and she went back inside. I'm pretty sure she watched me from her window, but didn't offer to help at all.
see how close the lines are to the fence, that's my sheets hanging there.
I ended up cutting back along the entire fence line, which took me just over an hour, since all I have is a pair of secateurs. And I'm short. I had to reach up high, grab a branch, pull it down, then cut it off as high up as I could reach.
When I finished I used my broom to sweep everything along to the rubbish bins and piled it all in. As I swept, all the long branches rolled themselves into a long sausage, which I just sort of shoved along the ground.
Then I remembered that my line is very close to the rubbish bins, which are filthy, no one ever cleans them. I got my bucket and rag again and washed the lids and fronts of the bins where my sheets might touch against them if the wind sprang up and blew things around.
very close to the now clean(ish) rubbish bins. If the line rotates left in the breeze and the wind springs up, my sheets will touch the bins.
I got the washing hung out in the sun, then the same neighbour asked if I could please take some photos of her plants so she can send them to her son. I've done this for her before, so I grabbed my camera and photographed her front porch pot plants, but then she asked me to come inside and take photos there, of her flower arrangements and her cat. Twenty-five photos! and I knew she wanted me to print them, like I've done before.
Felix, K's cat.
On Tuesday, I bought new ink cartridges for my printer. One black, one colour.
Surprise, surprise, the price has gone up. Again.
And photo quality paper isn't exactly free either!
So I am going to have to start saying no to this neighbour. I can take the photos, but I'll have to put them on a usb stick and she can take that to the photo shop in the shopping centre where there are machines to print the photos. She won't know how to use them, but the shop owner will do them for her and she can pay him for them.
As for the ivy, I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on it and trim before it starts strangling the washing lines again. I'm still aching from all that cutting!
Angel, keeping an eye on things.