Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Tropical Leitrim!

It’s been another warm day, decidedly muggy in town. This morning I wanted to finish putting up the photos in School (attaching brackets to the frames, then screwing them to the walls), so the Hub came with me to speed things up. The heat in the classrooms, even with windows open and doors propped to catch the breeze, was amazing. The children were doing class tests too, poor things. We failed to finish the pictures, but hopefully an hour tomorrow will do it. They look so good in their neat rows and so much safer attached permamently to the walls.

After lunch we sat out in the folk's garden for tea. It was just lovely to sit out and do nothing. Except for Mum who kept leaping up to chop bits off bushes and dead-head flowers, and then went off to fetch the plant books in order to identify a yellow shrub. She’s decided that it is hypericum, not genestra, although there was a bit of a barney because she wanted it to be potentilla, and I knew it wasn’t that. Dad pretended to doze, occasionally opening one eye to do ‘Paddington stares’ at me! (Note to self- argue respectfully with one’s mother when one’s father is sitting by…)

Thinking of plants, the spathyphillum in our bathroom are flowering beautifully at present. Although tropical, this muggy weather suits them very well, and they are such luscious plants with the shiny green leaves and pristine white flowers or bracts or whajemies.
Another thing this warm weather is good for is rotting down the compost. I was just talking to a field mouse whilst emptying the vegetable peelings into the outside compost bin and she said it’s quite delightful in the bins at present, and the fruit peelings add delicious variety to her diet.

My amaryllis bulb flowered at least two months ago, probably more, and I’ve been watching the seed pods grow fatter and fatter. On Sunday they burst open so yesterday I collected all the seeds, except for the few which fell into the printer, and then looked up books to see how best to germinate the seeds. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have lots of amaryllis plants flowering all at once? Mum says they grow wild in Hong Kong and are lovely to see. Granny’s ‘Gardening in East Africa’ book says to spread the seeds on a sandy loam with very light covering of soil, and then keep them in a light warm place under glass until they germinate. If I planted out the tomato seedlings I could use that tray for the amaryllis, but perhaps a rummage in the re-cycling place on the Quays would turn up another seed tray- I find amazingly useful items there, and the man who works there is great at helping me load up my car with other people’s rubbish! I fould a big old tim tea caddy on Saturday, very useful for planting a petunia in. Anyhow, planting the seeds is my next job…time and tide may wait for no man, but the ironing is generally quite patient!

Yesterday I spent most of the day with a friend: we sat in the sun drinking tea and setting the Irish education system to rights. If only the Minister for Education, O’Keeffe, had had time to stop by he would have learned so much to help him!

Middle daughter, Sos, spent this morning in town going round shops to see if there were any summer jobs going. She is a bit late starting since she’s only just finished sitting her Leaving Cert, but not surprisingly, the outlook isn’t good. A friend suggested an idea for a small business so perhaps she will set that up. She would like to learn to drive this summer, before going to College. She isn’t one to let the grass grow under her, so when she returns from next week in Madrid she will have time to get on with something. Its certainly a summer of firsts. This evening B returns from France- she’ll either collapse straight into bed, or she will talk all night, there’s no guessing which it’ll be.

And lastly, when I have figured how to download, upload, sideload, or whatever, I will start putting photos in. So far, no good!

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