Archive for February, 2007

Elder Walking Stick

27 February, 2007

The old school buddy that i am working for as a gardener has a marvelous shed where various of us can be found some evenings whittling sticks, restoring old furniture or having a quiet bottle of local ale.

I was presented with a stick to whittle so on the handle end i carved a foot. Well it is a walking stick after all. Now it can be used to assist anyone who desires to walk but if you do employ it you must grasp it, unlike other walking sticks, by the foot.

Today i climbed a five metre tree with a pruning saw and passed a very pleasant hour or so pruning it into submission ready for the coming summers growth. Back in the Adelaide hills this would be a strange thing to do but here on Guernsey Island the growth everywhere is so luxuriant that most things have to be cut at some point of the year otherwise the houses themselves would disappear within a year or two.

Hopefully late spring will be spent cutting back the tall banks and hedges which separate paddocks and roads all over the island. Meantime i am waiting to hear from the local ambulance service, in the hope that they will interview me for the position of Control Room Assistant.

As quietly as i can i wonder if my lost lover is married yet. Someone said it would be Febuary. So much for all our mutual friends, i wonder even more quietly if i still exist for any of them.

Goodbye Bay Tree

21 February, 2007

Had to uproot a beautiful bay tree today. It had to go, it was in the wrong place but it still made my heart heavy with remembrance of all the wonderful home cooked dinners i have found bay leaves in over the years. Now that  write this i also recollect steeling a branch from a bay tree in Lobethal South Australia, encouraged by a beautiful woman i executed the theft without a qualm.

Mate!

21 February, 2007

When a young man assumes that he is entitled to defend himself from police who are arresting him for affray, even when they may be overzealous or even brutal, he is by law wrong. One of my new friends may be off the street in a few weeks, for how long we have no idea.

Truth is that there is a limit to the arrogance one can get away with and that applies to all of us who do not wield the extremes of political power. As for those who do wield the extremes of political power, well we probably don’t hear of all their misdeeds.

It is disappointing anyway, when someone young intelligent and capable, stakes their future against their pride. No matter what the outcome of the legal machinations. I have now seen this too many times but it still comes as a surprise.

 I have just arrived in this almost perfect place, i guess i just cannot relate to anyone not wanting to live here in peace, in freedom, in harmony. But that could equally well apply to the rest of the world i suppose. Old traumas of my own have made me oversensitive to such things.

The latest case of legal note on the island is that of a man caught on camera making love to a horse. Apparently the local paper printed his name and all the particulars of his misdeeds as soon as he was arrested, before he went to trial. Still, there was very little doubt about his guilt.

At the trial he pleaded innocent!

Everything has its reason, surely everything has its reason. People come to remind me that everything has its reason but even now i am not completely sure. If i get the ambulance station radio operator job i have applied for, there will be countless more moments like this.

Am i in the right place?

21 February, 2007

Ambition comes upon me with a rush. Having lived till my mid forties without ever really developing anything more than sexual ambition and the urge to travel to other stars, i now find myself desirous of material wealth.

Is it because my poverty cost me the sweetest woman. Is it because baldness, toothlessness and potbelliedness would otherwise bring and end to the requitement of my romantic ambitions…

There is only one question in my mind at present; would it be a faster road to wealth to stay here in this place which i love so much, doing work which is satisfying and enjoyable, or would i be better off faster if i went to the lush and thriving tropics to put myself about as a potential manager of engineering works.

 The question is irrelevant really. Here i am in Guern, loving it, living it and getting paid far more than i expected anyway. Here i will stay for now, if i get permanent work i may even stay for a long time. The reason i ask the question is simply that i have come to rest in one spot for the first time in months. Which is actually a really good feeling, even when, especially when, the damp Atlantic wind gets up your jacket and the good soil is soaking into your eager hands.

 Sorry, but i would not be anyone else for all the tea in china.

Guernsey, Channel Islands

12 February, 2007

Guernsey is an island of twenty four square miles which is in a group of islands some twenty miles from the coast of France and some sixty miles from Cornwall. It is beautiful, windswept, rocky and quaint.

The houses are mostly built from large blocks of granite, which seems excessive to the casual observer until they experience one of the Atlantic gales which caress the island regularly. The people have the same granite quality. Their short stature is compensated for by the strength of their grip.

I have come here as a romantic refuge but i am not lost, far from it, i have a strong sense of returning home to a fairyland, hidden from the reality of the rest of the world by the mists of the English Channel. I have been welcomed, i have found employment as a gardener and i am applying to join the local St. Johns Ambulance Service.

While i look for a flat to call my own i am staying in an ancient hotel. The Fleur de Jardin is the cosiest and sweetest local you can imagine. The open fires and local beer match the shyness of the parons perfectly. The crusty beams of the ceiling tickle my hair as i walk under them, which makes them well less than six foot high. The barmaids are ‘european’, the management is glad to have a beer with you and the room is warm, clean and a blessing to my travel weary bones.

The gardens i am working in are small, walled and intense with growth even in the gales of winter. Do i envy anyone elses security, hell no. Thanks for coming on this trip with me dear reader. Will post again as soon as i can.

Oh Well!

4 February, 2007

It is possible to make the occasional mistake in life. Assuming that the engineering industry in the UK would be vigorous enough to find a position for me within, was just one of my latest in a fine collection.

London is far too expensive to live in without having professional work so having realised that i was slowly running out of money i called my best prospect of casual work. The good Simon who employed me during my holidays while i studied a decade ago. He has agreed to hire me as a gardener in beautiful Guernsey.

Not being drawn into the high flying and highly paid world of engineering is disappointing but being allowed to work in the magnificent gardens of a place as perfect as Guernsey, more than makes up for it. The simple tasks of mowing lawns and pulling weeds can be joy in the right location and i am willing to bet that some high folutin’ aero engineers will be just a little envious of my plan B.

Wednesday i will relocate to that almost imaginary island where i grew up. I will be returning home to the land of many of my fore fathers, doubtless privateers amongst them. An island with an amazing history and some wondrous ancient monuments and sacred sites still in tact. An island shrouded in mist with houses built of granite and roofed with pan tiles. As distractions from heartache go this should be a goodie.