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Sunday, 10 May 2009

On Week(/d)days & Our Terraces Part V

One last word on weeding (well maybe not a last word; I feel a philosophical discourse coming on, on the meaning of life as seen in the absolute cunning and will to survive of weeds, indeed the virtual impossibility to kill weeds). I am absolutely determined to stay on top of the weeding business this year, so I have declared Wednesdays weeding days, no getting side tracked or anything (unless it’s raining of course).

Talking about getting side tracked, I know I was ranting a bit about the months and the unjust distribution of days within them, but where do the names of the week in English come from? In Italian you don’t have to be scholar in ancient languages to work out what the names mean: Lunedì – Moon, Martedì – Mars, Mercoledì – Mercury, Giovedì – Jupiter, Venerdì – Venus, Sabato – the Jewish Sabbath (probably means something in Hebrew too) and Domenica – Day of the Lord. All the heathen gods get a mention as well as the Christian and Jewish one (the latter two being allegedly the same). But in English? Ok, Sunday – Sun and Monday – Moon, but Tuesday? And Wednesday? Thursday probably was dedicated to Thor, who was the Germanic equivalent of Jupiter anyway. Both were in charge of Thunder, which would also explain the German Donnerstag – Thunder Day. Was Friday an early Muslim influence on the Germanic culture, meaning Free Day? I’m puzzled. Well in an effort to shed some light on the mystery I will from now re-christen Wednesday Weednesday, as probably in the olden days being the day when farmers did their weeding and I’m carrying on this ancient tradition.

What else has been happening? We’ve been out in Arcola most days to water. It’s been warm and no sign of rain recently. We’re eating our daily helping of fresh broad beans and for a bout a week a daily small handful of strawberries (delicious with sparkling elderflower wine!). The cherries are taking on a pinkish hue, the first figs will be ready soon as well as plums. Olive trees are breaking into bloom, although not as profusely as last year. And we started on “Project Shed”. Susan started digging the foundations for it (Don’t call me a slave driver, she insisted! She said it did her biceps a world of good and put her in good training for her bid to become part of the Olympic shot putting team. Nobody will believe she’s not on steroids!). We’re gathering more and more material from skips: old doors and wardrobes and any other old bit of timber we can find. The previous owner of our land had already gathered some roofing, which was stacked behind the old shed. As we lifted the stuff we discovered a snake nest behind/underneath it. Just harmless grass snakes though, which slithered off into the sunset.

I’ve had a couple of positive reactions to my mini-series “Our Terraces”, you seem to quite a enjoy it. So I won’t keep you in suspense any longer; here comes part V:

Terrace number 9 is where we currently pick our broad beans from. At either end is an olive tree. It also features our kiwis that we planted just over a year ago: Stud and his two female companions.

Terrace 10 is known to us as the strawberry terrace, although there’s quite a lot of other permanent stuff growing there. On the right foreground you can spot a fig tree and an olive. On the left foreground there are a number of cherry trees. In the centre there’s a young apple tree, a plum tree and on the far side another olive. Around the apple tree we’ve planted courgettes, melons and cucumbers this year. This is the terrace we spread our homemade compost, which means that it’s now more melons then cucumbers and a few tomatoes, have also sowed themselves out there, which I left in situ or transplanted a foot or so to the left or right.

Look out for Part VI of the riveting series “Our Terraces”

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