Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Short Takes, with Avocado and Amaryllis

-- All by itself, our avocado tree has decided to branch out! I did't pinch the top or otherwise encourage it in any way. It just did it by itself. I'm such a proud parent!

-- My French assessment yesterday wasn't as intimidating as I feared. After work I went down to the Alliance Fran├žaise in Dorset Square, and was ushered into a little room with a Frenchman who asked me some basic questions. I answered, haltingly, but it was hard for me to access even words I know. I think I'm just very rusty. He put me in the "beginner" group, but not the bottom class. I'm the next level up. So that's something, I suppose. Class begins later next month!

-- For Easter, Dave bought me a chocolate...hedgehog?

-- I'm sure you heard about the death of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister and founder of modern Singapore. I read a newspaper while we were there that said he was "still" in the hospital in critical condition, and I thought, "Oh boy. If this guy dies while we're here it might really complicate things!" I was envisioning closed businesses and reduced services, that kind of thing. I'm not sure that happened, but in any event, he died the day after we left.

-- There's also the terrible story of the crashed German airliner. Coming so soon after our own long flight, with our own group of student travelers, that was scary news. Every trip on an airplane is an act of faith, isn't it? (But then, so is every trip in a car. So is walking out the door in the morning.) I cannot imagine how frightening an eight-minute descent from 38,000 feet must have been. Eight minutes is a long time to know your plane is going down. Those poor people.

-- On a happier note, our amaryllis are about to bloom again. I am so impressed with these flowers. In the past year they were transplanted, moved to a new house, knocked around a bit and gnawed by slugs, but they're durable! I think this year we'll keep them on the doorsill of the French doors in the living room, rather than outside. That way the slugs won't get to them. I bought a special saucer for their pot last night at Homebase on the way home from my French test, so we don't need to move them to water them.

-- I mentioned that Bleeding London is about to end, but I didn't mean to suggest that I was going to stop taking pictures. These days, taking photos is one of my main modes of interaction with my world. I wouldn't know what to do without my camera at my side!


  1. That picture of the amaryllis is so stunning that it made me tear up a bit. Thank you.

  2. Ah, Lee Kwan Yew, a man not to be messed with and who once famously stated that Australia was well set to become the poor, white trash of Asia. Singapore, financial powerhouse, fabulous, clean city or as someone else said 'Disneyland without human rights.'

    The plane disaster - all life is a risk from the day we are born till the day we die. There that will cheer everyone up.....

    Ms Soup

  3. I adore the hedgehog....even though he looks like a pig

  4. Cute choco thingy...I hope the French class goes obviously have a green thumb, too.

  5. Yes, the plane crash was sad and especially scary because it hit closer to home to Westerners than an airliner of some obscure company in a remote part of the world.
    For instance, whenever a ferry in far-off Asia sinks, hopefully our first thought is compassion for the people on it, but our second is likely to be, "well, in a 3rd world country that ferry probably wasn't maintained properly."

  6. Amaryllis are incredibly hardy. And look at your avocado! It looks better than mine do and that's for sure!
    Have you read David Sedaris' story about his experience in French class?
    I can't even read about that plane crash. Eight minutes is way too long to contemplate a horrible death like that.
    I knew you weren't going to stop taking pictures.

  7. I was listening to a news report about the plane crash this morning and it sounded horrendous. I don't have a fear of flying but, I do know that once they close those doors, things are out of my control.
    I love the hedgehog...I don't believe I've ever seen one in chocolate before.

  8. gorgeous amaryllis. I have some in the ground here that are sending up bloom stalks but no red ones. I had a couple of red ones at the city house and thought I had dug them all up but only pink seem to be here now. pink is OK, but I prefer the red ones.

  9. It's hard to go wrong with amaryllis. Mine are blooming away --and one is on its seventh year. Amazing plants, and beautiful too.

    The plane crash: I really don't like those Airbuses. They have too many issues. I have a story on that note ...