August 23rd, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

Clothing

There's lots of fun, unusual, and well-tailored clothing out there. In the last day or so, I've seen two strikingly different ways of acquiring some of it. One can mail-order lovely 50s-style modern clothing from a website based in the US (found via a comment on tisiphone's LJ)... or you could journey to Rome and buy socks fit for a cardinal, or perhaps the pope himself. Or an entire tailor-made outfit.

In other current clothing-related news, an important Viking burial has been found north of Dublin, archaeologists announced on Satuday. The burial includes a bronze oval brooch.
Fishy Circumstances

Defeat

For the last several years, I have attempted to grow a garden in containers large enough to be small beds up on the deck. Container gardenings, based on this limited experience, seems to involve a great deal of planting; many plants just don't return for a second year of the experience. The rose bush only lasted one summer and the honeysuckle gave up after three. The clematis didn't even make it through two months, despite having heard that it was a resilient plant. The ground cover was about the only energetic and persistant plant I had growing.

Those of you following the story of the garden will remember that the racoons and squirrels are my ongoing nemeses in the whole process. Thanks to them, I entirely gave up trying to grow vegetables. This summer, they have been thronging to the deck in ever greater numbers, which is to say, I have seen more of them and the results of their handiwork more lately than I have since the pepper plant debacle. A parent racoon and three babies were frolicking on our deck last month. The other day, it was a loner, pushing around the umbrella base, using the flower beds as a litter box, breaking the leading edges of the morning glory, and playing with the metal bases for the tea lights. One of the built-in wooden candle holders on the deck has vanished, presumably toppled to earthen doom from its airy heights. The neighbors must have cleaned it up before I noticed it was missing.

The morning glory is the only plant growing with any vigor, and it will never have a chance to trellis on the part of the deck intended for such a purpose, for the creatures break it off whenever it comes close to their fence highway. At this rate, it'll also be the only source of flowers on the deck this summer. On the bright side, my experiments in herb growing have been partially successful: all the animals have left the lemon balm alone. The oregano has not been so lucky. It was growing in a three foot box, and now it's a box of dirt. Seriously - there's nothing growing in it at all, it's all been dug up and discarded so often, it is now a playpen for squirrels.

The weather this summer has been cool on average, and not overly rainy. Usually when I go away for two weeks, the garden changes substantially. This time, except for the morning glory, it hadn't. Nothing had grown, nothing had changed, only more animal tramplings to keep further growth options from getting ideas. Much as I love having green, growing, flowering things in my gardenlet, I think it might be time to admit that I can't keep up with the destructive powers of the creatures which spend at least as much time, if not more, among the greenery of the deck.
Fishy Circumstances

Odds and Ends


  • I read the Wanderer and the Seafarer (and, for that matter, a poem about a whale) for the first time tonight. I've not read much Anglo-Saxon poetry, and what I have read, both today's readings and Beowulf, have been in modern adaptations. Reading descriptions of hailstorms and thunder, I wanted to go back to my medieval meteorology project, the subject of my first MA thesis. One of these days, I will.

  • The editing I've been working on for the last several days is complete. Proof that some of the vocabulary used was unnecessarily abstruse: editing involved using not only the OED, but Brewer's, and my favorite grammar, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire.

  • I had my hair trimmed today, a much needed tidying. It looks lovely, in a full-bodied fluffy kind of way.

  • The mail brought me new socks today, courtesy of C.'s parents. I'm so happy! The problem with socks is that I'm picky, now that I've found a reliable source of socks that aren't too pricy and are very comfy indeed. The complication is that I have to buy them from a British department store chain (BHS). At least it's a chain, so I can intercept them anywhere in the UK.