Winter gardening

I haven’t been able to do much gardening since I fractured my humerus but I am now starting to get back out to doing a little bit of tidying up outside.  We have had lots of strong winds here recently and as a result the gum trees have dropped loads of leaves. Gum leaves take a long time to break down so they are not really suitable for compost so I raked them up and had a winter bonfire.

Even though it is winter we still have many lovely flowering plants in the garden.  The hardenbergia is beautiful, both white and purple.

One tree that is flowering at the moment is the native frangipani.

This is not meant to flower in winter so the seasons seem to be a bit mixed up.  Maybe the fact that I got rid of the agapanthus at the base of the tree encouraged the tree to put on some blooms to show it was pleased to be no longer root bound with agapanthus.

Our camelias are also putting on a beautiful show at the moment.

Memories from many, many years ago

I think it would be at least forty years ago when I first learnt to play Mah Jong.  My brother-in-law and my sister taught us.  We enjoyed many fun games with my sister and her husband and we bought a Mah Jong set to use with our children but the set has been in the cupboard for many years now.  It is a long while since it has seen the light of day,

I was invited to join a Mah Jong group a couple of weeks ago and have since enjoyed getting back into the flow of the game.

I will admit that I had to read the introductory rules of the game to brush up on the rules before I headed out to my first game.  When I joined the group I found that they had a book that was far more detailed than the one I had.

I am really enjoying getting back into the game and I have bought the new book so I can be well prepared for our next get together.You can see how well-thumbed the book is that one of the player uses.

More June reads

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion  (Book of the Year in 2014 Australia)

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

This was a light-hearted story but cleverly written with the protagonist being someone on the autism spectrum. It is a quick read and I guess I would liken it to the movie Love Actually or something similar.  A feel good read although the outcome was predictable. Laugh out loud in parts.

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

“A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of “The Lovely Bones” and “Lucky.”

Helen Knightly has spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare. And as this electrifying novel opens, she steps over a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfilment of a lifetime’s buried desire. Over the next twenty-four hours, her life rushes in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to this crossroads.”

An attention-grabbing opening sentence begins this novel.

When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.

This is a story of love and hate. You certainly won’t feel any warmth while reading it and you are left with a rather unsettling feeling.