Checked his email again, yep he said 10:30am.
Darn, no way we'll get there then. He'll have to wait awhile. I let Mary know he still wants us there at 10:30am, so we can get to Bunnings in the city to buy some plants. "Just tell him we'll get there when we can", she replied. OK, back to the PC and off goes the reply: "we'll be there in about 1 hour. just having breakfast, shower, then cab over to your place. see you soon-ish - Ian."
So much for a quiet week. I was hoping to spend a lot more time exploring Steem and the associated apps and tribes. Nope, the universe conspired to make every day this week more than a challenge! Although I feel tired and exhausted, I'm not defeated. Just got too much to do today to stop.
Time to dig up that procrastination roots and all, and plant better work behaviours.
Right, we're ready and off we go to my brother's place in Newtown. He lives about 100 yards from Wellington Zoo, in sight of the zoo entrance.
I tell the cab driver to drop us off at Newtown Shops. We need to grab a few items there. All done, back in another cab for the last half-mile to his place. Hard to believe I stayed there for six years; just grateful Mary and I have our own apartment now, our own space. Now here we are, heading back to that stress filled jungle.
We go in and say our sorries, trying to look miserable. Nope, he gives us an annoyed look so I say, "we've not been well, how about we just get the garden prep'd and get the plants on Monday?". Labour Weekend in New Zealand this weekend, and that means Monday off for most workers, a public holiday and the last one until Christmas. Wow, just two more months until Christmas!
Dropping off the groceries, I go outside and put on my steel-cap boots. I leave them here since we can't have a real garden at our place.
Grabbing the garden rake and the garden fork, I head off up into the garden proper. Been wanting to tackle this bit for about a month now. Hmm, a lot to do here, thinking to myself. Where to start? Ahhh yes, he wanted the right-hand section cleared and dug over so we can transplant the taro.
Amazing plant the taro, you'd think that Wellington would be to far south of latitude to permit taro to grow. After all, taro is a perennial species that prefers temperatures in the tropical to sub-tropical range. Gets so cold in Wellington in the cooler months, we sometimes get snow down to sea level. Just goes to show how a staple food like taro adapts easily to different environments.
The ones that we grow here get only about a foot high. You should the ones Mary grows back in tropical Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Massive, like 10 feet high with leaves about 8-10 feet long!
We eat the leaves here, as the root tubers don't really get big enough to be eaten. The leaves, they're delicious yet have to be cooked a certain way. There's a toxin called calcium oxalate that needs to be removed, so taro leaves have to be either boiled for about 30 minutes, or roasted for about an hour in the oven. Same with the root tuber, peeled and cooked to remove that toxin.
Calcium oxalate will make your mouth feel "furry", and if you eat too much you can choke. This toxin can also cause kidney stones. Strange how often the plants we love to eat can be so deadly too.
That section now done and the taro plants transplanted and looking good.
Next task, ah yes, got to empty the compost bin as he wants it relocated for easier access. Hmm, I recall trying that job a year or so ago and gave up after 30 minutes. That bin, been climbing on it to toss the plant material over the back fence on to the wild blackberry. Buried that bin, about a foot now, into the ground. OK, only way to do this is to empty out then dig out.
About an hour later, the compost bin contents have been mostly removed and buried. Finally, after another 15 minutes of struggle, out comes the bin. Oh the joy, main job done so now time to finish off and tidy up, then water the transplanted taro to bed them in.
I love gardening, getting out in the fresh air and sunshine to stretch my body and exercise my muscles. I've been in pain this week, darn pancreatitis and hernia inflamed from carrying heavy items and from eating too many deliciously fatty foods. The gardening has helped ease the inflammation, so I feel much better. If you suffer from regular pain episodes, try gardening as I find the twisting and turning helps.
OK, time to go. He gives us a bag of frozen foods as a thank-you. We say our farewells, and head back home. Be back again on Monday to get the plants and to do the rest of the digging, weather permitting, back permitting!
Nice, a few hours together on another beautiful Saturday; must be Wellington!
Wellington, New Zealand
October 27, 2019.
PS: here's an interesting scholastic article about procrastination: https://schar.gmu.edu/current-students/phd-student-services/phd-advising-articles/putting-off-to-digging-in