Alexander Averin

Monday, 9 November 2009

About profusion

Dear Diary,

How long should a cyclamen flower? I have one in a pot which lives on a windowsill in my cottage that I bought last Christmas. It has flowered since then and not just a few, it blossoms in abundance. the flowers seem everlasting, the whole plant is amazingly healthy and somehow radiant. I took advice on the best way of watering these plants as before I had not kept them flowering for long and had always planted them outside when their flowering days seemed over - under the pine trees on the riverbank, where they always surprise me come springtime. I have blogged about them in the past.

A very wise and very experienced plantswoman by the name of Withy Brook told me not to water from below, not to stand the pot in water but just to keep the soil moist and water regularly from above. I have never fed this cyclamen, well only with loving glances and the occasional stroke, just to keep it happy you understand. I don’t think I have ever spoken to it though I do speak to some of my babies.

Here is a photo of said plant.

Soon I will endeavour to make babies from this plant and so may have to consult dear Withy once more.

That’s enough about plants.

On to books.

I have another gem to recommend, this is our latest book group choice and it is yet another American novel, The 19th Wife by the rather good looking author David Ebershoff.

There are so many great American and Canadian writers aren’t there? This one is a thickish tome but I would wager that its size will not daunt you once you start reading it. I won’t say too much as I always think it is off-putting to have too many preconceptions about a book before reading it. All I will say is that it is impressive writing, very well constructed and seems to have been researched in great depth from an historical perspective. It is one of those books whose subject matter stayed on my mind even when I wasn’t reading it and I am still thinking about it now it is finished. I've been thinking about (in no particular order) men and even more about women, about sexual orientations, about power, evil, child abuse, religious faith, cults, marriage and of course polygamy. Parts of the book are chilling, nauseous even, though there is some fine humour within its pages. I am looking forward to our book group meeting and hearing how other members got on with it. I will report back.

And now for something completely different. I am going to read The Return Journey which is the latest offering by the dear Irish writer Maeve Binchy; this one will make a change as they are short stories. I have also added to my book mountain Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures. Apart from the book mountain at my bedside I have an ever-growing list of titles recommended to me by enthusiastic readers at the library.

So many books so little time.

I often wonder how others manage their time? Can anyone tell me how to lengthen a day? I have so much writing to do, blogs to read, my own to write (more often) and so many poems to bring to life that are labouring in my head (as well as an ongoing novel) That is apart from other projects I have on the go. Sometimes I envy retired folk but there is no use looking forward to those days as I know I shall have to work till I drop.

So I shall sign off now but would love to hear how you ’spend’ your days, how you decide whether to read or to write, to garden or to walk, to cook or to not cook, to go to bed at a sensible time or to stay up late, to do housework or to ignore it, to go out or stay in………………I could go on.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Frances said...

Cait, you certainly do have a remarkable cyclamen at your window! Congrats to Withy for her wise counseling.

(I love those flowers, remember first seeing lots of them in hanging pots around London years ago. Came home, tried to keep one alive, failed. Think that our winter indoor heating is not kind to those beauties.)

I've got no answer to your question about stretching time ... I ask the same question over and over.


Elizabethd said...

Your cyclamen is very special, I'm afraid mine die quietly at the end of the Winter, in spite of doing all the things you have mentioned.

Debs said...

My Cyclamen looks rather pathetic next to your glowing specimen.

He is rather handsome and The 19th Wife is another book on my tbr wish list, as is Remarkable Creatures. I wonder if I'll ever have time to read all these wonderful books?

Anonymous said...

Stretching time? I think it's a question of priorities. I always have a list as long as my arm, broken down into categories and written out on little cards which I juggle. Whatever deadline comes uppermost is what is tackled first. I can no longer manager to leap from one activity to another as I used to, but thank heaven I was able to freelance after so-called retirement or I would have gone crazy.

Beautiful cyclamen.

Cottage Garden said...

Beautiful specimen there Cait - a little water and often, I think is always the best way with house plants such as cyclamen. I hope it continues to thrive and blossom on your windowsill.

The 19th Wife sounds very interesting and the title just a little intriguing?!

I love Tracy Chevalier's writing - and have seen this book in the Waterstone's.

As for lengthening a day to fit everything in - I try and prioritise with work more often coming top - being a freelancer I have no choice - and dividing my day into small parcels of time for housework, reading the papers, a walk each lunch-time without fail, I go stir-crazy if not. I read when I go to bed, which should be now!! Its difficult and modern life with all its technology doesn't seem to have made it any easier!

Jeanne x

Elizabeth said...

Such a wonderful cyclamen.
I have always been lucky with them and they flower for ages.
Interesting reading matter.

elizabethm said...

I have a cyclamen doing very well like yours, but not as prolific. I love them.
Time now, that is an impossible one. I thought I would have aeons of time now I am not working but that is just not true. More time for gardening and blogs and family than I used to have but still vast lists of things undone. I try to do something which simply makes me happy and something which I ought to do every day. That seems to work well for me.

Kim said...

I loved "The 19th Wife", Cait. Seems we have quite similar taste in books.

lampworkbeader said...

I cait, which 2 of these book would you recommend for the Purple Coo Winter read?
Love Lampie

Marcheline said...

I can't believe you just posted on cyclamen.... I just bought the most amazing red cyclamen, and have been gazing lovingly at it for two days now, and was planning to post on it myself. Love your shade of pink!

As for what gets done:

1. If it's daytime and the sun is out, I'm gardening. If errands have to be run, I try to get them over with early so I can get back to gardening.

2. If it's daytime and raining, I'm inside cleaning.

3. If it's daytime and raining, and everything is reasonably clean, I catch up on blogs, old movies, and etc.

4. Once the sun goes down, it's pretty much down to putting away laundry, watching movies, cooking...

Calico Kate said...

Am supposed to be writing a 3000 word piece before Sunday but am stuck having a lovely time catching up with blogs instead!

I love your cyclamen - I love ALL cyclamen but am dead jealous that yours has flowered all year!

Will look out for the new Maeve B as I do like her tales.

gaelikaa said...

Your cyclamen is lovely.

If you have so much to do and not enough time to do it, just make a list. You will get it done eventually. And other things will come to fill the time.

It is a sign that you have a rich and fulfilling life! That's good!

CAMILLA said...

I have a Pink Cyclamen bought for me as a gift about five years ago for Christmas.They should bloom from mid November to mid February providing the condtions are right. They do prefer bright indirect light, so an East window is perfect. They can be set outdoors in part sun for the summer, fed and watered and and brought back inside in September. Love your pretty Pink Cyclamen in beautiful pot on your window-sill Cait.

Thank you for the info on the book, another one for me to reserve at the Library and thank you kindly Cait I adore the Ivington Diaries, can't wait to read it.

As to how I would spend my days, as I have got older I am sure the time just whizzes by, a perfect day - reading, catching up with friends, tending to the gardens weather permitting, long walks along our beaches and nearby woods with my JRT, and visiting Museums and Art Galleries.

You are such a gifted writer Cait, I look forward to reading your book.


Bee said...

I'd had The 19th Wife on my bookshelf for what feels like ages now. Must read it! Funnily enough, just this wet weekend my teenage daughter and I became completely engrossed in an American series called Big Love -- about a polygamous family. Have you heard of it? Very interesting and well-done.