Makes me sound like such a senior citizen doesn't it? The thing is, in so many ways I really am like so many of our older folks these days. The walk, the voice, the lack of stamina, the stupid weak hands......and of course the memor......what was I saying? No, the mind still works fine as far as I can tell, or am told. Or can remember.
I once had as fine a set of wrinkles on my face as ever one could wish for. In my early twenties even; a 12-corrugation forehead when I raised an eyebrow, those vertical 'concentration' brow lines used to denote stress in Hollywood sword-and-sandal dramas from the seventies, big cleaving triple smile lines and a 90 degree splay of multiple squinty things at the corners of my eyes. Damn it was good. Seriously, I actually really liked it. You can do that as a male in this society fairly easily, unless you're a pretty-boy type. Scleredema came along and reversed my premature ageing in these ways at least. My very own botox lab; not a single wrinkle in sight.
Also in my twenties I would oft be known to quip when needled about my sometimes irascible or seemingly overserious nature (and the wrinkles and greying hair) that I had been born old and was proceeding to age in reverse. Actually, I wanted to be older than I was from an early stage, being discontented with the offerings of childhood and arrogantly precocious in a couple of ways. A defense mechanism in great part, as physical aspects were very much the prime determinant of masculine virtue in my neck of the woods, and I was quite simply the polar opposite of the bronzed Aussie lantern-jawed Chesty Bond surf god required as minimum acceptance on the sunny and weirdly insular northern beaches area of Sydney in the seventies and early eighties.
Not me. Pretty much most of the local male population in my schooldays though.
Quite a few did turn out to be gay as it happens.
Funny how those self-fulfilling prophecies do. Self-fulfil, I mean. Here I am growing younger - of heart at least, and lighter of spirit too. Yet not, it would seem, at all throwing off the early condition of being old before my time.
So yes anyway, it was a lovely outing today.
I had sort of saved up a lot of my energy because Meeta and I wanted to do a 'town run' where we do the drive into the medium smoke (our city doesn't really qualify as a big smoke, except in burn-off season when there's an atmospheric inversion layer but I digress) and get a bunch of stuff we can't get in our tiny smoke. Dog coats, bulk dog and cat food, garden edging stuff (less than half the price in the big city stores), some seriously good foody bits, you know - a buncha stuff. But also, we'd sort of mentally set aside some pennies for an excursion to what I can confidently describe as the bestest garden nursery ever. Where else are you going to wander around a meandering pathway and see this?
It's maybe 15 ft tall at least, they call it a Zandersaurus.
The place is fiull of amazing sculptures and art on a natural theme.
It's called Zanthorrea Nursery (that's a funky misspelling of the botanical name for the local so-called grass tree, known previously in these parts as a 'black boy' which has been phased out for the same reasons as golliwogs essentially and more previously than that known as balga) and I'm not surprised it keeps winning awards.
Xanthorrhoea Australis in flower.
Similar to our local X. Preissii, but a nicer photo than I had of one.
Zanthorrea's main focus is local natives, and as we share much in the way of climate and soils with the hills areas that the nursery services, and as we had last been there maybe ten years or more ago and loved it then, we were excited like kids on our way there. It was no disappointment. You know how so often when you go back to a place you loved it doesn't quite feel right anymore, or how sometimes it's just really gone downhill? Didn't happen. Their own gardens were even more beautiful, there was more harmoniously made and placed art all around, and their selection pf plants was first rate. Plus, they are an entirely natural nursery, so no chemical nasties and every plant there looked in perfect health.
It's not a showy look-at-me place with try-hard floral displays and massed this and that; rather it seems to be designed in aesthetic accord with its philosophy of gardening. Go with what works locally, and play with it. There is no strain. Just lots of life being allowed to get on with itself.
Note to all other nurseries - you can be like this with just a little care and effort too, OK?
We bought lots of plants. We even know where most of them are going. We exercised restraint you see, so we can go back again soon. It was just such a lovely place to hang out, and the staff were exactly as you'd hope staff everywhere to be. In two words; happy, and helpful.
After an hour or so there and with a half-full trolley I realised it was time for a feed. So I thought rather than my usual thing of doing it all in the car I'd get my bag of gear and have a nice relaxing tube session on one of the numerous park benches placed thoughtfully here and there. And had a potential catastrophe. But the unfussed equilibrium of the surrounds meant I was able to overcome the issue (a blocked tube, far from home, and I hadn't brought a plunger for the syringe body etc etc annoying possible ramifications of a day now lost, finding a pharmacy and hoping they'd have a 60 my syringe and that it would work and I would manage without calories for another couple of hours geez this could be really stressy etc bullshit etc) with grace and calm and by Meeta finding at first glance downwards, when asked, the twig that saved the moment - of perfect dimensions, texture and flexibility. Did seem to rather bemuse a couple of ladies of a certain age passing nearby, who inexplicably found a reason to reverse their intended course and explore elsewhere for the present moment. Ah well.
I do so love when the perfect twig falls to hand.
We also found the ideal bird feeder for our apparently resident thundering herd of finches. And then forgot to buy it.
Darn, we'll have to go back!
See the rusted metal sculpture of the Xanthorrhoea in the middle there? The 'leaves' are springy and make a delightful boingy boingy sound like the world's biggest out-of-tune music box. That's what kids are for. Showing you stuff like that.