Janet (j4) wrote,

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By the thorns

Gosh, I feel like I've spent half the weekend fighting, but in a good way; a bit of a mental and physical workout, if you like. Saturday morning was all the usual battles at the Oxfam bookshop (why we throw usable books away, why we're not allowed to price things at 99p, why we're clearing out three whole sections of books to make room for some more vastly overpriced stationery, etc.), but in the midst of all that we also managed to sell a lot of books and get a lot of clearing up done. Less successful was a skirmish with HSBC on the way home, as the ongoing attempt to actually close my account with them ate up another hour of my time. Still, the time wasn't entirely wasted, as I spent it curled up in a plush armchair reading Terry Eagleton's After Theory (thoroughly recommended), savouring the irony (or possibly post-irony) of enjoying post-Marxist post-cultural post-theory from within the maw of the Big Four.

fanf's party on Saturday evening featured battles of a different nature, in the shape of some friendly debates, including "Why Tagging Is Rubbish" (interesting, but I remained incompletely unconvinced by the arguments of chrislightfoot, who doesn't have a LiveJournal, and whom I may have accidentally scared off by knitting and/or threatening to cover people in chocolate) and "So, What's Christianity All About Then" (with SJK, who really doesn't have a LiveJournal). The latter debate turned into one of those conversations that really didn't want to end, and while it might be a bit silly to extend your journey home by an extra 2 miles at 2 a.m. just so you can keep on talking for a bit longer to somebody who's actually travelling in a different direction, I'd forgotten quite how much fun it could be.

I then spent most of Sunday afternoon wrestling with thorny plant life, incurring myriad minor injuries to my hands, arms and legs, and (more distressingly) a noticeable tear in my Idlewild t-shirt. However, our garden is now about 6 feet longer than it was before, as what I thought was land forever lost to lawless leaves turned out to be a few sensible trees and shrubs (mostly prickly) cocooned in over-enthusiastic bramble runners, bindweed and ivy.

"Are blackberries a weed, then?" asked addedentry (as he manfully chopped the prickly heap into sensible green-binnable lengths). Now, I don't want to descend into trite fridgemagnetry like "A weed is just a flower in the wrong place", but really, I'd like to think that there's no such thing as a "weed": there are merely subordinate plants and insubordinate plants. Brambles are lovely, but they're also wilful, unruly, untameable; trying to keep them in order is a full-time battle that few people can face when there are so many more docile alternatives. It seems somewhat ungrateful to enjoy great big finger-purpling handfuls of fresh blackberries and then mercilessly mutilate the plants that provided them; but while there may well be places in the world for ten-foot-tall bramble runners with inch-thick stems, small suburban gardens are not one of those places. Besides, they'll have grown back by the time I've finished writing this.

Giving blood tonight (the brambles should have left me at least an armful), which is pretty simple by comparison with God or gardening, and gives me a bit more time for tea and Terry Eagleton. It's a lovely life, really, most of the time.
Tags: diaryism, il faut cultiver notre jardin
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