sábado, diciembre 13, 2008

Gardening 101

Even though at first the MTWSM refused having plants in the house (why bring dirt into the house intentionally?), there came a time when I thought it was very sad to have a deserted lounge room, and seeing granny's luscious greenhouse didn't help at all. So we started with one plant (known as "the green plant" for some reason, as if the rest weren't green) and then with another one. That was in the other appartment and only because we didn't have room for anything else. As soon as we moved here, I went crazy. I started buying plants and that's when I learnt the first lesson... don't ever put two plant with different characteristics in the same pot. It sounds like common sense, doesn't it? Well, for a complete illiterate regarding plants, if it has leaves and flowers, it's the same. Why would they need different light patterns? Or water needs? Anyways, in my defense I'll say only those two plants died.
A little while after that, my mom gave me a Swedish ivy plant and told me it needed no specific care, that I could water it whenever I remembered. And it certainly grew beautiful with just a little bit of watering. But then one day it hailed so hard it seemed the sky was going to fall down (the gauls would have fleed in terror) and the poor Swedish ivy ended up with just one stem and half a leaf. Today's still recovering, but little by little it's getting its past lushness back.
And at the end of the summer I bought two hortensias. We've always loved those plants, maybe because they remind us of the north and they make it seem like the air smells like the sea and barbeque sardines, with salt and lemon and... what was I talking about? Oh, yes! Plants.
Thing is this winter is being a little weird, it's raining more than usual in Madrid and even though it's cold, it is not the coldest winter we've ever had. So the hortensia we have in the office window has gotten this beautiful.
It's so nice to see it like that, even if it's from inside... Some experts have suggested we put them inside for the winter or they will die, but I feel they wouldn't be well inside with the heating and dryness when they could be outside, breathing fresh air and having the sunlight directly on them. But oh, well, I call out to all mothers and gardeners of the world. We admit suggestions and advice for total beginners on gardening.

viernes, diciembre 12, 2008

Jardinería I

A pesar de que el HQTT al principio se negaba a que tuviéramos plantas en casa (¿por qué meter suciedad intencionadamente en casa?), llegó un momento en que a mí me daba pena tener el salón tan desértico y ver el invernadero tan frondoso que tiene la abuela no ayudaba nada. Así que empezamos con una plantita (conocida como "la planta verde", como si las demás no fueran verdes) y luego con otra más. Eso fue en la otra casa y porque no teníamos sitio apenas. En cuanto vinimos aquí, a mí se me fue la mano. Empecé a comprar plantas y ahí fue cuando llegó la primera lección... no pongas dos plantas de características distintas en la misma maceta. Parece de sentido común, ¿no? Bueno, pues para una completa analfabeta en cuanto a plantas se refiere, si tiene hojas y flores, son iguales. ¿Qué es eso de que una necesite sol y la otra no? ¿O que una quiera más agua que la otra? Pero bueno, en mi defensa diré que sólo se han muerto esas dos.
Un tiempo después, mi madre me dio una planta del dinero y me dijo que se cuidaba casi sola, que la regara cuando me acordara. Y ciertamente, se puso estupenda con sólo regarla de vez en cuando. Pero entonces un día cayó una granizada que parecía que se estaba cayendo el cielo (los galos hubieran huído despavoridos) y la pobre plantita del dinero se quedó en un tallito con media hoja. Aun hoy se está recuperando, aunque poco a poco va recuperando su lozanía pasada.
Y a finales del verano compré dos hortensias. Siempre nos han gustado mucho esas plantas, quizá porque nos recuerdan al norte y hace que parezca que el aire huele a mar y a sardinas a la parrilla, con su sal gorda y su rajita de limón y... ¿de qué estaba hablando? ¡Ah, sí! de plantas.
El caso es que está haciendo un invierno raro, está lloviendo más de lo habitual en Madrid y aunque hace frío, no es el invierno más frío que hemos pasado, ni mucho menos. Así que a la hortensia de la ventana del despacho le ha dado por ponerse así de preciosa.
Da una alegría verla aunque sólo sea a través del cristal... Algunas expertas nos aconsejan que las metamos en casa durante el invierno, que si no se nos van a morir, pero me da no sé qué encerrarlas en casa, con la calefacción y la sequedad que hay aquí cuando pueden estar en la calle, respirando aire fresquito y con la luz del sol dándoles directamente. Pero bueno, madres y jardineros del mundo, se admiten consejos y demás para principiantes totales en el mundo de la jardinería.

lunes, diciembre 01, 2008

So much to do, so little time

I've been wanting to post this for some time now, but it's been a crazy couple of months.
Recently, someone said to me that my winters are full of activity and it's true. Maybe it's a sign that I like cold more than heat... or whatever. For the last couple of months I've been taking 3 courses at a time, apart from my normal workload and a few new projects. At first I thought it wouldn't be so bad and I can't believe this same thing happens every year. Now I have so many things to do I spend the whole day running around, my legs hurt from going up and down the metro stairs all day, and I feel "half there" most of the time from the lack of sleep. But oh, boy! is it true that when you like something nothing seems to bother you! I'm truly delighted, I'm really liking what I'm doing and on top of that I've managed to get rid of the bad habit of watching TV. Instead, I use that brain-melting time to practise with the violin. And I'm improving quite fast... that's motivation!
Obviously sometimes I get stuck or the exhaustion causes me not to perform as well as I'd like, but even that is teaching me things about myself. It seems incredible that at this point in my life I'm learning more than when I was obliged to. But it also helps that everything is starting to make sense and things are starting to fall into place. I think growing up is not going to be so bad after all.

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