No Resolutions

2022 has been quite a year. There are a few things and demagogues that I wish would die along with it — one look at the headlines will tell you what and who I mean — but that’s not likely to happen and it’s out of my control anyway. So let’s look at something I can control, sort of, maybe: my garden. Gaze upon it, in all its muddy glory.

During the past year I have been making friends with people who are actually knowledgeable about gardens. The last time John Hoyland came over the trees were not in and the roses, pruned for years by an annoyed Julien armed with a hedge trimmer, were held up by huge boards. I promised myself I wouldn’t let John, who I could swear was working hard to Not Say Anything, see the place like that again.

And he won’t. The boards are down and, with the best training Youtube videos can provide, I have been pruning and thinning like crazy. The trees planted last spring survived, with only a mildly scary spike in the water bill, and look set to leaf out in spring. The maples are in, four to each section nearer the house. I think they will provide shade starting this, their first, year. The ground cover, candytuft, is almost completely in. It looks pretty happy so far. Still no decomposed granite for the walkways, but Kieron is looking into it.

This is what I started with. Later, during construction, the green disappeared.

So now I’m worried about the birds, not that there are many of them right now. Maybe the feeder and fat dispensers are well placed. Probably not. Suggestions?

Now prepare to dive into your favorite tipple, with friends or a trashy novel, and get ready for what promises to be another strange year.

Home for Christmas

Well. The plan was to spend Christmas with Jean-Yves’ brother and his family, as has become a most pleasant habit. But no. After everyone has asked about my Christmas plans and been assured that they were in place and happily anticipated, SNCF canceled my train. Was every other train long since fully booked? Yes, of course. Are we all supposed to suck it up, claim solidarity with the poor, embattled workers who might soon have to retire at the same age as everyone else? Of course, though I wish they would ask how much solidarity the retire-at-50 crowd feel for the rest of us.

That said, there are worse places to pass Christmas or any day. Jacques doesn’t believe in Santa, so we’ll sleep late and catch up on a few things. I hope your day will pass as calmly as I expect mine will.

And I hope you like the music. I have heard a lot of Charpentier this year and hope to hear a lot more in the future. I hope you like the video above, which I hope will be shown without ads. It’s pretty long, so save it for when you have some time.

All the best for the new year.