Thursday, May 14, 2009
Golden Lads and Lasses
In between the endless parade of medical personnel through here, and HP is doing okay considering, we're redesigning our daily life around a whole new reality, I've been planting the spring garden and reading and studying spinning....
But one book I really recommend, and which incidentally marks HP's entry into the 21st century in that he listened to it on CDs (!) a major first for him, and which I had loved listening to while out walking, is Bill Bryson's Shakespeare, a terrific, very readable and listenable account of the history of Shakespeare's time and what we don't actually know about it.
Some of the most interesting parts, aside from a whole long passage about the folios and how they were messed around, changed, copied, shared out among a lot of printers, and a ton of fascinating stuff about the theater business of Shakespeare's time (and he wasn't considered a big deal then, unlike Marlow and Jonson and Kyd and various others), is the general indicator that he was a countryman, not a noble, judging from the homely details he comments on, about crops and country trades, such as leather tanning,that kind of thing.
My post title refers to the quotation from, I think, Hamlet, "Golden lads and lasses must, like chimney sweepers, come to dust." And to my surprise, Bryson found that it's a reference to the "golden lads and lasses" that was the country name for -- dandelions!! and in view of my recent paean in praise of same, I was tickled to discover that.
So that's my current big nonfiction pick.
And then there's a new discovery, for me anyway, Ayelet Waldman, who writes detective stories in the character of a stay at home mom with young children who has given up her law career for the moment while the kids are young, and finds herself being a crime investigator.
Good dialog, great reading for people who either 1. have been sahms and fervently rejoice that that period has ended (!) or 2. people who are currently sahms and need all the amusement they can get about it or 3. current sahms who really like the job and still want a detective story to enjoy and 4. people who have never been sahms and wonder what it's all about....also people who like a good detective story with humor and crime mixed in together with highly creative little kids hampering every move in their parents' careers! anyway, a lot of fun.
Meanwhile, back in the garden, radishes are starting to come up, and I now have a slew of herbs set out -- mint grows whether I want it to or not, and I give it away apace, lemon balm same, then I plant on purpose oregano, rosemary, thyme and two kinds of sage, the purple kind and the green kind, both of which are flourishing shrubs, no need for any help from year to year.
And there's scented geranium, which I love to pinch and sniff, sometimes use in drinks. Other foods I planted this year: cherry bushes, blueberry bushes, Cumberland raspberries, upside down Roma tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries. You'd never think all this mad activity takes place in an area smaller than most people's bathrooms....I also grow potatoes in a planter! just shove in a spud and let it alone, and a few weeks later dig up a nice dish of new potatoes, enough for a meal.
And then there's the ornamental garden, daylilies, impatiens, nierembergia, iris, petunias, hosta, sedum, all sorts of other annuals and perennials, all mixed in with the food stuff. We won't mention poison ivy, which also tries to get a foothold each year.
The micro gardener speaks! small is not only beautiful, around here it's inevitable..