September in the Garden

There's a lot that happens in the garden between the last cold and grey day in August and the (admittedly also cold and grey) first day of October. Leaves re-emerge. Flowers blossom. Berries appear. The grass photosynthesizes. I wrote this entry to keep track of the progress of things in my garden for future reference. I didn’t intend to do this at the start of the month, I just realised when looking through my phone’s gallery that most of my photos were taken in my backyard.

The end of August. The irises are already in bloom. The foliage is reinvigorated. Lattice like limbs of the pruned mulberry tree form a makeshift barrier to keep Nash off the tulips.

The end of August. The irises are already in bloom. The foliage is reinvigorated. Lattice like limbs of the pruned mulberry tree form a makeshift barrier to keep Nash off the tulips.


If you look closely the first buds are appearing on the mulberry branches.

If you look closely the first buds are appearing on the mulberry branches.


New sun patches form to be enjoyed. In the background the first shoots of new raspberry canes are appearing.

New sun patches form to be enjoyed. In the background the first shoots of new raspberry canes are appearing.


Around mid-September the darker purple irises start to bloom. The first flowers on the Brunfelsia also start to pop open.

Around mid-September the darker purple irises start to bloom. The first flowers on the Brunfelsia also start to pop open.


After mowing only once or twice over the entire winter, the extra daylight and angle of the sun (along with a few watering cans of Seasol) will reanimate the grass and mowing will be an every second weekend activity in September. This is also a sign that it's time to protect the strawberry patch with shade cloth to protect them from the sun on hot days, and keep them shielded from wind and rain.

After mowing only once or twice over the entire winter, the extra daylight and angle of the sun (along with a few watering cans of Seasol) will reanimate the grass and mowing will be an every second weekend activity in September. This is also a sign that it's time to protect the strawberry patch with shade cloth to protect them from the sun on hot days, and keep them shielded from wind and rain.


Mulberry growth will continue slowly but surely through the month, and the fruits will start to appear in clumps waiting for late spring warmth to ripen.

Mulberry growth will continue slowly but surely through the month, and the fruits will start to appear in clumps waiting for late spring warmth to ripen.


Around this point lunchtime salads will resume.

Around this point lunchtime salads will resume.


Lunchtime salads are a sign it's time to lay the slug and snail bait around the strawberries. Only I may eat plants.

Lunchtime salads are a sign it's time to lay the slug and snail bait around the strawberries. Only I may eat plants.


Actually if there are some spare carrots growing in the planter box then Nash can eat some plants too.

Actually if there are some spare carrots growing in the planter box then Nash can eat some plants too.


Around the third week of September this thing will start to flower. I prune the base of them so that there's no rotting leaves underneath and they seem to like that because they grow prolifically. The shade from their leaves is the second reason my tulips didn't grow this year. (The first reason is that Nash trod all over them.)

Around the third week of September this thing will start to flower. I prune the base of them so that there's no rotting leaves underneath and they seem to like that because they grow prolifically. The shade from their leaves is the second reason my tulips didn't grow this year. (The first reason is that Nash trod all over them.)


A panorama of an October garden. There's exhausted irises, two ripe cherry tomatoes, a fully in bloom brunfelsia, some little fences that might last until next October, and a mulberry in all its glory. You can also clearly see the spot on the grass that Nash likes to roll around on her back while kicking the ground.

A panorama of an October garden. There's exhausted irises, two ripe cherry tomatoes, a fully in bloom brunfelsia, some little fences that might last until next October, and a mulberry in all its glory. You can also clearly see the spot on the grass that Nash likes to roll around on her back while kicking the ground.

And that's what happened in September. An eleven photo summary of how boring my life has become.


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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?


New Cameraphone Who Dis?

Right now one of my biggest fears is that, if I don't remember something that happened to me, then it might not have happened. And if I didn't do any things, maybe I don't exist? But a lot of the things I do don't seem exciting enough to journal about. They were exciting enough that I wanted them to happen though. So I'll document some of them here to ensure they did happen in the future.

I rode my bike to Semaphore and got a nice coffee from High Tide which I drank on the beach.

image 2270 from bradism.com

We went to The Archer in North Adelaide and I ordered the most expensive per gram steak they had for dinner because I could. I also got a free pint of Pirate Life thanks to OzBargain.

I saw Chow and he cooked me a double cheese burger and then we both lost Settlers of Catan to Alex.

image 2271 from bradism.com

I ate two cherry tomatoes that I grew in the backyard.

I went to Semaphore with Vanessa and we walked on the sand in the sunshine.

image 2272 from bradism.com

I rowed the furthest I've ever rowed, 3018 metres in 12 minutes and 32 seconds.

I ate a slice of the most Tim cake ever to celebrate Annie's birthday.

image 2273 from bradism.com

I wrote this journal entry.

image 2274 from bradism.com

Purple Drank

The cherry tomatoes and I have our end of weekend beverage.

The cherry tomatoes and I have our end of weekend beverage.


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Professional Pedestrian

Breakfast may have declined since the 19th Century.

Breakfast may have declined since the 19th Century.

COVIDALE19

Dale found himself walking into the kitchen during a break in his day of back to back meetings.

Dale finding himself wasn’t an out of body experience, but perhaps an out of mind one. After being promoted to a management role in Compucon’s Service Delivery branch, Dale often found himself sitting in meeting after meeting and wondering how he had got there and how he could re-enter his body and make his legs move to leave them.

Dale did not know how he had been promoted to management. His old team lead had proposed it as a career path back when Dale’s only skill was to nod along and agree to everything older people told him. Then after years went by that he couldn’t really remember he now found himself leading teams. He wondered if this was what they called male privilege, and if it was, it was a horrible misnomer.

But the worst thing about being a manager wasn’t the meetings, it was the times after the meetings when you didn’t know what to do with yourself. In meetings it was easy to be busy because someone else was talking and Dale’s ability to nod along and agree to everything had only improved over the years. And meetings gave you a justification to go out for a walk and buy a coffee whenever you didn’t have a meeting because it always looked bad if you fell asleep during meetings, and this also made it harder to get a good sleep on the toilet later in the day.

There had to be more to leadership than attending meetings, but there wasn’t enough time to think about it. Because of all the meetings. Any time there weren't meetings there wasn’t time or opportunity to explore these feelings because you needed to recover yourself mentally from all the meetings before the next meeting.

But today Dale found himself walking into the kitchen with a break between meetings, and time to reflect. At the same moment he noticed that the kitchen floor was covered in shards of broken glass from a large jar of white, clumpy, frothy stuff that had been knocked on the floor and left a huge mess.

No one else was around.

“I should do something about this,” Dale said aloud, energised suddenly by something more than the three coffees he’d drank that morning.

The time had arrived to become the leader that someone whose name he forgot believed he could be. Not just sit in meetings, but achieve something.

Moments later he left the kitchen, which was in the same state as when he’d found himself in it, except there was now a piece of paper stuck on the bench that said “Caution - Broken Glass”.

Nash Visits The Seaside

image 2277 from bradism.com

When the backyard gets boring there's a whole state to explore assuming you can find nearby accommodation that allows dogs.

This weekend Nash went to the Yorke Peninsula for some adventures. Including:

Walks along the beach

Walks along the beach

Morning walks along the cliff

Morning walks along the cliff

Cooking the BBQ

Cooking the BBQ

Off-Roading along the cliff

Off-Roading along the cliff

Cooling off.

Cooling off.

Walks along the beach at sunset

Walks along the beach at sunset

Ironically, while we were away one of the most exciting things to happen in the garden in months occurred.

image 2284 from bradism.com

Caught on Tape

This is true.

I'm pretty sure the birds are pecking my strawberries. I wanted to stop them and so I traded some weekend to buy Bird Scare Tape from my least favourite big box hardware store.

However, I've been holding off stringing the tape up because October 18-24 was Australia's Backyard Bird count and I was keen to participate by sitting in my backyard with a coffee and counting birds for twenty minutes. I was even going to write a journal entry about it! And you thought I was being cynical about the excitement in my life happening exclusively in my backyard.

One noisy miner, five New Holland honey eaters, and pair of common blackbirds later I decided I was ready to start scaring birds away from my garden. Today I opened the packaging and inside was not really tape, just a crinkly ribbon that was red on one side and shiny on the other. I wasn't entirely sure how this was supposed to scare birds. A flash of reflected light and a crinkle in the breeze was apparently enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to fight or flight in my tiny bird frenemies. Oh well, more berries for me.

The tape was not sticky. I figured I would string it up on the truss for the raspberries growing over the strawberry patch. I cut a decent length and walked into the backyard to peg it up. On my way to the strawberries I noticed one of the million mulberries on the tree was looking pretty plump and ripe, so I stretched up to pluck it off and I popped it in my mouth. At the same moment a gust of wind blew in, and the tape in my hands fluttered briefly, appearing in my peripheral vision for long enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to shit myself.

I guess my berries are going to be safe.

Bird Watch continued

I was riding my bike this afternoon, not in my backyard, but along the Torrens, and I saw an old woman sitting on the grass under a tree next to a pair of black swans. She was feeding one swan out of her hand, and her other hand was stroking the long, feathery nape of the other swan the way you'd absentmindedly scritch a nearby dog.

Anyway I wanted to share this because I so rarely get to use the Thunderstorms weather icon and there were definitely thunderstorms today. My bike ride in the sunshine slipped perfectly between passing bands of heavy rain, it was almost as if I'd planned it when I scheduled my physio appointment three weeks earlier.

For dinner I stir fried a 600g chicken breast.

777

Throughout this whole pandemic I have found it hard not think judgemental thoughts about people who lose their cloth masks whenever I see one on the street. I have judgemental thoughts about people who let single use masks clutter up gutters and nature strips as well, but the loss of a cloth mask seems to hit me differently.

How difficult is it to keep track of a mask that you need to wear every time you leave your house? How come I don't see wallets, smartphones and sets of keys littering the ground with the same frequency? I've had the same cloth mask for the entire pandemic! I should probably wash it... Unfortunately yesterday I was packing my things for the physio and I realised I couldn't find my mask anywhere. I was sure I'd put it in my pocket after visiting the supermarket that morning, but now that the days are warming up I've been wearing gym shorts everywhere lately and unlike jeans the pockets tend to prolapse when taking one thing out of them, the rest of the contents can tend to follow. I lost a dog poo bag just this way earlier in the week when I took my phone out.

Losing my mask hit me hard. Not only because now I was judging myself as careless and unintelligent, but because it's been a familiar part of my life the entirety of 2021. I bought it for my trip to Brisbane last December, did not need it for much of the year after that, but after the Modbury Cluster and the South Australian mask mandate it's been a daily companion. Considering this week was also the week I pushed my Galaxy Note 8 into a post-box after three and a half years of loyal service, and also relegated my primary pair of sneakers since 2019 to gardening duties only, life felt tumultuous. This was not the kind of change that spring was supposed to be about. As if to prove a point, the weather change from Thursday set the temperature dropping and I had to put my jumper on from Thursday morning, in which I found my mask in one of the pockets.

The Sunk Wok Fallacy

It's been years since I received the wok that I will never be able to use. Since then it has been stored at three different houses, taken up space under desks and on tables, and not found a purpose in life. I don't want to keep it, but I can't find anyone who will buy it and every minute I spend trying to find a new home for it adds additional opportunity costs to the $76 I spent buying the thing.

I needed some bubble wrap earlier this week, and the wok's untouched packaging provided this. From that point I knew that any further energy I directed towards this wok needed to go towards my threat of turning it into a pot for herbs.

image 2285 from bradism.com

I feel like there's a lesson in all of this, but I can't put my finger on it.