17th August 2010. It was my turn to choose a book for the Church Book Club, and I chose, '99 Things To Do Between Here and Heaven', and Number 26 was, 'Blog'.
I am revisiting the Book right now, between writing paragraphs here, and wondering which of the 99 still undone, I might attempt. How about, Number 13, ' Bury A Time Capsule'? I would forget where it was. My colleague at Pauntley School, Liz Petley, buried one with the Reception Class, all of whom have now graduated from University and started families. When the kids, in the year 2000, came to dig it up, they couldn't find it. The school garden was peppered with holes. Looked like an invasion of ground hogs. I remember too, when the Blue Peter team dug up THEIR time capsule. They didn't forget where it was. Oh No! They had simply neglected to take the variations in the water table into account. It was hilarious watching Val and Shep trying to make a jolly item out of a soggy mess. I confess, I smirked out loud.
Besides, my 'office' is like a time capsule without the necessity of taking a spade to it. I pounce on long-forgotten items, hidden away, with squeals of delight. Most satisfying, though perhaps a little accusatory, the collections of things I needed for all those hobbies I didn't persist with. A Chinese calligraphy set, with How To Book, brushes in beautiful silk covered boxes, and ink sticks embossed with dragons. All far too lovely to actually USE. A basket full of fabrics, designs, and cut-out letters for banners I am never going to make. Dress patterns and sundries, including a sewing machine, not touched for years... Books of bracing walks and gentle strolls - unopened. Unwalked.
Stop laughing! You're just as bad.
There are things I am passionate about stashed away too. Field guides of the flowers I hunt in the countries I visit: The Jura and Julian Alps, The Troodos, Carpathian and Cascade Mountains, The Drakensburgs and Table Mountain. Each bloom faithfully recorded: each one a tangible memory of where I was, and who was with me, and what we were doing at the time... .
So no, no time capsule then.
I am giving serious consideration to Number 43, 'Plant a Tree'.
My garden is a haven for wildlife. Partly. My part. Flowers, grasses, and taller items of greenery sit about in a higgedly -piggedly fashion between fiercely manicured patches of lawn. I wouldn't cut it. I want to live in a meadow. Responsible for the practicalities that seem to be essential for running a household, my husband grits his teeth and tolerates my wilderness plots, whilst taking it out on the bits of landscape I reluctantly spare to common sense.
We survive the tension, we live with the compromise. And then something dreadful happens. Before I left for Redmond, he discussed painting the shed. Yes, it needed painting. I didn't see a problem.
Until I returned from my vacation to realise the loss of a magnificent pink buddlheia bush, that even now, should be providing sustenance for a flotilla of butterflies and random other far less interesting insects. My reaction will not go on record. It was not pretty. I became Mrs Basil Fawlty. Ray, who is an astute man, stayed out of range until I calmed down. Which was DAYS later. Wisely, he told me as a 'by the way' when I was still abroad, knowing I couldn't actually kill him at a distance of eight thousand miles.
Not a woman to be messed with. He knows this.
So yes, the pink buddlheia will be replaced, planted in a spot where it is least likely to be mown down.
I am taken with Number 45. ' Write a Statement of Faith'
I shall have to think about that one.