Saturday, 8 December 2018

The barren suburban wastelands...?

It's too late. Someone has already written a book called 'Little House in the Suburbs' and they've made it all self-sufficient. I know because I picked it off the withdrawn trolley at the library today.

Well. Non-plussed, I bought it home, along with some other tomes. I'm educating myself, since at school I was never taught how to do these things. The most I recall being taught at school was how to pass exams, so that I could go to university, be in debt, and then work to pay off that debt. Or, be indebted to my parents, who paid for the degree. Not a practical thing about how to build your own house or anything like that! I can't believe I'm learning how to build a house out of logs from a children's book.

Why weren't wasn't I ever shown this in school?? Lamenting the state of the New Zealand education system doesn't change anything though. Left to my own devices, all I ever learned was what I found out from books, since I really had no teachers to guide me. Want to make a dress? Mum knows how to sew, but she won't teach me. She says go do it yourself. How to cook? Oh no, you do it yourself, otherwise you will never learn. So I just learned that she didn't want to teach me anything. Next thing I know, I am making a mess of the kitchen. You said cook something. Oh, no, she meant first I had to buy my own house, and then I could use my own kitchen. Right.

I look at the property ads in the paper. Ok, if I want to buy my own house in this neighbourhood, where am I going to find half a million dollars?
I start setting up a stove in the garage. Mum comes in. What are you doing? Making my own kitchen. Oh no I can't do that. I consider, if Dad parks his car outside, and I park my car outside, I could take over the garage, but mum has packed it all with her things in boxes and it looks like the Warehouse. I know several people who lived in their family garage. If they could get in that is.

Then I decide its a stupid idea to live in the garage, because if you did that you might as well live in your car. I have reclaimed a strip of land by the garage, which now has lemon balm, parsley, silverbeets, and other miscellaneous flowers and herbs. But it's not enough, I'm thinking of doing another border, when I have made enough compost to do expand them, and plants to move into them. This is a sloow process, why because first I have to grow the plants enough so I can make cuttings and divide them to fill out the border. Unlike some people, I can't just buy a ready made garden. So the little garden by the olive tree is slowly coming along, now blooming with salvia, daisies, cosmos, and geranium. There's a grapevine, some iris, and rhubarb as well. I'm planning on edging the path with lambs ears and more lavenders, and growing more jasmine over the fence.

My aunties come over to visit and cluck and say wow your gardens looking nice. Mum says oh it's because she's got nothing better to do. I don't know what is worse, her assessment or my former boss, who responded to the oldies who were praising the gardens and my work by  dismissing me with ill-disguised contempt -  ' that was what she was paid to do'. I saw him the other day. He wasn't happy and the weeds had grown. I know where he'd rather be, retired in Lake Taupo fishing and living in his caravan. But he was stuck here in West Auckland where the weeds always threatened to take over with every shower of rain, ensuring that there will always be year round work for the gardener.

 He still hasn't forgiven me for cutting down the iresine to remove the weeds all around it. I'm sure it will grow back. Everything grows back eventually, it's Auckland after all. I did not do the worst thing and accidently poison it with Roundup, like council workers did spraying around base of trees. I'm still in shock about that. I am sure they are keeping mum and claiming they didn't kill them they were just killing the weeds around them. Yeah right. The official council propaganda on that is there's this mysterious disease that's killing Kauri and we have to find a cure, so nobody is allowed to walk in the forest anymore. But I suspect one of the reasons is because that most tracks have glyphosate (Roundup) sprayed around them, to keep weeds down, and that it got to the tree roots, making them more susceptible to this water mould. I mean what else can be on the base of your shoes, many walk on grass sprayed with Roundup, unless we walk around barefoot, and I haven't really seen people do that because most people wouldn't dare walk barefoot on grass that the council sprays with Roundup.
Anyway, maybe this is all falling on deaf ears but I'm still going to write about it anyway because, I'm really not happy that people feel its ok to trash our environment, spray poison everywhere and end up turning it into a barren wasteland.