There was a massive cockroach in the bathroom last night, despite the fact that the light had been left on as usual. It was sitting on the edge of the bath waving its antennae at me, the fucker. Maybe the bright light had it flummoxed though, 'cos it didn't move quickly enough to escape the full, plastic bottle of shampoo I crunched it with. I have a live and let live view to most fellow creatures, but it's the law to crunch 'roaches. Mohammed reminded me the other day of what you call a particularly big brute in Spain, 'la machina', which euphonically sums up the disgust and alienation I feel in their presence.
Couldn't get to sleep for hours after this encounter, and thoughts turned to gardening as I lay there. Herself had told me during our Yahoo chat earlier that the garden at the flat’s gone barmy. Hardly surprising, as the only thing I’ve attended to for the last two years, having been most of that time in Libya, is to plant the beginning of a hedge, which I plan to cultivate into something resembling a rather neglected but traditional English hedgerow over the next few years.
The wildness of the rest means that there should be the foundation of a proper wee eco-system. Before, there was just grass. Now I want to plant all manner of herbs and plants attractive to wildlife, but gradually and patiently so as to maintain and cultivate the insect, bird and mammal life that should be taking an interest now. The overall plan is for dozens of little herb beds, with a maze of little paths between them. I’m thinking of the baby, growing and toddling around there, smelling, tasting and feeling dozens of different plants.
It’ll be quite an enterprise, keeping them all happy and flourishing in a suburban garden: a wife, a baby, hedgehogs, mice, birds, hundreds of plants, thousands of insects, the earth. There are no cockroaches round our way, mind.
This week's edition of The Jarrow Review of Books is out. Hmm. First The Da Vinci Code, and now this? There's a point where the middlebrow and the eclectic get blurred, you know.