01 July 2021

Nothing is complete without its shadow. 

Sometimes it seems to be that it's the old sodden weaklings like myself who have the least mercy on our own person. Maybe we expect nothing. Or have been through far too much. Maybe we are just bottomlessly foolish.

Time is the water in which we live, and we breathe it like fish. It's hard to swim against the current.

Louise Erdrich (Four Souls)

I am re-reading my way through Louise Erdrich's novels this year. I may have mentioned that before. 


Today, it's rainy and cold. (In late June/early July, a cold snap occurs relatively frequently in Central Europe, triggered by an influx of polar air, known as Schafskälte, "sheep cold", because sheep have traditionally already been shorn by now and the onset of cold - especially when summering in the Alps - can be quite threatening. As if we are surrounded by flocks of sheep here. Not a chance.) Anyway, this is normal summer weather for a change.


The garden loves it all. We are harvesting like mad, drying tomatoes and freezing berries. In about a week's time, R will dig up the spuds. 

We are waiting for the Delta wave, which feels a bit like standing on a beach looking out at the receding sea just before the tsunami comes rushing in.  Some mornings I wake up with the feeling that it will never be over and in my dreams I am travelling on secret passages across continents and oceans under the cover of darkness - from safe house to safe house like Offred in the Handmaid's Tale - to reach my daughter.

I have been to the bone doctor because my GP wanted another set of eyes to admire my arthritic hands and feet. He also looked at my knees and shoulders and basically predicted an all-round necessary renewal of most major joints in the near-ish future. After some angry tears I reminded myself of all the predictions from experts that have not come true and decided to improve my wait-and-see approach. 

Also, I lost a bit of a tooth today, while eating an overripe apricot for goodnesssakes, and now have to go to the dentist tomorrow,  which is a million times worse for me. 

Here is some soothing Irish music content to calm down.


  1. Last summer I broke a tooth while eating toast! What the hell.

    Your garden is magnificent. I'm trying to keep mine alive with extreme temperatures and water restrictions. I'm using grey water from the sink and tub which is a lot of work and makes me feel light headed.

    I'll have to take a look for that book. It sounds interesting.

    Take care woman.

  2. Your garden is so beautiful. I love seeing your greenhouse. We're thinking about getting one, if we can figure out where to put it.
    In our county here, many people have opted not to be vaccinated, so there are significant numbers of new cases every week. It's pretty disappointing. I think we're going to be facing this pandemic for quite some time.
    I hope all goes well for you, Sabine, and thank you for the lovely music.

  3. Just this morning I was thinking that what makes Bob Dylan so compelling to me is that so many of his songs have sunlight and shadow side by side, a completeness, an honesty. The music of those young Irish people has the truth of completeness to it. And posts like this one of yours today, too. It's shadowy here today. Sending love from the shadows.

  4. The weather here has been more "normal" this summer so far. We get almost daily afternoon rains which are wonderful and keep the temperatures down a bit. I realize that this is only part of the "new normal" whatever that is.
    I have read many of Louise Erdrich's novels but they are not a pleasure for me. I am almost ashamed to admit that but...
    It's the truth.
    I suppose that not all books are meant to be a pleasure to read.

  5. I've read two of Erdrich's novels which I enjoyed. she's not a happy writer though, at least not the two I read. I'll have to see if the library has others. it's supposed to get to 92 today but the next two weeks highs in the 80s with sporadic showers, more like our old normal weather before the normal became drought in the summer. what a great garden you have behind the greenhouse.

    the last few years seem to be falling apart years for me, first the heart flutter and afib and that procedure, now cataracts and macular degeneration, and the pain in my upper arm/shoulder which I was beginning to think was rotator cuff but now think not as it's much better the last 10 after changing the way I do some things, using the mouse with my left hand and sleeping less on my right side.

  6. I've been loosing bits of teeth for a couple years now. Crowns are so expensive here, I live in terror of having to go back for another one. I have been reading a couple Louise Erdrich's books this year. The first one was difficult for me to get through, but it stayed with me. After your last post I started reading another one. I'm not sure what I think of her right now, but I'm feeling compelled to read more. She is unique. A little magical.

  7. Oh!!! your garden is gorgeous. Mine is sweltering in the horrid heat wave in the PNB. My potatoes aren't quite ready but I've had strawberries and spinach and lettuce and kale and a few zukes. Oh and peapods. Gardening and harvesting is heavenly.

  8. I'm reading the second (Home)in the series from Marilyn Robinson. The first was Gilead, which won a Pulitzer. The most wonderful writer.

  9. It seems everyone I know including me is dancing with the dentist at the moment. I suppose no one went last year. I have had new joints suggested to me, too, but I just keep on. My wait and see muscle is well worked.