Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blue Air

At last we have real weather again. The white sky and colour-sapping humidity of the last days doesn't count. I hate it. Canada has breathed on us, and for now we have air that defines edges and everything has depth again. It's a little present from September. The weather in New York is so extreme that it is almost impossible to imagine, as you walk to the subway in a filmy layer of cotton, hot, damp, trying to stay in the shade, that several months hence the same trip will be made in wool, cashmere, layers upon layers until you feel like you're carrying your life with you. And inbetween are these wonderful bits, where the sky is clean and deep, and the promise or memory of fall to come pulls at you the way it does each year, when you think you are remembering something, but can't remember what.

So, to celebrate I brought home on the subway (it had been raining in the morning so I didn't cycle) some burned orange zinnias and catnip. It's so odd that I used to hate orange, as a child - maybe because I was little in the 70's, which were basically orange. But now it's a colour that calms me. When there is a red/rusty/orange presence I feel as though I can breathe out.

There they are, planted behind some stunted purple basil.

The jungle of summer. I should do something about it.

My first snail! I couldn't squash him, he's too sweet...I know he'll chew a hole in something, and here he's on a gladiolus leaf (Estorbo got over-excited yesterday evening - I think it was the catnip - and rushed up his scratching post only to discover himself in a cul de sac, between a prickly rose and a wall, panicked, and fell into the gladioli, flattening them)...

The End. Time to plan who's coming to dinner and to find another chicken to debone. Perfect bbq weather.

Quelle horreur. It seems my neighours are moving. People have been tramping up and down all day to look at the apartment. They were perfect neighbours. I never heard them. Before them was the hell of sorority-girl and the voice that could cut glass and fell trees. Pray for me.


  1. Boy do I agree with you on the red/rusty/orange colors! We should probably move to Mars...

  2. Hm, but we need water, too. Although there were rumours of it. Yes, rusty red orange combined with a pool to jump in (as in mountain-) is perfect.

  3. Perhaps your childhood aversion to orange had something to do with the S'African flag as it was then?

  4. OH! Hi Jane: I hadn't thought of that...though when I was (very) little, I remember singing the old national anthem at St Michael's, and coming to end and almost crying with fervour: one sal lewe, ons sal sterwe..that got to me. I believed I would die for my country if I had to. It was a very beautiful anthem. Sung by very different people.

    And here I am. Far, far away.

    But I think you could be right. It's a particularly flat orange on that flag, and it was so bureaucractic; everywhere on everything official.


  5. Glad the weather is improving - a perfect blue day here too! All the pollution has been rained out here in CT so the views are long. Went up Rhodes mem to the fire lookout above - well almost - Mickey dog didn't want to climb the last few cliffy bits. Could see plenty of detail in the Hottentots Holland mnts across the flats.

    Ag sorry - I'm supposed to be commenting on your blog not warbling on about the day here.

  6. Marijke - I like your warbling. I wish you would warble officially on a BLOG! yeah yeah yeah you're busy. OK - just photos, then? You don't have to write. And if you're looking at things you may as well point and click, too. How is your camera, btw??

    Yes, the clarity of the mountains on the horizon - I miss that because they don't have that precise definition in summer, when I'm usually there. One of the best things about UCT was the unadulterated view right across Mitchell's Plain,from our mountain to those; and there have been a couple of times when I nearly crashed a car on that freeway, distracted by the snow on them in early spring. Of course when I did a crash a car on that freeway: brrr. Memories...


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