After visiting the fruit tree nursery, Leuthardt's, on the South Fork of Long Island this year - a couple of times, to look at and pick up espaliered apples and pears - and seeing some gorgeous currants trained as little trees, I determined that the New Dawn was for the chop. I wanted a currant in its pot. But I couldn't do it. It has arms about ten feet long and in the spring is gorgeous. But that's it. I don't get a good repeat and I am all about repeating.
I had my hair cut quite short on Friday and the back of my neck feels every little winter draft that sneaks into the apartment. Izumi thinned and thinned it with her clever scissors, so now I have summer hair in winter.
The fig is not wrapped. I wrapped it last year and this year I have put it under the giant copper bowl of my braaivleis place aka BBQ. This terrace is very protected, with its back to the west, and I think that should do it. I wonder where it will end up, the fig. Maybe even in the ground. Though it is such a pretty shape for a pot. One more rose party on this terrace and then perhaps it will be time to leave and find a new place for a garden. And one part of it will have to be 66 square feet. Or else.
The Abraham Darby is not admitting that the show is over. We will see. It will be a bitter night. Last year this time I had a vase of Icebergs in the apartment. Different winter.
The Japanese ribbon grass has turned from yellow to straw, reminding me of Antjie Krog's red grass ("I adore Themeda triandra the way other people adore God"), a grass I have not seen or felt since childhood in the Free State. I wonder what we will see in the Namib...that is where Vince and I are headed in January.
I have never seen the desert. It has the highest and oldest sand dunes in the world. It is the rainy season, if it rains at all, so there may be real African grass. Most people go in the winter and spring. This is high summer and how hot...I have no idea how it will feel.
The colours over New York now are silver and sepia and crystalline blue and pink. I watched The Winter Guest the other day, a beautiful film if you like this restricted colour palette.
I like winter in New York. Perhaps because I only ever experience the beginning of it, and then the end. The fir trees coming out onto the sidewalks, their balsam scent. The lit shop windows and the houses become intimate with the dark streets. The warm bars of light on the bluestone sidewalks as you walk past on your way home. The feeling that you are living in a season from stories.The first days of change in Cape Town are always strong. The whole kitchen - the size of my Brooklyn apartment - smelling like passion fruit, which are usually heaped in a bowl on the oak table by my mom who knows how much I love them. The jasmine scent on the patio throughout breakfast or supper if it is a still night where candles do not flicker. The southern constellations.
But for now there is a little more time to go. The wind rattles over this roof and sirens pass on their missions down Henry Street. The cat is asleep nose to tail on an old cashmere sweater eaten neatly by a moth, one hole. The week ahead is full of measurements and weight calculations and the securing of six foot beech hedges now growing in the snow in Buffalo for a rooftop garden whose bones may have to go in while I am away.
And then there is my husband, the tall man with the green eyes and priceless smile, who will walk through this door with bags in tow, ready to fly another 8,000 miles to another hemisphere and season.