It turns out she is quite amusing in person. Understated and slightly monosyllabic, which just makes her funnier. Sadly, though, all I could think when I saw her was, "You poor woman - you look exhausted. Go home and spend some time with your family." The girl is tired right out. I suppose she's contractually obligated to do a book tour, but it is a shame she has to trot herself out so often for crowds of enthusiastic strangers who feel they know her really really well.
Here you go - a picture of the sock picture.
My favourite bit of the evening was this fellow who, after the speech was over, stood in this one spot the entire time she was signing books, knitting his sock very stoically. If he hadn't been knitting, I would have thought he was waiting for someone else, such was his demeanour. However, the man's fingers were just flying. I had to take this picture surreptitiously, under the guise of taking candid photos of the group chatting with Shelley. That's Kate's shoulder you see there.
I've been meaning to do a gardening post for some time. I'm spending more and more time outside these days, weeding and edging and planting and trimming. Before I left for my sister's place, I created a new bed in the backyard - a kidney-shaped island bed, as it happens. Last year we had two concrete pads broken up by the excavator that dug the perimeter drain, and the workers left the concrete in the yard rather than removing it. I decided I wanted to recycle it into a rockery, so I used the pretty white chunks of concrete to edge this new bed I put in. I haven't stocked it yet, because it takes me a while to decide on which tree, shrubs, and various perennials I want in that bed. So far it only contains a few blue fecule grasses and a chrysanthemum.
These are the plants I bought for it the other day. I had intended to come home and put them in straightaway, but then I checked the calendar and realized I couldn't because the moon was in the fourth quarter, in Aries. Baaaaaad time to plant. However, next Sunday it's first quarter in Cancer - beautiful. So I'll plant next weekend, and this week is for weeding and edging.
the herb garden
So that brings me to my next topic - lunar gardening. I'm thinking this might be quite a breakthrough for me. I have long been aware that wise women and other sage gardeners have a whole set of guidelines for planting and harvesting according to the sun and moon. I started looking into it last year and have gotten pretty interested in the whole system.
the peony opened while I was away
The premise is, the moon and planets affect water in plants and the soil just as they affect tides. Generally speaking, when the moon is waxing, water is drawn upwards through the soil and is more easily taken up by roots just planted. When the moon is waning, therefore, is a resting time - a good time to pull weeds, transplant, harvest and prune. Most lunar gardening guides focus on vegetable crops, so it may not be as critical to the landscape/flower gardening I do. But it's fun.