Friday, May 27, 2016

A charm to ward off lightning.

My white paintbrush lilies are blooming for the first time.
The flowers have a delicate, powdery scent.

I brought the bulbs back from Natal two years ago, carefully wrapped up in a piece of African fabric in my suitcase. They had clumps of red earth clinging to their roots and were given to me by a German woman I met in a shop in the Midlands.

She had baskets full of them hanging from trees in the driveway leading up to her house. She took me to places on the seamier side of town. She knew some Zulu and shouted good-naturedly at the women who tried to sell us things for more than they were worth.
HAIBO! she would shout, and everyone would laugh.

It's not always an easy thing, working so far away from home. But I often think of my time in Natal, the people I met there and how things seemed to happen in such fortuitous ways.

The Props Master told me that it was important to find a place in town that no-one else knew about. A place to think. Tell no-one, she said. After a few days, I stumbled upon a lovely old house in Boomstraat (Tree Street). There was a small antique shop, a restaurant, a room full of books and a topiary garden. Every day the statue of Mary at the bottom of the garden was adorned with fresh flowers.

The chef was very good.

Back home the time has come to harvest some turmeric root. Snow peas and broad beans are poking determined green heads through black soil. Aloes are bursting their seams. 

A pot of Osso Bucco is simmering slowly on the stove.
It's almost time to light a fire.


dinahmow said...

You take me to some magical places.Thank you

the sourcerer said...


Marie said...

Before I read what it was I thought the turmeric was plate of chocolate and orange confectionary by the good chef.

Excellent crop.

I planted some sprouting ginger, in the hopes that...not sure that it will have enough time. We'll see.