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April 26, 2010


I'm so excited for you, Beth!

Yay! You were lucky.

Our raison d'etre for moving to Turkey was to make a garden. In the six years we've been here I have almost stopped gardening, but expect to resume at some point, but even though I do so little of the labour in the garden I can't imagine living without looking out on foliage and flowers and now the garden is really starting to produce the latter and for the first time I can cut flowers for the house which is wonderful. Clearly you were meant to get your garden.

So true "over time we'll get to know each other". This is how you make real friends - one at a time, slowly.

The modern (?) "I met her yesterday and now we're friends" model doesn't work for me, either.

A gorgeous tulip.

These are the times I call provenance, when one who needs a bit of dirt gets the dirt. Yes. Those are heavy metals, but you'll get your tomatoes and herbs and all will be well. You talking about gardens on landfills -- or what the architectural/planning community might call "brown fields" -- re-purposed sites that were once mostly industrial -- sets me in mind of essay topics and poetry. Not an unusual response to your blog or gardening.

Sending you virtual "new gloves!"

Beth - I am happy for you. I can't wait to see your garden this summer - I will bring some wine and hang out a bit with you.

Voltaire once said "The superflous, the very necessary thing".

You are right, people are less chattier here (although we must remember we are in a large city which is very heterogeneous in it;s make up) and often it feels as if they cannot be bothered with social niceties. I realise this more and more each time I return to Europe.
I don't think it is about an unspoken code of privacy though because I find people here have no qualms about recounting to practical strangers their whole life in it's most intimate details once they get talking.

Voltaire also said " The secret of being a bore, is to tell everything" but let me not expand on that.

I would rather exchange superflous greetings, silly comments about the weather and have a general chit chat with a stranger than live a life where I do not acknowledge the presence of the other and withdraw into the liberating yet difficult existence of anonymity.

It is always touching to see strangers smiling at each other over a baby in the metro, or two random people in the park greeting each other as their respective dogs go about nature's business. A garden, like a baby or a dog will certainly engender good exchanges and help you root your life further in this place.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.