|Alex's favourite bastard. I like him too, he plays for Germany and Bayern München|
The very nice American lady came to lunch the other day and brought me another fig tree to keep the first company. She looks far too young to retire but she is going to retire anyway because she has a nice barn in Oregon. Since she will shortly, and sadly, be on her way, she was kind enough to unload a bit of the clutter she knew I would like. So along with flower pots, seeds and aphid killer, she brought a ton of potting soil.
'I'd leave it out in the sun for a while or whatever you do with it to kill off any white fly eggs' she advised.
I have been busy growing saplings from seed and have a load of them desperately in need of potting, so haven't time to allow nature to take its course. It's not just aphids that can be a nuisance, ants are a real pain in the arse as well, and when I pulled one soil filled tub from its black plastic bin liner I was overwhelmed with the irate soldiers of a disturbed colony. I am constantly on about keeping the kitchen clean and forever banging on about hygiene in the tropics so Marcia was a little bemused to see me mixing potting soil with water in the laundry bowl, and then transferring the moist sludge, a large family portion at a time, into a cooking pot before placing the pot in the oven on gas mark 3. It is a good way to sterilise soil without roasting it. Just wait until it starts steaming then switch the oven off and let it stew for a while. Kills all known beasties. If Marcia was bemused, her brother and his family (lunching with us today), renewed their respect for Noel Coward's perspicacity while seeking Marcia's assurance that lunch would be prepared on the barbecue.
During the Skype chat I mentioned in my last post, the one during which my brother Micky and I tried to leave the kids to it, the boys either end of the ether compared toys to see whose father was best. I lost. Afterwards, and never one to succumb to sibling rivalry, I told Alex he could choose some things on line. Without hesitation he said he wanted a Bastian Schweinsteiger shirt (he said Bastard Shans-Tiger but I knew who he meant). I was amazed. I know during the World Cup he followed his Daddy's example and rooted for Germany (except when Brazil were playing, which taught him a valuable lesson), but I never realised he not only followed the games closely, he had his favourite player. I couldn't find any bastard shirts on Amazon (technically little Alex is one as he supported Brazil in favour of Germany and I still haven't got round to marrying his mother) so I bought a generic Deutsche Fuβball Bund home kit for him instead, from the boots all the way up to the team baseball cap (the Adidas four star edition, Michael). I have to admit, I admire Alex for recognising that Brazil is no team to support, and choosing to play in DFB kit when all around him are in Benfica, Porto or Brazilian rig. Some of the shop regulars are Brazilian and no doubt had a hand in the lad's treacherous behaviour during the competition; I shall enjoy their reaction, especially if I can train Alex to volley about groin high.
Speaking of Benfica, in England we delicately refer to a lady as having her 'time of the month' (unless you wear shell suits and trainers, in which case you probably say,' She's on the rag'). Her time of the month is licence for a woman to have the time of her life, a three week period every 28 days during which all forms of anti-social behaviour short of homicide (unless the victim is her husband) are excused by law. Here they say the lady is 'with the colours of Benfica'. Well, Marcia hasn't played for Benfica for a few months and it looks as though she'll be on the bench until the bairn is born and off the teat. Given that I am faced with making yet more sacrifices for the issue of my loins, just how nutritious for me do you think mud pies would be?