Two ambitions

I’ve achieved two ambitions this week. Firstly I’ve finally met someone with a surname for a first name. All the Bradfords, Taylors, Mitchells and Hamiltons seem to pass me by….colleagues with friends, but never with me. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. No longer, for this week I have met Trent. Not only that, he’s working here a day a week (more of this later). Sadly he doesn’t hold the perfect hand as far as names go – to gain that honourable distinction he’d need the first name as a surname too…eg Trent John, Trent Bruce etc, but it’s plenty good enough. Perhaps he’s gay and will marry someone suitably monikered. Barry John, Craig David or David James maybe. No, of course…George Michael.

The second ambition was one I didn’t even know I had. On Trent’s first day working here, while he got stuck into tidying up the vines, I pulled the nettles growing up around the pecans. The pecans are the only thing I’ve planted in any number that have all survived (well, all apart from the one i mowed over). Apples, olives, quince, peaches, whichever, one or two always have something better to do than live up to their catalogue description – it’s what happens if you plant 40 or so, you’ll lose a few. Not with the pecans though. They’re all there, where I left them.

Pecans aren’t for the impatient. For a couple of years they sit there apparently doing little, yet below the ice they’re busy throwing down a fat taproot. Once it’s happy that the root has crossed a certain invisible threshold you’ll start to get the reassurance of above-ground action. This is the year of reassurance. Pulling nettles around the trunks at the end of a long hot day, I lazied into a knealing technique, ludicrously damaging for my otherwise beautifully aligned chakra. Everything went dark. Was I going blind? Had my rogue eyebrow hairs formed a cloth in front of my eyes? No, I was in the shade of a pecan tree. I’ve just realised that I maybe the only person to have said that on English soil. Just in case: I was in the shade of a pecan tree, humming a Tim Buckley song.

OK, I couldn’t have stood up and been in the shade of the pecan tree, but there’s no debating: between me and our rather marvelous sun were leaves, and many of them, and they were keeping me cool. And they’re rather beautiful leaves at that – double-edged saws, curved like Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes.

The thought comes into my head that they’re good enough to grow just to look at, followed quickly by the thought that that is exactly how most people choose what to grow.

  • Great post. My son knows a Finton Green which makes me think of train stations for some reason.

  • what a fine name! i'd be googling for a place called Finton Green and have to move there if i was called Finton Green.

  • I vaguely remember some author sayig that he got his characters' names by looking at an appropriately scaled map of England and seeing good village names,


  • There's a village in Lincolnshire called Mavis Enderby. I love the fact that nestling in the Wolds is a place which could be a lead character in Coronation Street.

    BTW, great post

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