Monday, 12 May 2008


Today Leo woke me at 7.30 with a loud thud. He has finally discovered how to clamber out of his cot, signalling then end of many long lie-ins while he happily talked to his toys. Before nursery and the doctors, we read Leo and the Wallpaper Jungle, his new book by Rachel Pank about a little blonde boy called Leo who has a jungle themed bedroom. Uncanny!

One of my favourite things about having my own place turns out to be gardening. I had never even considered growing before. I hope my seeds, compost and plug plants aren't responsible for Leo's terrible sniffles (turns out he may or may not have asthma, we'll see after a week of antibiotics).

In between unsuccessfully selling holidays for a living (who needs the Med when it's 20-something degrees here?), I gardened. I don't know if my outside space constitutes a garden, being a small rectangle of concrete but nevertheless, it is my garden, or our garden anyway. I have got visions of turning it into a Greek paradise, all whitewashed walls and bright blue doors. I have got an olive tree but everything else about it is very Coronation Street. When I've got Leo, he comes outside with lots of perishable items and scatters them all over the yard. It ruins the Mediterranean Terrace look I am going for.
I went shopping at Aldi, where carrier bags cost money. I bought a planter for Leo's sunflower and carried my groceries home in it. I tried to re-pot Leo's sunflower but there was a funny sound when I clipped the stem to a bamboo stick and I think I have killed it. I feel really sad because he got it in a tiny yogurt pot and I have nurtured it beautifully thus far. I wanted him to have the tallest sunflower in nursery! Suddenly, I seem to be experiencing motherly pride! I don't know what I find so satisfying about the fact that my coriander has germinated or that my peace lily has had babies.
My peace lily has had babiees though! Amy bought it me when I was in hospital after having Leo. Mothers Day was shortly after Leo's birth, so it has a tag on it saying 'Thanks Mum'. When I re-potted it a few weeks ago, I found that one had become five. Amy was back from Mexico, tanned and engaged, so Leo and I went round to see her and had the perfect engagement present in the form of the Lily's offspring. In return, we received maracas, a miniature sombrero and a Frida Kahlo jigsaw.
There are lots of events on at Urbis at the moment as part of the urban gardening season and I might take Leo to the toddlers gardening session at Hulme Garden Centre on Thursday morning, if he can take all that pollen, bless him.

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