Monday, April 12, 2010

Shipwreck Syndrome

I feel like a castaway madly tidying his island hideaway as he waits for the rising tide to lift the ship of mail order brides recently grounded on the reef too far out to reach.

Sally arrives at the end of the week and ...

Rather than neatly sorting coconuts and shells into tidy piles, and raking the beach and sweeping out my hut, I’ve spent the last month arranging stones and scrap wood and other construction detritus and sweeping the cement dust out of our new garage. I’m pruning the trees in a widening gyre around the house. I’m fencing the garden against porcupines and badgers. I am putting like things with like things, making bigger neater piles from the many messy mounds around the property. I’m painting the bedroom. I’m building a rustic table of scrap wood for the many meals we will eat out of doors. I’m picking bits of plastic and wire and metal and glass from the soil around the worksite. I’m building stone retainer walls and dumping wheelbarrows of earth behind them from the mounds and piles that need to be flattened. I’m raking and shoveling and hoeing and flattening all the terrain left rumpled by the Brandinis and the plumbers and electricians. I’m scything the weeds that have grown a foot and a half since I got here. I’m burning prunings and rubbish.

Yesterday, I washed the dishes and my laundry.

Today I install a bathroom mirror.

On reflection, this isn't exactly what I came all the way to Tuscany to do.

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