Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Did on My Weekend...

If there are a few typos in this post, then I'll apologise. I've got some minor typing issues at the moment, mainly to do with the fact that my left thumb is currently encased in an enormous bandage.

If you follow me on Twitter, and if you were following along last friday night, then you'll already know the sad saga of my evening. But, for those of you who weren't* here's the abbreviated version:

Friday night, Min and I planned to do a chinese steamboat dinner - yum. We had scallops, pork, beef and chicken all marinading, along with yummy enoki mushrooms, cloud ear fungus*, and a simmering stock of chicken infused with szechuan peppers and soy and tsing zao.

Oh, yeah, and cabbage. That Chinese cabbage called Wombok.

And it was the cabbage that brought me unstuck. I was cutting it up in to managable pieces when I managed to almost slice the top off my left thumb. It was a lovely cut - an almost perfect circle, with just a tiny little hinge holding my fingertip onto the rest of my finger.

And there was some bleeding, too.

"Hmm... ouch." I said, very calmly.***

Then, with Toby asleep in bed, we called my brother in Law - the awesome Joe - who drove all the way across Canberra on a friday night, picked me up and took me to the emergency room at Calvary hospital, where I had the following conversation with the Triage nurse.

Me: Hi. I've managed to slice open the tip of my finger.
TN: How.
Me: With a kitchen knife, while making dinner.
TN: What were you cutting up?
Me: Uhm... Cabbage.
TN: (slightly incredulous) Cabbage?
Me: Yeah.
TN: Is your tetanus shot up to date?****
Me: Yes.
TN: Okay. Well, sit down and wait over there. But I should warn you that there are people in the waiting room who've been there since three this afternoon*****, so you're looking at a minimum 5 hour wait. Probably closer to 6 or 7.
Me: You're kidding?
TN: *Shrugs*

So at that point, and resisting the urge to point out that it would have been quicker to drive to Sydney and get it looked at there, I left, choosing home surgery as a more viable alternative. Luckily, while stopping at a late night chemist on the way home to pick up supplies, the nice pharmacist suggest I go to the medical centre down the road and just three minutes from the emergency room of the hospital which is open every night until ten. I went there. I didn't have to wait. I got the top stitched back onto my thumb. I find myself questioning why TN didn't just send me right there in the first place, but I guess she had her reasons.

Then Joe drove me home. It was 10.30. Min had put the steamboat stuff back in the fridge and ordered a pizza.

Saturday morning here was one of those gorgeous spring days, which in Canberra are particularly lovely; cool, damp, sunny. You can taste the season in the air. We'd planned to get to work at taming our feral garden, and weren't about to let the fact that I had a thumb encased in bandages stop us. Saturday morning saw the three of us outside in our wellies, weeding, digging, planting.

One of the first things we did when we bought our Canberra house was to build two big garden beds and fill them up with good soil. And for first couple of years that we lived here, our garden beds were the envy of the suburb: silverbeet, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, garlic, spring onions, basil, coriander, rosemary, sage and, of course, tomatoes. Lots and lots of heirloom tomatoes. Black Russians, Green Zebras, Golden cherries, Romas, Black Krims, and others I can't quite remember. At one point, we had about seven different species of tomato in our gardens. Right through summer we ate them with everything: a thick sliced Black Russian, on toast, with a liberal sprinkling of salt for breakfast on a summer morning is just delightful. As summer wore on, we got ourselves a preserving kit and started bottling and during the winter months, when all outside was dark, cold and dead, we had the pleasure of opening our own jars - filled with garden tomato, basil leaves and a dash of balsamic vinegar - every time we needed them.

Then, a couple of years ago, things changed. Toby came along and, for some reason, last year's gardening was less than successful.

Now, though, he's old enough to toddle around out there too, and to 'help'. Occasionally he even pulls out weeds, and not plants.

So Saturday morning was great; the three of us out in the sun, under our flowering plum tree, with the dog, getting in seedlings and pulling out all the winter-dead plants and prepping the soil for the upcoming growing season. With the wet winter now behind us, it promises to be a really good season, and we're going to make the most of it. Right now our broad beans are flowering profusely, promising a nice crop before a lot longer (one of the things I love about early summer is the broad bean harvest; such an earthy, springy taste, and they grow through winter. And they're good for the soil, too...) Our third generation parsley plant is going nuts, and our oregano and sage have come back to life. We also have a cos lettuce growing out the side of one of the garden beds, where it self-seeded last year.

The garden has become one of the big pleasures of our lives (Oh god, I've become my parents!) and last weekend it was just fantastic introducing Toby to it, too.

Anyway, I should get on with my day, and stop bothering you all.




*ie: anyone who thinks that life deserves more than 140 characters
** Black. Looks like a cloud crossed with an ear. Texture a bit like seaweed. Min loves it
*** Or words to that effect.
**** I didn't know you could get tetanus from cabbage, either.
***** At that point, it was 8.30

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