>city life

>baki and i are in istanbul for his birthday this week, and it has been a whirlwind so far. baki has a large fan base to connect with, and has even received long distance calls from admirers wanting to catch up with him! for my part, i have discovered that i am now less adept at filtering out background noise. if i am in a place with background music and lots of other ambient noise, i can’t really focus on whoever i am talking to. the house is warm all the time, even at night as we sleep, which both baki and i find odd, since our house gets cool at night, and we kick off the blankets at night and when baki awakes at 630 to announce that “the moon is down, the sun is up!” we find the covers cowering at the foot of the bed.
the most exciting thing about being in the city is, for me, talking. i love having people to talk to, and i think this makes me a bit of a chatterbox. on our first night here, a friend joined me at maya’s restaurant, and i think i talked more or less non stop for an hour. must have been pretty frightening.
by a happy coincidence, we were in town at the same time as a long lost wilde, the daughter of my father’s cousin, if i am not getting my family tree mixed up. my dad’s extended family keeps, well, extending. annette and her family — husband kalvin and sons aidan and sebastian, live in toronto. it was really fun to meet them, and we had a great evening together yesterday.
meanwhile, for the past few weeks i have had burning hot hands. so much so that they buzz. it’s weird. i wonder what that is all about?

>equinox

>Happy equinox! It occurs to me that as I was growing up in Nairobi, just shy of the equator, we lived in perpetual equinox — sun up at 630, sun down at 630. Going to NY in the summer, where the sun was up until 9, it seemed bizarre, almost miraculous, to have such long days.
In the greenhouse, the seedlings are maturing. We have hundreds of little black bags with young plants in them. Our corn, bean, and sweetpea seedlings were being decimated for a few weeks, and we finally found the culprit — a small, green grasshoppery bug that is soft and satisfying to squish between my finger and thumb. two vegetable beds are fully inhabited by lettuce and brassicas. i like mel bartholomew’s square foot gardening method, although it is slightly at odds with my desire to avoid straight lines in the garden. i guess i like the neat and tidy appearance of the grid, and it makes it easy to figure out plant spacing. plus, i like planting things in little clusters rather than in rows. rows don’t really agree with me.
baki and i will head up to istanbul for a week for his birthday. we blast off next tuesday, so i am trying to get as much transplanting done as i can before we go. that way, when we come back, we can see how things have adjusted. last year, everything was pretty much devoured before it could get too big — big grasshoppers did that. this year, we are using shade netting to protect the seedlings. when i tried it last fall, the seedlings matured with more or less no incident and then we removed the netting. we may keep it on this spring, since it is going to get pretty hot soon. we’ll see. we are still in the trial and error days, although having said that i cannot imagine them ever being over. i guess that is the beauty of being here. mess up, do it again a little differently, repeat as necessary.

>A day’s work

>We went down to Sundance camp the other night, and on our return, wishing to avoid the debacle of the last time we had come home at night, we decided to take the lower road because it is a better road and we were afraid of getting stuck again. Well, it was dark and long story short we got ourselves into a muddy rut that we could not get out of. We went back the next day and no dice. The day after that, a friend came over and he couldn’t get us out either. Well, this morning, we somehow made it out and hightailed it back up to our own gate. No place like home indeed!

On another, unrelated note, Baki loves his spaghetti wheels about as much as he loves his paint box

But he is also into poster paints, and everyone is invited. It looks pretty messy, and it is:

While Baki washed his cars, I hung his painting out to dry: