I have a little bit of lawn and a little bit of garden, such that I can plant herbs1 and then come back from work and discover that the lawn and the herbs have all gone to seed, plus that the lawn-garden interface has lost any kind of delineation. I'd been toying a while with the idea of enforcing some kind of separation of chervil and sod: dig a moat, put up a fence, deadly slugs2, that sort of thing, and had even gone so far as to stop off at a closed garden store to look through the car window at a display of different kinds of bricks available for purchase as garden edging.
While I was in Cambodia I was inspired by the local creativity in making handbags out of out of old feed sacks, crafts from broken motorcycle seats, homes and even fishing trawlers out of what would be landfill in Canada. I decided that I would reduce what I bought and edge my garden in some cleverly crafted reused item, maybe jars or tin cans from the recycling bin.3 I met a friend for lunch and enthusiastically explained this plan. Before I could get into my musings on the aesthetic possibilities of empty pickle jars, she pointed out that there was a pile of interlocking bricks in the alley behind her house, and she'd be grateful if they went away. Well, that would work too. Work better, in fact.
Her bricks turned out to be exactly the sort I had tagged as my favourite at the garden store, so I dug them out of the snowbank beside her garage and hauled them home. When the angle of the sun on the planet cranked around enough that it was possible to work in the garden, I hacked into the grassroot-matted mess around the perennials, dug a brick-sized trench, and filled it in with a line of bricks. It immediately looked better. The only problem, which I discussed with my neighbour while carefully avoiding having my fingers crushed by her two-year-old's enthusiastic assistance with the brick laying, was that I had not quite enough bricks. "Oh you'll find some more somewhere," my neighbour assured me, after attempting to explain to said two-year-old the difference between passing someone a brick and throwing it at her.
I finished up with what I had and drove off to the cow guy's4 farm to get a hundred kilograms of frozen cow bits. Parked in the farmyard I noticed a pile of bricks bigger than my car. Some of the bricks were just like the ones I had run out of. "What are the bricks for?" I asked. They were for an abandoned project, and were unneeded. With the meat, there was just enough room left in the back of the car for ten bricks.
And then when I got home from delivering the meat there was an e-mail inviting me to groundschool for one of the jobs I had applied for. It's not a job offer, but it will get me off the couch, allow me to meet some other pilots, learn about a new airplane, and I hope will lead to a job offer. I think I will go.1. Being that I'm Canadian, I'd better specify that I'm talking about the culinary rather that the 'medicinal' variety.
2. Being that I'm Canadian, I shouldn't have to specify that I'm talking about the gastropod, not the lead kind.
3. Having travelled to places that don't routinely recycle even office paper or aluminum beverage cans, I should explain that in many places in Canada there is curbside pickup or drop-off depots for many recyclable items: glass, plastics, metal, compost, paper, so recycling is mainstream, not a wacky hippie pursuit.
4. I'm in a sort of mini co-op where we bulk buy farmgate meat, and I volunteered to drive this time.