Wednesday, May 27, 2009


As May draws to a close, most of the vegetable, fruit and herb planting has been done, except for those seedlings destined for the raised bed which has yet to be built. More about that shortly. Yesterday was a day to take stock, and to think about “what else” needed to be bought for the summer. I decided to go in search of purple basil.

A chance to visit Liberty Farm in Sagaponack, where Jeff White has created a successful nursery over many years, and ask Melanie about the basil. Now Melanie is a remarkable woman of indeterminate age, and a leading authority on herbs and tomatoes. Sadly she had no purple basil, but the conversation turned to other things. The exasperating weather, for one, and then my planned building project, which has proved equally frustrating. I told her the story of how, last week, I ordered the lumber for delivery, and waited patiently for it to arrive. Very patiently, for it was a holiday weekend. No sight or sound of it. Yesterday morning I picked up the phone and gently complained, and the apologies the other end were profuse. The wood had been delivered to the wrong address, and would be brought round immediately. The truck did arrive, but on it was the completely wrong order. Back to square one!

Melanie’s reaction was hilariously astonishing. She looked me in the eye, and with a poker face said, “Tim, nil carborundum illegitimi!” (*)

(* Don’t let the bastards grind you down!)

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