Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Madman is Gone

 I’m Back! The Madman is sleeping. I took his posts down. They contained too much, too personal information for a blog. I’m a wiser man and back to diarizing trivialities.

I’m a Gordon. That’s definite. I got another warm and welcoming email from Brenda. I’m relieved and very happy to be half a Gordon and to be half Scottish. It’s a deliciously rich culture. But it doesn’t change my concept of myself as primarily a French Canadian. I’m profoundly proud of my mother’s heritage. I took her name and Quebec into my heart and soul. And most importantly, I always “knew” that I was French. I knew it. I knew it.

Her Highness and I and our friends walked together yesterday morning, and then we went to the village to shop. The phone rang and it was the nursery telling me that my soil was on its way. I had it dumped onto my front lawn and spent three hours spreading it over the area I’ll re-seed. It was super tiring! Today, I’ll seed it, fertilize it and then rake it so that the birds don’t eat all the seeds.

Tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain, and then sun is set to return for a few days starting on Monday. All this is perfect for the lawn. This is the second seeding of my front lawn. I first did it three years ago. Roughly a third of it just slowly died. My work today will finish the repair. I’m seeding it with a particularly hardy species of grass. The back lawn is fine—so far. I’m going to fertilize it later this year. 

With each passing day, I love this place more. Being home-bound this past year got me painting the entire interior except the guest rooms. (Because who cares about guests, right?) That and the lawn repair and all the work I do around here increases the bond. Pinecone Park is looking fine!

I’ve been enjoying a program on Prime called Restoration Home. It’s about private people and their restoration of high-grade “listed” relics that they make their homes. (“Listed” properties form the register of culturally significant architecture; they are subject to strict rules of restoration—about products, colours construction techniques, etc.)

The majority of people restoring listed homes are rich and they hire experts to do the work, but the episodes that move and enthrall me are the ones wherein passionate people with no money give their all to restore a building. I cry over the talents, commitment and passion of the two men I’m thinking about as I write this: They are Paul Baxter who single-handedly restores St. Thomas à Becket Church in Pensford, Somerset, and Alun Lewis who, again single-handedly, restores Big House in Pembrokeshire. Both men are to-doe-for talented and charming—especially Alun who never stops working, smiling and laughing. They are men who can do anything: design, plumb, glaze, join, and carve and all the administration of forms too. I love the show.

Today is brilliant and sunny. After we walk, I’ll so the seeding and fertilizing of the lawn and then I’ll be chopping wood to build up a supply of kindling and started pieces for the coming week.

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