The other day over dinner my friend J said: “The more time I spend in hotel rooms, the less I want to have to take care of at home.” She travels for work all the time – spending a month at a time in hotels rooms – in different parts of SA or the US or Australia or NZ. I could understand what she was saying … hotel rooms are a haven. There is little maintenance, no garden to worry about. No plumbing, leaky roof, geyser, electric fences or armed response to maintain (well, in SA, anyway). It’s all done for you.
My apartment in NY was like that. There was a concierge who took care of pretty much everything from a broken bulb to the cable being out to receiving my (over-priced) delivery from Wholefoods. All I ever had to do was call down. And then – at the end of the year – present the head concierge with an envelope filled with $100 bills. To thank the team for their ‘above and beyond’.
It so was easy. I didn’t have to get involved. It was what I wanted.
Here’s what I want a decade later:
I want the piece of land next to my house in McG.
I want to prune back each of the 100 fruit and nut trees in the orchard and get them healthy again.
Get them full of fruit that I can pickle and jam and shrub.
I want to clean out the lei-water dam and fill it with fresh water for those trees.
And maybe an interesting fish or two.
I want to plant a garden of all sorts and wonderful stuff at the long end.
Where exotic looking chickens will wander and deposit their exotic eggs here and there.
Kept safe from the raptors by a screen of green netting. I want disappointed raptors.
I want a duck or two making hissy runs at Jack when he gets too close.
I want to invigorate the bee hives, and get them all buzzed about making honey from the healthy trees.
Which we will pot and flavour with herbs from the patch.
I want a pizza oven for heaped-platter-family-style lunches preceded with slow-cocktails made with orchard fruit.
Or even a home-made wine or two. Why not?
And lastly, I want solar heating for my pool so we can drift around afterwards on fat, floaty toys. Our fingers in the water.
And yes, I am ok with the work it will entail.
Who would have thunk? Somewhere, somehow, somewhy along the way: what I want changed. And I am alright with it.
(Title with apologies to The Spice Girls – and thanks.)