Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

It's Gonna Be a Helluva Year

I'm pretty sure this year, 2020, is going to go down as the year I was officially declared insane. I might actually have to buy a straitjacket and wear it before the year ends. How much do you think it will cost for me to turn one of my bedrooms into a padded room?

In the early spring we are heading down to California for a very quick, 2 1/2-day, 3-night, final visit to Disneyland. I say "final" because Nigel, who works for The Walt Disney Company, plans to retire this year, which means the end of inexpensive hotel stays and free park entry. Although I pretty much hate travel, I am looking forward to it, because...Star Wars!

The parks do such a great job with landscaping, and I'm very curious to see what kind of plants they have put in that they think might evoke an alien planet. Nigel was there last fall and texted me photos of the Star Wars area, but that's not quite the same as actually having eyes on it. There were some Grevilleas and Aloes, but one area that Nigel texted me was full of ornamental cabbages. I'm not sure Nigel knew they were cabbages, but he sent me a text that said "Look! Space cabbages!"

Look! Space cabbages!

And then....

In the early summer we're both hopping on a 9-hour trans-Atlantic flight and going to England and Scotland for 2 1/2 weeks of touring. This trip is a BIG DEAL, at least for me. The last time I was in England was at least 15 years ago, to visit Nigel's mum (who has since passed away), and the last time I was in Scotland (where my mum was born) I was in college, too many years ago to count. We plan to start out spending a few days in London, and then we're going to Yorkshire (where Nigel's parents are from) for about a week, followed by a week in Scotland, and finishing up with a few days back in London. I have a long list of gardens and historical places I plan to visit, including Kew, Scampston Hall, and the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens. Nigel spent his teenage and college years in Edinburgh, and he wants to show me his old neighborhood and the public school he attended. Nigel is an "old boy" of George Watson's College, which is what they call a secondary school. It's co-ed nowadays, but I'm pretty sure it was boys-only back in the olden days when Nigel attended.

So yeah. I hate traveling, and this trip is to another continent. On the other hand, I'm also excited to be seeing many great English and Scottish gardens, not to mention historical sites like the Tower of London and the Roman wall around York. We do not plan to rent a car. Nigel's eyesight is not good enough for driving, and I don't dare to even attempt driving on the other side of the road. Once we arrive, we plan to travel solely by railroad, London Underground, and on foot, which they say is better for the environment. (We'll just ignore that long-ass plane trip...)

Speaking of travel and being anxious -- I did something else just before Christmas that makes me wonder if I completely took leave of my senses. I volunteered to be part of a committee that will be hosting the Garden Bloggers Fling in the Puget Sound area in 2021. The other members of the hosting committee are Debbie Teashon, who writes the website, Peter Herpst, who used to blog at Outlaw Gardener, and gardener Camille Paulsen, who is the business membership director with the Northwest Perennial Alliance. I'll be returning from England the day this year's Fling starts in Madison, WI, so I won't be going. Guess what? None of the other members of our team will be going either! I'm sure we have a lot of hard graft and sleepless nights ahead of us. Our plan is to share many of the gardens that were in my post All The Other Things Part I, as well as loads of others.

All of that means the real hard work on the Fling will probably start as soon as I get back from my trip to England. But of course, once Nigel retires at the end of the year, he can help me out. I can hear him now negotiating with bus companies.

The malaise that sets in at the end of every gardening season hasn't lifted as much as it usually does. Normally by January I'm back outside cutting back last year's spent perennials and working on making changes to the garden, but so far I still feel kind of blah. I didn't make any New Year's goals at the turn of the year. To be honest, before Christmas I was considering giving up blogging.

However, I have always wanted to be a writer, since I was very young. At one point I wanted to be a creative writer, and write science fiction, or mysteries. The blog does fulfill my need to write. So I guess I'll keep at it a while longer.

I'm also not getting any younger. My birthday always comes at the end of the year, so by the end of 2020 I'll be another year into my 60s, and creeping decrepitude.

That sucks.