I hate being looked ‘up and down’ (being judged by appearance)

by | Jul 6, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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Slept reasonably well. If I am breathless I normally get up and sleep on the sofa in the living room. I may or may not watch a little bit of TV before dozing off. This morning I made some porridge with the aforementioned raspberries. I found that this fruit has a remarkable and instant effect on any acidic problems I have in my stomach.

Shortly after 9 am the phone rang (normally not a good sign). The caller was a woman who wanted help with her garden. She said ‘are you the person that advertises cutting hedges?’ and I confirmed that I was. She told me that her husband was coming to the end of his useful life as a garden tenderer but did not want to admit that he had to face the idea of stopping. They live in a hilly area in Chilcompton which I know quite well.

For me cutting hedges and hill sides do not go together with ladders so the first red flag was safety. I did not want to become piggy in the middle. That was the second red flag. I told her these things but agreed to come round nevertheless if only to give advice.

We turned up ‘between two and four pm’ which is the time when her husband plays his daily round of golf. I noticed that she said the same thing many times explaining that she could no longer see her husband doing such work when he had two rest frequently. That was a friend, a neighbour, who did not say much but gave me an old-fashioned up and down look. We also call it ‘sizing up’. I found it distinctly off putting.

 If someone looks you up and down, they direct their eyes from your head to your feet, in a rude and superior way and often as though they disapprove ofyou. The students looked me up and down as though I were a Martian.

I felt that I had certainly not passed the appearance test but did not say anything. In retrospect I wish I could have spoken to her. Probably better I didn’t.

One of the rules of accepting or declining a gardening job and probably many other types of job is to look at the most difficult parts first. If you cannot do them then you do not take the job at all. I told her that the key words were slopes, danger, margin of safety, regularity needed. I told her she needed someone a step up from a single person with an assistant and I recommended Primrose who are the local gardening company. They have a little bit more muscle power than myself.

I gave her some advice to deal with her husband. Do not imply that he’s incapable but say that we need to make plans for the future when you do not have sufficient capacity to perform hedge cutting actions in safety. I made a joke out of the whole thing saying ‘sit down outside giving him a gin and tonic and then talk with him’. From her continued repetition it was clear that she was not used to being listened to so I took that into account as well.

I have this rule with gardening jobs, if it doesn’t start out right then it will not go on right and you’re better backing out before making promises you cannot keep.

We then decided to make a little outing of it and went on to Rocky Mountain to have some coffee at the adjoining cafe  and have a look around. There is a local market in the grounds of Rocky Mountain  Nursery on Thursdays and Saturdays and Francoise bought some beetroot and some celeriac. They were selling trays of peaches for seven pounds and indeed trays of tomatoes for the same amount but I didn’t feel we could do Justice to them in the time before they went off.

I was tempted to have a latte. I should not really have had such a coffee but I took it in sips and it was quite pleasant. I suffered a little from the milk. I must remember to ask for non dairy milk. Listening to my stomach to see what it wants or does not want is still a very difficult exercise but I feel I’m getting more disciplined these days so I am quite encouraged.

Home to write this diary and to do a catch up on that more entries about covid especially technical articles on graphene, virus shedding etc. Occasionally I do wonder if I am wasting my time doing all this work which has consumed an average of three hours a day seven days a week for the last three years but in a way I enjoy it because it is a way of being in touch with some of the best minds in the scientific and medical world. Of course I do not actually meet them but with quantum entanglement there is contact of a meaningful type.

I have recently joined the bio dynamic Society which specializes in helping people to work with nature in their planting and also in their attitudes. This evening was the first ZOOM meeting.

So into the world of practical biodynamic gardening where everything is linked energy-wise to everything else and in order to get our crops to grow we have to understand the conditions of their growth. If  seed has been sown in one set of conditions and it’s transferred to another set of climatic and soil conditions it will take time to learn about its new environment before it can grow. Plants require different things at different times of their life. It is important to relate our growing cycle to the phase of the moon.

I commented that eating raspberries resulted in an immediate improvement in my digestive system and I realized that each plant has its most powerful time and if we can figure out a whole procession of auspicious times to eat plants and indeed flowers we should be able to sustain ourselves throughout the year. I referred to my love of eating garlic and nasturtiums.

This is a new world for me and I welcome it.


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