Don’t cry, panic, scream or holler Yes, I said don’t holler (for all the yanks in the audience). There is no need to panic, no need to cry, absolutely no need to make a scene. It’s September. The summer is officially over. It was amazing, wasn’t it? The weather was absolutely beautiful, nobody moaned about not having any money, the festivals were not muddy at all. We won the lotto. Ghandi came back to life, blah, blah, blah. No. So it rained all summer, and now that summer is over it’s going to rain all winter. As I said, don’t panic. The arrival of autumn (we all know its winter) is good news. Now when it’s sh*t weather outside…it’s supposed to be! So the world will be at one with itself. Hurrah! Christmas is on the way, Hurrah! Now that it’s getting dark early we don’t have to look at the ugly people out on the street when we arrive home from work, Hurrah! You see? It’s not all that bad. The correct weather, a fat jolly man in a suit, and no ugly people after work. F*CK YOU, SUMMER! HURRAH!
This afternoon, the above paragraph caught my eye while I was thumbing through the current issue of PHONiC and waiting for Marian’s cheeseburger at Bobo’s on Camden Street. As usual, the rain was maniacally and triumphantly soaking everything and everyone; my ever-so-stylish “Virginia Is For Lovers” hoodie clung rather unbecomingly to my arms and head, and my shoes and socks were sopping wet. (Like a true Dubliner, I have long ago forsaken umbrellas. Umbrellas are large and cumbersome, plus you’d need to have one surgically attached to your arm - just slip on a pair of tracksuit bottoms, a hoodie, and light up a John Player Blue fer Chrissakes! Extra points for superfluous gold teeth and/or jewelry.)
I brought the magazine home and clipped out the paragraph. The little rectangle is now taped to my kitchen cupboard, alongside an older magazine clipping that says simply, “Keep Calm”. September isn’t so bad. For me, fall is the season of new beginnings; even as an adult I still get that “Back to School” buzz. I was one of those nerdy kids who loved stocking up on new pencils and crisp, empty notebooks. Fall is a time both of preparation and reinvention. And I am especially excited this September, as the Green Zebra tomatoes I’ve been nurturing since February are now ready to eat, Hurrah!
In reality, they are not exactly MY tomatoes. In fact, they are the property of my dear friend Kevin, and his son Aiden. However, due to two separate stints of house-sitting during which time I was responsible for the watering of the greenhouse occupants, I now consider myself an integral player in their development. No, seriously.
F and I eat dinner with Kev and Aiden at least twice a week, and I have eagerly (and admittedly, somewhat jealously) watched the inhabitants of Kev’s patio greenhouse grow and thrive. It is a well-known fact that although I harbor a serious interest in growing plants and vegetables, when it comes to greenery I am an unwilling homicidal maniac. Kev, although extremely modest, is a bit of a gardening whiz, and not only managed to construct a greenhouse on the deck of his Dublin apartment – he has successfully raised peas, gooseberries, onions, peppers, and now, tomatoes. For some reason, it is primarily the tomato plants that have stolen my heart and piqued my interest. I'll allow Kev full credit for the other plants, but those little green globes are mine: the direct result of two weeks’ attention and a plastic watering can.
This afternoon, Kev mentioned that he thought some of the first tomatoes might be ready to eat. I squeezed one of the green, plump orbs and it yielded, invitingly. So with much pomp and ceremony, I plucked it off the vine and brought it into the kitchen. We shared it between us, cut into five tiny crescents. It was gorgeous. I can’t wait until the rest of the little guys are ripe for pickin’ (with Kev’s blessing, of course) - beautiful little emerald spheres will decorate my every salad, bruschetta, pasta, and salsa. (Hurrah!)
God love the Irish autumn.