Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sunday Scribblings. "Books of Influence."

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is to write about books that have influenced you and changed your life.
I guess there have been many many books that I have loved and read in my life time. I am no academic type person and while I was thinking about the prompt today I thought about the books I do have, Hoarded up downstairs in my rumpus room. A mixed collection of reference, and fiction, like flotsam and jetsam from my life. There are boxes of them and last time we moved house I culled and passed many books on. Books that I had read and had sentimental value to me. How many books did I want to drag around from place to place with me after all. Some of them I just couldn't...just couldn't ever get rid of.
You know those special ones. Like "Where is Baby" my daughters favorite book as a toddler, and "Little Bear" my second son's favorite or 'Wombat Stew" read rhyming to my own rhythm. Or "Boy with a Drum" my eldest son's treasured favorite when he was a toddler. So many precious memories tied up in those books. Who knows, one day if I am lucky I may get to read my grandchildren their Mum or Dad's favorite children's story and watch with excitement for a similar reaction that my own children had to those stories. I used to laugh when they corrected me for swapping the words around to test them. Stories they knew off by heart long before they could read the words.

The book that came to mind for me was a book I went searching for in the room downstairs this afternoon. I have put a picture of it above. It is my Mum's old gardening book. When I was a child I can remember it well. I used to love to thumb through its pages and pictures. Long before I was able to read and understand its words. I looked inside the cover and it was printed in 1966. So I was 6 years old when it was printed. Somebody, long ago covered it carefully with plastic to keep it clean and preserve it, probably my Dad. It is in very good condition considering it's age, and considering it was thumbed through many times by a 6 year old. Some of the gardening methods in the book are now a bit dated in their practice, but some have come full circle, for example the products used then to fertilize accumulated in and poisoned our soils.
I am still dreaming of having a great garden and growing my own vegetables and....having a little patch of dirt I can call my own to nourish and play with. It will happen. It happened before and I let I go away from me. I left it behind to move to the city. But... I will have it again, one day, god willing.
So... this book, this book! It is one that has influenced me and what I am today, so many years later. A would be if she could be gardener.
The lady who loves her birds, back yard, plants and parks. This picture shows my family of Magpies. They came to visit me this afternoon and I gave them some crumbled grainy bread. There were six of them today. They come and sit near the back door and warble to call me out and tell me they are there. Clever birdies.
There was an environment day at the botanic gardens today. I tagged along on the end of a bush foods tour. The plant above is an Illawarra plum. The fruit on this isn't quite ripe yet. But you eat the part of the fruit that is closer to the branch, not the end part. Pete and I also got to taste some other stuff. Lemon myrtle, wattle seed coffee, strawberry tea, wild native raspberries, pepper berries, and some other stuff i can't remember the names of. Cool, great stuff for people of my interests.
Don't know what this is called, pretty though isn't it. I love going to the botanical gardens here in Canberra. For each season there is something new to discover in flower.
Some of the plants you wouldn't even notice while walking through their natural habitats for they are very inconspicuous but, when they flower.... ah yes.
A blurry pic of one of the everlasting daisies.
Just kicking back relaxing on the lawn in the park, listening to the music. An old duck who still wears her denim. I rode on the bike today. Daring in my old age, beating a life long fear of motor bikes, the second ride in my life.
Yes. Years ago I probably took plants like this bottle brush for granted, as a common old thing. The gardens here have shown me otherwise. Shown me that there is great value in the beauty of our native flora where as before, much more notice was taken of imported garden plants. The roses, azaleas, rhododendrons and bulbs etc, that we love so well are a big part of our garden culture. They are however now blended in our gardens with native plants which were previously ignored by us . There are of course purists that will only grow one type or the other in their gardens. I prefer a mix of the two, honoring both the plants from this continent and others side by side.
We all know gardening stories about the damage done by plants running amok out of their natural habitat. We learn from experience where they are concerned and adapt our practice to compensate.
Hope you like this.
Love Linda.


jaerose said...

What a fantastic post. Your desk looks irrestible! And I have to get a copy of 'Wombat Stew'! Jae

Martha said...

Every book I read influences me in some way - and some I just cannot read no matter what the review because of the language used. I do not want to be influenced to think those kind of words and have them work themselves into my vocabulary. I cannot imagine what it would be like not to have books or not to able to read. My world would be much smaller.
Loved your post as always.
Haven't meant to ignore your questions in recent comments - just forget to answer.
Yes, we still have all the cats: Pretty Little Momma; Smoke; Tig-Tig; Alfalfa; Velcro; Marco; Pokey; Cheddars; Rumbler; and Pixie. And last night the outside cat who moved in this winter, Lady Jane, had three kittens in the shelter on the back porch. Dear Lord, have mercy.
The roof socks did work to melt thru the ice dam and helped alleviate some of the leaking into the house. If it happens again we will try this techniqe earlier. Right now the socks are all hanging from the porch banister drying out. Wonder what the mailman thinks when he cuts thru the yard? LOL.

Rob said...

Enjoyed this considerably – thank you for sharing…
Image & Verse

Lilibeth said...

Now I never thought of something a gardening book or a cookbook, but you are right that these kinds of books do a lot to change us too.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It's interesting that it was a garden book that influenced you. My mom was a nurse and we would look at many of her nursing textbooks when we were younger. I ended up becoming a nurse myself.
It looks like a pretty botanic garden. I'm getting anxious to go visit the botanical gardens near us soon.

oldegg said...

What a great promo your blogs are for Australia. So much of you comes through your writing and your photos. They are always an enjoyable read. I feel ashamed that 95% of what I write is pure fiction based on 1000 little nicks through life.

Thank you so much for an insight into your world.

floreta said...

nice! i've never gotten into gardening but maybe it will be something i appreciate as i get older. i'm going to try it this year!

anthonynorth said...

So many books have influenced me. I suppose that's why the house is full of them.

Anonymous said...

I've been pondering about this quiet much... it sure raises a few questions..

Marinela said...

Lovely post,an enjoyable read :)

spottedwolf said...

My mother was an avid reader, though most I recall were novels and usually romance was the choice. Harlequins...what a joke.
She did love a good mystery, however, and tried to interest me in literature. To some degree she was successful for I read all of Albert Payson Terhune's books on his life with collies and the Jack London stories. "Old Yeller" was another of my favorites, as I'm sure it brought laughter and tears to many a kid's eyes. Around about 11-12 years old she handed me a western (she knew I loved cowboys'n'indians) by Louis L'Amour and I read his books religiously from that day forward......right alongside the Bahgavad Gita and Carlos Castenada's books. I think L'Amour had more of an impact on my ideas of manhood than any man I recall though I certainly didn't adhere to them. For many years I didn't read much of anything except to re-read old westerns. Most of what I learned was learned "hands on" so to speak. These days, and for the last 12 years, I tend to read intense research literature. Books make a lifelong lasting impression on us...yes indeedy !!!

Dee Martin said...

I too have books from the past that I treasure, not necessarily for the content, but for the memories they evoke. I love it that your book was your mother's gardening book.

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A wildlife gardener said...

I agree with you, Linda May, that books are hard to let go of, because of the influence they have had in our lives :)

One which my boys loved was called The Midnight Fox. I chose it for them as I wanted them to appreciate all the Wild Things...and their right to exist, as part of the web of life. You will see the impact of this in my latest post :)

Loved the birds...beautiful...and so friendly too :)

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