Gosh, isn't it baking hot in God's Own Country these days! In accordance with the government's guidelines, we seldom venture outside between 11 am and 3 pm. Even at 9:30, our yard becomes unbelievably hot and we retire into the cool interior of Karthi, not coming out till it's well past 4:30. But some people in our yard seem to find this weather all very fine. Don't believe me? Then what do you make of this?
Just look at those lilies trying to compete with the fiery ball in the sky!
And what about this jasmine? Bringing the star-studded sky down to earth seems to be its ambition!!!
And the frangipani that needs a trimming is just reaching into the sky with all its blossoms. Our garden is nothing if not ambitious!!!
As for the denizens of Karthi, at first the biennial festival at our local temple had us waiting for sundown to join the festivities. It culminated in the Pakalppooram and this time I was lucky enough to get a ringside seat for the shinkari melam...
The dancing and the drumming had me itching to join them, I can tell ya!
That over, we braved the heat and drove to Guruvayoor just before the holiday rush started and had a peacefully unrushed opportunity to say our prayers, especially for a good academic year for our elder son who has his 10th standard board exams the coming year.
And what was happening with my balcony garden in the meanwhile? Did the climbers languish or shrivel while we were gone? See for yourself!
Not only are they happy, they have grown!!! And what is the secret? See those plastic bottles sticking out of the pots? That is what kept them going while we were gone for three days! I can tell you I was so happy to see them peeking above the balcony railings when we drove up!
This week the kids (aka conscripted labor) and I have been working on a new project. We're clearing swathes of our back
yard jungle. This is the uncleared part...
and this is the cleared half...
The difference is more noticeable when seen together...
The aim is to relocate all the dead leaves (safely transported to the bases of our coconut trees to decompose there in peace, not burned!) and remove undesirable vegetation, leaving the kind of ground cover that I like to have in my backyard. Because don't make the mistake of thinking that all that brown stuff is dead. No sirree! In the first magical rains of the monsoon, all that area will erupt into lush green vegetation to tame which I will have to resort to my trusty grass cutter. My gardening team and I are taking it easy, working only half an hour each day to save ourselves from burnout and dehydration.
One of the highlights of the week was my first proper homemade pizza. This week it was my fifth attempt to make pizza. I've tried baking them in my OTG and my microwave. Each time something or the other seemed to go awry. Almost always the base turned out uncooked and soggy in the middle and tough and overcooked at the edges. This time, I baked the base alone first for three minutes before taking it out and putting on the toppings - and they came out perfect!!! Okay, they were not picture perfect - but the flavor of the toppings and the baking of the base were spot on!!! It was definitely much, much better than the pizza we ordered in from a local cafe two weeks ago. And this brings me neatly to the news that our little corner of the world is finally in the Uber Eats service area. (And to avoid any temptation, I have NOT installed the app on my phone)!
So what are you up to these hols??? Are you prepping your garden before the monsoons? Or is it still too cold to work in the garden in your corner of the Big Blue Marble? Let me know!!!