Monday, 22 June 2009

Summer solstice

The scent of jasmine fills my room.

Finished a report tonight, not a big one, but potentially important. Ok, maybe not finished, but the bit of smoothing that remains is relatively minor. I suspect I've been enlarging it in my mind, but it was frustrating nonetheless. I realized my extreme maloquance* when it comes to literature reviews of subjects I really don't know much about. Maybe it was the the way I've been reading - with more focus on understanding what I'm doing than where it fits it? Anyway, creating the grand overview was challenging.

But I finished at 22h-ish. Better than the last few nights. Then I went outside, for a walk, trying to replace my inner rush with the tranquility of late dusk. I crossed the rail tracks:

Eventually I found myself outside Tesco. Thinking that I need something to sooth myself I went inside. Maybe a chocolate bar? I rarely buy chocolate (unless it's for cooking), so I really had no idea what I'd like. Then I saw the tonic water. The OED says:

tonic, a. and n. 2) Med., etc. Having the property of increasing or restoring the tone or healthy condition and activity of the system or organs; strengthening, invigorating, bracing.

So I bought a bottle. And a lime, just one. The gin was already waiting at home.

On the way back, I discovered a low, almost hidden jasmine shrub. It creeped into my nose from two houses away. And brought memories with it. We had an amazing one outside our door, in a small quad. It would fill the kitchen with its scent for most of spring. In Stellenbosch, I would start looking for leaves from early spring onwards, and plan my midnight walks accordingly. Hoping to find the find fresh blossoms, but also the last ones before the heat of summer set in. Later, when I had a garden (a real one, with earthworms and hadedas and bloody sorrel), I would take fragrant bunches along when invited to dinner. Even though no-one would call it courtship, it was appreciated enough for me to persist.

I surrepticiously plucked off a small bit over the hedge tonight, it is lying next to my bed right now.

* Yes, that is my new word for today.


Marie said...


I don't know about chocolate bars either. And I have some Tonic in the fridge. It's time to go home.

Jasmine. Which kind, do you know. The really tendrilly one with bunches of the flowers, with almost maroon on their closed buds? My mom has both. Pics. I must find. The really strong one (described)I picked bunches of and put in my room when I was about 16. I slept with the door closed. In the morning I had huge red raised patches all over my body. Jasmine perfume poisoning. Good way to die.

I like railway tracks.

jvdh said...

Yes, the fine trendrilly one, with flowers that start violet red and end in velvety white petals (is this polyanthum? many flowers?).

I missed them here, was so used to seeing them in spring. And then, just as I gave up all hope... Suppose I should accept it's a bit cooler here.

Railway tracks, especially when empty or covered in fresh snow. Also canals. I'll make that my summer's objective: find a quiet, slightly crumbling canal.