Sunday, October 3, 2010

A bit of Goodwill

When I am writing, apart from building a stoep and dealing with domestic meltdowns, I like to garden. Or rather, I like to watch my gardener garden.

This is Goodwill my gardener. And he is also Claire and Patti and Diana’s gardener. We share him.


I get to garden with Goodwill on Mondays and Fridays, which is far too little Goodwill for me. Because without Goodwill, I can’t garden. And I can’t write.
I sit down to write the second half of Confessions of a Virgin Loser for Mr Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation and my fingers freeze on the keyboard.
I look out of my office window and this is what I see. I see an archway leading to a swimming pool. And I want to walk through that archway and flop belly first into that pool.

The arch outside my office leading to the swimming pool

No I mustn’t, because it is one of the coldest weeks in July and I will get hypothermia.
But things aren’t making sense any more. Especially that archway outside my office leading me to the swimming pool and third degree frostbite.
I tell Goodwill that we are going to be doing some garden redesign today. He says what? I tell him we’re moving the archway from outside my office so that I can eliminate the obstruction to the free flow of ideas.
I also tell Goodwill to please stop crying and don’t even think about running all the way back to Zimbabwe. He too can contribute towards promoting literacy among the cellphone addicted young adults at the tip of the southern hemisphere by helping me write an m-book.
Goodwill says fine he’ll get the spade. I tell him not to forget the string because he is hopeless at getting the lines straight.
Goodwill digs and digs. The chapters of Confessions of a Virgin Loser flow from my fingers onto the keyboard like the Amazon River in flood. Goodwill plants and plants.

This is what the garden looks like now. The lines are very straight. Thanks to Goodwilll's spade and my string. 

An archway leading to a table and chairs, not a swimming pool. Much better.

Yip, I also noticed that the roses didn’t survive the transplant. They should look like this.
Roses in full bloom

But of course they don’t. Because roses don't like to be messed about with.

Today I am supposed to be writing the sequel to Melly, Mrs Ho and Me – which is a book for people who like using their cellphones for making calls (and not reading books).
I look at the dead roses and I tell Goodwill that these roses are very dead, aren’t they?  We should replace them with a nice creeping Jasmine.
Goodwill says no, give the roses some more time. And some water, perhaps, I say? In the meantime the Jasmine can live in the pot outside my office.

Note the sticks in the pot to deter Zwiggy the dog
I look at the view outside my office. There is no longer an arch. This is what I see instead of the arch of roses leading me to the swimming pool.

A tree that won't grow and a weber that can't
I tell Goodwill I think we need to do some garden redesign; I need to write. Let's get the spade and string.

Goodwill says he thinks I need to get a towel and sunscreen. I need to take a running jump into that swimming pool.


  1. bwahahahaha i love the tree that won't grow and the weber that can't. i love goodwill too. one can never have too much goodwill!

  2. Goodwill was around today. I sent him your good wishes!