Muddywellies is Back!
Visitors to Winsfordwalledgarden.com will immediately see the changes in my new wordpress website format, designed to make it more interactive and easier to work on. A great deal has happened since writing my last internet page on “Fuchsia Winter Care” way back in August 2010 and this page is by way of explanation to all who know me on the web.
My world was turned upside down when I received an email from Hanni - ‘woman of my dreams’. I t all started way back in 1989/90. I had come to Israel as a confident young kibbutz volunteer working in the Negev, I had a single ticket and no idea when I might return to my studies in the UK, I was on a “timeless timeout” if you like. Working in the kibbutz lasted about 3 weeks before I landed the opportunity of a lifetime to work in the University of Beersheva campus at Sde Boker building a solar-powered adobe mud house. I was 21, confident in my ability, living and working in a fascinating location in the middle of the Negev Desert. As part of my program I was sent to the Galilee, to Kiriat Shemona to learn Hebrew.
Hanny was a local High school student intent upon improving her excellent English with some native speakers. It was love at first sight and we enjoyed a wonderful romance until fate stepped in and seperated us with her conscription and my subsequent return to the UK to study for a career. There was no internet and no mobile phones then, questions would be asked in one letter and the response, if you could remember the question, arrived six weeks later!
Any way, at some point during our wait I suffered a house fire and lost her contact details, and her details of me were ‘lost’ because her family did not want a non-jewish son-in-law… By the time we found each other again she thought I was no longer interested and had said ‘yes’ to someone else. It hurt, but it was her choice, and I never questioned her, believing her mind was made up already. BIG MISTAKE! But like I said, there was no rapid communication. Back then I think mobile phones came on wheels and needed a mortgage!
For 30 years we went our seperate ways largely because I didn’t know her new family name. Then within a month of each other we joined Facebook, but neither knew it at the time. We were still looking for each other, I had even posted old photos in the hope she would recognise me. When Hanni joined Facebook she found 300 instances of my name. But after looking at my old photos Hanny sent just one email. When it arrived requesting proof of my knowing her it was a real “Eureka” moment for me and I was delighted to oblige…
Since that wonderful moment we have dealt with bureaucracy, shipping, customs, estate agents, and still more bureaucracy until we have brought ourselves together and we are now living together in Nes Ziona, Israel (it’s SE of Tel Aviv). Now I’m busy learning Hebrew and loving a totally different and much more open lifestyle.
Yes, I have sold the walled gardens, but I still have my hard-won gardening experience and I still have the website www.winsfordwalledgarden.com. I have changed its format into a gardening blog and I’m still working on the design, but at least its up and running for visitors to comment upon my articles.
So it feels good to be back garden writing and this new blog format will enable me to write about my new life here along the way.
The nights are chilly here around 11C but during the day I can walk out in the garden in the sunshine and pick my own mandarin oranges. Last week I delighted everyone with my home-made lemon curd with our own lemons! The fruit were so large – like small cabbages that I had to add extra eggs and triple the cornflour to compensate for all the juice. But home-grown mangoes take the crown everyone believe me! The juice just pours out of your mouth…
My new home is on a street corner with the gardens roughly equal in size, although one is much higher than the other. The first photo shows the garden this afternoon (4pm), the second is Hanny, youngest son Lotem and his girlfriend Emily picking mandarin oranges and the third photo shows the lower garden with small mango tree behind the lamps!