It’s time, I think, to move the topic of Manse discussion away from animals. There have been a lot of cats, dogs and snakes here recently, and that’s all well and good, but let’s change the subject. To: my gardening skills.
Or possibly lack of same.
This evening Raymond and I and a whole lot of colleagues from the Montreal Gazette gathered to pay tribute and say goodbye to a truly excellent boss, our former publisher and editor-in-chief, Alan Allnutt, who is moving on to a fancy job as Vice-President, Western Region, Postmedia Network Canada Corp. Alan has been a mentor, friend and wonderful boss to us both for many years, and we have a hard time getting our heads around the idea that he won’t be at The Gazette anymore.
But he and his family are still based in Montreal – and as we all know, Montreal is only four and a half hours from: the Manse! In Queensborough! Alan has taken a kind and active interest in our Manse project. This evening as I took my leave from the farewell party (tough for me, because saying goodbye makes me very sad) I reminded him that he and his wife are overdue for a visit with us there.
To which he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, that he would be happy to visit, and that he might be able to offer some gardening assistance, since it seemed to be needed. People, I do believe he was casting aspersions on my gardening skills! (Which, come to think of it, would not be surprising, since I myself am constantly casting aspersions on my gardening skills. Because truth be told, my gardening skills are kind of nonexistent.)
So, boss, sure! Come and help us with the garden!
But in the meantime, in my own feeble gardening defence, I want to point out that I did sort out a neglected little strip of land behind the Manse’s garage not so long ago, and thanks to my efforts it should be awash with day lilies once we get to day-lily season. (When is that again? Oh – did I mention that I don’t know much about gardening?) Just look at these before, during and after photos!
This is the point at which you are supposed to congratulate me for my efforts. But I do fully realize that this is not real gardening. So, Alan, here’s the deal: come for a visit and Raymond and I will show you all the sights of Queensborough and Elzevir Township and Hastings County generally. And we will serve up the finest possible meals that the Manse’s tiny and rudimentary kitchen can produce. But in return: you have to share some serious garden knowledge. And possibly some hard garden labour!