The mailman brought Impa tomato seeds, once. The seeds have - and this remains a miracle - sprouted and the sprouts have grown. They've become plants: small ones at first, then big ones. The first bunches of flowers have already appeared on their stems. They sit in big pots with long bamboo poles and have singlehandedly been tied to the poles with small bits of green garden string. After having given away some of the plants when they were still small (Something you should always be careful doing. Before you know it, you become one of those ladies always trying to force homemade craft on people. 'No thank you, aunty Beatrice, I don't want any knitted whatshammacallits. Yes, I know everyone says they're special.'), five plants remained to be sunbathed on the balcony.
And yet, even only five big plants in five pots appeared to be a
problem challenge. Before long, the balcony bench felt shoved aside. The roses sulked over having been moved to a spot in the shade. Not to mention the 1.73 metres my body needs to be able to stretch out in the same sunshine as the tomatoes from top to toe for 15 minutes every once in a while.
More space had to be made, then.
And so I put two plant pots on the floor of the car in front of the passenger seat this morning. The bamboo poles stuck out diagonally and hit the roof, the plant's leaves and stems were folded over and across the seat, running the danger of snapping. I've never driven more carefully.
I handed the plants over to a colleague from another department this morning. He smelt the fragrant leaves, spread his arms, gave me three big kisses, picked up the plants and carried them out of my room and into the corridor, where people turned and stared as he passed.
I've got three left now. And as far as I'm concerned they can have a ball, tomatowise, on my balcony. As long as I can still fit next to them somewhere, with my 1.73 metre sun wish.