Thursday, 23 October 2014
I got my annual promotion today - please don't bother getting excited on my behalf - for my raise consists of two aluminium platforms which get strapped to the underside of my work-boots thereby making me about 15 cm taller. These cumbersome contraptions will grace my feet for the next few weeks while I reach up high to squash the tips of the kiwifruit canes to prevent them becoming too long and unruly.
So, there I was thoroughly engrossed in my new task when my little transistor radio beep-beeped for the news and I flung myself free from my stilt-things and raced excitedly to the Smoko-room for a heavenly plunger-coffee and Toffee-pop.
But where is the boss? Where is John? They are always here at 3pm on the dot. Feeling a bit lonely, I decide to evaluate my appearance from the head down just for something to kill all of 12 minutes. Someone has to take ruthless stock of my forlorn self occasionally and I'd much rather it was me so here goes:
Baseball cap on head.
Sunscreen on face, especially on my nose which my friend, Jenny pa-Lenny, once summed up like this:
"Bernadette's nose", she announced in this very Smoko room, "looks like it is moulded from wax but then she stood too close to a candle one day and the end of her nose melted and then hardened into its current downward drip-shape. There is nothing at all she can do about it now".
So final and pessimistic a verdict. I was tempted to get all insecure about my nose but then I figured that's just a wasted emotion now that me and it are middle-aged and inseparable. It's not like I can divorce my nose, is it?
Speaking of marital matters, Cossack snipped his wedding-ring off his finger last Saturday night, right in front of dinner-guests, I'll have you know. He just suddenly grabbed a pair of side-cutters from the office and with a huge groan cut right through the ring!
He then waved that vandalised symbol of our eternal pledge of togetherness victoriously in the air like it was the most thrilling thing he'd ever done.
Ok, so maybe a bee did happen to sting Cossack that afternoon and yeah, maybe his finger did swell up to look exactly like a pregnant frankfurter but honestly, you'd think, would you not, that he could endure a bit of severe discomfort to keep his vows intact?
But no, it seems that I am still married to Cossack but Cossack is gloriously single.
Where is my boss? Where is John? Oh well, (slurp of coffee) let's carry on...
My upper half is wearing a black tee-shirt with a picture of two lizards on the front caught in a very romantic moment and the words say, "Ensuring continuation of the Species". When I purchased it at a Thrift Store, I didn't have my glasses on but never mind - I am all for conservation of New Zealand's endangered species.
South of the tee-shirt are my washed-out black Levi jeans with drips of red paint from when I painted the pruning cuts last winter and the winter before.
And south of the Levi jeans are two pairs of socks on my feet - one Norsewear grey-flecked wool and an outer pair to protect the inner pair.
My brown leather-boots are outside the door obeying the strict rules.
Strange...still no boss and still no John. What has become of them? I sincerely hope they are not pinned beneath a tractor or attacked by a mutant kiwifruit vine that has wrapped itself around their necks... are they out there emitting blood-curling screams while I am absorbed in self -analysis of the most useless kind?
I exit the Smoko room only to be bombarded and almost toppled by a crazed cocker-spaniel who considers it her mission in life to excessively adore me.She leaps into my car and we return to the orchard with radio blaring.
"The time is..", says the announcer at the tail-end of "Anchor Me" by the Muttonbirds...
...."16 minutes past two..."
I stare at the cocker-spaniel and she stares back at me.
"Oh, dear Lord", I say to the cocker-spaniel, "I was a whole hour too early for Smoko!"
I drive as unobstrusively as possible past the kiwifruit block where I suspect the boss might be working but he sees me and I swear there was that mystified look on his face, the look he often reserves just for me.
I groan for now the afternoon ahead is going to be longer than I had anticipated.
While I am re-attaching my stilts and the cocker-spaniel is running ecstatic circles around my ankles, the sky turns metallic blue-grey so I look up and see a spectacular rainbow stretch itself right across my world.
It was so very beautiful my heart was stunned.