As the entire world knows, thanks to my annoying and never-ending supply of tweets about it, there is a Woody Allen film being made in my garden. Which is a bit lovely and exciting. I know there is the whole “I marry my step-daughter” malarky, which is creepy no matter which way you look at it, and of course some of his movies ae terrible and cheesy and embarrassing. But it is Woody Allen – and he is in my garden. And he is the embodiment of 80’s New York. Fabulous, and as far removed from 80’s New Zealand as you can get. So he is over there filming with Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto. I am unashamedly star-struck.
So on Friday Sue and I and the bucket-load ‘o’pesky kids were in the garden watching. And there was not much going on, so we instead turned our attention to the enormous, elegant, ancient purple plum tree shading the western edge of the garden. All over the ground were ripened, bird-pecked plums, starting to squish a little bit underfoot. And the tree is covered, laden with shiny, crimson plums, hanging like grape clusters. So we did a bit of jumping and Sue tested one. And it really was a plum, not something poisonous (phew, Sue lives to see another day) and what is more, these were not just ripe and edible, but gorgeous. It must be an old variety, small, slightly tart skin, but busting with sweet warm juice, and soft, light-coloured flesh. So so so delicious. And we jumped some more, and a tall man came over and he jumped and we all had ourselves a bit of a 4pm snack.
Innocent enough afternoon activity, no?
Well, no. As it turns out. Yesterday, back in the garden, I did a bit of plum-hunting with my eyes and discovered there were some more within reach. There were lots more people in the garden, it being a Sunday and all, but I was filled by plum-lust and fuelled by my earlier plum-gluttony and so didn’t pay no mind to them. And so I did a bit of jumping and grabbed a few. I was thinking about dragging a chair over to really get stuck in, but thought I should run it by Fellow-NZer-Who-Owns-Her-Massive-Flat-With-Rich-Sexy-French-Husband first. Now, Fellow-NZer is actually rather nice, if a bit steam-rollery when chatting and maybe a bit starey with her starey eyes, but this time, after I asked her whether it was kosher to eat the plums, she was very chilly. She cuttingly told me off for touching the plums and said that I had better be careful, in a vaguely threatening way, of the Gardening Committee because it may be that the plums were “purely ornamental”. Visions of serrated horses’ heads lurking beneath my sheets crossed my mind, and I backed away from Fellow NZer, who was clearly not impressed by my outrageous and presumptuous plum-grabbing acts. She added that she has never tried to eat one, in all her years of living on the Square. I have decided I am now no longer going to discuss placentas and contraception and Taranaki tribes and the pros and cons of living in Geneva with Fellow NZer because she is a bit MEAN and pulled rank on me and I think there are less scary friends to make in the garden.
In any case, when asking the Proper Gardening Lady today about the forbidden fruit, it turns out that Fellow NZer was wrong. We are all allowed to eat them, and she showed me where the cherry trees are and pointed out the best place for the plum clusters. I am so going to gorge myself when I see her next. Ha!
But wait. What is better and more exciting than any fruit-related drama is the fact that I am now, finally, at 31 and a half, the owner of a fabulous, 80’s, kind of ugly but more stylish-than-I-can-bear CHANEL BAG! At last. Here are two (badly taken with unfortunate spotty cushion background) pictures of it, inside and out:
I bought it from Buy My Wardrobe, which is a funny little biannual second-hand clothing and accessories sale from the overstuffed wardrobes of 20 handpicked women who off-load their stuff to make way for new season things. It is full of tiny, fabulous clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery. Last year I got a Luella wallet, Marc Jacobs tee and Chloe sunglasses – this year the bag, Chanel sunglasses in original case (£30) and an amazing YSL boned and draped jacket (£100). The bag was £120, which is about £200 less than I would have paid at a designer recycle place. And I have researched it for days and am convinced it is not a fake – authenticity numbers, aligned quilting, the weight of the chain, etc. Details which are Very Important, you know.