The garden and a plum tree

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:

IMG_0281

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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.

Lovely, eh?

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6 Responses to The garden and a plum tree

  1. Cath says:

    O what a lovely post! Thank you thank you thank you!

    Who in their right mind would think you can own plums on a tree? Communal gardens, communal plums I say.

    I think you should make JAM with the plums. And put some kind of fabric gingham lid on the jar, and take a photo for the blog pages. It would be communal garden jam.

    In fact, we have a children’s story book called JAM. Trouble starts when the tree in the garden has too many plums. I feel it may have a recipe in the back.

    I also love the Chanel bag and can feel it’s authenticity from here. OK. Must go and do stuff like prepare for baby the third, to be born mid morning-ish tomorrow.

  2. Lisa says:

    MMM plums, I love picking plums. Is that neighbour really kiwi??? She seems to have lost her kiwiness. Dont we all pick fruit straight from the tree, regardless of who owns it, give it a quick rub on our jeans then eat it, while the juice runs down our chins.
    And, er, about the bag… Chanel, but kinda ugly. You really are a fashionista girl. Enjoy.

  3. Anya says:

    Love the plum story, can’t wait to hear how you approach Plum-snob with the news that she’s been missing out for years.

    Now about that bag……I don’t mind parts of it, but the other parts I’d give a miss. But isn’t it great how we all have different taste, makes the world an interesting place. If we all had my taste the world would be oh so dull. Enjoy it!

  4. Jane says:

    I have SERIOUS bag envy. LOVE that bag. If you never have any daughters, and hate all your daughters-in-law, I am happy to be the one to whom you pass on your bags 😉

    As for Woody Allen in your garden… Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto are FAR more drool-worthy. Your garden rocks. I think you may just be a grown-up Alice in Wonderland!

  5. Jane says:

    P.S. If you want to know for sure that the bag is real, just wander nonchalantly into the Chanel store on New Bond Street, present it casually to the lady at the counter and say, “Excuse me, my aunt gave me this old bag, and I didn’t want to be rude by asking her if it’s real – what do you think?” They have a seriously expert eye for these things and are surprisingly unsnobby.

  6. Dad says:

    This story was so exciting as it brought back memories of my childhood. Our neighbour had two draught horses. At the old homestead the old plum trees were still producing. He asked us to climb on the top of the horses standing close together and pick all the plums were could get our hands on. that was real fun.

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