Wednesday, 2 April 2008

View from my window

The only time I sit and stare out of a window is at work. I'm very lucky to have my own window next to my desk and, as you can imagine, it is full of flowering plants. When the man came to clean my computer a few weeks ago he commented on my "greenhouse"! There are two cuttings of "sticky thyme" which came from one of the women at my writer's group in Solihull. She had been given the plant by a friend who had brought it back from the Caribbean with the instructions that it was used to flavour gravy. It has a wonderful scent, but I doubt very much whether it is a thyme - possibly more a basil. I keep meaning to get it identified, but haven't achieved this yet.

The other scented plant is a small patchouli. It's just sitting here until I find someone to give it to. My kitchen windowsill at home is full, so this one makes a good nursery space for cuttings. The other seven plants are all African violets whose flowers range from pink to deep violet. Some are babies of other plants at home, two were rescued from the landing window sill where they had been ignored for several years and the really purple one was removed from a dustbin in the office kitchen where my boss' secretary had just deposited it about six months ago. The poor plant had been sitting in the middle of the open plan office and never watered, so it was very sad. I took it home, repotted it in fresh compost and brought it back again. It has flowered twice, gloriously. The first time it flowered, I re-introduced it to my boss and asked if he wanted to have it returned, but he declined the offer. I noticed the other day it has a large baby growing on one side, so I may take it home soon and give it a pot all of it's own.

Outside the window I have a wonderful view of central Birmingham rooftops with the Rotunda towering above them. Seagulls wheel around the open space and I am often visited by pairs of pigeons who strut along the parapet and have taught me various courtship rituals. I'm sure they will come in handy in a future story! There is grass and moss growing in the gutter outside. I keep waiting for someone to clear it, but the men who clean the windows don't seem to feel the need to reach outside their safe walkway.

I'm sure it must seem very strange to keep so many plants in the middle of a legal desert, but then I'm a strange person doing strange things. If anyone asked, I'd tell them about the "new" discovery of positive mental health i.e. everyone feels better if they have plants to look at in the workplace. It certainly makes me smile when I see the different colours so it must be working!

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