Dear Monty,

For the first time I too have had my grapes harvested by wasps - Is it related to the lack of warmth and late build up of the nests - therefore a dearth of food ?

This has been a challenging year both for the garden and for humanity.

The garden is still a place of sanctuary and in that I increasingly see my wealth - it is painfully pointed out to me in the 'news'. I have a home which I am paying for - I have food and clean water, I have time to think about other things, yet you can still catch me grumbling about my salary and what will be a pension taxed at 20% - I am aware of my selfishness. Have I become immune to compassion ?

It does feel as though my conscience has been seared as with a hot iron. I see the horror of those fleeing from war dying trying to reach 'freedom' our freedom - my freedom. Do I want them to have a slice of it ? Is our 'way of life' something to be fenced off from others ? - I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable.

Having a thin skin may make us vulnerable to attack like the grapes on the vine  - but perhaps we need to know that vulnerability in order to be compassionate. We build systems and bulwarks to keep out those who want what we have - and because it is a system all built on the shifting sands of economic theory and our dependence upon gambling and guessing how to play it to our advantage - it makes us nervous and defensive. The trouble with any system is that it inevitably gets abused because it seems by nature we find sharing our wealth and freedom painfully difficult -' I do not want to loose all I have gathered up for myself.' Fool !

The garden is thinning, I am thinning too. Perhaps it is good to be thin.



  1. Well you do look a bit thinner in the last photo! Wasps didn't get a look in on the grapes here! Blackbirds are about to become an endangered species! As will resident cat if he scoffs any more of my raspberries!

  2. Replies
    1. I found that surprising too ! I have a dog that eats raspberries, but that is not quite so unusual.

  3. Our helplessness may be more to the point? The media turns the spotlight on the latest horror - we never seem short of them. Can you remember all there have been in this last 10 years, say? The spotlight provokes our horror and pity. Then - worse - we move on and think about something else. And another horror gets the spotlight. Wonder how things are in Pakistan...?

    1. Yes there is just too much horror - and yes again I do not know how to be of any use or comfort to those who are fleeing it.

  4. I have just come upon this blog post and you have put into words my feeling exactly. We have a lot of wasps eating our apples at the moment every time I pick one I have to wait for the wasps to leave their meal and the hole they have made sometimes 10 or 12 of them in there before I can take the apple inside and cut the chewed bit off before eating it. Share and share alike perhaps?

    1. Thank you for this reply, I have always had that issue with the apples - usually lazy late wasps - but never before had them devouring the grapes - I would not kill them though because they are an important link in the balance of life in the garden. I like the fact you share your apples !


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