Rybička fish-shaped pocket knife from Czechia

What Happened Last Week

In a word (or two), not much. Or, a number of small things.

In the Garden…

The highest temperature so far this year—17C (63F). Not much rain; March has been dry. Anticipating summer drought, I’ve already laid out three of my six soaker hoses and acquired a new sprinkler. It can be set to about 1 foot from the ground or raised to 3 feet. A three-armed whirly-twirly thing on top flings water around generously. It’s definitely not a water-conserving model, but the idea is it will supplement the soaker hoses in seriously dry times.

Tomato seeds have sprouted, and the 1-inch tall seedlings are on a south-facing windowsill. Pepper seeds are still awaiting emergence on top of the hot water tank.

Ornamental cherry trees are in full bloom on the boulevards, adding a froth of pink to the scene. Daffodils are almost done, but tulips are about to bloom. So is the magnolia.

Early ornamental cherry on boulevard April 1, 2023

Last spring I congratulated myself on pulling up every single plant of shotweed (Cardamine oligosperma or maybe C. hirsuta) in the entire garden before they could bloom, thus ensuring no shotweed here this year. (Gardeners who know this weed will be laughing now.) I must have missed one or two, so have been pulling up tiny shotweeds for the past several weeks. They are pretty when young, but absolutely cannot be allowed to shoot their seeds all over the place.

The little plant of Rosa mutabilis that was deer-nipped to 2 inches from the ground in December appears to be alive. But two old pelargoniums, that survived many freezes in past winters, are dead. I should have brought them inside when temperatures of -8C (18F) were predicted last December, but told myself that they would be OK covered up. I was wrong. Pelargoniums (tender geraniums) are easy to replace, so it’s not a huge loss, except in principle.


Along with the sprinkler, on a whim I ordered this cute little pocket knife made in Czechia. It’s only 8 cm (about 3 in.) long, folded up, but feels surprisingly weighty.

Rybička fish-shaped pocket knife from Czechia
More info at www.mikov.cz


I thoroughly enjoyed Jim Webster’s delightful adventure tale Tallis Steelyard. A Fear of Heights. I’m halfway through Once Upon a Tome, by Oliver Darkshire, a book of anecdotes about working in an antiquarian bookshop in London. And I’m more than halfway through A Rooster for Asklepios by Christopher D. Stanley, an absorbing historical novel set in Graeco-Roman times.


Not much. Yet.


Lots. Thoughts yet to be organized and turned into writing.


  1. You sound very organized Audrey! Good for you. Here in Spáin – the last day of March was quite beautiful and the warmest so far this year! We had coffee and lunch on the patio; and I heard my first wood pigeon and blackbird. I even did a little dead-heading and pruning. (we only have a tiled and patio ‘garden,’ so it doesn’t take long…) Enjoy the Spring and Summer! Cheers. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the update. I guess the atmospheric rivers that have continued to hit California are not shifting far enough north to hit BC. You sound busy and cheerful. Eclectic titles you read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw your name and thought, That’s the name for the Greek goddess of truth. And wouldn’t you know it — A Girl Named Truth. Cool!
      I used that same name in a story I wrote, she was someone would could not lie, but had to learn in order to save her friends.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It is a beautiful tree especially when in bloom. There are several along our street. The municipality has planted a lot of them. I couldn’t resist the little knife; it’s so cute! I think the place I ordered it from (Lee Valley Tools) also sells mushrooming knives, plus a lot of other stuff.
      Thanks for your comments, Alethea!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely true, Roger. With gardening, there are things you have to do at the right time. With writing, on the other hand, it’s possible to procrastinate indefinitely with few consequences, apart from that sneaky feeling of guilt.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. There has been a dandelion in my garden for years. I do remove the spent flowers and don’t let them develop into the puff balls, however. There are enough of them elsewhere that I consider to be “weeds.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Persistent aren’t they. There’s a body of opinion in the UK that they are good to have around as pollinators. Whether that’s shared in the rest of the world I couldn’t say.
            One thing I am certain of, is mow the grass out the front of the house, cutting down the dandelions and daisies and with two to three days, they are back!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Both. Lee Valley Tools (a Canadian company that sells gardening tools, woodworking tools, and cooking equipment) has featured all kinds of knives in their catalogues. I’ve bought a Laguiole pocket knife as well as a utilitarian “douk-douk” knife once issued to the French Foreign Legion. One time Lee Valley acquired from somewhere a bunch of really old (like 1920s to ’40s) kitchen knives from the L’Enfer company. I bought 2 of those and still use them. I couldn’t resist the little fish-shaped Czech knife.
      And yet I’m not really a “collector.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “This is a simple, practical knife with a rather unusual background.

        Once a staple of the French Foreign Legion, it has been made in Thiers, France, since the 1920s. Seemingly incongruous with its European origin, the etched handle depicts the striking image of a figure from Polynesian myth.

        The sorcerer or “Douk-Douk,” whose image is said to bring good luck, was added to boost the knife’s appeal for export to the former French colonies, where it remains in widespread use to this day.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting how trees schedule their blooms. I see some magnolias in full bloom around here, but mine is just revving up. The ornamental cherry in my post is one of the early types. Later on there are some with frilly double flowers. Cherry blossom season goes on for weeks here.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Weeds that produce zillions of seeds and fling them around are infuriating. On the plus side, shotweeds are easy to pull out. I don’t think we have spurweed here; it sounds like a real nuisance, sticking into feet and paws!
      I do like the little knife!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Note to self: do not covet the fish-shaped pocket knife…, focus on the cherry-blossom, do not covet the fish-shaped pocket knife…
    The UK must have had your rain, apparently March was the wettest here since 1981. Certainly felt like it… The local magnolias and sweet cherries are yet to come fully into bloom, but the ornamental cherries have been and gone. I’m just watching the wild bees take dizzy sips from the damson, zooming around like they’re high.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m envious of your garden, Audrey, since we are still being snowed on. Usually, I’d be outside now, weeding my shotweed, and preparing my beds. Ah well. It sounds like you’ve been enjoying some good reads, and I like that little knife. It’s so fanciful. Things like that always spark my imagination. I hope you get some writing time in after your thinking time. 😀 Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear there’s snow on nearby hills today, and I see frost on roofs right here. A slow spring…
      The fish knife would suit a fairy-like creature perfectly.
      I hope pre-writing turns into the real thing soon!
      Thanks for your comments, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Damien, but it’s not really my tree. It’s was planted on the boulevard close to my house by the municipality, along with several others on the street. They do look pretty when in bloom. Cardamine is the Latin genus (botanical) name for a plant called shotweed (along with a lot of other names).

      Liked by 1 person

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