April Monthy Musings: In Which I Rediscover My Green Fingers and Get Overexcited About Captain America

Tending the garden has always been something that I’ve enjoyed doing but of late it’s been one of the many things that has been put on the back burner whilst I tried to combine studying and working. Now that I’ve got my evenings and weekends back again I have felt the call of the shrubbery (Ni!) and the poor, over-grown, neglected boarders and I’ve begun making tentative attempts to spruce the space up again. I’ve started with a few pots and the indoor cultivation of some tomato plants and nasturtiums; I like to grow at least some of my own summer salad items as it makes me feel productive in the best way possible and pretty flowers always lift the spirits.

However this weekend I have a much bigger project to tackle. As you’re all aware, Dog keeps an assiduous, all-weather watch on the garden boarders, notifying me (and, in fact, the entire neighbourhood) if there are any incursions, infractions or other suspicious behaviours in their vicinity. What she apparently doesn’t investigate is the sturdiness or otherwise of the boarder itself. 
Which is a rather elaborate way of saying that my fence is not a happy fence. In fact it’s slowly becoming not a fence at all, an ex-fence if you will. The bottom five inches of each panel look less like wood than a piece of modern art that is intent on capturing the essence of Emmental; the look rather than the smell as far as I know, since I’ve not been sniffing my fence and I’m certain that Dog would have been chowing down happily on it if it had even the faintest whiff of cheese.
Thus I am now the proud owner of nine shiny new fence panels which require at least one good coat of protective fence paint on each side before they can be used to replace the poor, holey fence that has served so faithfully for years. You can have three guesses as to what I’m spending my Bank Holiday weekend doing and the first two don’t count! In that regard I’m crossing my fingers for sun (or at least that it doesn’t rain) and as I’ve chosen Cuprinol Duck’s back in Forest Green I have no doubt that my fingers will actually be green within five seconds of picking up a paint brush.
Before I start my weekend of DIY, though, I’m spending Friday night in the cinema watching Captain America: Civil War which I know is going to put me through the metaphorical wringer and leave me a dehydrated yet soggy mess because I can see and understand both sides point of view of the main plot point.  I was just about to post this and then I had a sudden panic that the next paragraph might be viewed as a spoiler. I don’t think I’m saying anything that isn’t obvious from the trailer but just in case, I’m turning the text white. If you don’t want to read it just keep scrolling, if you do, copy and paste into a word doc.
The segregating and monitoring of a group a people simply because of who they are is abhorrent – and Nazi-esque – and I can absolutely understand Cap’s reaction to being told to accept something that directly violated the concept of freedom he has always fought for. However in a world where we expect our governments, armed forces, police, and all other public serving bodies to adhere to a code of conduct and be monitored and checked in respect of what they’re doing whilst on the clock and held accountable for it*, I can also see why Iron-man feels that it is inevitable that the Avengers are going to need to make themselves accountable too. I also cannot see any easy way to reconcile the two view points and I know however the Russo brothers have chosen to play this out, some of my favourites are going to die, trust and friendship are going to be damaged and broken (possibly irreparably) and I am probably going to want to hit someone by the time the final credits roll.

*I realise that this not what happens a lot of the time, if it was then we wouldn’t keep hearing of appalling incidents in the US and elsewhere where POC are being shot and killed/seriously injured by police for behaving in a manner which only provokes a shrug and a hand wave from the same police when it’s white person doing it.
But in all honestly, regardless of my attempt at reasoned and logical thought about the argument at the centre of the film, it doesn’t make any difference to my allegiance. I will always be Team Cap. In fact I’ll be with Steve, and with Bucky, ‘til the end of the line.
And now, after that display of obsessional sentimentality, here is the part of the Musing you’ve all been waiting for:
THE DOINGS OF DOG
(dictated by Dog, transcribed by She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader)
Whilst She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader has been neglecting her duty to share my deeds of daring do and beneficent wisdom with my faithful fans, I have not forgotten you. In fact I’ve been telling all the other dogs in the neighbourhood just how beloved I am. They’re all extremely jealous and are now claiming they have vast followings too. I have told them that their fleas do NOT count as followers. 

Your transcriber would like you all to note that she was wondering what all the evening woofing was about and is very happy to discover the cause as she can now threaten to withhold transcription services if Dog does not keep the volume down in future.

My border patrols are running very smoothly at the moment, with only minor squirrel incursions and a few near misses with The Ginger Tom from across the way.  Given that She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader has been encouraging all sorts of birds and other critters into the garden with free gifts of bread (none of which I was allowed to eat, which is frankly rude) I feel that this only highlights just how competently I handle my domain guarding duties.
Your transcriber feels you should all know that Dog mutters under her breath whenever she mentions The Ginger Tom (who does indeed deserve his capital letters) in a very good impersonation of Mutley. She can also do the Muttley snigger and often does when your transcriber does something worthy of being sniggered at for (like tripping over her own feet or forgetting what she is doing mid-job). Your transcriber would also like to point out that Dog broke several plant stems in her haste to hoover up the bread crumbs knocked of the bird table by overenthusiastic blackbirds so her claims to have not had any bread at all are erroneous and intended merely to garner your sympathy.

I’m not at all sure I approve of She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader’s renewed interest in my garden. I have just got all my shrubbery dens and behind-the-hedge paths exactly the way I like them and do not want her clacking about with those snippy things and ruining my cover for my Stealth AttacksTM on any type of garden invader. It really is most vexing.
Your transcriber – who is most certainly going to take her secateurs and hedge clippers to her shrubbery (Ni!) – wonders how Dog intends to facilitate attacks of any sort (never mind stealth ones) given that what she mostly does in her dens is sleep and these days she does not sleep without snoring, the noise of which makes most people think there is a jet squadron taking off nearby.

She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader has promised to take me to Attingham Park for a lovely long walk very soon, which should allow her to take many beautiful photos of me. In the meantime, I have instructed her to pick the best of the ones she took in the garden last week for your viewing pleasure.
Take my best side, Mum!
Oh, wait, both my sides are best!
And on that note this Musing is at an end. Dog and I wish everyone in the UK a lovely bank holiday weekend and everyone who is everywhere else a lovely normal weekend!

PS Thank you to all the lovely people who left comments, love and encouragement on my last post. I know I’ve not replied to any of them but please know that I really appreciate each and every one! 

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