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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Mel Gibson, Black Magic and Bungalows

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas APRIL. 03, 2021

A year of living dangerously. One of my favourite films and what we have all been doing. Starring Mel Gibson when he was still a heart-throb and Sigourney Weaver before she went all butch and started fighting aliens.

Interesting factoid about the film, Linda Hunt portrayed the male character Billy Kwan for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first person to win an Oscar for portraying a character of the opposite sex. Bet you didn't know that, it makes a good quiz question.

But I digress. We've all had to put up with a lot over the last twelve months but I think we can all agree that if you have been forced to do anything involving bureaucracy or getting practical stuff done that has to be done, we have now had enough of the phrase "it will take longer because of Covid".

Personally I have had to deal with Local Authorities, Estate Agents, Solicitors, Register Offices, Pension companies, Land registry, Probate lawyers on top of all the normal officialdom we deal with every day like getting more recycling bags from the local council or ordering a prescription.

So it is nice to feel now, like we are approaching the end of a long road of house moving, death, and more house selling and will sorting, to the point where I am dealing with something really mundane like the new garden fence which in the past would have stressed me out but today seems utterly insignificant.

Doing anything with the back garden had to go on the back burner until this week as the fence man patched up our old weather beaten fence last October to a level he thought would get us through the winter until he was able to replace it properly. Because it has been a year coming I wasn't able to plant much in the back as I knew it would get trashed in the chaos of new fence building.

But here we are with it about one third done. Most of the old fence is gone, giving us a cosy view of our neighbours bungalow next door. Has the word bungalow travelled, I'm not sure. It is a typically English acquired word this time from India along with several others like veranda and pyjamas. The Wikipedia description gives us a double whammy here.

Bungalow- A bungalow is a small house or cottage that is either single-story or has a second story built into a sloping roof (usually with dormer windows), and may be surrounded by wide verandas. The term is derived from the Gujarati bangalo (meaning "Bengali") and used elliptically to mean "a house in the Bengal style".

So all of that preamble brings us to this Camellia I bought this morning in the market. Camellia japonica "Black Magic".

When the garden fence is finished it will have concrete "godfathers" at the bottom with wooden posts attached.

Godfather - It has three different, very different meanings.

1. A man present at the christening of a baby who promises to help raise the child in a Christian manner; a male godparent who sponsors the baptism of a child.

2. A small post which is used in repairing a fence. For instance attached to and supporting an existing broken fence post.

3. A mafia leader.

Thinking about it, one is apt to connect mafia leaders and concrete in another way, but I don't have any bodies to dispose of at the moment.

But I digress yet again. Because it has ugly concrete godfathers I need to plant some things with height and colour in front of those new posts so my first new acquisition is this Camellia. I had to pay a bit more to get one with a bit of height, and on the Camellia stall I was limited to about three or four varieties to get one the height I needed, so this was it.

This shot below is why I couldn't put many plants in before now. Big heavy boots.

This is the narrow part of the back garden with the old fence patched up.

And like "Black Magic" hey presto the fence is gone.

Talking about bungalows, one of my favourite jokes as a child which is guaranteed to make you groan.

Why are bungalows so called?

Because they bung a low roof on 'em.

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