Sunday, 18 May 2014

Gardening with Tomatoes, Tea and Xenophon

This may seem a curious combination but it seemed to work well for me:
  • Pop into the greenhouse to check up on the tomato plants
  • Take along a cup of tea
  • Help 'bimble' along with Xenophon by taking in a small chapter (3-4, 5-6 and occasionally 7-8 pages)
  • Pop off to work or back into the house at weekends
Yes, the 2014 growing season is upon me and I have pinned my hopes on a bountiful crop from six young tomato plants. They proudly stand in a "L" shaped formation growing in my garden greenhouse, the 'see-through man cave without plastic models' (see below):

Grow boys grow! Make daddy proud of you!

Xenophon's "The Persian Expedition" was a much easier read than I had expected, but perhaps after Herodotus and Thucydides, anything is lighter. I also had pulped up on some fictional primer and historical narrative beforehand so I had  in my minds's eye a scripted history of the chronology of what to expect. Nevertheless I enjoyed it and there were some unexpected interesting bits pop out of its pages. If ancient Greeks are your thing (or cup of tea) then don't be intimidated by going back to a famous historical source (translated).

In summary when Greeks go roaming "there and back again" they are a rowdy crowd. The moral of the story seems to be, if you are going to be a nuisance abroad then do it in a huge mass. You are much harder to hurt and the native people will eventually pay you to go away. 

PS Leave your morals at home as they seem to just get in the way of business. Just refer to people you are about to commit a crime against as 'barbarians' and you should be able to get away with it at least in the eyes of your fellow Greeks (and they are the ones who you only care about!). Do I sound cynical?

Well another one down, how many are there still left? That is, translated "Ancient Pre-Roman Classics" still to read on the list:
  • Sun Tzu: The Art of War (to read again)
  • Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander
  • Quintus Curtius Rufus: The History of Alexander
  • Plutarch Greek Lives
Don't know if I am up for Homer and the Iliad (a book which I don't yet possess) as my poetry reading may not be up to scratch ;)


Dux Homunculorum said...

Good luck with the tomatoes! We are hitting winter here, so our crop is pretty much at an end, but we had tomatoes coming our of our ears this season. Xenophon is great. Strongly recommend Ammianus Marcellinus, and the Stanley Lombardo translation of the Iliad (the one with Omaha Beach on the cover!)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers Dux,

The good thing about gardening is that the "magic" happens by itself you just have to help it along (unlike painting)

I confess I probably have to get some very early Greeks and Trojan figures before I get around to reading Homer ;)