Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Poirot on Gardening

I badly needed to relax tonight so I picked up an Agatha Christie novel that my son gave me for Christmas. Just yesterday I had read a post about how women should stay at home and make clothes and garden while men went off to be professors or clergymen or whatever they wished. Well, that was how I understood it. The man can commune with his colleagues and impress his students and the woman can commune with the vegetables.

So please only read this if you consider yourself a vegetable ... or if you consider a woman a person.

I have decided to follow Poirot's advice tonight.

    'And how is my good friend, your father?' said Poirot.

    'The old man's fine,' I said. 'Very busy with his hollyhocks - or is it chrysanthemums? The seasons go by so fast I can never remember what it is at the moment.'

    'He busies himself then, with the horticulture?'

    'Everyone seems to come to that in the end.' I said.

    'Not me,' said Hercule Poirot. 'Once the vegetable marrows, yes - but never again. If you want the best flowers, why not go to the florist's shop? I thought the good Superintendant was going to write his memoirs?' Agatha Christie. The Clocks.
There is a lot of wisdom in Agatha Christie's novels. There are many times when I wanted to quote her, but I have never sat down and taken the time before. Like Poirot, I can say that once I did garden (and sew), and sometimes I still do. But the novelty has worn off and now, more often than not, I go to the shop.


Anonymous said...

Suzanne, I am proud to consider myself a sometime vegetable and one who thinks a woman is a person. Aside from that, I am a retired academic who has taken to heart the maxim of Voltaire's Candide that tending one's garden is a perfectly worthwhile occupation, better than many others. I intend to celebrate the nearness of spring this afternoon by planting a new bareroot rose. I also think there's much wisdom in lots of mystery novels. One of the most memorable items was a comment by the protagonist of the Ross Macdonald novels (was it Harper?): "I keep looking for mercy in life, but all I ever see is justice."

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Carl,

Thanks for this. I think the problem is that I am not such a great gardener. Our yard is lined with spruce trees and I have been told that growing vegetables under spruce trees is a no go. Even our roses don't do very well. So we plant violets and solomon seal and lily of the valley.

However, I do love to sew. I have no dislike for the domestic arts.

Kevin Knox said...


I will chuckle about this all day. Mr. Poirot hit the nail DEAD on the head.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

You will love what comes next.

'And what are you doing with your yourself these days?' I asked Poirot.

Casting a look at the various books around him I said, 'It looks as though you are doing a little research?'

Poirot sighed. "You may call it that. Yes, perhaps in a way it is true. Lately I have felt very badly the need for a problem. It does not matter, I said to myself, what the problem is. It can be like the good Sherlock Holmes, the depth at which the parsley has sunk into the butter. All that matters is that there should be a problem. It is not the muscles I need to exercise, you see, it is the cells of the brain.'

I believe it is time for me to look at a new piece of code. :-)

Kevin Knox said...

Maybe some shorthand....

Suzanne McCarthy said...

That is what I was thinking ... I have gone back to Abecedaria for a while.