Monday, July 8, 2013

Eau de Vie

Last week I harvested my first cherry tomato of the season. And a gigantic, mini tomato it was! It took all of 15 seconds before this still warm beauty was sliding down my throat; a bit of its wayward juice dripping down my chin. It was really not the first. I’ve had others that had already ripened but they were rendered inedible because of some sort of blight which I’ve since discovered is due to lack of full and regular watering. Geez, water! Why didn’t I think of that?

Well, I have actually. You see my terrace is on the second floor of my apartment and it doesn’t have a water source. It does have a faucet and it would follow that there would be water in that faucet. Mais non! Apparently someone cut off the feed pipe during some work on the building a few years back. Brilliant.  Thus, I’ve had to haul my water up these stairs at least 8 times a day. Double that if it's really hot and, well, I just get lazy. 

I don’t mind going up and least the first four times.  It’s just that these stairs are slippery, the steps pitch slightly forward, and there is no railing. So it’s a question of odds, really.  And I do not have one of those buttons to wear around my neck with which I can call someone nearby and feebly whisper “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! ” Remember this?

So the project a couple of weeks ago, after realizing that it was not only me in danger, but my precious tomatoes as well, was to figure out how to solve this problem. There is a tiny sink in my upstairs bathroom that could work as a water source  but I really don’t want a hose running through my bedroom. With my clumsiness, that’s another game of odds! But there is water in my kitchen. Aha!  And the kitchen window is the story below the terrace. AHA!

I bought a length of hose, cute, curly, blue hose, and with the help of a friend, threw one end over the terrace wall as she caught the other end and pulled it in the window. And it was as I feared, they wouldn't connect.

Okay, off to the hardware store. I have no idea how to ask for an adapter that connects an outdoor hose to an indoor faucet, so I unscrewed the faucet and took it with me. Let there be no doubt. 

With my faucet in hand and the word for adapter in my head...imagine’s adapteur, (one of those great words that’s the same in english if you just add a little french accent to it),  I found directions to the correct aisle. Where I found 21 different adapters that all looked exactly the same to me. An older couple was standing before them, trying to make their own selection, and I asked the gentleman what I should buy. He kindly began to help me as his wife disappeared and I had my hands full of little packages when she arrived back with a store clerk in tow. She whispered to me, "my husband thinks he knows what he's doing but he rarely does. I thought you'd be better off with an expert", and we shared a girl giggle. She knew her husband well because he did have it all wrong and in the end I walked out armed with my one little package.

So the hose is now hooked up. Okay, it's not so pretty on the outside but I don't have to look at it! And I consider it a lifeline, as in I have less chance of losing my life in a stairway accident now that I have it.

And the garden is looking lovely. Watered.  Some things are just so simple in a roundabout sort of way! No more bottom rotten tomatoes and the rose bush, well, it should come back. The morning glories I planted a few weeks ago from seeds given to me from a parting friend,  though not flowering yet, are threatening to cover the entire wall and I now have the opportunity to hose myself down when it just gets too hot. We are all happy and we are all still alive and flourishing. 

And now that I have water, I think the next purchase will be a little, inflatable swimming pool. Pool party anyone?



  1. Oh, yes, yes!!! A pool would be perfect: even I would venture in the sun if I could cool off for a bit. Your flowers are gorgeous: I was going to do a post on your terrace later this week!(I snuck a few pictures when I was there). We will see....

  2. For one delicious moment I thought you were going to admit to making illicit eau de vie from tomatoes....

    Very ingenious of you...that garden looks great!

  3. Finally, my life slowed down long enough to catch up with what I love most...your humor. Looking forward to some chuckle-filled reading as I catch up with my backlog of Du Jour posts.

  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous! Your balcony is delightful at anytime but with those flowers, heaven! I trust you are enjoying it regularly with a nice glass of rosé - you have to make the most of summer for me!
    Now, my engineering background has come out regarding your pool comment. Please be careful - there have been many cases of balconies collapsing under kiddy pools because water is bloody heavy and the balconies weren't built to stand such loads. Maybe just spritz yourself with the hose every now and then instead! x x

  5. Made me remember my last bachelorette pad where I had the exact same installation. And tomatoes on the balcony, too.

  6. your terrace looks very provence!
    we don't want to fall down those stairs, do we?

  7. Good ole American ingenuity, even in the midst of Provence.

  8. Very nicely solved and I LOVE YOUR TERRACE! There's just something about "manageable" that puts the quaint and charming into it. I see you enjoying a nice glass of wine up there as you admire your flowering work!

  9. Have you heard of water globes? They are glass orbs with a long stem around 10". You fill the orb with water up to the tip of the stem, then place the stem part into the soil close to the roots. The plant will draw water as it needs it. When the water is gone, just fill it again. Before these wonderful inventions, I was a plant killer; now, even I can't believe the healthy plants I've been able to enjoy! Angela Muller

  10. Where there's a will...
    Nice one Delana, I hope you enjoy a bountiful crop of giant mini tomatoes. :)

  11. Your garden IS looking lovely! The perfect spot for apéro :)
    And that tomato does look like it was delicious.

  12. That's very ingenious of you Delana, and that little homegrown tomato must have tasted delish.
    What a lovely place you have, and that!

  13. Great idea! At least you don't have to use yards and yards of hosepipe to get from the river to the veg garden, and at least your hose line is a cute curly twirly one, unlike our hosepipe which is bright yellow and is of an industrial weight which weighs a ton when it has to be shifted into a new position! But you and I have water, so let the tomatoes come!

  14. Love this story- and your balcony! We think alike, and I have to wonder if it comes from single mom syndrome: no one else around, so you've gotta figure it out on your own. The Macgyver'd life. Good work! And I'm glad you're not taking your chances on those stairs!

  15. Too funny, I missed you Delana!


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