Gingering things up …

When I first married in 1956 I left my job in London and went to work with a firm of solicitors in Southend. This saved both the expense and the time spent commuting. The office came as a bit of a shock – I was a secretary and had been quite high-powered in London – I was employed to work for the Senior Partner in the firm I was joining but, somewhat foolishly, I had not asked to see my office. `My` office – hah! I was set to work in a large room with about eight other girls – all banging away busily on their manual typewriters – what a racket! The noise came to an abrupt halt when I lit up my first office cigarette of the day – shocked faces peering over their machines and one spoke `We don`t smoke in here…` Oh dear – I apologised and learned to either have a quick puff in the lavatory or wait until lunch-time.
I soon got used to working with others – they were nearly all in the same situation as me – newly married young women – busy homemaking (and some baby-planning). The office chit-chat was very domestic. We swapped recipes, knitting and dressmaking patterns, books, magazines and plants.
One day someone asked `Would anyone like a gingerbeer plant?`. `Oh yes please` I replied – thinking it would keep my rather straggly spider and castor oil plants company. The girl said she would bring it in next day.
Next day arrived and she made her way up the office to my desk clutching … no – not a nice, green houseplant but a jamjar filled with an awful-looking brown sludge slurping murky liquid on the top. My face fell as she thrust this object into my unwilling hand – `It`s a gingerbeer plant` she said brightly, `I`ve typed up the instructions for you` and handed me a piece of paper from which I learned that this thing had to be fed daily with sugar and ginger and then, after a week strained off and the sediment halved – you gave the other half to an unsuspecting friend, colleague or mug. It must have been my turn that week!
Well I persevered and, to be fair, the gingerbeer did taste good but I soon ran out of friends and people began avoiding me in case I should thrust a jar into their unsuspecting hand whilst passing. I resorted to tipping half the sludge down the sink each week – feeling like a murderess and so terribly guilty. In the end the whole lot was washed down the drain. `Freedom` I screamed – looking at the place in the kitchen where the tyrant had sat, demanding to be fed daily, for weeks.
Why has this topic come to mind? Well I am fairly new to WordPress and entered it at a comparatively fallow time of the year so was able to write and contribute daily – my loyal followers increased and my `Likes` grew – I was feeding them daily (like the gingerbeer plant!) This morning, for the first time no visits – zilch – nothing. No stats. Few comments. No new followers. 😦 As I have said, George has been unwell for nearly two weeks (and thank you all for your good wishes) and I have been busy with things domestic (he usually does the shopping and cooking), in addition I run an art group on a Tuesday and attend another group on a Thursday (that ensures that I paint at least twice a week!) I am also in the early stages of organising the art side of an Art & Flower Festival in the church in May, our own art club exhibition in April, going to headquarters of the Society for All Artists next week to make a video clip to go on my SAA website and we are off on a housesit for nearly three weeks …
I have been a little too busy and neglected my WordPress Gingerbeer plan! It, too, needs regular feeding to thrive.


18 thoughts on “Gingering things up …

  1. I wish I were around for the ginger beer plant. I’ve killed a few kefir and kombucha mothers, so I’m a great exterminator for all things probiotic.
    I know what you mean about blogging being like those. Starts off with good intentions, and then blossoms into an unruly timesucker. And although I can’t actually kill my blog, I have certainly been guilty of extreme neglect at some points this first year. Funny how attached I get to those ” hits” though.


  2. I thank you for the chuckle. Yes, a blog is a living thing and I’ve found it takes planning to find a balance. I love blogging and the blogging friends I’ve made, but I don’t want to sit at my computer all day and not enjoy life. Back to balance.


  3. Who would have thought where you would be leading with the gingerbeer plant story! 🙂 By the way, hope George is feeling better.
    I have missed a lot of your posts, but will catch up soon.


    1. Thank you Shail – George is up and doing again (thank goodness! The one good thing to come out of this though is that he has agreed to share the cooking with me. He used to be a restauranteer/publican and I love cooking. I`ve had nearly eight years of being cooked for each day so feel I must keep my hand in.


  4. Aw, bless your heart! Some days go like this and everybody today has been out with their plans for Valentine’s — it will pick up because you know we all love you!
    Love your story — it reminded me of this bread starter that was going around in the same way, except it was called Friendship Bread! Yeah, because it killed friendships, I reckon!


    1. Thank you for the encouraging words Becky – I`m not unduly worried about the drop in stats (honest) it was just a matter of interest to note the effect of not writing had on them. I am still a newbie here so still learning. It is good to have made so many supportive and kind friends. That is what blogging is all about isn`t it?
      By the way the Friendship Cake was going the rounds here just over a year ago – I refused to accept it several times but, interestingly enough, didn`t lose any friends! The memory of the gingerbeer plant lingers on …


      1. Lol, you only lose friends when you ACCEPT the starter for “Friendship” Cake, LOL!!! And yes, that is the very best part of blogging, is the friends we make — you were one of the first ones I made when I started to blog, so I guess that makes us both newbies!


    1. That`s what I can`t understand either! I`ve tried to `befriend` you and can`t find a link on your site. It could be because of your Miss Whiplash name and my computer is a tad prudish!!!!! 🙂 Help please …


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