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Snot Block Odyssey

Something was amiss with the start of the weekend when I was barely able to sleep, spending a restless night ahead of plans to head into central Tokyo to pick up some parts, but little did I know that a vanilla slice “snot block” was on the way to rescuing me.

Using the restlessness to advantage, I got stuck into the garden, weeding and then being able to cut the lawn courtesy of a quiet push mower and getting down on my hands and knees to manually trim the edges.

A quick clean of the Brommie, which has been squeaking and groaning a lot on the rare times I have ridden it recently, and it was off into town. The weather was glorious and I had spent the time sleeplessness provided me to contact kangaroo paw recipients to check on the progress of their plants.

One of the recipients was Punk Doily, an exceptional Aussie style cafe near Jiyugaoka (and also the home of the only wollemi pine “fossil tree” that I have seen in Japan with my own eyes). While there, I was delighted to be able to partake of a ginger ale and an absolutely sublime vanilla slice. I’d been craving a snot block for a while, but this treat was incomparably scrumptious and a world away from the plastic, rubbery texture and taste of the tuck shop fare I remembered from schooldays.

The Stick (circled in red): What The Stick was like at the start of 2023 (right), and what The Stick is like now (main, left)

It was then on to central Tokyo to collect some bike parts that a very nice bloke was giving away via Facebook. I had intended to hang around and go to a meeting later that night, but Mrs. Kangaeroo was off work and busy, so the dinosaur was stuck in her cage (as she’s not allowed out when we have things to get through or the cookers are on as she’s a nuisance!), and I was terribly tired from the previous night’s lack of sleep. My hands were feeling OK and the weather was glorious, though, so after I had received the box full of bike gear, I pedaled back home in the blazing sun, copping a wonderful dose of vitamin D on the way.

I was back home in the early afternoon, giving me enough time to play with Dino, who wasn’t interested as she has eggs taking up her attention, and to potter in the garden. I got to wonder over how The Stick is thriving. This is a grevillea robusta purchased online a few years ago, and apparently dead by the time we moved into Kangaeroo Corner in 2021 with all its leaves shed. Mrs. Kangaeroo insisted we give it a chance to prove its existence. Once again, she was right and the plant showed signs of growth in early 2022. I planted it in the ground when we formed the garden in March 2022 and carefully nurtured the tree through the winters of 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. It has thrived and is now the tallest of the three grevillea we have in the garden, but yet to flower.

The Stick has given me great inspiration to try and grow more trees from cuttings, but I have been spectacularly unsuccessful so far. I planted about 60-70 cuttings over the winter. It looks like maybe one or two may have taken root. I had about 10 surviving. This week, I cut off all the leaves of the cuttings that appeared to be living and will hope that new growth will prove that they are indeed rooted in the soil and not rooted in the Strine sense.