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The Tonic of Gardening in Quarantine

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I have always thought in terms of Armageddon. Thanks to epigenetic trauma and good old-fashioned worry, I’ve long since established which friends will hide us in the attic and where the neighborhood plum trees grow, should the need for emergency food or shelter arise. My poor children have been groomed to appreciate lentils; I readily eat weeds. One might assume that, now that disaster is upon us, someone like me would explode with anxiety. But, actually, I might be O.K. For one thing, I have a garden again.

Last summer, when the world seemed mad but, in retrospect, was fine, I was freshly divorced and searching for a permanent home. I found a big flat that had a sunny roof terrace and, down a metal staircase, cursorily divided from the downstairs lady’s domain by an elfin picket fence, a wasteland of a yard. It was a mere nine by five metres, full of brambles, ivy, weeds, and a yucca the size of Ozymandias’s skull: not perfect, not remotely, but I envisioned that, one day, perhaps, I would transform it.

That was B.C.—Before Coronavirus. Now I write this at my new study window, looking out at a London that appears to be functioning almost as usual. It isn’t the French Revolution out there: no burning chateaux, a shortage of sans-culottes. The British government flunked the coronavirus challenge; even in lockdown, nobody knows how to behave. My view, mildly softened by translucent blinds, is of a busy road still populated by double-decker buses and red post-office vans, men in gas masks and old women on mobility scooters with toddlers on their laps. We’re teetering on the edge of panic, cartoon toes curling, and each of us is doing what brings sanity. The important people—nurses, teachers, social workers—grit their teeth and carry on.

What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds. Watching them begin to sprout, checking far too often as the firm yet fragile stems break free of the soil, the dry seed-case caps, is a joy so strong you can feel it in your knuckles. Rose-geranium leaves and thyme flowers, the hit of petrichor from damp soil, are the scents of heaven.

Dispersing homemade compost feels like alchemy: turning dead tulips and carrot tops to black gold. Some people grow flowers; unless they’re edible—tangerine-orange calendula, Ionian borage—I’m not interested. Red Russian kale, on the other hand, could supply my loved ones with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids while simultaneously distracting us with its beauty: those gray-green fragile-looking leaves, their veins like rivers of wine.

Even B.C., this potential to grow things and feed people was a thrill. Now it makes me tearful with something new: gratitude. Suddenly, my least-gardeny friends are panic-buying radish seeds, punching holes in the bottoms of plastic boxes to start their seedlings. I delight in the new additions to my team, like a cheery pusher. Before, I was dehydrating, canning, making bread, yogurt, kimchi, and, oh, how they laughed. Now, suddenly, such things are almost a necessary act for maintaining sanity. To grow and preserve food is to remember that life continues.

I don’t dare tell my new gardening friends that, despite all the renewed talk of victory gardens, self-sufficiency is an elusive dream. Growing edible plants, particularly in a city, is neither cheap nor easy. Without an abundance of space, and far more manure, any dreams of feeding the family without one’s weekly grocery delivery are unlikely to come true.

That isn’t the point, anyway. It’s the journey, not the harvest. Or so I tell myself. We all know in theory that nature brings peace, but now, more than ever, we should self-prescribe a dose of it. Look down as well as up: at the glossy dinosaur shells of wood lice, the scribbled clots of earthworm casts, the weirdness of what Thoreau called “the tonic of wilderness,” the patterns in lichen lobes and leaf veins, tree branches, bark. Wilderness is everywhere, even in cities. The greatest evangelist for the peace which nature brings is the poet Mary Oliver, the patron saint of noticers. She would have appreciated the complexity of feeling garden-giddy in a time of crisis—of how it is to be, as she put it in her poem “The Summer Day,” both “idle and blessed.”

Meanwhile, outside, as a result of the shutdown, a miracle is occurring: birdsong everywhere. I may have heard an owl. The springtime air, scented with magnolia and blossom, is, for London, almost pure. I’ve passed the time bagging ivy and wrenching roots from a predecessor’s forgotten borders, merrily chucking manure at the feet of my old pot-bound gooseberries, checking obsessively for vine buds. We who are healthy in our homes, with a pot of compost or a small patch of soil, are so lucky. Let’s get going.


A Guide to the Coronavirus

Originally posted 2020-04-09 00:21:33.

Entertainment

Brittany Murphy’s Mysterious Death Revisited in Shocking New Special – E! Online

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The death of Brittany Murphy is one Hollywood will never forget.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 10 years since the actress passed away at the age of 32.

And while many pop culture fans will remember the day when they learned the Clueless and 8 Mile star was pronounced dead after going into full cardiac arrest, mystery still appears to surround the sudden passing of Brittany.

Earlier this week, Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery premiered giving fans a fresh look at the case that captivated so many. And while many of the details have been previously reported, it quickly reminds fans why this star’s passing and the aftermath has been so fascinating.

From the family’s interesting dynamics to Brittany’s unique relationship with husband Simon Monjack, Investigation Discovery tries to answer all your burning questions. 

For those who missed out, you can stream the special online now. Or see all the shocking highlights below.

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So is the (not so idyllic) new life of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Los Angeles

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There is one thing that is already more than clear about how this will be the new life of Meghan Markle and the Prince Harry in Los Angeles, where he moved in unexpectedly a few days ago: the federal Government is not going to be in charge of protecting them. In the midst of a health emergency that affects the entire planet, the Sussex were not going to be less and, as revealed sources close to Peopletheir arrival to the hometown of Meghan has also been conditioned by the circumstances: it flew just before I left to have flights that contact them Canada and the united States. Without knowing exactly where your new home, yes that seems to confirm that are within him, and that practice the confinement next to Archie waiting for that will improve the situation.

So, if one expected to encounter several others shopping in Rodeo Drive or go hiking in the hills of Los Angeles, you are going to have to wait. No, the Sussex of time cannot live as true angelenos because they have to follow the restrictions imposed by the confinement. Yes, in his seclusion remain active and try to start to form the causes that abanderarán when you can recover your life (yes, they are already recruiting people).

Originally posted 2020-03-30 16:34:16.

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‘The Eddy’ & ‘Moonlight’ Actor André Holland Inks With WME

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EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed actor Andre Holland.

Holland is best known for his performance in the Oscar-winning Best Picture Moonlight as well as High Flying Bird, Wrinkle in Time and Selma, the latter for which he was nominated for the NAACP Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

In television, his work includes his breakout role opposite Clive Owen in the Cinemax Steve Soderbergh series The Knick, as the lead in the first season of the Hulu series Castle Rock, FX’s American Horror Story: Roanoke (season 6).

Holland currently stars in the lead role of the Netflix series The Eddy. 

Following the success of Moonlight, in 2017, Holland portrayed Youngblood in August Wilson’s play Jitney on Broadway.  Since July 2018, he has starred in a production of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe, costarring with Mark Rylance.  In 2018, he made his Off Off Broadway directing debut with a production of Greg Keller’s Dutch Master.

Holland remains managed by Tony Lipp at Anonymous Content and attorney Nina Shaw.

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