I have just been tending my little window box herb garden. It is not in a window, but hanging suspended behind my trellis where it won’t get too much Queensland sun. All the seeds I planted have sprouted. So satisfying.

Listening to one of my very retro songs on one of my very retro Spotify playlists. Desmond Dekker. Israelites. I was transported back to one of the more enjoyable and satisfying of the many jobs I’d had before I turned twenty five and finally started on the path to what became my career in public health.

That song was being pounded on the radio. We heard it maybe three or four times in a day as we worked in the Yates Nursery located in Te Papapa, Onehunga. It was a holiday job. I drove to work in my old Morris Oxford with a nine foot Atlas Woods surfboard on the roof rack. It was a long commute from Henderson.

I liked that job most of all the employment I’d had until then. If I’d had any realistic goals at all at the time, I might have chosen to become a nurseryman. I loved working with seedlings and shade houses, pots and potting mix.

It would be years before desperation and a spot of serendipity led me to the wondrous opportunity to be paid while I studied and trained to become a health inspector. By that time, I was almost twenty five, and I’d calculated i had worked at twenty three jobs including holiday employment. I’m going to list them all. This may take some time. I’m not sure I can get the timeline right.

To be continued.

Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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