Sunday, July 25, 2010

Singapore Orchid Show, the next one

I'm having nightmares. It's when I start thinking about the next Singapore Orchid Show. And putting in an exhibit. Two garden chairs and a bird bath is all you need -
that's Aunt Charlotte's philosophy in Orchid Territory.("What's the show called this time? "Orchids from Paradise?"... Could be "Orchids From Hell." You put in what you've got.")But it's not just a question of Singapore being half the world away and what you can fit into the overhead bins. It's that the Singapore Orchid Show of 2010, so elegant, artistic, bright and beautiful is considered just a rehearsal for next year, the World Orchid Conference. The WOC is held every three or four years, the Olympics of the orchid world, the orchid World Cup. And we, Motes Orchids, will be taking part. And that means putting in an exhibit. We will be defending our title, Dr Motes jokes. In France, at Dijon, two WOCs ago, we swept the board for vandas. At the last WOC we were not invited, even though it was held here in Miami. Ah! Politics, politics! - What? See me after church.

So anyway, just getting fancy with ferns and hammering sheet moss on to the sides of old milk
crates is not going to do it. In Singapore, you are faced with elegant orchid displays, right off, in the airport. One of our Singaporean friends suggests - a Florida theme... Pink flamingos? Dr. Motes, of course, like Aunt Charlotte, dismisses exhibits as window dressing - that is, he doesn't like doing them.

I will be the one.

So here I am. Here it is, the end of July, and even though we've been snipping buds off because we're closed for the summer, Motes' orchids are still blooming their hearts out. And I'm starting to plead "Save it for November, guys! Not this November but the next..."
This November I'll be checking what's in bloom, what's in season, trying to get an idea of what I'll have to work with next November.... but then it all depends on the weather, on snails, let alone a hurricane. If I think about this anymore, I won't get a decent night's sleep between now and November 2011.

I must remember Aunt Charlotte's,"You put in what you've got!" After all, I invented the woman. And in fact, we pride ourselves on just that: only putting in our own orchids. No borrowing, no buying to add to an exhibit. And, for me, the one good thing to come out of observing the current Singapore show, is to see that no-one else has our kinds of hybrids, our vandas and ascocendas.

"See? Told you," said Dr. Motes, an old hand at the international orchid scene. As he says, he's the one doing the most breeding with certain neglected Vanda species: "No-one else was interested." So there's that. And I must remember the sad little Vanda I saw, right in the front of one exhibit, in Singapore. At Motes Orchids we wouldn't have thought it worth more than 12.50 US dollars on a good day. So there's that. But still, hardly enough for a good night's sleep.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Fourth of July. Sort of.

The wheels have fallen off my blog. It's all just "I" "I" and I'm sick of it - Maybe it was better in the old days with "One." It has come to one's attention... One often has the feeling....

One wanted to get something down for the Fourth of July- one tried to get away from oneself and go for something like :The Ten Step Program To Becoming American but that quickly turned nasty. For example:

Divide the world into where you can safely go on vacation or where you can bomb.

Do not master another language, that tells everyone your parents are just off the boat or over the wall.

OK so one tried another Fourth of July theme: Ten Ways To Know One Has Become An American:

I. When one says "We," and it no longer refer to one's country of origin. In this one's case, England and the English, unless it's really personal. i e "We always played Tiddleywinks on Tuesdays.'

2. One yelled for Team USA though that's partly because England SUCKED.

3. One can invite 60 people for the Fourth of July and prepare almost no food or drink.

We always have a big Fourth of July party and once an old friend was staying with us from Serbia. I spent the morning dusting and tidying and Draga was a great help but she was becoming more and more agitated. I was busy getting six months worth of fluff out from behind the furniture, cursing the chairs for having so many rungs. About three thirty we did put a ham in the oven,(Our motto: let's see if our Jewish, Moslem and Veggie friends really love us for ourselves alone.) We had some chips at the ready sitting on my newly de-cluttered and polished table. We had some beer.
Draga could stand it no longer. "Sixty people! Mary! Sixty people! And you have nothing!""
"Oh, some people won't come."
Draga asked where the flour was. Draga made a big loaf of bread. (For the English it's not a real meal without potatoes, for Serbians, without bread.) We placed the bread, warm from the oven, in the middle of my newly polished, empty table. Draga's hands were still clapped to her cheeks in the familiar Serbian gesture of dismay and despair. It was five o clock. We persuaded her to go have a shower. When she came back her bread was already surrounded by food, by "covered dishes," salsa and salads, with brownies and flan and a row of wine bottles to the side.

One could remark, as one did in the Second World War and after, on the remarkable generosity of the American people.
Remember the story of Jesus feeding the thousands with three loaves and two fishes? If that crowd had been American he wouldn't have needed a miracle. He'd just have said: "Hey, it's a party. Everyone just bring something."

One is now quite excited to be off to Singapore with the esteemed Dr. Motes who has been invited to be one of the judges at the 2010 Singapore Orchid Show.