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These are my hands.
My nails are short from a lifetime habit of nail biting. My ballet teacher told me when I was eight that I had to stop, as it was a disgusting habit. Try as I might, no amount of Stop n Grow has successfully cured my compulsion, which gets worse when I write. It’s not really a nervous thing, just an unconscious thing…before I know it, despite my best intentions, my nails are short again.
These are my hands.
Muddy from working in the garden, and not wearing gloves. I never wear gloves. I usually wear nice clothes in the garden, not bothered to change before I get the urge to pull out weeds. This morning we planted coriander and snow pea seedlings. I replanted the strawberries and finally put a mandarin in the ground that has been waiting for weeks to be planted. Elka helped shovel in the compost, and insisted on planting some of the seedlings. We propped up the snow peas with branches that have fallen from the tree.
These are my hands.
I am wearing the engagement and wedding rings that belonged to my grandma. They are platinum with a diamond setting. They were my grandma’s most valuable possessions. She said she wanted me to have them when she died. She passed away nearly two years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long.
This is my grandma’s garden. We bought her house after she died. She would have loved to have known Elka would grow up in her little cottage.
I also wear my own wedding ring, which my husband and I designed, and sent pictures of the design to his family in the Netherlands. They melted down family gold and somebody they knew used the gold to make our designs. This was a way my husband’s family could be involved in he ceremony.
Soon after my daughter was born, I was making bread and put my wedding band on top of the microwave. Later that day, I realised I wasn’t wearing it. I searched everywhere. Even my husband’s hawk eyes could not find it. A week or so later, I was sharing my grief about the lost ring with my dad. Off hand, I said that it may have fallen into the compost bin for all I knew. Gregor dug through banana peels and other rotting veggies, and sure enough found my ring buried in the compost.
These are my hands.
These are my daughter’s hands. She insisted on washing hers every ten minutes or so as they were ‘a little bit grubby’. We worked together, side by side in the garden. This was our morning.

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