Looking for signs of growth

Have potted out the three of my Grapefruit plant seeds that have successfully germinated. They have now taken up station on my office windowsill where I will trust to the magic of sunlight and moisture to bring forth life. My two avocado nuts have put rootlets into the water, however, I won’t be doing anything with them for at least another month. Not until either plant has put out at least two serious leaves and roots of over an inch (oh all right, twenty five point four millimetres) long. Outside my radish and beetroot seeds have already pushed tiny green leaves above the soil, and the first signs of life are showing in the herb tray. Which isn’t bad. Elsewhere the soils surface seems as lifeless as the moon, but I take it as an article of faith that something is stirring. The next week will tell.

This sets the current tenor of my day. Work has slacked off and I’m left pottering about our deck garden, watching stuff germinate, which doesn’t take up much of the day but is an essential task nonetheless. Watched pots don’t boil but on the other hand, the secret of life, as in comedy, is timing. There is a time to act and a time to wait. All things in their season. Mrs S on the other hand, is taking this hiatus as an opportunity to educate herself about stocks and shares and we’re both paying much closer attention to our investment affairs.

On that topic, my investment portfolio isn’t looking so great, but I did better than break even in 2018, so I won’t complain. Canadian financial services didn’t do so well, nor did some of the energy companies I hold stock in. On the other hand, some of my other share picks have more than offset the losses, so I’m doing okay. Not great, but okay. My head is above water in that respect. Did get offered a share buyout, but the price was far too low to contemplate selling as the share value of that particular holding is pretty depressed at the moment. It’s a time to stand pat, not panic and sell up. Well that’s my financial opinion and I’m sticking to it. These are uncertain times and the wind might blow either way. So, hunker down and keep working seems to be the order of the day. The one bright spot is that my investment tax allowance from last year has allowed me to invest much more tax free this year, so, swings and roundabouts. I’m growing my retirement fund that way.

Of late I’ve been doing some reading about the two polar opposites, Tom Paine and Edmund Burke, the contemporary founding fathers of the modern left and right, so it is said. From what I can see, there is value on both sides of the coin, even though both men’s arguments suffer from a diametrically opposing flaw. For Paine it is his willingness to throw the baby out with the bathwater and for Burke, a too great sentimentality about the effects of ‘wise’ rulers and established power structures. For my own part I like to take a position somewhere between, where some change is good but too much strips people of their humanity, especially when the revolutionaries completely overthrow an established order. The best institutions develop organically, having developed over the years and never forgetting their cock-ups, with a view to never repeating the same mistakes. To analogise, these things are like trees, they do not benefit from simply being left alone to grow as they will, a good pruning is needed now and again, but cutting the whole thing down does nothing but leave a stump which benefits no-one.

This is what passes for wisdom, at least in my mind. Is it right or is it wrong? Only time and events will bear me out.

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