Love In The Time Of Cholera

During a heavily overcast yet warm morning I took a walk around the garden with my camera.

At the front of the house I photographed just one example of our fuchsia Delta’s Sarah and pink pelargoniums; a severally-hued hydrangea alongside white marguerites with yellow buttery centres; and the first of three rich red lily plants to bloom.

Another Delta’s Sarah is found among pink sweet peas and verbena bonariensis in the Weeping Birch Bed

which can be approached via stepping stones across the Cryptomeria Bed which is named from

the tree seen behind the standing lamp to the right of top centre in this picture of the Gazebo Path.

The white rose, Winchester Cathedral, and the peachy Lady Emma Hamilton are enjoying further flushes in the Rose Garden.

The blue and white petunias in the Ali Baba planter are beginning their descent which will have them cascading like those in this container accompanied by sweet peas, hot lips, and lobelias.

Just before mid-day we drove through a busy Highcliffe intending to brunch at The Beach House café on Friars Cliff. Both the car park and the beach were so crowded that we turned back and lunched at home.

I spent the afternoon finishing reading ‘Love in the time of Cholera’ by Colombian Nobel prizewinner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is the entry from written by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria:

Gabriel García Márquez, (born March 6, 1927, Aracataca, Colombia—died April 17, 2014, Mexico City, Mexico), Colombian novelist and one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, mostly for his masterpiece Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude). He was the fourth Latin American to be so honoured, having been preceded by Chilean poets Gabriela Mistral in 1945 and Pablo Neruda in 1971 and by Guatemalan novelist Miguel Ángel Asturias in 1967. With Jorge Luis Borges, García Márquez is the best-known Latin American writer in history. In addition to his masterly approach to the novel, he was a superb crafter of short stories and an accomplished journalist. In both his shorter and longer fictions, García Márquez achieved the rare feat of being accessible to the common reader while satisfying the most demanding of sophisticated critics.

It must be 30 years since I first read this marvellous novel, and now, I hope, have done so with far greater understanding.

I do not know Spanish, but I am quite certain that Edith Grossman’s translation has contributed greatly to the fluidity of Jonathan Cape’s 1988 edition. The author is clearly a master of the long, eloquent, sentence and it must have taken great skill to convey this.

The book is filled with wisdom, insight, and humour, penned in flowing, natural language. Its theme is a lifetime of loves described in emotional and physical detail with all the accompanying passion, anxiety, intrigue, anguish, guilt, jealousies – you name the feelings – they are there.

What, wondered this reader in the midst of the 2020 pandemic, has cholera to do with the story, which is well told? After all the disease barely merits a mention until the penny drops; I will refrain from telling you when.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, peas, gherkins, and pickled onions, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.


  1. He’s one of my favourite authors and I’m trying to improve my Spanish sufficiently to read again his works but this time in Spanish. BTW loved the photo of the Stargazer Lillies, they have such a heady scent.

    1. Thanks very much, Sheree – especially for naming the Stargazers – I should have asked Jackie 🙂 I have always enjoyed reading French books in the original – so I understand your Spanish aim.

      1. I’m thrilled to have been able to identify a flower which as you know isn’t one of my competencies!
        It’s so much more worthwhile reading books in their original languages.

  2. I am fascinated by your garden, and also enjoy reading about your fine dinners.
    Today I was researching where Fleurie wine comes from. 🌷🤗

  3. The flower colors are so strikingly beautiful!

    I read Love in the Time of Cholera years ago after my older daughter read it. I guess it’s time to reread. 😀

  4. Jackie did put that maxi-planter to excellent use.
    You have truly made my day very pleasant, Derrick, with one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors and your fabulous roses. The translation is very true to the original, as I have been assured by my Spanish-speaking colleagues.

  5. OHHH! Mr. Gabriel García Márquez is one of my fav authors. 🙂
    I talked about this book in a 2013 WP blogpost I wrote. 🙂

    One of my fav quotes from the book, that sticks with me always…
    “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” – Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

    As always, your garden brings joy and serenity to our lives! Thank you, Jackie and Derrick! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  6. The garden remains a joy to see.

    I’m not surprised that the area of your luncheon venue was packed, apparently it seems to be the norm now that everyone has been set loose!

    We were treated to a sunny dry day today and we even made hay!

  7. There’s something special coming from these South American writers and poets – Marques, Borges, Neruda and I’ll toss Isabella Allende into that mix too……. Wonderful!

  8. Writing a long sentence that others actually understand and appreciate is a skill in the first place. So, this garden business – you’re quite serious about it?

  9. I’m a big fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Maybe I should reread Love in the Time of Cholera. My first introduction to him was with his delightful short stories.

    Such a beautiful, peaceful garden. I love the multi-hued hydrangeas.

  10. Another book to add to my reading list! I’m so glad you can find beauty and adventure without going any further than your own back yard.

  11. A lovely colourful start to my Weekend Derrick, although it was still Zero degrees at 8.00am, the sky is clear and we are to receive a day of winter sunshine, and later it’ll warm up to 13’C…..

  12. I returned to One Hundred Years of Solitude after the Deepwater Horizon explosion some years ago. The name of the platform involved in the tragedy was named Macondo. I remembered that in Marquez’s novel José Arcadio Buendía believed his Macondo to be surrounded by water: inventing the island according to his perceptions. I never found a firm answer to the question of whether the Macondo Prospect was named after the place in the novel, but it certainly occasioned some interesting theorizing.

  13. Your reading list is always enviable. I think reading a book for a second time is a great idea. There’s always something you’ve missed. Gorgeous garden photos as always, Derrick. 😍

  14. I love the lily in your header! I read One Hundread Years of Solitude and loved it, but when I tried to read Love In the Time of Cholera, I just couldn’t get into it–although I can’t remember why. From reading your response to it, I’m thinking that perhaps I should try again to read it.

    1. It did take a while for me to get into it, but then that is the case with many books I end up enjoying. I haven’t read One Hundred Years of solitude. I’m so pleased you liked the lily. Thanks very much, Liz.

      1. You’re welcome, Derrick. Have you read Marquez’s short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”? It was my introduction to magical realism and remains one of my favorite short stories.

    1. I haven’t read that one, and probably won’t because I am concentrating on the thousands Iin my library I have yet to read. Thanks a lot, Laurie.

  15. sounds like a very good read and reading it for the second time tells me so. thank you, as always, for sharing your beautiful garden. i would love to walk in there and get lost in all its beauty!. is the lily fragrant? it is exquisite! 🙂

  16. Oooh, the Ali Baba pot is going to be fabulous soon. It was nice to glimpse it again. I’ve only read a couple of Marquez’s books and Cholera is not one of them. They have a strangely gritty unreality about them.

  17. Thanks for the brief refreshing tour in your garden. That is a wonderful classic that I have tried to finish twice in the past, an enterprise that has proved to be elusive. I suspect, one needs a certain tranquility of mind to relish the proceedings, but isn’t that true for all readings? Your allusion to the other book is apt and subtle, enclosing a moral to the unheedful humanity.

    1. I am sorry you haven’t yet managed to finish it, Uma. The ending appealed to my more mature years. Yes, reading without tranquility is difficult. I’m pleased you got the other book (Sultry Days? from previous post) reference. Thanks very much.

  18. Marquez was a favourite of mine. I’ve just been scrolling through all your post from the last few months. I wanted to find the name of some of those old pen and ink illustrators. Now I’m sorry but I admit I have been recalcitrant about looking at your blog. I am trying to balance the needs of the book I am writing with the main character, Annie, who wants me to write it all a different way.

  19. The gardens are looking beautiful, Derrick and Jackie. Such a variety in form and color! And thank you for the literary lessons you present from time to time here. I always learn something new, and I consider them one for the plus side in the Great Ledger of Life, as Tootlepedal would say. 🙂

  20. A favourite author of mine….somewhere on the book shelf, ones that I haven’t read for a while.
    Your garden looks spectacular as always.

  21. ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ was a very popular book when I was still working in the library but for some reason I never read it myself – that might change now though.
    I love how you are familiar with the names of your roses and other shrubs Derrick, it does make it interesting.

  22. Lovely photography and great book reference. He was a one of a kind writer. I also loved 100 years of solitude and chronicle of a death foretold.

  23. Wonderful garden tour, Derrick. I would love to see a view from above your garden, an overhead shot. Get a small drone outfitted with a camera to enjoy a whole new perspective to share with your audience. You must have a log book of all your garden specimens, a story in itself. Have a wonderful day, Derrick.

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