A quiet Saturday at home. I came downstairs and opened the post. I was excited to discover the seeds I ordered from Pl@nts of D1st1nct1ion had arrived, only four days after I ordered them. It is a splendid small Suffolk company which offers lots of different pepper (capsicum) varieties and pages and pages of old-fashioned tomatoes, as well as the usual stuff. It was hard to know where to start with my choices and I was late with the order.
I was taken aback when I opened the next envelope. “Are you” it enquired boldly “over 65 and looking to broaden your social circle?” The envelope was hand-addressed, which made it all seem a bit pointed. “No” I said in a small voice.
When I had another look in the envelope, it transpires that this is a service being set up by the County Council and was sent to me as local WRVS organiser. It’s a sort of telephone-based friendship club for more-or-less housebound people – “phone-in coffee mornings” are among the delights offered. It’s an interesting* idea, I wonder if it will take off. I can’t think it would appeal to me, but if I was alone with no one to talk to, I might feel differently.
We’ve forked over about half of the vegetable garden and I’ve sowed more seeds in the greenhouse. Not outdoors yet, I’ll let the soil warm up a little more first. I looked at one pepper variety. ‘Georgia Flame’. Sweet pepper or chilli? I wondered. I put a seed in my mouth to taste. Mm, pretty hot… I took it out again and sowed it. I’ve looked at the catalogue since and the variety is from the Republic of Georgia rather than the American state.
Dilly and the children have had a sociable day. First her parents arrived. I bobbed out from the greenhouse to say hello and inveigled them in to see my little nursery. Later, her sister arrived with her two small children. They decided to go to the village playing field. “Hello Granny,” shouted Squiffany, excitedly. “We going to the SWINGS.”
A friend called in, to pick up a pair of Meissen figurines which the Sage’s china restorer had mended for them. While they were on holiday, a pigeon came down their drawing-room chimney and, poor creature, made a terrible mess of things before dying of thirst on the floor. What a sight to come home to. Horrible.
They have been beautifully mended and he was very pleased with them. He and his wife moved from the village about a year ago; not too far away but I haven’t seen them much since. He is one of the most good-looking men I’ve ever known. He’s frankly gorgeous. He and his wife – who is tiny, slim and very pretty – are a couple of years older than I am and he’s going grey now, but this takes nothing from his appearance. Not that I’m knocking the Sage, who looks good himself (even if bald!), but I couldn’t be married to a man who was so much more attractive than I am. I’d be eternally intimidated.
Tilly has got off the armchair and I can feel her looking at me. She is too polite to speak, but she would like her dinner please, as soon as I’m ready. I will go straightaway.
*’Interesting’ is one of those words to use when you don’t want to damn it but really can think of nothing to enthuse about.