Have you noticed, in the last few years, that pineapples are much sweeter than they used to be? Time was you had to sugar them unless you had a particularly robust tastebud, but now you really couldn’t. They’re easy to grow from the crown of the fruit of course, but not easy to get ripe fruit from. Back in the long ago, my father grew a pineapple in the greenhouse but I don’t think it ever ripened. A pleasant memory I have from my childhood was when the Head Gardener of Lowestoft corporation nurseries took me all around the greenhouses. He was immensely kind. He was a shortish Scot called Mr Campbell and he told me about all sorts of things and gave me plants and picked me a lemon from a huge tree that grew on the end brick wall of the biggest greenhouses. I wonder if that lemon tree exists now. Mr Campbell had a reputation of being quite abrupt, but he was obviously dedicated to his job and extremely kind to a shy little girl. I remember him with affection.
I’ve done most jobs and only have a letter to write (a pleasant one but formal. which will take some care) and some practical things such as putting petrol in the car. Oh, and packing. Pfft. It’ll be fine. I mean, the worst that happens is that I forget something and have to buy it. It’s not as if I’m off to the back of beyond. I’ve got insurance, with medical issue duly declared, and the Sage is checking such things as tyres, oil and water for my initial journey. I find it almost impossible to get anxious as I just assume it’ll all work out and I have a quite unwarranted confidence in my ability to catch up. I’m slower than I used to be – that is, no I’m not, I can still go into scarily efficient speed, but only when I have to, and I find it hard to carry on doing practical work in the evenings.
Following a conversation yesterday, I’ve decided that my shorthand for relationships is this –
1 (to husband and family) You come first.
2 I respect your right to make your own decisions. I may proffer advice but don’t expect you to take it.
3 Thank you for your advice. I will take it into account.
4 (to husband and family) You are right unless I overrule you. Then, as it’s rare, I am right.
I think that’s about it, in addition to my three Golden Rules of Life, the first two of which are Be Polite and Be Kind and the third is between me and my husband. Ahem.
‘Course, one falls short, does one not? But one continues to try.