I’ve looked up the china website – it is an Australian company, founded in 1921 and, although it’s had several changes of name over the decades, the present name was adopted in 1997. So they must have ordered the china to be made in the UAE. None of their patterns is anything like the blue and white one I showed you and I suspect it must have been commissioned specially by the Norwich museum. It’s so like the Robert Browne pattern that I feel it must have been.
One of my seed orders has arrived, so I’ve been sowing peppers, tomatoes, chillies, aubergines and a few other things. Those that need most warmth are in the heated propagator. I’m popping down to see Ziggi later in the week, so Roses will keep an eye on it, though it’s just a matter of unplugging the heater when it’s too warm in there, for the time being. Next time I’m away, she’ll find herself caring for seedlings.
For many years, when my children were growing up, my greenhouse was the place I went to for peace and tranquillity. Now, of course, I can have that anywhere at home. The sounds are natural ones – right now, I can hear a bird singing in the garden and the crackling of the fire in the hearth, a faint sound from the computer and nothing else – or sounds I make myself or cause to be made. I have a great sense of loss, if I let myself dwell on it, but I mostly don’t, because there’s no point.
My solicitor is nearly ready to fill in the application for probate. That it’s taken six months is my fault as I haven’t been in any hurry to get valuations done, but it hasn’t mattered in practical terms. After that, it’ll be a matter of getting everything put in my name. A friend who phoned me to commiserate, a week or two after Russell died, said with rather unsuitable interest “So you’re a woman of means, now?” Not that there’s any difference from how it used to be, it’s just that Russell and I had left everything to each other. Our incomes were pretty well the same and we never fussed about who paid for what. And how I wish that things were as they used to be, before he was ill. Since that’s obviously impossible, I am glad to find that it’s comfortable, peaceful and not at all lonely living alone. Losing the man I loved for so long is something I will never get over, but I will continue to manage.