I have, remarkably, a highly sociable few days coming up. Tomorrow we are going here with ‘Delightful Next Village’ Gardening Club and on Tuesday evening we are visiting this nursery at Attleborough, with the ‘DNV’ WI. These are fabulous roses and we’ve always bought from him.
Years ago – oh, nearly twenty years, it was when my mother had just come to live next door – we drove over there to choose climbing roses to go over her garden fence. We had a lovely hour or two looking round the nursery and choosing plants and then got back in her car to go home.
As we drove along, she offered to tell me a Great Secret. Keenly – for it was obviously a good one – I promised that the word would be Mum. She told me that her best friend had told her that, while walking the dogs, she had spotted two people kissing each other passionately the other side of the hedge. These were two well-known locals, both married to other people, he with a slightly roving pair of hands but no known reputation, the other squeaky clean and both Pillars of the Community.
I ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ in a most satisfactory way, and we were having a lovely time dishing the dirt, when we noticed a couple of policemen waving at us. Well, hello! But no, one of them had a speed gun in his hand.
One one side of the road was a hedge and on the other, set well back, was a row of council houses with their own slip road. There were, however, street lights. Mummy rolled down the window. “Was I driving too fast?” she asked anxiously. “I’m afraid you were,” answered the policeman. She looked stricken and explained. “I’m so sorry. We don’t live here and we’ve just been shopping at PB roses, and we’ve been having such a nice chat and I’m afraid I didn’t realise we were still in the village. Is it a 30 limit? How fast was I going?”
“It is, and I’m afraid that you were driving at nearly 40 mph.” We both apologised again and Mummy steeled herself for her first ever driving ticket. “You won’t ever do that again,” added the policeman, “will you?” “No, I never will,” she said humbly.
He straightened up. We glanced sidelong at each other, not sure what to say. Were we to wait? We waited. Nothing happened. “Er, thank you,” said my mother. “Er, goodbye.” “Goodbye, madame,” said the policeman.
We waited until we were well down the road before bursting into peals of girlish laughter.
Oh, and I didn’t tell a soul about the gossip. Not for about ten years, and then I told the Sage. “She told me that too,” he said. “And swore me to secrecy.”