Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Just mooching

Sitting, looking out of the window at the garden yesterday,  I couldn't help admiring the goldfinches on the bird feeder. Occasionally a magnificent bullfinch and his wife would come along, but they are too timid for me to photograph. It was sunny then and as yet no clouds had rolled across the blue skies as harbingers of the dismal inclemency the weather was due to offer later.
I think goldfinches are almost too exotic and beautiful to be British birds
It occurred to me I had been sitting far too long and ought to go for a walk.
I have been doing a lot of walking. Its the only exercise I can do at the moment and I try to do some every day. Yesterday, I walked the mile and a half down to Yate which is the nearest town with a reasonable shopping area. It is a bit of a blot on the landscape and mostly I try to forget Yate Shopping centre exists. But on the way, there is a rather quiet and tidy housing estate and many of the gardens have the most beautiful trees, mainly prunus or malus.
The camera did not capture the true purple deliciousness of this tree
I wore my favourite hat, since by then it was raining and it makes a fine mini umbrella. It is a wool-felt fedora my son persuaded me to buy in M&S one day and I think it is rather stylish.
Imagine my surprise then when two late-teenage girls, blobbing along ungraciously in some type of ugg-boot type footwear decided my hat was hilarious. I stood looking ruefully at them as their sponge-boots wicked up water from the puddles and wondered a little at the notion of what people can be persuaded to do in the name of conformity. At least my hat is practical.

My purchases completed, (some brass hinges for a new cupboard in my van - bought in one of the few remaining "real" hardware shops and handed to me in a brown paper bag) I was tired so I stopped at the cafe in the centre of the precinct. I ordered a mug of tea and a sultana scone. My roots are showing when I say that in my mind, this rhymes with "stone" as changing one letter would not seem to me to be a reason to override the rule of the "magic e" I learned in "look and read" in 1970.
A quiet girl, perhaps twenty years old or so, served me. As she looked up and handed me my change, I saw her eyes and they were really quite beautiful. I was momentarily dumbstruck and then after a moment, we both became embarrassed and I scurried off with my tray. Once, in 1984, in Woolworths in Pontypridd, a similar thing happened and I actually plucked up courage to tell the owner of the eyes that I thought them beautiful, which seemed to brighten her day. In this case, I am old and she is young and it would probably seem creepy. So I sat down and and consumed my tea and scone.

Refreshed, I walked home through the rain. It had eased off a little now so getting nearer home, I popped into the allotment to check on progress. Hmm.. peas not up. No sign of the turnips or spring onions. Well, it has been cold. Broad beans are looking good and strawberries promise a good crop.
I use landscape fabric and carpet to keep the weeds down on beds I have yet to plant anything in. Lifting one corner of a carpet, a movement caught my eye. It was a toad. A small one.
Meanwhile at the allotment, I lifted some carpet and...
I stroked its warty back a couple of times because I wanted to feel the texture of it. It felt unbelievably cold for a living thing. Then I covered it up again and left it in peace.
Picking a handful of late broccoli for lunch, I headed home since the rain had now got more insistent. It wasn't an auspicious morning, but it's good to feel part of the hustle and bustle of life again.
Then it started raining again.


Kay G. said...

"Left it in peace", best words I've seen on a post, even better than some of the religious ones I like to read every day.

Jenny Woolf said...

I'd never heard of Yate. Now I have - I looked it up on Wikipedia. How nice to have an allotment and fresh veg. I have a place where I grow veg in the communal garden but I have whatever the opposite of green fingers is - brown fingers, perhaps. Though that doesn't sound quite right.
Glad you are getting back in the swing of things.

Librarian said...

My Dad says the usual pair of toads have been visiting his garden pond a few weeks ago, but when they left, he could not detect the typical strings of eggs they usually leave behind. So maybe they have decided to do that elsewhere this year, or someone was incredibly quick to eat them all before he had a chance to see it.

As for the young lady with the beautiful eyes; such encounters are important, aren't they, regardless of anything actually "happening" or not.