Today is a day’s work for tidying up the garden that its owner, now 96, has not been able to maintain for the past 10 years. His son and my contact Keith tried to do little bits and pieces but just didn’t have the time or the drive so he’s calling us in.
The parents are resident in the bungalow concerned, spending most of their time sitting in the window gazing at nothing much. There are full-time live-in carers; we met a very nice chap from Barbados who had actually been born in Yorkshire but retained the Caribbean ever-smiling attitude to life. I love meeting happy people, it doesn’t matter how much we have in common or otherwise. I do pick up atmospheres very quickly good or bad. Sometimes, I think I’m a little too much like a sponge for my own good.
It is interesting to notice the psychology of starting a job. You just start somewhere and gradually the priorities of the job established themselves, you develop a timetable and schedule during the first half hour or so and the job creates a rhythm of its own.
I was saying to the carer that I have never had two jobs that were remotely the same. If you consider the permutations and combinations of circumstances, soil type, size, preferences of the customer, country, you could go through one life indeed several lifetimes never having the same set of circumstances. That’s what makes the job of gardening so interesting.
The potential customer who had breathing difficulties called me today and said that he had found somebody else. I was delighted for him partly because I didn’t want the job and I didn’t want to finish the thing with the no so he saved me having to do this. This chap needs care just as much as he needs a gardener. He wants help with planting seeds but he cannot even bend down without having to pause for several minutes so I can hardly come and go and anyway let him down. I may be overdoing the conscientiousness here but I’ve decided to make sure that this year I have no trouble with my gardening jobs. I want to get 100% satisfied clients.
Today a solicitor came after having taken my instructions for my affairs should I unfortunately pass away. He got me to sign the Will which revokes all other Wills. My matters are fairly simple but it is quite difficult to decide how much to give to who. Do I give equal amounts to the members of my family when I know that some of them have far more money than I do. If I do not give equal amounts and take the role of accountant, this may cause controversy. I know that you can say from beyond the grave will it really matter but I’m I believer in the continuity of consciousness. Life goes on, and we take on and off various ‘suits of clothing’, or bodies, and continue our existence in various forms. Be it true or not, it does make me take a very long term view on the consequences of my actions.