Gardening – being on TV – delights of not travelling

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Today dawned bright and sunny and at just the right temperature. This is the day when we were due to finish a gardening job for a delightful woman of 87 who has endured the loss of two husbands followed by seven years being on her own in each case. She is thinking of moving into a home where she can have the company that she desires.

She complains of loneliness and particularly in the winter months and is quite blunt about it but she is fortunate to have the support from five of her children so she is often entertaining grandchildren and her own children. We had a delightful time making her garden tidy and attractive. It was interesting to note that she originally grumbled about the price I asked, whereupon I had offered a reduction, but when she saw the quality of work we did, she agreed to pay the original price.

Older people should not be underestimated. This lady was an amazing embroiderer and quilter and her bungalow was adorned with brilliant creations that I could only admire. She was an extremely interesting person sharing many memories of times before and during the second world war. In these cases I always ask Françoise to spend some time with them chatting because their need to talking is in a way just as great as the need to have a garden done.

Yesterday we met with someone called Howard who needs his entire garden done, it looks like a wreck at the moment. From his appearance and his medical situation it is unclear as to whether he can afford the price so what I decided to do is determine the normal price, give him a quote and see what he says, then discuss with him what can be done.

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Today, at about 1:30 PM, my doorbell rung and there was a reporter from BBC Points West. A few days before, I had complained to the Local Council that someone had been stealing our strawberries. This was picked up by a local reporter from the Bath Echo who in turn put it on a wire service. Maybe since it is August, the silly season, it was picked up by the Daily Telegraph who called me and did a telephone article and later on by BBC Points West. Hence the reporter. We went along to the allotment and she did a couple of interviews with two tenants and myself. With quick editing a video session made at 3pm ended up on the news at 6.40 pm. I suppose that is normal these days what with competition.

After the rain and pestilence of the last few days we are set for more summer with temperatures rising to the 30’s. I can cope. Who needs to travel around in such weather. I don’t want to visit overcrowded coastal resorts, which tend to be overcrowded in this part of the world. If you want somewhere really overcrowded try St. Ives, Cornwall.

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