It has been a sad day, and the weather matched it perfectly. I think, in literary circles, this is called pathetic fallacy. I remember the phrase from studying that comedic masterpiece, Tess of the D’urbervilles. Feel free to correct me if I have got the wrong end of the stick, it was a long time ago.
The reason for my gloom, is that Lord and Lady Mantle are moving to mansions new. Today was my last visit to their grand estate. Although I am devasted to see them go, there were several pointers to suggest that my time with them was complete. First of all Her Ladyship used the word “node” and in the correct context, later she suggested that she write a label for a newly potted up specimen (quite unheard of), followed by using my preferred pronunciation of the word “crocosmia” (usually a très posh crow-ko-smia). Lord M. emptied full wheelbarrows with only subtle hinting necessary, he tipped plants out of pots with tender loving care and then fed me quiche with garlic bread and coleslaw for lunch. And all day they only had the teeniest disagreement, over the thorny issue as to the best way to fold a tarp. Between hail, thunder, lightning and torrential rain storms we managed to complete all the jobs on the gardening list. Or we think we did as the list was in Lady M’s head.
I came away with some booty; several plants (yes, I do need them), a Tom Jones LP with the most splendid cover and a couple of lovely prints. And on the way out, for the first time ever, I managed to turn my car and get out of their drive in one go. Unfortunately, nobody was watching.
In attempt at balance, I outline below both the negatives and positives of my time with The Mantles:
Things I won’t miss:
- The single-track lane with its inherent threat of agricultural machinery and delivery drivers,
- Reversing whilst being marked out of ten by those mentioned in 1. above.
Things I definitely will miss:
- Phil and Brohna
- Brohna and Phil
- Lady Mantle
- Lord Mantle
- Lord and Lady Mantle
- Young Wills (although it is unlikely he will miss me).
On the drive back, I met a delivery driver on the lane. Luckily for me he was one of the very rare subspecies Politeandgenerous who reversed for me. It was a sign.
My time with you is done. Thanks for the good times, my friends, I will miss you very much. Love you both xxxx and a special x for Wills.