Wednesday 7 October 2015

Closing down for winter

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It's that time of year where autumn comes a calling. The summer was a typical British affair, full of promise which soon washed away with the rain. But the last week or two has seen the sun out just as we prepare to close down the garden for the winter. 

My mother is a mad keen gardener and since my Step-father past away just under a year ago it has been a lifeline for her. It's not so easy to just pop around to visit my mum as it's at least a 90 minute round trip. So we have her over to stay for the odd weekend. I supply plenty of food and wine, and the family provide company, and love. In return my mother provides her knowledge, and muscle as the whole family gets stuck into the clearing the garden from its wilting summer foliage. 

There's plenty to do. I cut back all the bushes before they get too out of hand while my son helps to pick up all the branches, and places them in the green recycle bin. The wife concentrates on one half of the weeding while mother does the other. As for my daughter, well she got stuck in as cutting back the Ivy. 

After the grass has been cut the whole place looks tidy, and then hopefully that's it for the winter. By 5 pm all was finished. I kept the wine flowing all afternoon, and when we all sat down in the kitchen the family were ready for something to eat. So I got on the phone to our favourite local Canton Chinese take-away. 

Forty minutes later a very smiley Chinese man appeared at my door holding a white plastic bag full of lovely smelling goodies in one hand; then in the other he held up a piece of paper with the cost scribbled across it. With the tip for the driver it came to £40. I placed all the separate silver trays that contained the food in the centre of the table, each with a serving spoon. Everyone had a plate, and then we all took turns to dish up whatever food took our fancy.

By seven thirty we were all in our jim-jams (including my mother) curled up on the sofas' watching the usual Saturday night fair on television. The type of T.V shows that generally us boys finding boring, but which the women find highly addictive. By nine thirty everyone was tucked up in bed exhausted from the days work in the garden, and with a belly full of South East Asian food. 

On Sunday morning we gently arose at our own pace, and once everyone was up I cooked a traditional English breakfast with lashings of hot steaming tea. Mother stated she hadn't slept so well since Tadger my step-father passed away. In both my books, Frenzy a Daniel Jones Story and in Daniel Jones Doom there is a character named Badger who I based on Tadger, and he also appears in the third book in the series titled Revenge. His real name was William Cassidy and was given the nick-name Tadger many years ago. There is a story of how he got this name, but that's best left for another time and place.

By lunch time we were walking around Highways Garden Centre. It's more of a department store with a large garden section added on these days, but it's my mum's favourite one, and we like it too. By six in the evening we had all returned home after dropping off mother in Lowestoft, and we sat down tea and cake for supper.

It was a lovely family weekend and one I think most people would also enjoy, but probably don't get around to doing. It's so easy to always think you will spend more time with your parents. You always expect them to be there, and that they will never die. But they do!

I'm just glad I took the chance while I still could.



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