Saturday, July 22, 2006
Sunday Scribblings - Thief
The phone rang as she was staring out of the window, coffee cup in hand, looking out at her garden. She smiled gently, put the cup down and turned to the small table picking up the phone.
'Prue, hello, I'm just about ready to leave.'
'Just thought I would check. It is our carpet bags we are taking with us isn't it?'
'Oh yes, I think that's what we'll need today. I've got the other things ready.'
'Ok, see you soon bye.'
Ellen put down the receiver, and checking the sunny day outside, picked up her large straw hat and firmly placed it on her head, inserting a rather dashing hatpin. She picked up a largish carpet bag and a walking stick. Closing the front door behind her, she walked slowly down the garden path admiring her garden in this early morning sunlight and walked through the gate shutting it firmly behind her.
The coach was parked outside the village hall and Prue was there waiting for her, carrying a similar bag and her walking stick. They greeted each other and turned to board the coach.
'Think we're going on a weekend trip and not a daytrip?' joked the organiser, looking at their substantial bags as he ticked their names off the list.
'We like to be prepared for all things.' Ellen replied, as behind her Prue giggled. They settled themselves into their seats placing the bags in the luggage holder above their heads, and prepared for the journey. The coach departed, the countryside certainly looked stunning this summer's day and there was a buzz of conversation around the coach about the delights they expected to see at their destination in ninety minutes time.
Finally, ahead of the coach they could see a two wide gateposts, 'Meadowacres House' straight ahead' the organiser said, and the coach drove through and up the drive. Once in the coach park, Ellen and Prue disembarked, and listened to their choices.
'You can have a guided tour of the house, followed by a guided tour of the garden, or if you like just spend time in the gardens yourselves. There will be a break for lunch between the house tour and garden tour. If you are going off by yourselves, please be at the cafe for 1.00p.m. Now can we find out who is doing what please?'
'The house and garden tour will be too much for our old legs.' Ellen said. 'I think we will just meander through the gardens at our own pace, meet up with the group for lunch and then have a pleasant sit down in the gardens in the afternoon.'
The group dispersed, Ellen and Pruce watched them go. 'Right,' said Ellen, 'Off we go. Let's see if there are any greenhouses open to the public and then round the gardens.' They scurried along through a door in a wall until they saw the greenhouses in the distance. The doors of two of them stood open, and there seemed to be no staff in sight. They crept in shivering with excitement. 'Now don't forget said Ellen,' just one of each potted on seedlings, so we don't weigh the bags down, we can split them when they are matured. Nothing too common or garden mind.' So they progressed through the greenhouse placing small pots in plastic bags and then into their capacious bags. After that they progressed through the gardens, with small secateurs in hand, taking leaf cuttings and stem cuttings, and even discreetly digging up tiny parts of plants. Soon it was time for lunch, and afterwards they rested in the gardens, two suddenly surprisingly doddery old ladies. They had a snooze on the bench and then it was time for the return journey.
'Well that was a very successful day' Ellen remarked to her cat, when she entered her house. She felt a thrill of excitement rush through her as she unpacked her bag and placed cuttings in water and put seedling pots in lines on the kitchen table. Tomorrow she would work in her beautiful garden. 'Oh Poppy,' she said to the cat. No wonder I always do well in the village garden competition. I am such a successful plant thief,' and she laughed to herself as she put the kettle on.