Today I planted my wall of sunflowers.
I wouldn't have known yesterday morning that this is the way I would spend a happy hour or two today. I thought I would be Otherwise
Occupied in a review meeting, yet one more meeting in a Week of Meetings, reminiscent of being a Working Gal once again. However, Glory be!, the meeting was cancelled, leaving me a whole day today, to be filled with Things I Really Wanted To Do.
Hence the building - or, to be more exact, the planting - of the sunflower wall. Regular readers will recall that I have raised a bumper crop of sunflower seedlings. I gave several away to members of our Nomination Whist
group who, judging by the in-depth reports at yesterday's get-together, are all inordinately proud of the progress of their plants. All except for Maree, who reported sadly that due to some Nefarious Deed by Persons Unknown, the seedling planted so lovingly
by her husband a fortnight ago (he even went out to the shop to buy a new trowel for the purpose) disappeared overnight. Everybody had his or her own theory as to how this could have come about but Maree thinks it might have been a neighbour, mistaking it
for a weed. How anyone could mistake one of my sunflower seedlings for a weed, I really don't know.
I felt so sorry for Maree's husband, missing out on the glory of growing a sunflower, that I gave her three
more as replacements. Let's see what happens to them...
After planting out four choice specimens, two for Mr B and two for me, in our giant pots adorned with our initials (all the better to prevent cheating
on Mr B's part) I was left with about thirty plants which might, or might not, make it into the Sunflower Wall. There wasn't room for every single one so I was forced to choose the very best, a painful process for one as soft-hearted as I. The best approach,
I decided, would be the Simon Cowell Approach to Selection. In other words, if a tiny, delicate plant looked unlikely to survive in the big wide world of my garden, especially given my haphazard planting methodology, then it would surely be an Unkindness to
subject it to such an uncertain future. It worked a treat. All twenty sunflower plants now getting accustomed to their new Place in the Sun look as if they are, at the very least, able to Make Their Way and willing to give it their Best Shot. I shall, of course,
keep you posted. Some of you may even be interested.
My unexpectedly free morning also enabled me to join a little group of people attending the Sussex Recovery College to tell them about the Worthing branch
of the U3A (University of the Third Age). I'd been asked to go along and provide some information but had had to explain I couldn't - except that then, suddenly, I could. One participant said, straightaway, that the U3A sounded like some weird, other-worldly
cult - which gave me a great lead-in as I could relate the (totally true) story of how Mr B initially had great reservations about joining what he thought was a spiritualist organisation.
What a lovely, brave
group of people they were. All recovering from some kind of mental breakdown and now battling to climb back onto the stage which is our world at large. Several declared their intention of coming along to our Enrolment Morning in early September and signing
up to sing, to play cards, to learn Spanish, to watch films, to go bird-watching, or to sing. U3A groups are basically, I explained, gatherings of friends getting together to enjoy a common interest and learn something along the way. Just what the doctor ordered!
Next week I am going back to talk to them about the possibilities in volunteering. I apologised, in advance, for the fact that they would have to put up with Two Helpings of Me.
I think I managed to plant
a few ideas. I loved the smiles on their faces as they talked about the hobbies they enjoyed, the card games they would like to play, the languages they might learn. I really hope at least some of them will find fun and friendship in the U3A, as Mr B and I
have done in the three years since I "retired in style."
They remind me of the sunflowers in my "wall". They have been planted out and now they are turning their faces to the sun. I just hope my little bit
of watering will help them grow.
Brave hearts, one and all.