Well, who'd have thought it?
Of all the plants in my Wall of Sunflowers, the one attributed to Lilia, the youngest of my ten grandchildren, has been the most afflicted
by the Slimy Slug Invasion. Not a single leaf remains, every one nibbled into extinction. And yet, would you believe it? Lilia's sunflower is the very first to flower. The flower is beautiful - just like its namesake - but it does look odd, perched as it is
atop a stalk bereft of foliage. I can, nevertheless, see it from my lounge window, shining back at me like a small, intrepid sun.
The Flowering of Lilia's Sunflower has given me new hope for the eventual fate
of the remaining plants in the wall. Maybe, just maybe, Everything Will Turn Out Alright In The End. I am further heartened by several reports from the friends to whom I gifted sunflower seedlings many weeks ago. "And this is just for starters!" is the title
of Maree's email, attaching a photo of her own burst of sunshine. Such a small present to give so much pleasure. I must do it again next year.
As the latest stage in our Keeping In Touch Project, Mr B and
I met up with my friend Eleanor for lunch. (If you are not a regular reader I should explain that the Keeping In Touch Project was devised when it occurred to me that, because so many of our normal activity groups are taking a Summer Break, we might not see
some of our friends till the middle of September. Hence the KIT project, which invariably involves food of some kind or other.)
Eleanor, like the very good friend she is, likes to keep in touch with news of
our family - so she was happy to hear the news of granddaughter Hazel's success in her GCSEs. Proud grandparents that we are, we were equally happy to have someone with whom to celebrate. Hazel apparently is celebrating with a meal at Nando's and a cinema
trip; we were there in spirit, if not in body. It's a good thing that the exams went so well because, to be honest, Hazel is not doing too well on the Sunflower Front. Though I doubt this will bother her over much somehow.
Mr B had a starter and a main course of liver and bacon, explaining that this is a dish he never has at home, owing to the fact that I can't abide liver. I am told that in years gone by the treatment for people like me with pernicious anaemia was to
eat at least a pound of raw liver every day. Thank goodness for B12 injections, that's all I can say. Mr B says that if I had lived way back then I would have had to force it down me somehow. I can't think of anything more offal.
We talked about barbecues - the Middle of the Darling Daughters and her family are dropping by to see us on Sunday after a visit to the Shoreham Airshow. The Son in Law is going to cook us up a barbie. He is, I told Eleanor, an ace
barbecuer, possibly the best I know. Our marinated chicken will be Safe in His Hands. All I need to do in preparation is to haul our ancient barbecue out of the garage where it currently resides, and clean it up. Mr B reminded me that I will also have to go
shopping for charcoal and fire-lighters and search for our long-handled tongs.
The waitress brought the small blackboard on which the choice of today's puddings had been chalked up. There was, she informed
us, only one portion of treacle sponge and custard remaining. The words had scarcely left her lips before: "I'll have it!" declared Mr B, as if saving the treacle sponge from some Awful Fate. And he did. I helped myself to a crafty spoonful and can confirm
that it was, indeed, delicious.
Seizing opportunities as they come along, that's what it's all about. Whether that's totting up exam passes - very well done to all those of my acquaintance who are celebrating
today; taking advantage of having an Ace Barbecuer in the family; finding liver and bacon on a restaurant menu; or grabbing the very last portion of treacle sponge and custard. That way lies happiness.
and seeing the very first flower in my Sunflower Wall, with all the promise of more to come.
As Hazel's other grandfather would doubtless have told her today: "Splendid! Just splendid!"