There are fairies at the bottom of our garden.
Not that I have actually seen any fairies, sprinkling copious amounts of fairy dust across the garden - unless you count
the beautiful bronze fairy figure which my sister and brother in law gave me for my recent birthday which is now sitting on a convenient house brick at the base of the lilac tree.
I am, nevertheless, sure
that there are magical powers at work down in what I like to call The Jungle. I base this on the fact that, when I came to clear the weeds which have sprung up over the last few weeks while I have not been paying attention, I came across not one, but two,
tiny rose bushes. They certainly weren't there before, I positively swear I didn't plant them - but there they are, hidden beneath the weeds and surfacing suddenly as I pull ferociously at the bindweed as if to say: "Here we are! Bet you weren't expecting
to find us!"
This is one of the things I love about our garden - it is so unexpected, so surprising, so brilliantly, impossibly untameable. Rather like my children, it has grown strong and independent and
beautiful despite me. Plants just seem to appear, growing and flourishing abundantly for all the world as if some Fairy Gardener has decreed that, given my haphazard approach to gardening, I am clearly not green-fingered enough, or sufficiently horticulturally
inclined, to be trusted with the total upkeep of this Pleasant Plot.
As well as reporting back to Mr B on our two surprise rose bushes, I am also able to bring a beaming smile to his face with the news that
we appear to be Blessed with Blackberries this year. I can tell he is metaphorically licking his lips at the thought of apple and blackberry pies, apple and blackberry crumbles, and any other culinary variation on a theme. I don't need to be a mind reader
to follow his train of thought.
My morning was spent in the hall at the Heene Community Centre, where we members of the Singing for Pleasure choir had been called together for an important rehearsal of our
programme for tomorrow's U3A Open Day. There were a few grumbles among our usually Sunny Set, on account of the fact that this was the first opportunity we had had to see which songs from our extensive repertoire we would be singing. Moreover some people were
not at all sure that an hour and a half's rehearsal was enough to ensure we would be Musically Magnificent the following day.
Our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, did her very best to take us through our
paces. These were all songs we knew well, she exhorted us, surely we could remember how to sing them? This is what you need to know about Muriel: she always wants us to sing in a way which will do full justice to the composers and lyricists. She wants us to
tell the story of each song properly. She wants us to stop looking down at our red files as we read the words of each ditty and instead sing out at the audience as if we are singing to each one of them individually. I am Firmly On Muriel's Side.
One of the songs on our programme is The Ascot Gavotte, from My Fair Lady. Wouldn't it add an exciting and humorous touch of theatre, I suggested, if we all suddenly donned fancy hats for the rendition of this song?
You should have seen the faces of my fellow choristers. I took it that was a "no" then.
Afterwards I did my best to reassure The Redoubtable Muriel that everything would be fine on the day. Once we were all
kitted out in our red shirts and black trousers or skirts, I said, we would look and feel like a proper choir and would lift our game accordingly. We would rise to the occasion and do our best to make her proud.
I hope my optimism is not misplaced. Our choir is rather like my garden - unpredictable, chaotic and largely untamed. Its members - like the plants in my borders - all have Minds Of Their Own.
can I lay my hands on some Fairy Dust?