Jaqui's Daily Blog

Meeting Basil and a Sunny Afternoon in the Garden

I can’t imagine it’s the influence of the Chelsea Flower Show (Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures being rather more up their street) but the Trio of Rampaging Rascal have taken up gardening. With a vengeance.


Mostly, it has to be said, their idea of gardening is Water Butt Related. Every plant in my back garden has been assiduously watered several times over including all the faded daffodil leaves in the plant pots as the Trio were most concerned that they should be brought back to life. I did start to explain the Mystery of Spring but nobody was listening to me, on account of the fact that they had just discovered another plant requiring their attention.


The Trio plus their proud mamma, Middle of the Darling Daughters, arrived half way through the Royal Wedding but at least I’d heard them pronounced Man and Wife. Harry and Meghan, that is, not the Trio. We all surged into the back garden - there would, after all, be edited highlights to watch over and over again but the Trio would be here for just a precIous afternoon. “What was the dress like?” my daughter wanted to know as we sat in the garden with our mugs of coffee - so I did my best, not entirely successfully, to play the part of a fashion expert. 


A ring on the door-bell. It’s Mr B’s cousin, Keith, and his lovely wife Sue. An unexpected pleasure which puts me in mind of the first time Keith, then in his very early twenties, turned up on our doorstep. We’d never met him before (he hailed from Mr B’s birth family, before he was adopted) but I knew him instantly because he looked just like a younger version of Mr B. I remember he took the Eldest of the Darling Daughters for a spin in his snazzy sports car; she was bowled over by the experience.) 


Keith has spotted the Giant Penguin on the doorstep, dressed up in his Royal Wedding finery (he is still miffed he hasn’t received an invite. The Giant Penguin, that is, not Keith. Keith would not be so presumptuous.) Perhaps they shouldn’t come in, says Keith, as we obviously have family with us. I remind him that he is family too - so in they come, Keith, Sue and Basil... “What was the dress like?” asks Sue. Ditto, above.


As far as the Trio is concerned, Basil is an Honoured Guest being a dog. The Trio adore dogs. Basil is a very elderly dog whose legs keep giving away under him so he lays on the grass in the back garden while the Trio lovingly attend to him, filling up his water bowl as required - though fortunately not from the water butt. Lilia is particularly attentive, not being quite so into gardening as her siblings. Every so often poor Basil drags his weary legs into a fresh space, out of the sun. It is possible he may be trying to get away from his Number One fan but Lilia is determined to keep on looking after him.


Usually my daughter and I take the Trio down to the seaside when she visits to give Mr B an hour’s peace - but it’s  lovely and relaxing sitting in the sunny back garden in such pleasant company. The water butt having been emptied, I introduce the Trio to water painting on the patio - all you need is a bucket of water and a paint brush each plus a space to “paint” on. It’s “no mess painting” as taught me many years ago by sweet Claire who now lives in America with her fella and three adorable girls but keeps in touch. The Trio decide to “paint” the garage door instead. 


In the kitchen, they find my Fairy Garden and turn their horticultural energies onto re-arranging it. The Middle of the Darling Daughters, always the most creative of our family, fashions tiny ducks out of yellow plasticine and places them carefully on the pond (a mirror, what else?) The Trio aren’t as impressed as they should be and the ducks are squashed so that the plasticine can be used for other purposes. Their mother is not to be out-witted - after they have all left for home, I notice a plasticine bluebird, sitting on the roof of the cottage which is the central feature of my garden. 


You all know what bluebirds signify, of course, and what better message for our Sunny Afternoon in the Garden? As well as a Right Royal Wedding day?


Bluebirds are for happiness...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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