Saturday, 21 September 2013
Back in Lay
Yesterday was a day for neighbourliness, visiting and being visited. In the morning I was off to little ol' lady down the lane, Una where I'd volunteered to clear fallen Leylandii 'needles' off her gravel drive, clip a hedge and dig out the ditch to her 'swolly hole'. The needles thing was interesting - she was worried that I'd sweep up a load of gravel with the needles and she wanted that 'back', so I invented a way of dibbling wads of the needles/gravel mixture in a bucket of cold water so that the gravel would sink and the needles would float. "I never would have thought of that!" said she. Ha ha, I thought. That's probably because you were raised as a sweet young lady, and I was down there playing mud pies and puddle ducking! A 'swolly hole' turns out to be where nameless household liquids drain away. We ended up in her lovely rustic farmhouse kitchen drinking 'tay' and eating homemade fruit scones with homemade blackcurrant jam. Heaven.
We were just about to sit down to supper, rice cooked, table laid, plates warmed all ready to go, when neighbour from the other side, John Deere Bob rocks up. We love him. He is completely unfazed by us being about to serve up and plods in in his boots, sits down in his chair and accepts a glass of blackcurrant cordial. He's going to do the standard half hour chatting anyway. We burble away happily about village stuff, the imminent Referendum on getting rid of the Senate (equiv to House of Lords), geese, sheep etc till his mental half hour is up and he stands up with a 'Well, Good Luck now!' (he has a strong local accent, so he says it 'Good Luck No') and he's back off down the drive to his tractor, parked at our entrance. The supper (curried bunny) was no worse for the wait.
I love all this stuff and I always take it as reassurance that I have not fallen into the 'ex-pat' cliché trap of seeking out and only associating with other Brits. Plenty of our friends are actually Brits and I am delighted with that, but that is more by accident than design.