It was Tuesday yesterday so I was half expecting the text from Mumbling Bob.
'You out to play???'
'Yes' I typed and hit reply before noticing that, horror of horrors, my phone had inserted xoxo after the word yes!
WHY DID IT DO THAT???
I don't put xoxo on texts EVER - why did my phone think I wanted to for Bob???
Did it perhaps KNOW about the heart shaped stone Bob pressed into my hand the other week? The stone that SD insists looks more like a loaf of bread?
WAS MY PHONE MATCH MAKING???
Off I trundled to the park passing our Noble Secretary on the way who was putting out his rubbish seemingly unaware that the bin men had passed our way over an hour earlier.
I met Bob by the pavilion. 'Got to go to Audrey's' he told me, 'you better come too - that woman in the top flat 'talks' if I goes there on my own'.
'Bugger the woman in the top flat' I said, Bob sniggered and winked at me.
'You've caught me in my all together' said Audrey answering the door in her dressing gown, 'what must you think of me??'
Me nothing, I'm often in my dressing gown at 10am but that woman in the top flat ...
Back at the pavilion our noble secretary had arrived and outside was a wheelbarrow with a large black bin in it.
'Got to water the seeds' he said as he filled up a bucket with water ready to pour into the bin.
'Hold hard' shouted Bob, there's a bleddy gurt hole in this bin.
'No, no,no, no, YES, your right, there is!' said our noble secretary sadly peering into the bin, 'I didn't see it in the shed, too dark'.
'Ever thought of turning the light on?' mumbled Bob.
Luckily we found another bin without a hole and set about filling it with water to transport to the far side of the park.
Laden with forks, spades, wheel barrow and a dirty great bin full of water we arrived in the wildlife garden.
Our noble secretary stood and scratched his head.
'I'm not ENTIRELY sure where I planted the seeds' he said looking around in bewilderment.
Bob and I got to work digging up weeds while our noble secretary happily pottered about with his tiny watering can filled from the bin of water sprinkling a few drops here and a few drops there.
'Bollocks' mumbled Bob as Sue appeared around the hedge.
'I am here to spread joy and seeds! No, not YOUR seed you naughty man' she chortled playfully slapping Bob with a rolled up newspaper.
'NOT THOSE KIND OF SEEDS'.
'Ere' said Bob, 'don't you go talking about my seed like that! I'm not sprinkling ...' He tailed off clearly uncertain how to continue with that sentence.
'NOW' Sue shouted at our noble secretary - HAVE YOU SORTED THE DAHLIAS???'
'No, no, no, no, no, YES, all sorted' he exclaimed.
'Good' said Sue, I didn't want to have to tell you again! Now, I need you to come round and stand on the bottom of a ladder - DO YOU THINK YOU COULD MANAGED THAT????'
'Well, no, no, no, no, no, NO - not today, I'm busy after this'.
'TOSH' shouted Sue, you've PLENTY of time, what could POSSIBLY be more important???'
'Well, I've got a meeting you see ....'
'EXCUSES!!! I'll expect you at one sharp, I have Jaffa Cakes you know ...'
'NO' she shouted rounding on me - 'it just WON'T DO!!!' She walked over to the wheelbarrow I'd been throwing weeds in and plucked out a stray leaf.
'This' she announced, 'THIS is NIGEL!' and she carefully planted Nigel in my freshly dug soil.
'Do NOT dig him up again!'
I assured her that Nigel would henceforth be safe.
'Here' she said handing me a small bottle of Vimto - 'give Nigel a bit, he needs perking up'.
I looked at the bottle, looked at Sue and then unscrewed the top and gave Nigel some Vimto.
'I would offer him a cigarette after his traumatic experience' she said but the Vimto will probably do him more good'.
'Where's my eggs then?' asked Bob.
The chickens at the farm have gone into laying overload recently so as well as the dozen that SD's Mum give me every week there are plenty to spare and I'd promised Bob half a dozen. This week there were even more and I picked up an extra half dozen for our noble secretary too.
' I forgot to bring them, I'll pop home now and pick them up'.
On the way back I decided to leave our noble secretaries eggs at his house with his wife rather than give them to him as he would probably lose them on the way home.
Mary and I had a little chat when I dropped them off.
'Sue's helping down at the park' I told her.
'Oh god' she said, 'she called round the other day, I was upstairs so I pretended to be out and she shoved a load of newspaper through my door. Ten minutes later the phone rang and I was in the front room talking to my daughter when I saw her peering through my front window! She saw me so I had to answer the door. I said I was on the phone but she thrust a pint glass into my hand and it had a tube of glue in it and then she pushed a stick through my letter box.
Why did she DO that? What do I want a STICK for?? The door was open anyway, why didn't she just GIVE the stick to me???
Then she said I had to take the glue back by four o'clock.
I didn't want the bloody glue in the first place!!!'
Back at the park Bob was talking to Sid. I don't know what his real name is but he's a regular at the park and often stops to speak.
Sid's age is difficult to determine. He could be anything from 30 to 45. I suspect he's never worked and he is often seen drinking cider with his cronies in the park (which has an alcohol ban) well before lunchtime.
However, Sid is harmless and amiable and doesn't leave his bottles lying on the grass so we let him be.
'Must be two years since you planted them trees' he said nodding towards the fruit trees lining the edge of the wildlife garden.
'I remember 'cause it was around that time my Mum died. I want to plant a rhododendron for her, she liked rhodedendrons'.
'HOW'S YOUR LITTLE DOGGIE' shouted Sue.
'Which one' said Sid.
'THE ONE WITH THE POORLY LEG, CAN'T GET UP THE STAIRS'
'I live on the ground floor' said Sid looking confused 'and I have two dogs and both of them are fine'.
'Break a bit of the tree and plant it for your Mum' said Sue.
'I don't think that's a good idea' said Sid, 'you can't just break bits off trees. Anyway, I wanted a Rhododendron not a tree'.
'A rose bush then' Sue went on, 'plant a rosebush for her'.
'But I wanted a Rhododendron ...'
'PLEASE YOURSELF AND TAKE CARE OF THAT POORLY DOG!!!'
Sue went over to the wheelbarrow and picked up the half empty bin of water and proceeded to pour it all over the grass next to the flower bed.
''NO, no, no, no, NO' shouted our noble secretary, 'that's for the SEEDS!!!'
Sue stomped off in a huff and, as she passed me she muttered out of the side of her mouth, 'I'll be keeping YOU close - you know too much about me!'
Then she wandered off across the car park and peace resumed for a while.
On her return she said to Bob, 'I have something for your to share with your good lady wife but on no account are you to give any to the dog!'
'Ere' said Bob, 'I don't HAVE a wife, I keeps telling you that!'
'Well' said Sue, 'that woman who lives with you like she's your wife then'.
'But I don't HAVE ...'
'SHARE THEM WITH SARAH THEN - I DON'T REALLY CARE - JUST DON'T GIVE THEM TO THE DOG!!!'
She shoved an open packet of Jaffa Cakes into Bob's bag as our noble secretary looked sadly on seeing his bribe for standing on the bottom of the ladder disappear.
Soon after we packed up and headed for home in the sure and certain knowledge that next week there will be more madness down the park.