'You out to play' it said.
I'd forgotten I'd promised to go and do some gardening in the park and I really didn't feel like it. But if I didn't go Bob would have to deal with the mad people on his own which didn't seem fair so I hauled my sorry ass down there.
On the way I passed our noble secretary who was also on his way to join Bob and who was dressed in a very fetching florescent vest with Community Service written in big letters on the back.
I stopped and got off my bike so I could walk with him. Hopefully anyone who saw us would assume that I was his supervisor!
We arrived to find the pavilion still locked. No, no, no, no, YES, I have my keys said our noble secretary patting all his pockets in turn and then taking his vest off, then his jacket and finally tipping the contents of his bag on the ground.
Ah, HERE they are he shouted picking them up with a flourish. Unfortunately in his enthusiasm his arm kept going and he let go of the keys which flew through the air and landed in the hedge next to the path.
FORTUNATELY I could see them so (only incurring a couple of scratches) I pulled them out and silently handed them to him.
We selected all the tools we needed and, as Bob had borrowed the barrow, lugged them in our arms to the far side of the park where the wildlife garden is trying not to trip ourselves up with the spades and forks.
We began work and were shortly joined by Chinks, a lovely lady who pops over and give us a hand from time to time.
I don't know why she is called Chinks but it confuses the hell out of Bob.
Is she ... Chinese? He asks (Bob is NOT very PC). I think it's just a nickname I tell him but he can't quite bring himself to call her that and refers to her as Mrs Chinks.
Today Chinks is resplendent in a multi coloured scarf wrapped around her head with tiny tassel's hanging from it.
Soon after we spot Bob heading our way pushing the wheel barrow.
Is she here he mumbles, is she HERE, he looks around furtively. We all know he's referring to Sue.
It's ok I reassure him, haven't seen her.
Just then - COOOEEEE, I'm here she shouts shuffling up the path with a fag hanging loosely from her mouth.
How would you feel she asks fixing me with a piercing stare - how would you FEEL if you woke up in Budapest, looked out of the window and realised your trailer was GONE - stolen in the night without so much as a by your leave - HOW WOULD YOU FEEL.
Well, I said, I don't actually HAVE a trailer but SD does and I can only assume that he ....
It COULD happen you know she announces with some satisfaction and, tapping the side of her nose she whispers, take it from me, it could happen!
She then wanders off and sits on the bench as we all start digging.
You can tell I used to work for the council can't you she chortles. I'm just sitting here in the sun watching you all work. Her laughter turns into a nicotine fulled cough and she sits there for a while hacking and laughing to herself as we all carry on digging.
Just as I am on my hands and knees intent on pulling out a very persistent weed Bob pushes me very forcefully face down into the mud.
I spit out some earth and turn my head to see him white as a sheet and shaking.
Sue has his newly sharpened scythe in her hands and is swinging it samurai like above her head and within INCHES of mine.
Thanks I mumbled through a mouthful of dirt as Bob wrestled it from her grasp - I owe you one.
I'm thinking of getting my chain saw licence says Sue, Bob Looks horrified. I'm reassured by the fact that I'm pretty sure you need to be of sound mind before they will issue you with one until I remember the Ex Lax is a tree surgeon so now I'm not quite so sure that's true ...
Sue then wanders off with a pair of shears and starts attacking the newly flowering cherry at the side of the park and peace resumes.
Just then our esteemed leader appears from the direction of the car park. We don't see so much of him since he moved to a nearby town and to be honest, fond of him as I am, we DO get so much more work done without him faffing around.
What's Sue doing he asks. I look over to where I last saw her and realised she is no longer there.
I just passed her walking through the car park with a pair of shears in her hands, hope shes not planning on slashing any tyres his chuckles.
Bob and I look at each other and shrug. He's already gone above and beyond by saving my life today and to be honest, I'm happy to leave her to it.
Then she reappears with a flask.
TEA she shouts at Bob waving it in his face - no thanks he mumbles - why, whats WRONG with my tea she shouts shaking it at him again and then turns on her heel and stomps across to the bench.
You can help me, says our esteemed leader to me jerking his head towards the car park - got some shrubs in the car.
We go to the car and he opens the boot where there are two small shrubs in plastic pots and on huge one in a terracotta pot which has fallen over and cracked all down one side.
He grabs the two smaller ones - you can carry that one he says nodding at the huge one.
I carefully pick it up and clutch it to me where upon it disintegrates and a large part of the pot falls on my foot leaving me covered in soil and desperately trying to hold on to the rest of it.
You've made a bit of a mess there he says.
Have I? HAVE I??? I say through gritted teeth.
When we get back I realise that as I have promised to go and help Audrey sort herself out with an account on a selling site on FB and I need to leave straight away so I can get cleaned up first.
I borrow our noble secretaries keys so I can get my bike from the pavilion and I'll pick up my jacket on the way back.
What's that I asked pointing to a couple of sticks stuck in the earth with a larger stick lying between them.
NO, no, no, no, no, I don't know he said sadly but Sue put them there and I'm too afraid to move them ...
When I get back I find Sue baptising our esteemed leader with some tea from her flask.
I'm off now I announced.
Wait mumbles Bob - I have something for you and he pressed a stone into my hand.
I look at it but it's just a stone.
Ummmm, thanks I said but what do I do with it.
You won't find another like it he mumbled and I wonder if it's shot through with some kind of precious metal or if I split it open will there be a fossilised dinosaur egg in it or some thing.
It's almost heart shaped said Bob blushing slightly.
|You might need to squint a bit|
Naaaaw ... I think Bob might have a bit of a crush ...