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Open Features: Great'ma - Part 10

..."Everything that happens is a reminder of some past experience," she thought. "Now where is everyone?"...

Great'ma sits in the garden, unaware of passing time, lost in musings upon past times and her family.

To read earlier chapters of Jackie Wearing's novel please type her name in the search box on this page.

Great'ma woke again later and quietly contemplated the garden, then began to wonder if she had already had lunch. The sun was high in the sky, skipping behind clouds, on and off. The flower beds were still bright with colour, but beginning to show that summer was moving on. She could hear the gardener working somewhere in among the shrubs. He was always careful not to disturb her. She felt that young as he was, he had not much to say to an old lady like herself.

Sometimes he whistled to himself, which reminded her of when she was young and the delivery boy would come riding round the side of the house to the back door. trilling away at the latest song. He was not supposed to ride the small sweep that graced the front of the house, but he mostly did.

Her father did not like this attitude at all, but she often saw her mother with a slight smile on her face. In many ways a stern woman, but moments like that showed a different side to her.

"Everything that happens is a reminder of some past experience," she thought. "Now where is everyone?"

At that moment Hilda came out to her, asking where she would like to be to have her lunch.

Indicating that she would eat where she was, Great'ma said, "I was just wondering whether I had already had it or not. Can you think of a way to get Margaret here without any fuss?"

"Well, Mummy, she does the flowers on a Friday usually..."

Registering the "Mummy", which Hilda had not used for some time, she asked, "What day is it today? I've lost touch it seems."

"It's Thursday.... Do you think... well I could... No, that wouldn't do. Yes I know, I can take the flowers and say they had wilted... She won't like to think that but I can ask her to bring some more this afternoon. She likes to think that you appreciate them."

"Yes that would be good. I have told her how much I welcome the day, for the first thing I see is usually her display. They always look beautiful without looking stiff. Well done Hilda."

"I'll take the flowers as I go back. I now feel... It has been a weight. When he turned up I just was... I don't know. Not myself. I kept on cooking things. David said if you are awake he would pop down for a moment. Is that alright?"

Great'ma nodded her agreement, as she took the cover off of her lunch and smelt it appreciatively. Hilda disappeared through the patio doors.

She was well into her food when David arrived to tell her that her solicitor had been and had left her some letters to read rather than disturb her that morning. He also said that he didn't know what she had managed to say to Hilda, but it had obviously been good, for she was now singing in the kitchen and seemed better than she had done for some time. She replied by inferring that there had just been the need to talk things over.

The gardener came up to them and asked to speak to David as he was available.

"You aren't going to leave us, are you?" David quickly said.

The young man smiled and answered, "No, I love this garden and it fits in well with everything else I have on hand. The point is that the grapevine that we decided on last year is not doing well where it is. I think if we moved it to the side of the summer house... I know that would involve some building work. We could have a brick walled bottom part. What do you think?"

"I'll come and look now as the rest of the day is my own." He waved a hand to Great'ma and went contentedly off. They went away talking over the dead man found in the garden. She heard the gardener saying, "It was a lovely place to have it happen."

By herself again she continued her meal while thinking over what she was going to say to Margaret. How would she take the news? In some ways such a competent person - quick and busy without any fuss. Judith and Albert had made it possible for her to live very comforably without having to work, but she had taken on various voluntary tasks. She had used all her abilities, which were considerable, to raise money for any cause she became interested in, apart from full time work for the homeless.

Her food finished, she eased back in the chair, sighed quite heavily and thought that the gardener had been right - it was a lovely place to be for whatever reason.

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