This week as autumn gets into full swing, the range and vibrancy of leaf colours has been particularly stunning. My front garden is no exception and while admiring it a song came into my head – Colour My World by Petula Clark (1966).
In case you’re wondering she has held a fascination for me since my Dad told me when I was about 7 that she once lived just round the corner from him and he would walk to school with her – they were both born in the same year, a month apart. The word ‘happiness’ features regularly in the song along with references to a range of colours – including yellow and gold. The song led me to think about experiences I’ve had this week that have made me happy, causing me to laugh out loud – while alone!
Victoria and I indulged in a session of schoolgirl silliness via WhatsApp on Tuesday evening. We had both watched Monty Don on Gardeners World telling us how we could plant our sweet pea seeds now, in an unheated greenhouse, ready for spectacular displays next year. This led to us fantasise about opening our gardens to the public. We acknowledged that Coronavirus will be with us for some time and discussed all manner of technicalities that would be involved in such a venture. This included one way systems involving garages and side gates, ensuring the routes wouldn’t miss the humble beginnings of our sweet peas in our plastic greenhouses. We agreed we would need to invest in some hand rails on account of our sloping gardens and a designated viewing point on my terrace for anyone unable to do steps. The natterhatch would of course be a feature not to be missed by visitors – it would need it’s own socially distanced queues, perhaps even a separate booking system – this would provide excellent opportunities for selfies – in fact we would probably need to impose a time limit for each visitor. Then we got onto catering – I thought this might prove a good opportunity to use up the numerous sachets of tea, coffee and hot chocolate Grumbling Rose insists on saving from holiday welcome packs, although thinking about it they’re probably out of date – we have eaten all the biscuits but I do have a slab of parkin that needs eating up – oh, and we would need to put the milkman on notice for additional supplies. Things degenerated badly when we started to consider the need for portaloos and where they could be located. This led me to reminisce about a friend and I using the portaloos in Settle prior to embarking on a Jane Tomlinson walk we did for charity a few years ago. In turn we took care of each other’s possessions while we used the facilities. We both laughed uncontrollably as the Tardis rocked about precariously while we were inside – the thought of this happening on our drives had a similar effect on Victoria and me. By this stage the complexity of opening up our gardens to the outside world all seemed too overwhelming and we reluctantly accepted it was a fantasy too far, but it had been fun while it lasted.
Another experience this week that caused me to laugh hysterically was the story of “acclaimed artist Hercule Van Wolfwinkle” who doodled his pet dog while colouring with his son. He put it on Facebook for a joke and offered commissions. Requests came flooding in and he has raised a significant amount for charity. I’ll leave you with a selection – I hope they make you smile too …..