Scaring the Neighbours

Wateringflowers

Must stop gardening in my nightie.

Must stop gardening in my nightie.

I have this ludicrously hideous nightie. It is a fake lilac satin, voluminous ugly affair I bought in the first addled days of new Motherhood, and you know that is therefore, all the excuse I need. What cannot be excused is the fact that I am still wearing it, when it is probably the scariest garment Bon  Marche (Bon bloody Marche!!!) ever  produced.

But wearing it I am. Accessorised recently with turqouise plastic shoes and a rather fetching line in pineapple scrunchified updo's of which you have never, ever seen the like. I'm gorgeous first thing in the morning.  And do I care? Do I heck. If a person can't be scary in her own backyard, where the heckity pie can she be scary?

So out I go.  Because I'd rather be sitting drinking  hot lemon water  in my garden  than anywhere else  on the planet at the moment. Or at least I would have done until three days ago. You see no-one tells you, when you decide that growing things would be good for your soul, that what you are really inflicting upon yourself is WAR.

Oh yes, WAR.

I have had on my hands in the past three days the kind of flummoxing mystery Mrs Marple would have been thrilled with. I close the door on an immaculate little yard in the early evening and open it the next morning to find muddy bedlam. And for a while I blamed myself. Not knowing about these things I wondered if perhaps too much over-vigorous watering had caused the compost to bubble and jump out of the pots overnight. And then, while marmiting a bagel, I saw it. A naughty blackbird. Pecking away at my chive seed and sending mud flying all around the yard. I was not a happy sausage.

So out I waddled, (in my lilac nightie) and asked the blackbird to go away. And go away it did. Till I turned my back. When it swooped down and dragged an entire sunflower plant out of its pot  before giving me a cheeky wink from a safe perch on top of  next doors gate. Deciding then, in my infinite wisdom that what I needed was a scarecrow and finding them to be few and far between, I went inside and procured an empty pink bin liner, shoving half a marmite and cucumber onion bagel in my mouth as I went. And then I went back outside and kind of (Oh I'm so ashamed!) did the dance of the seven pink bin bags. In my nightie. And gardening clogs. With braless breasts shiny and defined in lilac satin and reaching somewhere near my bellybutton. And a bagel caught between my teeth. Wafting my bin bag like a flag and finding myself quite as silly as I ever have been, but safe in the knowledge that I was in the privacy of my own garden and all was well in the world of banished blackbirds.

Oh sure. This being a little row of four Victorian terraced cottages with quartered gardens behind, it is a fact of life that there is no privacy, and that we are in and out of each others gardens as fast as we are (secretly) filling up each others wheelie bins. I should have known better. Should not have been surprised when I looked up and saw my neighbour peering at me through a gap in the fence, a look of astonishment on his face so pure, I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd  dashed inside the house to summon his wife to come and video the spectacle of the human scarecrow in the scary purple dress.

I said "Good Morning".

He said "Hang a row of black socks on your line, that will sort the buggers out."

And then we went about our business. As English as they come.

God help the slugs.