I was wakened around 5am by the sound of rain, at which point my bladder became rather more active than I was and forced me reluctantly from my bed. A little later, around 6am, I was roused by a small, sharp elbow and the question: “What time do you think it is?”
The answer did not seem to meet with her approval.
“There’s no need to use language like that. If I could see the clock I wouldn’t need to ask you.”
I really don’t think she needed to ask me anyway. That’s why I set the alarm on the phone. If it isn’t sounding, you don’t need to know.
At 6.45 it was much the same again, a huge sigh followed by: “I might as well get up now, I can’t get back to sleep because of the rain.”
I indicated that I too was suffering from a broken sleep, though I had no intention of showing myself to a grey, wet morning before the alarm went off.
By 7.45 we were in a queue on the ring road (there are always queues when it rains – I’ve never quite worked out why) , and shortly after 8.00 we were at the garden. Julia had not been able to clear up the glass on Thursday as the Scenes of Crime Officer had not finished until it was time for her to go to her evening shift at the Leisure Centre.
We hadn’t been able to get access on Friday before she had to go to the other site and she has been busy since then. Nobody, not even the Monday Group, who were there all day yesterday (as the name suggests), has bothered to offer a hand with the cleaning up.
While she went to find the caretaker for the keys (he has fitted a new set of door handles for her) I was sent to ASDA for cleaning equipment. They have a special offer on – dustpan, brush, squeegee, washing up brush, scrubbing brush and sponge for £4, compared to £3 just for the dustpan and brush. The fact that I feel the need to report this indicates that I am turning into my father, who often came back from shopping with a “bargain” whether he needed it or not.
I did a bit more shopping on the way round (there were some good offers on) and rolled up to the cash register to find that my debit card wouldn’t work. I only had £10 in my pocket so stuck to the cleaning equipment and stationery. (It worked fine when I used the ATM on leaving the shop, so despite the implications of the lady on the till, I did have enough funds to cover a £17 bill).
We had to break the remaining glass, which was more difficult than it sounds. Glass never breaks when you want it to. I gave it a sharp tap with the edge of a hand gardening fork, because I just wanted to break the remaining half pane in two. It was a good plan, but glass rarely cooperates. Instead, it bounced the fork back at me, coming perilously close to hitting me in the face.
So I tried again. Harder. With predictably perilous results.
Obviously I’m not going to be bested by half a pane of glass, so I tried a trowel next. A good hard tap from the trowel, which wasn’t as springy as the fork, produced a result. Well it did if you define result as “explosion of glass splinters”.
With hindsight I should have allowed for the extra rigidity and not hit it so hard. Or had Julia standing there with a bag to catch the bits. In my own defence I would point out that I had asked for tape to put on the glass to hold it together, like the blast tape on WW2 windows. Unfortunately we didn’t have any tape.
Anyway, all the broken glass is cleared and swept away. This is fortunate because it’s still raining and they will be wanting the container today.
Acanthus, or Bear’s Breeches. No, I don’t know why.
It’s still raining now.
However, as a Dyno-Rod van is working down the street I can confidently say that someone is having a worse day than me.