Anthea had always been a keen gardener. Now in her retirement, if the weather was fine, she was out pulling weeds, or planting seedlings, or watering the vegetables. Her garden was admired not only from the street but by the many neighbours who profited from Anthea’s generosity. Not only would neighbours benefit from boxes of fresh vegetables left on their doorstep, but bouquets of gorgeous flowers arrived if there was a happy or sad occasion.
Anthea knew fairly fast the tastes of neighbours. Charlene had pollen allergies so lilies in a posy were out. Gloria and Dick detested broccoli. And so on.
Now it so happened that one family of neighbours moved away. The house was bought by the nastiest couple imaginable. When Anthea welcomed them with a box of fresh vegetables, all they could say was “About time”. The husband (or the male in the relationship) had an obsession with drones. Anthea wasn’t the only one on the street to detest the invasion of her privacy with the neighbour’s wretched drones going here and there.
Enough is enough. Anthea whisked up a delightful salad from the greens in her garden. She included quite a few chopped up foxglove leaves – by mistake of course.
As Anthea said to Prue at the funeral, “Let’s hope any new neighbours are a lot lovelier.”
When Pretoria (her great-grandfather had served in the Boer War and somehow her naming had something to do with that. Her grandmother had explained it to her once, and now that she was older she wished she had listened and remembered. It was something to do with the fact that he (her great-grandfather) had caught malaria and spent the entire war in a mobile hospital unit being shunted from one encampment to another. Why they just didn’t send him home was anyone’s guess. She didn’t actually recall hearing anything about her great-grandfather being in Pretoria itself. Anyway she was glad they never called her Johannesburg or even Port Elizabeth. Her brother was called Klerksdorp, a name he hated with a vengeance. At least it made him look up a bit of history when he was at school – that is before he changed his name to Clark (similar to Clark Gable and Lois and Clark)) was getting ready to go to town when she notice that the car had a puncture (which reminds me that where I go to get my car serviced they have a great big sign that says: Puntchers fixed for $10. The head mechanic’s daughter is a school teacher so I’m not surprised about the lack of spelling. The standard of teaching these days is appalling but that’s because the teachers themselves were badly tort by bad teachers so it’s been going on for generations, getting lower and lower in standards. Not only that but teachers these days can’t stay on the topic and wander off like they start talking about the properties of hydrogen peroxide and end up talking about hair dye or something. It’s pathetic. Punctuation has also gone out the window. And so have manners. Old-fashioned values like courtesy are for the birds).
Anyway I better shut up and get some work done. I’ve a lecture to give tomorrow. I’m excited because I recently got a pay rise. I’m a professor at Harvard, and deal mainly with Logic in the Philosophy Department. I’m hoping to tell them about my great-aunt Pretoria who is long dead and I have only a vague memory of her. She collected teaspoons apparently. From all over the world.
Guntis was known as a boring man. That’s why a lot of people avoided him. He would set his mouth into drone and corner people with a story for ten minutes or so. Here he comes now. I must move. Oh damn.
Hello. There was this man who went to this old house that used to be owned by some socialite way back in the you-know-when, and the house was really old and full, no doubt, of memories. But this man, I think his name was Peter, went there and it had a small section of it cornered off as some sort of café. So Peter, I’m not 100% sure it was his name, but it’ll do, decided to buy something at the café. So he sat down at a table and the waitress came over and he ordered a cup of tea. And he drank the tea and then he left, but he was pleased he had visited that old home so immersed in history. It’s interesting, isn’t it, all this history? There was also another person there having a cup of tea. Actually, it might have been coffee, I don’t know, but Peter thought he’d seen her before. You never know who or what you might bump into from one day to the next. And she certainly looked familiar, but Peter couldn’t remember where he’d seen her before. It’s a small world, isn’t it? He said that the cup of tea was only averagely good. You’d think for such an historic house they’d do something with a bit of quality. Anyhow, I’ve got to go. It’s been nice talking to you.