Tuesday, 29 March 2011

something odd happened at the weekend

I have started doing a car boot sale for Ma every Sunday. I take her plants and cut flowers in The Van and pick a boot sale and off I go. I sell my eggs. And once I get the Environmental Health chap to come and look at the kitchen, I want to make jam and pickled eggs and what not to sell, too.

So far I have been to about half a dozen. I missed a couple of weeks because of The Inexplicable Dizzyness Episode. But this week I went to one that was only a couple of miles up the road and despite the low footfall I did pretty well. That's not The Thing, though.

The Thing is that I met an old friend of Pa's.

They worked together in the 1950's at a very well known Chrysanthymum* nursery at Wellington in Somerset, before Eddie left and eventually bought his own place. Pa was godfather to Eddie's son. Ma remembers going to visit Eddie and Sally when she and Pa were courting and staying up until two in the morning, playing darts or cards and shooting the breeze. Pa! Two in the morning!

Eddie is seventy-nine this year and Sally is eighty. He's an experienced car booter who is still growing plants and selling them on and in the season does three or four sales a weekend. They don't have much glass left in their nursery any more - they can't afford the oil to heat the houses - and a couple of years ago he had a heart-attack. Sally fell badly last autumn and broke her pelvis and has osteoporosis. Their son - Pa's god-son - has suggested that they sell their nursery and buy somewhere in town that would be easier for them. But Eddie knows that that would be the end of Sally.

So they stay on.

Ma can't afford the oil to heat the glass. She is living hand to mouth now Pa has gone and doesn't have his pension. Sister Natalie is looking after the household expenses but she can't afford to bankroll the business. If B and I want to make it work, we need to bring Ma in about seventy quid a a week on top of what we do for ourselves.

That's our ground rent.

Ma grows it. We sell it.

It's good to have a project.

I cried on the way home after I met Eddie. I miss Pa. It sounded like he did, too.


* My first word was Chrysanthymum. Just sayin'.

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