For various reasons that were no-one’s fault, I was left waiting outside a garden centre, sitting on a low wall in the shade of two Torbay pines. As it as just on four o’clock today, an early November afternoon slipping into evening, I was actually not in the shade of the Torbay pines at all. They cost £200 each, which seemed quite expensive; they were in big glazed ceramic pots, about two foot tall, and the palms were about four-foot each; they grow to three metres so their label said… so I’ve mixed imperial and metric measurement (or sensible and Napoleon as my husband would say.)
I was waiting for a lift, which I knew would come – I just had to wait and be patient as traffic was building up and there were various potential bottlenecks on the way. It was quite chilly but I was well wrapped up and just sat patiently waiting. My nose was getting colder and colder and the low stone wall was extremely hard and also slightly damp.
I was facing north, a hill rising behind me and trees to the left and the garden centre in front of me and to the right. Beyond the garden centre I could see lorries passing on the main road, and beyond that roofs and then in the very distance, hills. The garden centre buildings were in what must have been an old stone-built farm, a low structure, snug to the ground to avoid the elements i guess; there were three large baskets of winter flowers, mostly pansies on the wall – maybe the baskets which were wrought iron had originally been for animals to feed from, I could imagine them full of hay.
There was a largish parking area covered in gravel, and a few cars parked, not doubt at this hour the garden centre workers. Over the fenced entrance to the actual garden was a tall wrought iron arch, suspended from which were old metal watering cans. At the top of the arch was a weather vane, with another watering can aslant on top at a jaunty angle. Through the arch I could see a gorgeous beech tree, turned from green to gold.
As daylight died and dusk fell, I could hear a blackbird on either side of me, calling, maybe to each other, maybe to anyone who listened, challenging rivals maybe. There were other birds doing call and response, smaller twittering birds by the sound of it. An invisible crow gave a couple of loud caws and then I heard no more from him.
I wasn’t exactly bored as I waited, but it was getting a bit tiresome, just sitting as it got colder and the air became damper. I entertained myself by thinking about various problems in my latest Radwinter book which I’m writing as well as trying the National Novel Writing Month challenge…
- what illegal enterprise is Professor Cameron undertaking?
- who killed Fergs?
- what does Shelly do on her mornings off?
- can I somehow realistically connect Fergs and Shelly?
- how did Anthony Finch and the two sisters come to Easthope in 1923?
- who is Mrs Cameron’s friend?
… and many more puzzles which I’m struggling to solve.
Eventually a car pulled into the car park, and I stood up and gathered the two cyclamen I had bought at the garden centre, my bag, my laptop, myself and climbed in. I was jolly chilly but the car was lovely and warm
Here is a link to the Radwinter books I have written so far: