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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tinker, Tailor, Postman…..I Spy

I drag all parties into the garden against their will on a mildly overcast day.

Ideal planting weather.

Other neighbours labour in their yards, whilst we play in our garden. The boys lie in the gravel and sing an old Carpenter’s song, or rather particular snippets that they perseverate upon:- ‘bring me a letter,’ ‘oh yeah,’ ‘Mr. po o o o o ost man.’ It is their task to remain within the confines of the garden for a minimum period of ten minutes, one tiny step in the direction of desensitization to 'outside.' The little talismen of Pokemons assist to distract and engage.

My daughter is an enthusiastic under gardener, keen to learn the ropes. We have before us an array of magnificent plants to plant, each in just the right spot.

“Shall I dig a hole for this big one?”
“Great idea, but where shall we dig the hole?”
‘Mr. po o o o o ost man.’
“What about there, in that bare bit.”
“That’s a good idea but I think you might find that white or bright flowers are better placed in the shady areas where they’ll draw the eye.”
"Mr. po o o o o ost man."
"This purple thing?"
“I want to put the purple violets next to the mail box.”
“Because it’s drought tolerant, in full sun and the scent will be given off when the postman fiddles with the box.”
“Lucky mail man!”
“Bring me a letter.”
“O.k. how about this one, with the long bits?”
“We need to check the labels too, as some plants prefer sun and other’s need more shady areas.”
"Mr. po o o o o ost man."
“What about this pink one?”
“Great but we need some sand to plant that one as we have clay soil.”
"Mr. po o o o o st man."
“They’re very fussy these plants!”
“Hmm I suppose they are a bit.”
"Bring me a letter."
“I like this one! It smells of…..bubblegum.”
“Bubblegum? The scented ones are good in spots where you’ll brush past them with your body, like the rose scented geranium. When they’re leaves are disturbed they release their perfume.”
“Bring me a letter.”
“I like the one around the door coz when they bring a parcel the smell comes in the house.”
“Oh I’m glad you noticed that. It’s like when the UPS guy comes through the front gate and sweeps past the Aquilegia, same thing. Jasmine round the door frame.”
“The Fedex guy always comes around the side.”
“Yes where the Honeysuckle is.”

At the sound of gravel crunching, my son sits up from his position to look over the fence at the visitor. “You are be love,” he murmours. The mailman jumps from his little delivery van and waves. Other neighbours stand and pause momentarily to hail him too, familiar and welcome. Late 50’s, a grandfather with a Santa Claus beard, pith helmet, regulation shorts and a heart break smile.

“Hi guys! Got em all workin today huh!” My daughter examines him, trowel in hand. My older son grins at him, wordless. My youngest son jumps to his feet, “wait a minute, wait a minute, oooo yeah,” as nips over to peer at the name and address. “Dey are for you mom…….all of dem are for you.” I beam at my son and the postman as the garden gate clicks closed, on to the next house, the next family, the next welcome.

“I fink…….when I am growed up……I am be a mailman too.”

Rats to the "Theory of Mind."

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