19th October George is OK! on the day the sun dared to blink

sun burst

Dear Emma,

Why is it that  when everything seems  to be ok, something happens  and life itself seems to be on hold  once again? While time slithers away, you just wait and wait for time to pass in the hope that you will to be able get through it and over it, and that all will be well again.  You know Emma how  sweet time is and that there is never enough of it. You know how easy it is to see best hours of your life ebb away. Time never comes back. Time is the most precious thing. But this time its all about George.

Anyway the day came and went, and things turned out far better, for the little man, than  any of us could have ever imagined.  It all went much quicker for a start. It was meant to last all week.( It was still a day too long) and quite a performance was expected from the  little fella. I didn’t know what to think while it was all going on or what I could do. I was unable to help…….too faraway……except to pray.  Dangerous game praying. You can ask for too much.

But  we must have all prayed enough or God in the end, simply did what he could to help George.

George found  the strength to get  through it and  arrive at the other side in one piece. George did OK! Young as he is the little man has even gained something from the experience, something  he can use in life to take away and be stronger for it, or so I tell myself. George knew what to do somehow. He actually  went there with his superman outfit on;and it seemed to  give him  all the confidence he needed. They all loved him. They would have loved him anyway ofcourse, but what he was able to say bowled them over and must have made them cry. It made him a star.He really didn’t know how brave and strong he was. He got through it. Now he must forget. And so must we.

And I know he will survive, intact, mostly because he is loved.

But now is the time for real  prayers, quiet reflection and thanks while laughter returns and relief lingers in the air…… and while we all resolve (beyond prayer) that little George will never ever have any reason to go through anything like that again, ever.

My love to all and those involved,


(it may take some time to actually post this)

Today a storm came and Lou Reed died

Dear Emma

You may have heard about the storm we were expecting. It came last night. We are OK ; nothing moved. I had been making sure  that  everything outside in the garden could stand still; in harsh winds, so when the warnings were put out about keeping inside all we  had to do was make sure the dustbin lids were in place and weighted down  and sit it out. I had to stay in   for  the electricity man   who had been booked to replace the meter anyway, and there was still the business of  trying to get hold of  a plumber  about  the central heating which  has been making curiously loud clunks lately. Loud enough , you would think  the system is  ready to blow up any moment. So today I  mostly looked out of the window at the garden under siege. And it didn’t move.

Elsewhere the storm was finishing off  old sheds, pulling up trees at the side of the roads, ripping up dodgy scaffolding  and causing seasonal havoc  in parts of London  and the South Coast according to the BBC. As a precaution  commuter trains had ceased to function for a few hours, buses were cancelled, and  more cars  than ever were parked on the kerbside all over the country. And all over the country thousands  lost  their electric supplies. We heard  that one person was killed when a tall  tree close to her caravan fell onto her in her sleep and that one young boy got lost in the sea, even though he had only ventured into the shallow.  And there were two more who died in the chaos ………………. All bad stuff but  it could have been worse said the BBC.

If I hadn’t been warned  about the forthcoming  storm and the 80 mile an hour wind blistering through my garden  I would never have known that it was  anything than just another drab  wet day. Even the electric man had had a drama; he told me he had seen that morning, the untethered  trampoline in his  neighbours garden, making  a  sudden magnificent escape, by  ripping into the air  and  flying  over  his garden  into his other neighbours garden and there  demolished a  brand new fence . No one was hurt. It could have been worse…….

Lou Reed died today.

A few years ago,  the BBC used his song ’ Perfect Day’  as a theme for the yearly Children in Need appeal. The visuals that came with  the song  portrayed  an ordered  garden , a park , full of clipped hedging and   ordered  topiary shapes.  A fantasy garden  portraying  the stuff of summery dreams. A strangely comforting order portrayed  along with that  beautiful velvety voice interspersed by a variety of other voices of known singers  and not so known singers, even kids , singing his words.Although vital elements, I have forgotten who they were, because all I wanted was to hear  was his voice  again, between them …..to keep  carrying on……. bringing back the feeling of being  in a  sun baked  day, and  walking back home  tired but refreshed, still  remembering the  magical garden, the sun and the company  and nothing to worry about, an ice cream in hand.

Well that song made me want a garden like the one  behind  Lou Reed’s  Perfect Day  so that I could keep the voice ,the summer,  the tune,  his words in my head  forever. So I set about having a  garden mostly  with clipped box hedging. A garden that  wouldn’t  move in the wind,  a garden  that  would hold  onto summer for as long as it can, keeping visions of picnics and kids and people and  things  (and  dry sandpits maybe). And gradually I did.

Ever since hearing  that song played out I have been  growing box hedging one way or another ( probably not that great really, but its great in my head) …..  and now  I have  a low clipped  box hedging   and shaped box trees in containers in my garden. These dear little trees  behave themselves and are  so easy to  keep and this year it all looks  better that it ever has.  Anyway, today, in all that wind ( and with bin lids hemmed down)  my garden didn’t move . Never felt so safe.  Then the  sun came out. The day Lou Reed died.

love Rosie

16th October

Dear Emma

Trying to get hold of Jack. It is not his favourite time of year. So I don’t know when I will catch up with him. Have you seen him? I will get him to write to you. Promise.

He never mentioned anything about Chestnut Avenue by the way, except the hedges !  He said the houses all along the road  were divided by low clipped box hedging; and  that from time to time  he would bound over them from one end of the road to the other (pretending he was riding a horse!). Clearly a happy memory.  Silly Jack. Something to go on with then  Emma……

Fondest love as ever  from Rosie

Glad you sound Ok


Dear Emma,

Thank you for your letter.  Just received it. Glad you sound OK. Isn’t it just the way?  I had just posted a reply to your last miserable  letter ( I went on a bit) and wish now I hadn’t ! Too late now. Glad you’ve come down to earth. Keep it up!! Anyway, just a quick note to say we are ok  but amazed how much colder it is getting.  Fireworks sounding off  most nights and its not even Halloween  yet, let alone Guy Fawks! There is likely to be a harsh cold spell in November, apparently. I don’t know if that means snow again and getting cut off like last year!  At the moment everything in the garden is turning into bright autumn colours. Mostly red and yellow. A sight for sore eyes.  A memory to hold, if the snow really does come when they say it will….or worse, if it doesn’t. I don’t mind a bit of white to even things.   The kids are all settled in their new schools. Happy too!!

I may ring,  Love Rosie xxx

Jack’s done Ok!

Dear Emma,

Oh dear, here we go again. Nothing could compare with what you had to deal with  at  Chestnut Avenue. How you thought  life would be sweet  at last…… but the worst  was yet to come. I know you blamed yourself for everything that happened to Jack because  John told Jack and  Lizzie told Jack. Vinnie repeated what John and Lizzie said…. to Jack. And Jack told me. Jack said that your strength ebbed away when your heart had broken in two, after what happened to him.  Jack  told me because he went on  missing you; but even he  never really understood (as far as I could tell)  exactly why  you blamed yourself. He just knew  that what happened to him pulled you to pieces, and  then you were gone!  There wasn’t much to be read  about it in the papers  at the time and I am not sure you would have made sense of it anyway, no one did….so, you just fell to pieces. (You lost so much).

But it was never your fault. And Jack did  fine. Jack’s done OK! I think I will write to Jack and then I will let you know. Meanwhile for heavens sake cheer up!

Much love as ever, Rosie

So far from here to there

So long from here to there

Dear Emma, ‘Mary Ann’….. you did mention her recently. I thought you might be worrying again about what people might be saying.
I never knew her for long but I think she was always misunderstood… still is…. even now by some! But I know she loved you Emma and she understood that your life was busy when she left; so don’t dwell on that anymore. None of us knew time was short. However I had the chance to get to understand her and I want to say to you that you should be proud of her. She was quite a gal and so, so proud . Quite an accomplishment after everything that she had been through. All that ‘stuff’….all her life… she never stood a chance. But, bless her she held onto her pride, and we should admire her for that. I only wish she hadn’t been so secretive hiding all those bits of paper where she did . I think she knew I would find them in the end…. Just wish it hadn’t taken so long to sort out, all those pieces. God! didn’t she support everyone.Did they realise how much? She was like some sort of guardian angel and they never knew. You know she would have climbed a mountain for you if you had asked. I just wonder how high she would have flown and achieved for herself, given the chance. Her savy and instincts and spirit about doing the right thing were worth a million. She really was made for better things. Just Look at the support she gave Sam…. diminutive, blond, beautiful Sam…. If only she could have spent all that time elevating herself, just think where we would all be now!. Any way Emma, you have had it quite hard enough; and you must get over feeling guilty… for my sake, if not yours! and for all those kids, and for Henry.I know you don’t like your photo taken but between you and me I think he would like a new one! The one he has is getting tear stained! I hope that everything is gettting better for you now, and that it has been wonderful meeting up with everyone again, especially John. Such a long wait for you (how unfair) but you must realise, he never got over you. Has he told you yet? There was never anyone else. Jack said so! Its about time you knew and believed that. Write me when you have the time. Much Love Rosie xxxx

The runners ain’t done!

Dear Emma,I was just thinking  that you might like to know  the  runner beans are over ! We have had so many pickings of beans everyday this summer,from just a few plants. For weeks on end, they have been a delight, but today I  decided that they must be all spent, finished. Pickings have been a bit thin, the last day or two and there are no flowers left on  them, except for one  plant, and it is getting a bit cold now anyway, even the bees don’t seem to be about, so it really is about time to pull ’em all up ……

Or so I thought! One last  quick look through and under the  still thick green growth (in places) I disturbed  a massive bumble bee, who angrily took flight closely brushing my ear.  And there I discovered a perfect bunch of long beans hiding close to the fence and another lot! a whole picking! which had crawled  unnoticed, somehow, into some ferns. There I discovered a nasturtium which has only just decided to flower. I also discovered  a mass  of little beans, looking quite happy,  on every one of the ‘spent’  tired looking plants (that were nearly pulled up) and which have been delivering so famously this summer. More beans that will be up and  ready in a couple of days time. Their time  aint up yet,  then! 

love Rosie


Creeping up on some red leaves

Dear Emma, Here is the virginia creeper. It is turning red.I guess the spider is still in there somewhere. I didn’t see him hanging around. perhaps he went into hiding yesterday….maybe he didn’t like the sun.Maybe he could see me creeping about,but I couldn’t even see the web. The gentian violets are sulking in the rain today.Take care.love Rosie

18th September Wednesday

Dear Emma,
I know that you have been sprinkling your angel dust about. Your gentle touch seems to have been in every corner. ….
Today, the last best thing that happened was that the cracked screen of an otherwise ok mobile phone was mended quickly and easily, after many frustrating false starts.

Then Janie came round and we talked and talked. God how we talked…..She took home a picking of runner beans and a some figs off the tree and I thought life couldn’t get better, then the bestest thing of all happened, when the computer rattled unexpectedly with a noisy bleeping warning to ‘pick up’ …..

As you know one darling,four year old boy ( who is growing so fast, so fast) started reception this last week and as he is living so far away, I have been unable to do anything for him. My heart had been quietly praying that the sweetheart would get through the week; the very long days, the extra long days as his day starts far too early and the end of the day comes far too late, imprisoned as he is in a strange noisy place that he must get used to. There he waits and waits all day for the day to end so that he can get home again…… but only with and when his Mum and Dad finish their working day too (as teachers) in the same school. Poor darling little man, friendly, sensitive, bravely independent and bewildered, but brave; Oh yes! So brave. Well,I found out today…… that he survived…..when Katie Skyped me and I talked to him, and he to me!. So today, Emma, I have been catching up with life out there and I could see,for myself….that the boy is OK!
Heavenly day!!!
love Rosie

17th September Tuesday

Dear Emma,

Thanks for letting me know how you are. Such a surprise to get a letter. It plopped through the letter box this morning, just as the man with a van called for the parcel (with the rolled up paintings inside I wrapped up yesterday) set for the USA. So they are leaving the UK too !  You are such a long way off, but glad to know you have been catching up with everyone and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about their version of events ! ( You will have to let me know if I was right) ………Remember to treat yourself to a new outfit, something to flatter your beautiful hair,  and make the most of room service, while you can. Live in a bit of luxury for heavens sake and don’t feel too guilty. Everyone who stayed behind found a way  of getting along without you, so must not worry about a thing. Please send me an up to date photo of you if you can but make sure you are smiling this time. I will accept nothing less……

Fondest love Rosie