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