I have a confession. You will not be impressed, my fine fellow gardeners. I have a guilty secret hidden away in some brown paper bags in our hall cupboard, and I hardly dare look or think about those brown paper bags. For inside those bags are waiting…. Oh, how can I tell you this? Inside those bags are my spring bulbs which I still haven’t planted.
All right, all right. In my defence, November was tricky. We had just bought our flat and were hellbent for weeks on stripping out the hideous decor. Then when I finally got round to doing the same thing to the garden, a five-hour session of incinerating the shrubbery in the December rain while inhaling copious amounts of thick smoke led to a nasty cold with chronic cough which I’d just about got over by Christmas, when horrors, I caught a second dose of it on Boxing day, this time with ensuing chest infection and more unsightly coughing.
‘I told you not to spend so much time outdoors in the cold,’ says the Brazilian at smug intervals as I hack my pleura up into a handkerchief. ‘When will you learn?’
I resent this. Why shouldn’t I go outdoors in the cold? I’m young and sprightly, not a geriatric at all. Being from Brazil, the Brazilian thinks that anything under about ten degrees is highly dangerous. Still, I feel utterly pathetic, a sort of cross between King Theoden withering away on his throne while his wicked advisor whispered caution in his ear, and Proust who died of a cold (how just like a man).
Oh, but the guilt about those bulbs. ‘Oh sinner woman,’ I sing to myself, ‘When you gonna plant ’em? Oh sinner woman, when you gonna plant ’em?’ All on that day, of course. But which day? At last, almost cough-free, it was going to be this Saturday. The Brazilian will be at work all weekend so I could just slip outside unnoticed and shove them into the ground somewhere, anywhere…
Well, we all know what happened to the sinner woman:
She ran to the weekend, it was SNOWING, she ran to the weekend, it was POURING, she ran to the weekend, it was FREEZING, all on that day. All on both days, in fact. I can’t see myself planting bulbs in this sort of weather, frankly.
So she ran to her duvet, it was waitin’, she ran to her duvet, it was waitin’, she ran to her duvet, it was waitin’, all on that day.