29th August 2007
I am so grateful to my mum’s friend, Heather who lives about 70 yards up the road which occasions my mother to bestir herself every week-day to walk slowly and shakily up to Heather’s with her stick for elevenses and a chat. Heather does not venture out herself although she is my mother’s junior by 10 years (which makes her a sprightly 78), Instead, Heather’s door is always open and she has the kettle on while stringing her beans, cooking vast pots of food for her two children who still live with her (lucky Heather, thinks my mother) and tending her beautiful garden where everything she touches turns either to green or flowery. There is nothing small about Heather, her hanging baskets explode constantly with masses of flowers, her pots of begonias stand a metre high and orchids and cacti flourish side by side her house. Heather has green fingers, but no textbook botanical knowledge. She gardens by the same instinct with which she feeds her family - everything gets lots of good food and loving attention. Her fish pond is bursts at the seams with fat goldfish who swarm to the top as her shadow falls over them. Eggs which she scooped from under the water lily leaves have turned into hundreds of little fish which she is nurturing in a tank in her lounge. Heather loves to talk about cooking and loves to shop for bargains in the food line. But Heather has been unable to eat herself for many years for she has advanced Crohn’s disease. She doesn’t complain. Heather is the salt of the earth. She makes my mother’s day.