Somebody Has The Other Half Of Our BBQ and Other Mini Dramas

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Mr Henthorn, it is fair to say, is living his best life. 2020 has been a tough year for all of us, you have to make the best of it. So when we found out that we would be spending more time at home this year, my husband set his mind to work improving our home.

Sometimes, the old faithful things are the best. This is a photo of our current barbeque:

Minus the branches (gutted I can’t find the photo of lit bbq from garden parties of yesterday)
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Above is a photo of my husband’s dream, a big fancy bbq is like my version of having a portable TV in the kitchen (like on American films in the 80s)

Desperately Seeking Susan (3/12) Movie CLIP - Jimi Hendrix's Jacket (1985)  HD - YouTube
It’s true, when I was young I thought that watching a cooking programme on a portable TV in your kitchen meant you had made it. That, and buying your wine from Oddbins .

So, after doing a good half a day’s worth of research, Mr Henthorn chose his barbeque (the big fancy variety) and ordered it from a leading UK DIY and home improvement retailer.

A few weeks later, the doorbell rang – the BBQ was here!

Except there was a problem, Delivery driver number one noticed that both boxes were exactly the same box. The picker packers had only gone and sent two of box number two! What a palaver.

Delivery driver gets on the blower (he told me three call handlers were trying to speak at the same time). I was advised to accept one of the boxes, ring customer services myself and try and get box number one delivered.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Obviously, I immediately phoned Mr Henthorn to inform him that a major mini-drama had happened at our house. He phoned (several times) emailed, and phoned again. It went on and on and on. One customer services call handler advised him to open the box that we had to see if it contained the whole BBQ.

IT DIDN’T

THEN we were told that the rest of the bbq (box one) was not in stock! So we had to admit defeat, and send box two back for a full refund. All we can deduce is that someone, somewhere in the UK has accepted delivery of the other half of our BBQ.

By the time the leading home and DIY retailer came to collect the fated box two, it was mid September.

Sigh…

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Obviously, other mini-dramas happened in the garden this year.

Tomatoes.

Last year, I grew tomatoes from packet seeds, from seeds I had saved myself from a tomato and from a tomato bush bought from a supermarket. All of them fruited. However, one night, Mr Henthorn announced that none of my tomatoes had grown which was a complete lie (and he wouldn’t know anyway because he never went in the greenhouse). NOT ONLY did I have to listen to a long lecture about how to grow tomatoes, I decided there and then that I would never try and grow them again.

A small portion of last year’s tomatoes above.

Having decided I was never going to grow tomatoes again, this year I planted some pea seeds. I have grown peas before

Soon, green shoots appeared in the green house – a lot of green shoots, the leaves soon followed and instead of pea shoots, I had blummin’ tomatoes again! (Magic – or probably because I used compost to plant – our compost bin would have had last year’s tomato plants plus their seeds (despite Mr Henthorn claiming that I didn’t grow any).

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This year’s unexpected tomatoes. What a liberty.

Speaking of our compost bin…

Remember back in the summer when it was announced that you could meet up with a few people in your garden (a bubble)? We did that, and on this sunny day, a massive amount of bees swarmed around in our garden.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Later that week, I discovered the bees were living in our compost bin. I didn’t know they were there until I reached into the bottom with a trowel for a bit of compost (and one of them stung me on the neck because I had disturbed the nest). Bumblebees colonise in nests of between 5o and 400 bees. I didn’t count them, but they were definitely living in a nest inside my compost bin (they don’t do hives like honey bees). Exciting, apparently this is rare (according to what I read when I googled ‘bumblebees’).

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Massive bee in our garden (I think this was June).

Finally, our cats’ grave in the front garden had an autumn flowering camelia. I thought it had died. When I buried TC’s ashes (poor TC left us in June), I pruned the camelia right down to the bottom… and it has started growing back!

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Well, I think that is enough sit-com behaviour for one post, enjoy the rest of your October everyone, Samantha xx

PS I wrote these books: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M4LPH9U

Life Writing is Sucking the Life Out of Me, But it’s OK, I’m Not Famous.

Thank you for joining me on my monthly ‘writerly’ ramblings. This month, I would like to share my thoughts on life writing.

Life writing is everywhere, on TV American popular sit-com The Goldbergs dramatizes the young life of Adam Goldberg in the 1980s, which reflects many of us Generation X types. Blogs, columns and biographies of celebrities are all around us. Imagine studying it – life writing in an academic setting…

I would go as far as saying most of March was one giant brain-fog for me. I didn’t do a time and motion study, but I’m convinced that I blogged less, I twittered less… Facebook? That suffered too. I started writing a short story for Maggie Melville Author and my WIP The Grit and The Wit … couldn’t finish it…

I am directly relating this to the life writing section of the creative writing degree I’m studying at the moment. Oh, the practice activities! Oh, the self-indulgence! Oh, the catharsis! Exhausting! (Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying and getting the most out of my time with the Open University *hope no one’s watching!)

It’s ‘done now’ and I’ve finished the relevant assignment, (not about me). Here’s a little snippet of life writing that is otherwise going to waste in a notebook.

I had never been in a fight. Not really. My older sister used to ‘sit on us’ if she viewed we had done something wrong. I remember it had been particularly cold on this day in the playground. I also remember what she was wearing, a royal blue dogtooth snood from Marks and Spencer. In 1986, this was the height of fashion (for a middle-aged woman, not for an eleven-year-old child. I was wearing my older sister’s hand me down duffle coat. I can’t remember what we were arguing about … something to do with how to play a game. She had gripped me by the forearms, gaining purchase at the elbow and I had grabbed her back (how dare I?) It was obvious, however, who was going to get the upper hand. Without warning, she shoved me back so forcefully with the strength of her premature thunder thighs that I fell backwards suddenly and on to the wet tarmac. My teeth rattled inside my face forming instant tears, the production of which produced an involuntary laugh. I looked up to see Tracey from the year below looking all concerned with the blue of her wide eyes against her pale cheeks. The other girls were now crowded around the pusher, asking HER if SHE was alright! Goodness knows why I stayed friends with her after this, and for so many years asking her if she was ‘alright’. 

Happy writing everyone, see you next month for more ‘writerly’ ramblings, Samantha xx