By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
The Photographer has been down in the garden stream inspecting winter damage when he is suddenly disturbed. Close to his face there is a whirling noise so intense that he feels dizzy. It all happens in seconds. The male duck has arrived. Suave and elegant in his colourful spring coat, he wishes no disturbance along the stream. The Photographer agrees and climbs out of what is now duck territory! The Photographer hastens to tell the Assistant. Tea is brewed in celebration. Surely, spring must be here.
The next sign of spring arrives in a white van. For some years now, there has been a great struggle both in the greenhouse and conservatory to grow seeds in time for the maximum benefit. Seeds have been thrown away and germination has been patchy. It has all led to a late start to the season. The answer to the unreliable spring weather has, after much debate, arrived. The Photographer disappears into the greenhouse for a period of time. He emerges in triumph. Neither he, nor the Assistant have ever seen one quite so big. It is a propagator. It is quite possible that they may have over specified. The Photographer spends the evening deep in plans. In the morning, amidst great excitement, the Assistant is despatched to the potting shed with the grand plan firmly fixed in her head. The Photographer has a pile of tomato seed packets, and orders. The Assistant spends the day carrying out the orders. The Assistant is a bit of a dreamer and is fully aware that in the past she has missed the odd seed in the odd pot, not told the Photographer, and not owned up. There is always disappointment. Today, she makes a special effort and ten days later, unbelievably, the seeds have all come up. Every day the Photographer visits his new machine, and is amazed. It is all wonderful! This year, there may be an even be a bigger batch of pesto.
Of course, this increase in production is not welcome by all of the family. The Daughter and The Boyfriend dread spring. Careful questions are asked over a supper. When will this years holidays be taken? Now there is no dog, there is bound to be more camping and what about that month in Scotland that the parents swear they are not taking, but always do? Will the bore hole really withstand the demand in a drought? And actually, they are not getting any younger for the tomato glut. They would really like not to fall asleep at work! Does Dad really mean he is getting a small poly tunnel or will it be enormous? You can see their point, but it is all inevitable. The Assistant leaves them all to it, as she pours herself another delicious glass of wine, its a shame to waste it!
Outside, members of the community are recognisable. They are no longer covered in huge coats and enormous fleeces. Projects can be started. While it is not exactly hot, it is not raining or sleeting. A number are increasing their exercise regime.Some lawns have been mown without the need to rescue the mower from the mud. A real Dartmoor wall needs rebuilding and a member with the knowledge, is rebuilding it properly. It will take him months, but he has started early enough to even complete the job by winter.
In the distance chain saws go to work, clearing up the winter debris and piling up logs for winter. The seasonal circle starts all over again.
In the gardens, birds are frantic to find sites and build nests. The Assistant must stop hedging now and wait for autumn. The most beautiful cat is climbing her tree, awaiting victims to fly, or pass by.
In the little town, the deli has delicious hot cross buns, Easter sweets are so tempting that you won’t keep them. Decorations of rabbits and eggs appear in the shops. The town is being spruced up. Soon the visitors will be welcomed as Easter tourists appear.
Even the Photographer and his Assistant have been painting the utility room with all the doors open, and the Assistant is making Easter plans to purchase a free range chicken or two. The white wine is already in the fridge. She does so love a party!
Somewhat early, but very much meant we would both like to wish you all a Happy Easter. Its ever so much better than Christmas. There is far more fun and far less cooking to do. You might actually get to sit in the sun! And whoever he is, may your God go with you!