By The Photographer’s Assistant
We are having a special day. The Assistant is getting the Photographer a cup of tea. He lifts a foot into the open air and replaces it under the covers. It’s a bit chilly and it’s only 6.50 am. The Assistant is busy in the kitchen. A very special visitor is coming. The visitor is very glamorous. She is silken and has a pale delicate complexion and wonderfully pointed nails. The air of royalty will be all around. The Photographer stumbles into the kitchen. He is dressed and ready for a croissant and cheese. Any minute she will be here, all glitter and silvery show. She is late. They are worried. Around the corner and up the drive comes the chauffeur driven car. She emerges and bounds up the drive to shake hands with the man. The daughter waves as she drives past on her way to work. The guest bounds into the house and greets the woman in the kitchen. She is so enthusiastic to see them that she is beside herself. Yes, she would love a quick ball game in the garden and she delicately helps with the vegetable collection, disappearing now and then to say hello to her fans.
Zany, the rescue dog has arrived for the day. Her usual carer, the Boyfriend, is in London, fitting a posh bathroom and the other carer has to earn dog biscuits and bones in Exeter. These people, somewhat more elderly than her usual carers will have to do for the day. Boring! A chance, however, to catch up on one’s beauty sleep, ready for her next engagement.
The Assistant has collected beans and courgettes for lunch, which she will stir fry, mix with a tin of tomatoes ( Spar’s best bargain ) and cover in a cheese sauce and bake. A lunch mainly from the garden. Raspberries have been picked for tea. The Photographer has made two rustic loaves, which will last the couple quite a while. Back in the garden, the tomatoes have been inspected and there is worry over the variability of the weather. Blight has already arrived in the potatoes and the haulms have been cut off. The sweet peas, however, are like jewels shining in the damp weather. The threesome adjourn for morning coffee. Zany slips away to spend an entire morning sleeping in the conservatory, getting that sun tan so needed by a leading celebrity.
The Assistant is catching up on podding peas and beans with Zany. She is also listening to, and watching five episodes of Gardeners World. She is relaxed. Zany is busy being a watch dog, barking at the washing machine man, who has just arrived next door. She turns lazily over and goes back to sleep. There is a large red sofa in the lounge, but she can’t be bothered to move. She is dreaming of her glorious outfit for her carer’ s wedding, which she will grace with her presence. She has told them nothing less than a glamorous hair-do with a gold ribbon will do. She supposes the Assistant will find one, it’s the only sort of fashion item, to be honest, that she can be entrusted with. Look at her this morning! Well, actually look at him too. Has anyone ever told him that his hair could do with a trim? Life is hard. Zany wonders if this May woman will have a dog to add a much needed hint of glamour to Number Ten, it is so needed. Who needs a cat for goodness sake!
They are having dinner now. I ask you! NO meat! They are on about a visit to Castle Drogo when they haven’t got me. He is going to have a venison burger and she might have the same. They are going to look at Grayson Perry’s tapestry. He thinks he might be allowed to take a picture of it. Pearls before swine, my dears. She is really looking forward to walking to the 600 year old beech tree and he thinks it will do them good after they have looked after me. They will need a peaceful walk! I ask you! I could have given them a really good six mile run. That’s what would do them good!
Hello! She is getting up. Don’t say we have to do bird watching again. They are both thrilled that they have two juvenile wood peckers that come and feed close to them outside the front door. They watch it through the glass. It and the tits. When the woodpeckers aren’t in the porch, they are on the phone pole outside. I can’t see them. Apparently, I disturb the birds. Scruffy looking creatures! There, I do agree with Coco, the cat next door. They are only fit for a good sandwich my dears. They are the thugs of bird world. On that theme, thank God that I’m not staying the night. They have enough rooks and crows to stock the whole country. The noise in the morning is dreadful my dears. They love it. They think it’s wonderful. They actually open windows so that they can hear it. The last time that I stayed here, I had so little sleep that my fans didn’t recognise me for the wrinkles As for their television watching habits, I thought I would die. I don’t know about you, but how many nature programmes can you watch? If it’s not nature, they scare themselves with the news. Reporters zoom up outside posh houses and they have this look. You know the one where their eyes stick out and they tell you there isn’t any money, especially for cadgers like the elderly. Who cares! I’ve got my biscuits!
My God, at last I’m allowed in the garden. I’m off. I’ve had a good sleep. I can get through the woods into the little town and off to London. I can’t take another round of dead heading the roses. I need to see my carer. I need some proper meat. Out of my way you country bumpkins!
Sadly for Zany, this last was all a dream. When she woke up, the Assistant was looking down on her clutching a pair of pruning shears.
Any similarity between characters in this blog and real people, products or events is entirely co-incidental
Any similarity between “The Little Town” and Chagford is entirely deliberate, Click on this link to find out more. Visit Chagford