Thursday, March 20, 2008


Can you believe it?

Within three minutes of Ming being taken away in a mobile prison, Mrs Rustbridger arrived at our door with a flask of tea. She'd even brought cups.
I was startled.
(I wasn't friendly.)

But she had tears in her eyes - and was adamant she had nothing to do with the M.O.D. .

- She'd complained to Environmental Health. Yes.
- She'd informed the School Authorities and Social Services about our children. Yes.
- She'd reported a suspected 'Change of Use'. Yes!

- Yes! She admitted to all this but she wasn't - she really wasn't - in collusion with the M.O.D.

I invited her in.

Then Lucy came round. Mrs Rustbridger had brought only two cups - so I made tea in my teapot and got three mugs from the cupboard.

I said I wondered what Americans do in a crisis. Lucy said she thinks they give each other pumpkins.

* * * * *

After they'd gone, I went and peered behind the cooker. The night before, Ming had knocked over a coffee pot and grounds had splashed up the wall.

I went and looked at a stain on the living room carpet - where Ming had spilled tea.

I went and looked at the burn marks on a nasturtium in the bathroom - Ming had spattered it with toothpaste.
(Interesting that - toothpaste must be lethal for nasturtiums if they get too much of it!)

Then, I wondered how Ming was getting on.

Then, I wondered why the first lot of seeds in the airing cupboard had germinated well but the second batch had failed.

The temperature was constant.
I'd kept all seeds moist.
I'd used the same pots.
The same kind of compost.

Then - I realised. The first seeds had been alone. But, after I'd seen Ming wearing my flowery dressing gown, I'd begun to use half a shelf for nightwear and knickers.

That was the only variable.

I took them out.

Then I went and talked to the Syllabubs.

I'm missing Ming.



mr_subjunctive said...

Americans give each other pumpkins?

Esther Montgomery said...

Don't they?


mr_subjunctive said...

Not very often. I don't think I've ever been given a pumpkin, whether in a crisis or not.

Though I suppose I also haven't ever had a crisis where receiving a pumpkin would have helped, either. Though it's not like getting a pumpkin is likely to make things any worse. . . .

mr_subjunctive said...

Re: the comment at my blog:

Mention away.

Ron Eklof said...

I find no relief /
Amid the dead nasturtiums /
For dear Ming is gone / Ming Haiku

Here, have a pumpkin for your troubles.