Monday, March 17, 2008

THE FOUR INSPECTORS

Four men from The Council came this morning.

By chance, they arrived almost together.

The first was from Environmental Health. He said a neighbour had complained about our 'noisy shed'.

(When he said it, he smirked.)

I invited him in.

A man from The Planning Department rang on the bell. He accused us of turning our home into a Youth Hostel without applying for a 'Change of Use' certificate. A neighbour, he said, had witnessed drunken teenagers on our path about two weeks ago.

I asked if he'd like a mug of tea.

Then came an Inspector from The Education Attendance Service. (We used to call them 'Truancy Officers'.) A neighbour had reported children 'playing in our garden during term time'.

I put the kettle on.

The bell rang for a third time. A 'neighbour', apparently, thinks we've been fostering at least one child without going through the proper procedures - so, here, was a Social Worker to 'check up on us'.

I suggested he joined the other three men at the kitchen table.

He asked for coffee.

It was like a party. They drank their elevenses, ate biscuits, compared notes - and grew hilarious.

We are, they've decided, 'a nice, conventional family'. What a shame it is (they commiserated) that we have to put up with such malicious neighbours!

Only the one!

If I hadn't been able to offer them chocolate digestives - things might not have worked out so well. (Or if they hadn't arrived together!)

The parsley seed in the pot with the blade of grass in it that I first mistook for parsley - has germinated.


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5 comments:

rosa said...

A bit of bothersome botany: grass and parsley are separated into two very different groups: monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Monocots, as they are known, have only one seed leaf (the first leaf or leaves that emerge from the seed), and all grasses fit into this category. They also have parallel veins. Dicots have two seed leaves & branching veins, parsely is one of these. So, the next time you are trying to identify one of your seedlings, check the number of seed leaves. Monocot is 1, and Dicot is 2!
(I hope this doesn't sound too pedantic, really, I think it's interesting! And hope you do too!)

nigeygreen said...

Hello Esther, thanks for visiting my blog - I'm still quite new to gardening so it's nice to now start having visitors. Let me know if you know of any other beginner-blogrings?

Your most recent post was a classic - we home educate too so funny to see that connection too. in 18 months we haven't seen anything from the LEA so far so are expecting it one day.

cheers then,
Nigel

Esther Montgomery said...

Rosa

Really interesting comment - especially about the parallel or branching veins in leaves.

It's obvious when you think about it - but I hadn't previously done so.

With the parsley / grass situation, the seed head had got stuck on top of the seedling. It was wearing camouflage!

Your comment has also set me thinking about other wonderful words.

'Etiolated' comes to ming (I mean 'mind'!) - especially when I look at the Broccoli Romanesques on our windowsill. I'm hoping I haven't started them too early.

Esther

Esther.

Esther Montgomery said...

Nigeygreen - um . . . what is a 'blogring'?

I'd be interested to know more about your home-educating.

How do you manage for science?

(I'm thinking about chemistry - and bunsen burners and things.)

Esther

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

Very funny. Like all town gardeners, I guess, we too have annoying neighbors. Or maybe they think we're the annoying neighbors.