The snail which failed to impress Ming has left its flowerpot. I marked it with enamel paint and chucked it over the wall.
If it returns - I'll recognise it.
It would have been nice to throw it into Mrs Rustbridger's garden.
Ming saw me tempted.
He saw me not succumb.
A fascinating example - he said - of earthly restraint.
(Apparently, Martians are forever chucking snails over each other's walls.)
Later, I overheard Mrs Rustbridger chatting with the postman. He thinks the Armandii belongs to her.
"I'm impressed," he said. "My evergreen clematis never flowers like that!"
I held my breath.
"I expect it's the combination of soil and position," she said, proudly.
I expect it is.
Nearly all its leaves are obscured by blossoms.
I'm glad the postman likes it.
I asked Ming if he would help me empty the compost bin. Instead of answering, he asked how old I would like the children to be today.
At first, I didn't see the connection . . .
Martians, it turns out, are strong and willing helpers when they are twenty-one.
They filled three wheelbarrows with dense, black, compost.
Ming took two to his allotment. The children spread the rest round the apple tree.
I took mugs of coffee to them while they worked.
They tramped compost across the kitchen floor and the living room carpet when they'd finished.
Then they asked if they could be ten years old at bedtime and would I read to them?
Pleasure warmed me. It's nice to be wanted!
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