I've picked a rose.
It sits (with petals distorted and stunted and crumpled in on themselves) in a glass tumbler in the kitchen.
(Next to the Bleeding Bowls.)
These ones (Madame Alfred Carriere) usually fall apart in an afternoon.
But this - it simply 'exists'. Nothing droops. Nothing drops. It's an 'immobile' rose.
Mrs Rustbridger called round; looking for tea.
Her roses are distorted.
Her roses have Blackspot.
It's the wind.
Blackspot is irrelevant.
The buds are fossilised.
(Hope the Rambling Rector isn't a fossil too!)
* * * * *
Ming was at school.
I showed her my runner beans.
(They are healthy. Inspiring.)
(Some already need canes!)
Then I showed her the ones planted according to her instructions (ha!) - row upon row of empty looking pots.
"What's the point," I asked (bitterly) of having them sit outside the door; in the way; in the cold; doing nothing - when I could have put them in the airing cupboard?"
She told me not to worry. They'll come up 'in the end'.
. . . . . Meanwhile . . .
Ming arrived home from school.
He looked at her and ran upstairs to change.
Miss Martin left.
I followed her to the door.
Her chauffeur was waiting in the car outside.
He raised an eyebrow in a friendly way and Ming waved from an upstairs window.
* * * * *
They are tough.
They are strong.
They are unblemished and green.
This morning, I asked Ming if he is really male.
He laughed - and asked how I could possibly doubt it!
"On Mars," he added, "we don't approach gender as you earth-people do."
Then he smiled again.