Charlie Green is down there waiting. He says, ‘You don’t have time for coffee’.
I say, ‘I do. This is the best time of the day so you sit there and enjoy as the rising sun melts the last raindrops from your metallic frame. See how it lights the web curtains around you.’
He replies, ‘You’re wasting time. The ground is soft and ripe for pulling weeds.’
I’ve tried to explain to him, ‘I like the weeds. I’m going wild. Just a small patch at the bottom of the garden. It’s interesting what grows when you leave things alone.’
‘You’re just lazy,’ he says.
I know I’m being sensible. How will I find time to write my book if I have to pull every weed and chase every greenfly? That’s supposed to be his job. He wants to return to his seat beneath the Amelanchier. It’s closer to the house and he can keep a eye on what we’re doing.
‘I don’t like the slippery snail trails around me every morning,’ he says. ‘I don’t mind the frogs – I just direct them to the pond. The squawking parakeets I could do without.’
I’ve offered to make him a tisane with homegrown Feverfew to soothe his stressed brow but he says he’d rather have a gin and tonic. I didn’t like to tell him it would be a waste on a person of his composition. Besides, I’m saving that for me!