Gardening at our beach house is a bit of a struggle to say the least.
The soil is poor, comprising mostly of sand and rocks and what doesn’t get baked by the summer sun becomes dessicated by the salt-laden winds.
We’ve learned by trial and error what does or doesn’t do well so we manage to have some sort of garden.
The company which runs the resort employs gardeners for the public areas but most of them tend to be itinerant labourers who know nothing of gardening and just stand with a hosepipe gazing into space or sneak off to have a cigarette and chat in hidden corners at every opportunity! So the gardens suffer as a result.
We were really pleased therefore when a new gardener was assigned to the area in front of our house who was a more mature man who appeared to be experienced and took a pride in his work.
Unfortunately this fine work comes a price. He has taken not so much as a shine to me as a trillion megawatt full-blown crush on yours truly!
I remember my grandmother using the term “he made sheep’s eyes at her” when describing a love-lorn would-be suitor and this applies perfectly to this man’s expression.
The garden area immediately in front of us has improved as so much of his time is spent nearby and he’s alert to any movement from our house such as when I open the door to the patio to let out the dogs.
My early morning walk has now become a kind of game. I have several exit options when I leave the house and I switch them around so I don’t have to have him gazing at me as I set off and my return is also deliberately varied.
Sometimes just when I think that the coast is clear, he pops up like a grinning jack-in-the-box from behind a hibiscus bush which he has been pruning to wish me “gooood morrrning” in heavily accented English which he’s obviously learned especially so that he can communicate!
Now bear in mind that I’ve only recently got out of bed. Just a basic drag of the brush through my hair. Any clothes which happened to be at hand have been hurriedly thrown on and a large, dark pair of sunglasses in place. And not yet had my coffee.
Why don’t I complain you may ask? Basically because I don’t want to lose his gardening skills plus he’s not doing anything other than gazing at me in adoration!
Perhaps I should be flattered as I’m hardly in the first bloom of youth – not even the third bloom! I suppose that if I ever meet Sophia Loren and she complains of lack of privacy I’ll be able to commiserate!