Hope Springs – a prompt, a posit and some pictures

2015-05-10 11.53.18

The garden 10 May 2015

May 6, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring. I realize that some Rough Writers are riding into autumn, and I hope this isn’t a disadvantage to focus on a season we are not collectively sharing. We could think of it as “spring eternal.” Warm, renewing, new life, hope.

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The garden 10 May 2015

This is the latest prompt  from Charli Mills. The list – warm, renewing, new life…. and then hope. Not certainty. Just hope. A time of year to be wary of, to take the good bits and be ready to duck and dive around the rest. To enjoy the warmth on one’s neck but have a collar to turn up if the east wind blows.

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the garden 10 May 2015

As a youngster, from 15 through to 23 this time of year was pretty much shit. The trees were budding, the grass turning green, layers of clothing being shed and the day bookended with daylight rather than gloom. And I was stuck indoors, revising. May bank holidays were some sort of sick joke – just another day on the wall chart that said 8.30 to 12.30 Maths; 1 to 4 French/Literature; 5 to 7 History; 8 to 12 Whatever I’d forgotten earlier.

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the garden 10 May 2015

Going for a piss was a treat, a break from the dullest of routines. Slowly, methodically washing each finger and inspecting my nails, just to eek out the time away from my desk. My brain felt like both a French Goose’s liver and a used condom at the same time; my arse lost its contours; my back mimicked a pretzel.

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The garden 10 May 2015

I actually told myself I enjoyed revising, because I knew it would pay dividends. And it did in many ways; as training for coping with unending hours of boredom it was the prefect preparation for both working as a lawyer and undertaking a long stretch in prison, whichever career path I finally decided to pursue.

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The garden 10 May 2015

Why is this the most effective way to test the adolescent mind to determine his or her fitness for further education? Was I a better historian for sitting and learning by rote the principle achievements of David Lloyd George? Was I a better person? A better employee? At what point does a knowledge of Lloyd George’s 1909 People’s budget help me today? On quiz night? When my own children are put through exactly the same meat grinder as I went through? It helps my sense of self; it reinforces a certain arrogance I try and suppress that somehow my knowledge of Edwardian fiscal politics makes me somehow superior to others for whom the expression Edwardian fiscal politics has as much resonance as carburettor does for me.

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The garden 10 May 2015

Why not examine in November, btw. It’s dark and depressing so living like a mole is the natural state. You have Christmas to look forward to. And then youth’s rising sap can be tapped alongside Nature’s at the right time of year rather than being forced to bubble away until the last exam and then explode rather unpleasantly.

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The garden 10 May 2015

But I’m no longer hidebound to the tyranny of the British Education system. So why moan. The little darlings can suffer as we all did; it’s a rite of passage. If the new Tory government wanted to do something constructive about education it would restructure the school and university year. If it did then we might even accept Michael Gollum-in-a-suit Gove back as minister. Nah, that’s stupid.

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The garden 10 may 2015 – the pond

So, after that little ramble over to the flash and Mary. Will she have some fresh hope, this happy spring time?

Renewal

 Mary saw the gynaecologist. ‘I’m worried about your weight, Mrs North. It’s fluctuating a lot.’

Mary listened but stayed silent.

‘Are you sleeping alright?’

No, but she said nothing.

‘At your age, pregnancy is potentially more, erm, challenging. You need to take more care of yourself. Both of you.

Mary nodded. She thought about her list, where she had added ‘me’. She realised it should have been ‘us’.

She broke from her daydream. The picture was becoming clear.

He pointed. ‘Long legs.’

‘Like my father.’

‘Do you want to know the sex?’

‘It’s a boy, isn’t it?’

He nodded.

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The garden 10 May 2015

 

So how many of you remembered she was pregnant? Here’s the link to refresh your memories…

And there’s always one sure fire way to tell when it’s spring, when it’s warm. When Vicky emerges from hibernation and begins here testing of the boundary fences. Given her head she’d walk back to Greece.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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36 Responses to Hope Springs – a prompt, a posit and some pictures

  1. Love the flash. The silence then the thought of her list where one little pronoun changes everything, shows your readers something about what Mary is feeling/thinking.

    Great pictures, all. And I absolutely love this: “A time of year to be wary of, to take the good bits and be ready to duck and dive around the rest. To enjoy the warmth on one’s neck but have a collar to turn up if the east wind blows.” It’s a truth about spring that is not often written about.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. willowdot21 says:

    I remembered Mary was pregnant do I get a prize!??? Lovely photos of your garden lovely sad hard luck tales of your revision… Loved the video of Vicky. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rachel M says:

    Who is Vicky? Is she your pet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ah our tortoise who we inherited when some friends went to the US in 2000; they were going for three years… and are still there! Vicky is in her late 60s now but very sprightly once the sun is out.

      Like

  4. Annecdotist says:

    Spring is great in the garden, and yours is looking fabulous – and interesting to see the pond which we witnessed in its development. Well I had forgotten Mary was pregnant, I’m afraid, but that just makes me more annoyed with you as you should be protecting her from stress at this stage. But let’s hope with her this is going to lead to something better. A great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      And you aren’t cruel to your characters?!! But you are right, she has been put through a lot. I think her husband needs to take her away for a break, maybe at half term.

      Like

  5. Dani says:

    Absolutely adore Vicky, Geoff. And great flash, btw.

    With blessings,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ruchira says:

    Good analogy 🙂
    Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ula says:

    Things are looking hopeful for Mary indeed. I enjoyed this flash.
    I also liked your description of spring, especially the sentences Sarah pointed out.
    Where does Vicky hibernate? She lives in your yard?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It would almost be worth putting up with your winter to have your spring garden which looks delightful. I could lose myself there with Vicky any day listening to the birds and enjoying the colour and greenery. Love the list and pronoun in your flash. I have to admit I missed she was pregnant but have now caught up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Norah says:

    I had forgotten Mary was pregnant, but I hadn’t forgotten your pond. It looks a lot better now than I remember seeing it. And your spring garden is magnificent. I always think of London blocks as tiny, but yours is definitely not so.
    Poor Mary. I’d rather thought she was too old to be pregnant, but maybe I have forgotten or misread that too. I might need to take a refresher on her story. Dear thing, what a complicated life she leads.
    I like your description of spring – feeling the warmth on your neck while having a collar to turn up if the east wind blows; like taking a pack-a-mac, just in case . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sherri says:

    Now that you mention it, I do remember something about Mary being pregnant but good timing to remind us now, perfect in fact for Charli’s prompt. But I am worried about her state of mind and where this will all go…
    Your garden photos are beautiful, love the special effects, very dazzling. Perfectly spring-like post this Geoff, lovely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Thanks Sheri; it is looking good just now. May/June and then Late August September are the best times here. How’s things?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Same here Geoff, everything just coming into their best. Your garden is so beautiful though. Thanks for asking, my brother is recovering and a trip to Jersey with my mum which was planned ages ago went ahead, so just returned from that late Monday, hence my ongoing absence and barely hanging in there with the blogging!! We were there for Liberation Day, it was absolutely amazing. I will blog about it as soon as I can. All this gallavanting around has to stop, ha! BTW, I caught news of a blogging event coming up on Dylan’s reblog from Sacha and saw your name mentioned. I’m thinking of going but haven’t signed up yet…

        Like

      • TanGental says:

        Oh do! Yes Sacha is organising and I’m defo going. I would love to meet up. The liberation day sounds great. The Textiliste and I holidayed there as poor students back in 1980 and saw the caves where the slave labour worked – Russian I think. We both read a book ‘Jersey under the jackboot’ which was fascinating and grim in equal measure. While logic says the Channel islands couldn’t be defended the human and psychological price was huge. Its understandable why the CI feel independent given that history.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        It sounds great fun, hope I can swing it, yes, would be great to meet up!
        Yes, the Jersey War Tunnels were incredible. The slaves were from Russia, the Ukraine, Poland and Spain. Reading all the personal stories of the islanders’ and slaves’ experiences while under occupation was sobering to say the least. Yet, humourous at times and wonderfully touching too. I had no idea, and a huge price to pay on their psyche, definitely. Yet the place today brims with joy. A very humbling experience. I want to read that book, saw a copy of it at the Tunnels. I am totally fascinated now. Bet you and The Textiliste had a great time, poor or not 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        We did. We lived on cherry tomatoes strawberries and jersey cream. We could get away with it back then! Lived in this awful yellow polythene, nylon tent. Meant when the sun hit it it sweated so badly you had to get up and out. Very healthy dawn to dusk life style.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        How delicious 🙂 I brought back some of those, including plenty of Jersey Royals, wonderful!
        Oh gosh, yes, those dreaded tents! The first time we went camping with kids (when my eldest son was 4 years old) we borrowed his father’s old boy scout tent, bright orange, which leaked, of course, and don’t even mention the condensation!!! Good times…

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Waking up in a scout tent was always a risky business what with the other boys and the rain and sweat. At times very embarrassing…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely garden, Geoff, especially the pond. I wonder who built that? 🙂 Must of been some very clever man who put all that together.

    What a delight to see Vicky as well, and hear the birds singing. Boy, can she move fast. Were there some lettuce leaves on the horizon, or was she making a break for it?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charli Mills says:

    I can feel Mary rebounding in this piece…the realization of “us” is potent. New life can give hope and hope can take any dreary thoughts and elevate the thinker above them.

    Loved every one of your photos. It somehow kept your words buoyant. I could linger in your garden a long time. What’s with Vicky wanting to escape it? Silly tortoise. Doesn’t she realize she has a paradise? The grand-pond is growing up, looking good!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Snapshots of Spring « Carrot Ranch Communications

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