Today's Calls, Part 3: on garden visits

from Today's Calls: Pandemic Pieces on BBC Radio Devon by Kimwei



We called in to a quiet little field that seemed made just for us. After weeks indoors it was a welcome change. We had been smart, or so we thought, not plumping for Bystock or the beach at Budleigh, Fingle Bridge or Badgers Holt. I’d shaken my head at the thought, complaining “I bet you they’ll be packed. Let’s just pick a patch of green on the map and go!”
So we’d got together a bag of goodies set off in search of pastures green, a good social distance away from anyone and everyone. Delightfully we found an idyllic spot - a clearing of lush grass, lined with trees and with the odd pheasant roaming around. We spread out our blanket and snacks and had the place to ourselves until a strange man approached and said “excuse me”. Turns out we’d been so successful at avoiding public spaces that we ended up accidentally having our picnic in somebody’s front garden, slightly south of Inner Ting Tong.

When we called on my family, sat in their garden late that afternoon, they said it was almost as funny as that viral video by that woman who made a mask out of a sock, only to find that the heel went in her mouth, making her look like a ventriloquist dummy. “In my defence”, I argued, “the path through the trees wasn’t terribly well labeled and, well, it was a big garden,” and you went on to explain that “the fella who owned the place was very polite and in fairness, he only asked us to leave once we’d finished all our cheeses and we’d been sprawled on his lawn for a good couple of hours.”
“That’s embarrassing” Dad smiled, and Mum followed up with
“Nevermind. We’ll probably find him camped in our garden next weekend.”

Later we arrive home, and the landlady calls up to our window from the garden to ask “would we like to use the barbecue after she and her husband have finished”? The late evening light is dimming as we improvise bell peppers and sausages into tin foil and onto the warm grill, then lounge on the garden furniture a little way from the house whilst the collie circles us keenly, unsurprisingly.
A friend of theirs calls in at the garden gate and they sit as a three on the porch, playing scrabble via 2 meter distance, shouting "Larry, please put my "zebra" across your "exit". We finish our food and in competition, start our own separate game. I begin with "virus", just for fun and you later surprise me by managing to hang "vaccine" down from its v. I add "hopefully" across that, but at the end when I get stuck on my very last tile and am feeling hopeless, you step in and solve it with "us".



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