Burning seat

See this seat...it's made of wood, hazel I think. Uncharacteristcally, I've had the wherewithall to put it into the barn through the winters. It's lasted four years. I, family and friends, as well as a few squash, have availed ourselves of its surprisingly ample comforts.

It is now, sadly, quite knackered and is about to find its way to the fire pit on the first afternoon reasonable enough to feel like sitting out and holding a sausage or two over some flames.

In truth, I'll only be so sad to see it go. Every time I sat on it, it's rough contours reminded me of the day I bought it.

I'd seen the seats at an event and found out they were made by the mum of someone I knew. I arranged to pick up a couple from their house. I drove there, my usual gormless self bounding in like a poorly behaved labrador and kissing the daughter hello on the cheek and introducing myself to her mum. Her mum said something I heard but didn't quite catch but assuming it was a pleasant greeting and being polite in my gormless labrador way I smiled, said a cheery '...and to you too...' and kissed her warmly hello too.

We walked around the garden, me being suitably enthusiastic about the lovely bits and nodded gormlessly at the bits full of ornamental. A couple of cheek kisses to the daughter, and a wave to the mother who to the untrained eye could've been mistaken for retreating sharpish as I left.

Half way home, driving alongside the glorious Dorset coast, humming along to whatever was on the radio, I felt good. Wine, wife and daughter were waiting in the sunny evening field. My mind, finally at rest after a busy day. Or almost. Something was bothering me very faintly, at the back of my head. An odd feeling, like when you wake from a dream that you can't remember but have the feeling left from it. It was the mum, I'd got it into my head that she'd taken against me, she was walking away, making herself scarce as I left and I couldn't think why. I put it down to my paranoia and put it out of my head.

I drove past the 'Welcome to Devon' sign and smiled, remembering friends who always stopped by it to do a little jig when driving back home from University. I had the very clear feeling of the final reel spinning into place in my head - like when you finally get the lyric you've been singing wrongly. I clawed that misheard sentence back into sense. What she'd said, as I kissed her daughter hello and just before I'd bumbled over to her to kiss her enthusiastically hello was: 'Oh no, no no....we're not that forward around here'.

Simon S said...

February 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM  

Crowded noisy pub.
I said to a friend's wife, perhaps too forcefully & ungenerously - "back off", when she approached. She mistook this for a similar pair of words of which all but the first two letters are the same. Exit in floods of tears. Very difficult to explain oneself out of that.

Thursday said...

February 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM  

I've just moved to a country where people launch themselves at your face three times with nary a 'Hello' in any one of three languages beforehand. Most alarming.

MarkD said...

February 27, 2012 at 8:11 PM  

Simon S - painful. I almost extended this into my most embarrassing moments...the time I made someone cry on a River Cottage course, the last time I tried a suit on and the shop assistant's reaction etc, but this story leaves me sweating with embarrassment as it is

Thursday - the country is an odd place...

Arabella Sock said...

February 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM  

The memory which I wish you hadn't provoked and which leaves me sweating with embarassment is at a conference where I was introduced to a distinguished speaker. I had just washed my hands and there was no drier in the loo so one of them was still wet. The Speaker put his hand out to shake mine and I got confused what to do so just shook it and our handshake was all squelchy from the water on my hand. I should have said something.. anything.. explained.. made light of it.. but I was so mortified by the look of discomfort on his face I just mumbled and walked off. He must have thought I had horribly sweaty hands - so much worse than the truth.

park garden centres said...

February 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM  

Really love this, such an unusual garden blog.

JamesA-S said...

February 29, 2012 at 8:06 AM  

Many years ago, when I was ridiculously young, I got married. It was quite a formal occasion with a line of guests filing past to say hello to bride (blushing) and groom (me).

I was merrily kissing anything that came in sight swept away by the occasion.
Until I was stopped short by one woman who announced "Don't kiss me: we have never met" which rather knocked me off my stride. She was, I think, the wife of a friend of my parents-in-law.

I still remember that moment even now, long after the marriage was dissolved.

hillwards said...

March 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM  

Ouch. Lovely bench though.

Westby Blaisure said...

March 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM  

Thank you for such a great post

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

March 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM  

Haha...there goes your friends and family discount then ;)

The Jules said...

April 2, 2012 at 6:33 PM  

Did you say "Nice seat, love," in a lascivious manner as well, because that would have warmed her to you.

Either that or a hearty " 'Ave it!"

Ewan said...

October 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM  

Great viewpoint, loving the complete originality of this blog!



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