It's early and it's Friday. The first load of washing has been hung neatly out to dry. I have a slight obsession with things on a washing line having to be hung perfectly straight. As I sit on my garden bench, with my morning coffee, I ponder where that obsession comes from, as my Mum wasn't fussy like that. I imagine it was probably my Nan, who suffered with a slight case of ocd.
I picture myself standing in her immaculate back garden. The high hedges are trimmed to perfection, the grass is always short and neat, red roses line Grandads shed and the patio is filled with pots of geraniums. I stand beside her, handing her wooden pegs as she carefully hangs out her washing. I can see Grandad in his shed, busy filing something that is clamped tightly in a blue vice. He spots me looking at him, so he smiles, nods and does an eyebrow dance. Grandad has the bushiest eyebrows that I had ever seen.
I giggle and Nan suddenly asks "Are you listening to me?" I answer quickly "Course, Nan" She looks at me with a curious eye "What did I just say then?" "Erm, I forgot" was the only response
I could come up with. Nan playfully grumbles, she knows that she talks too much and that I am very easily distracted, especially by my Grandad.
Nan picks up the empty laundry basket and rests it on her hip. She starts to head back to the house, but then Pat from next door calls her from over the low picket fence that separates their gardens. Nan puts down the basket, slides her hand into the pocket of her apron and pulls out a packet of cigarettes. I look up at her as she leans closer to Pat who is offering her a light from a green clippo. I find it bewildering that Nan still manages to talk with a fag butt precariously hanging from her bottom lip. It is as if it is glued to her mouth and I think to myself "One day that fag butt will dangerously fall to the floor" but it never does. Nan never did lose her grip on the cigarette.
Roses and Geraniums remind me of my Nan and Grandad.