P1020172We stood silently looking at a tree upended in my local park.  “Hard to believe that the wind was strong enough to take this one down” I eventually remarked to a lady wearing a red crocheted hat, and carrying a plastic bag. “I know” she responded. “I’ve found all sorts of bits of crockery digging about at the base”.  She looked off into the distance. “There must have been a house here a couple of hundred years ago, and a nice one at that – you can tell by the quality of this delph” she said thoughtfully.

I walked towards her.  “Here” she said, rooting in the bag to bring out a small piece of blue crockery which she gently brushed the earth off before handing it to me. “They say if you find something worth having, give a bit of it away.  It’s the sharing that makes it worthwhile”.  I was touched and thanked her.  “I wonder if it’s Wedgwood – it sort of looks like that, doesn’t it?” “Yes, I’ll look them up when I get home” she said.

She wandered off to sit on a bench and I found myself there too a minute or so later, keen for more conversation with a curious soul.

“I like that things can happen by chance” she mused.  “I met my ex husband like that. I was standing under an umbrella sheltering from the rain in Leicester Square and he ducked under it – asked me if I minded.  I looked at his back. He’s nice I thought, and married him.  And, I was okay with that”.

“I’ll tell you a funny story. Before my neighbour went on holiday recently he was saying he’d have to do something with the garden on his return.  I saw him standing out there the day before he left. There were a few builders hanging about nearby.  He was holding out his palms saying to a friend in a loud voice – ‘Look what I just found in the garden – two sous! Well I never! I’ll have to have a look when I get back from Tenerife – they’re worth quite a bit you know’.  Two weeks later he returned to find his garden completely dug over”.

We chuckled away as the light dimmed and a park keeper came to tell us the gates would shut soon.

“It was lovely meeting you Marie”, I said.  “See you again here sometime?” “The last time I was in this park was 20 years ago and I only live up the road. Trust me, it’s better this way” she replied, smiling.


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