Lucy sat on the pine wood bench at the bottom of her small terraced garden. From this viewpoint she could just make out the edge of the woods yonder, and the M4 motorway, that wound itself across the southern part of England, finishing up in London. She smiled to herself as she remembered the last time she’d visited that capital city – it was for a theatre weekend with some of the girls from the factory. They’d had a whale of a time, trawling around the markets looking at trinkets, and visiting the historic sites such as Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. She enjoyed walking along the banks of the river Thames the best though, as they’d crossed at Chelsea Bridge, and watched the small boats chug up the river.

She sighed as she remembered lots of good weekends like that. It was when she was working that she was able to get about and social a lot more. She also had her own wages that gave her an independence. Now, she relied on a widow’s pension and a disability allowance from the government for her legs. She looked around at her newly laid patio and her pot plants placed around the edges in what she hoped was a symmetrical and pleasing pattern. She watched enough gardening shows on the telly that she felt like an expert. Her marigolds had started to wilt, and the climbing rose that trailed across her whitewashed wall had seen better days. She looked at her patio chairs. Her outdoor furniture had once been Jack’s pride and joy; now it looked faded and tattered. There was a bowl of wild flowers left on the small side table, in badly need of water ‘or to be thrown in the rubbish tip’ she thought to herself, and made a mental note to clear them in the morning..

She suddenly felt depressed and lonely. A sharp wind had unexpectedly blown up the alley and left her with goose bumps. She pulled her cardigan over her shoulders, and tucked a rug over her knees. The thought of going back indoors just yet left her feeling anxious – there was no one at home since her Jack had passed away some years back, and the children had long grown up and gone.

Suddenly, she heard a car pull up to the side of the house. She heard doors opening and then slamming, and the sounds of a mum soothing her child. There was the sound of footsteps coming from the alleyway at the bottom of her garden, and the gate that sat next to the shed started to rattle. The persistent caller  managed to undo the clasp and a small body flew into the garden. He had a blue anorak on, and a yellow jumper poking out from under it. His Postman Pat wellies squeaked as he ran up the path and shouted, ‘Gran, here we are, we’ve come to visit you! ‘

Lucy’s depression lifted immediately, and she grinned, opening her arms out for a bear hug. 🙂

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