“You’re at your happiest”, she said.
I could only look at her with my usual non-comprehending face, mouth open, jaw dropped and blank expression. It’s a regular expression of mine. Mary makes statements, like the above, which leave me, well, wondering; wondering what’s coming next or wondering if she had said something before this that I didn’t hear (wasn’t listening! Shhhh!). There are two types of statements: those like the above which are short, a beginning, but lack a middle and an end and those which have a beginning, a middle which goes on forever but with no end in sight.
Last week I asked her if she knew that Billy’ Dunphy’s family used live in Barrack St. and this was answered with, “His mother was one of the Hearns. She was Cissy Hearn’s sister – Cissy was married to Michael McEvoy and they lived in Francis St. They had two children, Joan and Paul. Joan was about our Betty’s age and Paul was older than me. Joan used borrow a Tansad (a baby buggy) and herself and Betty used go down to George’s St. and take Billy and me out for a walk around the town. They had a brother too, up in Sweetbriar Park, – you remember he used bring the children swimming in Newtown School Pool, a tall man with dark hair. He used live in on The Rock at one time; where Tobins live now. They used live in Barrack St. Did they? Oh, yes, they used live where the Singer Sewing Machine shop is on the corner of Barrack St. and Mayor’s Walk?” Sometimes, it takes a roundabout route to get to an answer!
So, I waited for illumination and it came: “You’re at your happiest when you’re digging compost. You love it when you are digging out a compost bin, turning it from one bin to another.” OK, that wasn’t so bad; a bid odd, I suppose, but nothing upsetting about that and my incomprehension was cleared away. And, there was a ring of truth about it. I certainly enjoy turning the compost bins but I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am at my happiest when doing so. Goodness, life would be rather dull if turning compost was the highlight!
I do enjoy the job, to be honest and had a full day of it today. In the last few days there has been too much grass going into the compost bin – a grass cutting after a break of over a fortnight and then there was all that came from the two small lawns to the front of the house when I scarified them. All of this soft green material would lead to soggy, messy compost bin without any decomposition. Beside it was another bin which had had a large amount of material added over the winter from shrub and tree pruning. When shredded, these prunings produce a large volume of dry material which doesn’t decompose. The solution was to mix the two, wet and dry, green and brown, and that is what I spent my day doing – and I was happy at it.