Thursday, 3 December 2009

Rain, thorns and a little green flame

Plip, plop, plip, plop! As we moved with due care and attention, back and forth along the muddy floor of the greenhouse, avoiding the reaching arms of potted Salvias and the fleshy tendrils of bare roots around our feet, there came the now familiar sound of rain as it shed from the fish scale window panes and into the gutter line.

We organized our precious tender plants and waited out the weather. Natures dark shapes rowed under smoke clouds and bright Cotoneaster berries hung in heavy tresses on the college boundary, the garden was glazed in rain water.

Spades thrown into a trailer ready for action, the tractors engine rattled into to life before powering forward into the murk, it's little green flame hood flickering in a damp world.

The green man sleeps in the thorns, his eyes pressed shut against the thicket, a Hedge Sparrow flitted into view and briefly gave away his resting place. We gathered great clods of earth on our feet, spreading seed on our passage from compost heap to college entrance. The thought of heavy perfumed Hyacinth crowns lifted our spirits and kept us locked into our day's duty.

I chose the Irma Thomas track 'It's Raining', not just because of the inclement conditions, I chose it because it popped up on the latest edition of the bikeshow, and it brought back memories of a mix tape that a friend in the U.S had given to me. She was a bean pole of a gal' that worked in a crystal emporium on the New Jersey shore. She had a dry sense of humour and a keen nose for Blues and Jazz.

I was down in her book as 'little Peter no phone', basically because I was staying in a boarding house and living somewhere between the bar and the swimming pool. The Chrystal cave where she worked tinkled and glittered, and breathed to the sounds of Mother Earth and New Age. Along with other classic cuts on my mix tape was this gorgeous track by Irma Thomas.

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