Yesterday, Chudleigh Writers’ Circle was invited to spend the day gaining inspiration from the beautiful property belonging to one of our members. Margaret and Chris were very generous with their time, their home and their cooking. Today’s snippet is by way of a thank you letter from me.
Margaret’s Magic Carpet transports me back to Kent where I grew leeks and beans for a man who prefers perfect vegetables from the supermarket; and where we spent fifteen years developing a herb bed, complete with bushy purple sage and six foot bay tree, only to rip it up in order to build a larger kitchen — in which we cooked with shop-bought herbs.
Margaret’s Magic Carpet transports me back further to Warwickshire where I first learned to love the scent of tomatoes in a warm, damp greenhouse, to feel my way from smooth hairy stems to rough hairy leaves; where my father’s green tomatoes became my mother’s mustard pickle, filling the whole house with the aroma of onions and vinegar; and where I first smelled fresh mint and thought it a treat to roll the little blue-handled cutter over the torn leaves on Sunday after Mass.
Margaret’s Magic Carpet transports me back further still to Worcestershire where the summers were always golden, the front garden smelled of French Marigolds and alyssum and I would help my Nan (never Grandma or Granny) hang out the washing with coloured plastic pegs before strolling over dusty furrows picking raspberries for pudding.
Finally, Margaret’s Magic Carpet transports me home to Devon where the hidden corners of my garden are filled with empty pots and unused canes; where the trees are trying out their seasonal finery once more; and where an occasional rose still blooms delicately among the autumnal foliage.
Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.
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