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There is an old Irish saying ‘Here’s your cap and what’s your hurry’ It’s sort of self explanatory. Irish people never want to appear rude! They never tell you to go directly. They just hope you will get the message.  Irish mothers are also renowned for their ability to ‘be involved’ and sometimes find it hard to admit that their children have flown the nest and are quite capable of running their own lives without maternal interference. This story is dedicated to my two beloved daughter’s and my son in laws who continue to treat me with the utmost respect despite the fact that I often forget this and ‘lose the run of myself’. (I am using lot’s of poetic licence and even larger amounts of ‘tongue in cheekness’ through out)

My daughter and her Husband have just bought their first home.

I’m trying hard to take a step back and leave them to it.

Let me tell you that it is VERY VERY difficult.

BUT they should have known better than to buy a house along a gorgeous green leafy lane only a short cycling distance from me.

For green leafy lanes have enormous appeal to me and the yellow bicycle.

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I remind myself on a daily basis that it is their new home, not mine.

This is their exciting journey and all that goes with it.

Sanding floors , painting walls, choosing furniture.

So why am I getting so involved.

‘Butt out Mom’ My younger daughter advises me,

But I can’t.

The house has begun to consume all my wakening hour’s and drift in to my nightly dreams.

Am I terrified they’ll make the same mistakes at home making as I did?

Or is it because I am a ‘Peppard’ and the name Peppard is synonyms with the word ‘Interfering’? .

I fear the worst.

Its a deadly combination of the two.

They are so naive.

They have actually been foolish enough to give me a set of key’s.

Initially it started out innocently enough.

The garden, being almost half an acre is a bit overwhelming for them, so they asked if I could give them some advice.

Advice! I spluttered indignantly. ‘Get me a spade, rake, hoe and wheelbarrow and I’ll do more than give advice, I’ll DO the garden for you’.

They did as bid, buying the best and most expensive smooth wooden handled tools at the local garden centre and I happily cycled up on my days off and started by hoeing the driveway .

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I raked the weed’s into neat bundles and forked them into the wheelbarrow, the yellow bicycle watching from its spot under the crab apple tree.

‘I need a strimmer’ I demanded one day.

A strimmer was duly placed into my hands and also the set of keys..

‘Cycle up whenever you like’ They urged, ‘Make yourself tea while you are here’.

‘Help yourself to anything in the fridge’.

‘Don’t mind if I do’ I thought the first day when they were at work,  finding some delicious home-made pate and smearing it on organic rye bread.

Don’t mind if I do’ I said to myself the second day, pouring a glass of crisp white sancerrre chilled nicely from the fridge and I settling myself into a garden chair in the sun.

‘Don’t mind if I do’ I said going back to replenish my plate AND my glass.

Needless to say I didn’t achieve a lot ‘garden wise’ that day and I cycled home with a distinct wobble.

Cycling down the hill I tried to remembered had I locked the door? ‘shure they’ll be home themselves shoon’ I said, nearly running into a old man walking with his dog.

‘Watch where yer going ya mad woman’ He reprimanded, shaking his walking stick at me, His dog, in it’s fright, tangling himself around his legs and nearly toppling him.

‘Shorry’ I giggled.

As the days wore on I tackled the drive , the overgrown rockery.

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I strimmed around the wonderful crab apple tree and as I did , the delicious image of me sitting on a lovely little garden seat (you know the one? Wooden slats with ornate wrought iron back and legs) under it, sipping a glass of malbec, on a summer’s eve, appeared unbidden before my eyes. I shook my head and to calm my nerves made another forage into the fridge and the wine bottle.

The pair were absolutely delighted with the amount of work I had got through

Whether they were as delighted with the happenings concerning the fridge could be a different story, but either they didn’t notice or they were too polite to mention anything .

Life continued along in this vein,

I started taking off my wellies and leaving them inside the back door . No need to bring them home every day.

I hung my raincoat on a peg behind the front door, like the wellies it could live here for the moment.

I put my shower gel in the bathroom (well you never know the weather might get really hot and it’s nice to be able to take a shower)

Then my spare toothbrush in a glass in the bathroom.

Did you know red wine stains your teeth? I couldn’t have the neighbours talking if I had to smile at them on my way home.

But I wasn’t quite happy.

There were a few issue’s that caused me concern.

They used instant coffee for example.

‘That’s not a huge problem’ I hear you say. You are right! so I bought a second little espresso pot and left it on the cooker along with a bag of the best Illy coffee.

As for tea? Didn’t they realise that Barry’s used bleached tea bags?.

I put some of my own organic unbleached green leafed tea bags in the caddy.

Once I had sorted these things out I breathed a sigh of relief and got to work clipping the hedge.

And so the days continued contentedly,

Mostly I’m sure I remembered to lock the back door.

And then one day

They woke me by surprise!

(Did I mention that I had started taking lovely afternoon siesta’s in their new bed. Lying so deliciously under their new crisp linen sheets, resting my head on their new goose feathered organic anti sneeze pillows.)

Except it wasn’t afternoon now!

It was evening, I had slept too long and they were home from work

‘Mommmmmm’! My daughter cried when she spotted my leaf tangled hair(I had been trimming the hedge remember) sticking out over the 2,000 thread  silk hand dyed duvet.

‘Oh Momeeee it’s OK’ She patted my tousled head as bleary eyed I mumbled excuses and started to pull on my wellies ( thankfully I had taken them off earlier, I had only planned a quick nap and wasn’t going to bother).

‘No please don’t go ‘ they protested as I shamefacedly went out to get on my bike

‘Stay for some dinner’ they said

I didn’t like to tell them there was no dinner

I had eaten it.

My daughter opened the door of the fridge and looked in.

There was a moments silence during which I pretended to be tying my shoelace only I was wearing wellies.

They didn’t seem to notice that. They were too busy looking at each other.

‘Never mind, lets eat out’ My Son in law spoke up.

I burped politely.

‘I think I’ll pass’ I said ‘I’m not really hungry’.

It rained the next day

The following day my daughter phoned me

‘Mom we’re a bit concerned. We have noticed the back door is open a few times when we have come home and we think a tramp may have got in and helped himself because large amounts of food and wine have been disappearing from the fridge over the last few days and we found the weirdest looking teabags in the caddy. strangely nothing else seem’s to have been taken, but don’t worry ! We have rung Eircom and they have installed an alarm system. We also think you are looking very worn out and that the gardening may be a bit too much for you. Again don’t worry ! We have rung a gardening company and they will start tomorrow. We cannot thank you enough for what you have done’.

The gardening company has a very swish van.

I know this because I saw it when I peeped through the hedge this morning.

THE END.

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