Friday, June 22

In Dark & Secret Places

This is a little green frog I discovered happily sitting under a ginger leaf, in our front garden. He had bright orange eyes, but I didnt have my digital camera, so it is not a very clear picture. This was taken about 2 years ago. And these photos were taken yesterday, as I cut & lashed about in the garden, trimming wild vegetation, which needed to be readied for fresh growth next Spring.
Isnt the colour of these hidden toadstools wonderful. I once found a bright almost neon yellow toadstool in a plant pot, & have always regretted not taking a photo of it.

And this little 'village' almost, hiding under the ginger leaves, among the Xanadu.
For some reason, toadstools & mushrooms fascinate me, always have. I was so excited the first time I ever saw a red toadstool, with the white spots. Previously they had only been illustrations in childrens fairytale books.
The slashing attack on the garden was a good stress reliever. It was a dull overcast day, & vigorous activity was needed to keep warm. Then my paper skin got nicked, & I began to bleed & it wouldnt stop so I had to come inside to deal with it.
Who ever thought I would one day have my Grandmother's skin! haha.

After my reminiscences yesterday, about Ted, I recalled other details.
So here is another 'Ted' story.
I cant remember how or where I met Ted, & our relationship was really quite short lived. But the memories linger on with clarity, in some instances
Ted must have had a vehicle, as he lived across the city from where I lived. He would phone up, & invite himself over and make sure he stayed for one mealtime at least. He lived in a flat by himself, & boasted about what a great cook he was. We never saw any evidence of his great cooking prowess. Only his stunning appetite!
He once invited me to his flat for a meal, but as I recall, it was reheated, prepackaged, frozens, of some description, his excuse being, his oven was not working. I think there was limp lettuce too. He professed to be a 'healthy food' person.
One Sunday morning he rang to ask if I would like to go with him to collect his mother. So I agreed I would & he duly arrived to collect me. I had not met his mother previously, so he began to explain to me 'about his mother'.
She had rung him, pleading to be picked up. She was in some strange man's house. She had no money. She didnt know where she was, really but the street name was - well, I have forgotten, but it was a suburb unknown to both Ted & I, so Ted had his trusty map, for me to read & navigate for him.
His mother had a problem. She liked to drink. She liked to drink A LOT. And she got very lonely. So she apparently regularly allowed herself to be 'picked up'.
Sadly, this particular morning she appeared wrapped in an old blanket. And wearing a black eye, from the previous night's revelries. I never found out what had happened to her clothes.
I felt terribly sorry for both Ted & his mother. And I did admire the calm & patient way Ted dealt with her. No harsh words, no questions. He just took her home to her flat, & made her a cup of tea, & saw her off to bed. I had never seen anyone quite like that. I had never met anyone so broken by life.
His mother worked in a cafe, in the city. She was a small built woman, & likeable when sober. And rather attractive. Ted never said what happened to his father, & I didnt ask.
I did meet 2 of Ted's sisters. He insisted he would take me to visit his married sister, who had 6 children. He told me he adored the children, & would one day like to have children of his own.
He had just bought himself a treat. A Sibelius Arctic water Suite - I think- multiple albums. It was guaranteed I would 'love it'. We arrived at the sister's house, amid ruinous chaos. A huge tumble of children, dogs & cats. A warm child friendly home, to be enjoyed & not fussed about. There was a vague shadowy brother in law, but I dont remember much about him.
The eldest child had cerebral palsy, poor girl, & she obviously loved her Uncle Ted. She spoke very loudly, & was very hard to understand. All the children were so happy to see him. And gazed at me with suspicion, unsure what to make of a stranger.
The mother-sister seemed a very pleasant warm person, an ideal mother for her busy noisy brood. And she seemed geniunely pleased to see Ted, & meet me.
Then another of his sister's arrived. A very different natured girl. Not given to liking children or animals much, it seemed. Unwilling to sit, until sticky somethings had been removed between finger & thumb. O well, not everyone is mad on kids.
But as the afternoon evolved, I could hear Ted & Classy--snobish-sister trying to outdo each other in the 'I have a higher taste in music than you do' stakes.
And out came the Sibelius. Loudly. And the louder it got, the louder the children became. In the end there was this cacophanous din that threatened to cave in the roof of the mother-sister's roof. The Mother-sister was heard to snarl, at Ted, & Classy sister, "turn that rot off!". She made suggestions about where they could put it, & what they could do to listen to it. And I must say, I agreed with her. But silently, of course.
And then there were waspish remarks made about their mother, insults hurled about by Classy sister. And Ted trying hard to laugh it all off, and Mother sister deciding perhaps the visit had lasted too long.
Surely Ted & Classy sister had come to visit with Mother sister, & the nephews & nieces? Not to sit listening with eyes closed to some vast wash of classical music?
In a way it was an appalling introduction to some of Ted's family. He had other siblings. I never got to meet any of those.
I think it was just after that incident, that the decorating farce took place. And so ended our brief 'romance'.


Sheila said...

I laughed at this as it reminded me of a chap I used to date, when I lived in the UK. He now lives in Australia. He played in a band, and wasn't bad looking. He was a real cheap skate. Visits to pubs were spent in the car, he would go in and buy us a drink and we would sit outside. If he came to my home to pick me up, he always ended up chatting to my mum and dad, and I never got to go anywhere. When I complained to my mum, she said he was a lovely young man, and I should be more considerate. One weekend we were supposed to go to a football match and out to dinner afterwards. He picked me up, and I got into the car I noticed this little old man in the back seat. I was introduced to Uncle Albert.He was coming with us. We saw the game (riveting..!), and then he put the old chap on a bus and drove us to his mate's house. They asked us in, but made it obvious they were about to eat, and whether from generosity or embarrasment, they set two places for us. I have never felt so unwanted in my life. Then afterwards he asked the mate to go out for a drink and left me with the wife babysitting.
Eventually I chucked him, but all my friends thought I was nuts cause he was so cute...!
The rest of his family were misfits too, and I could never figure out who was married to who..!

Guðrún said...

Boy oh boy, here I sit alone smiling/laughing, everyone else gone asleep, I´ll go to sleep with a smile on my face, thank you.

joyce said...

Ted sounds like quite a guy. I think you did better with who you ended up with.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

I love reading your life stories. I wish I could remember the details like you do. With age, mudication and illiness I have forgotten so much. My flower gardens are full of bees and butterflies, but no toads. When we drive by the wetland and sit in my sister backyard we hear the toads and they are loud.

caramaena said...

lol @ the Ted story. Well out of that one I think.

Cute frog. My parents get lots of little green frog visitors where they live.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meggie,
I've been reading your posts all week. You do have a great way with words. I have enjoyed your life stories. I have a little picture in my head of Ted. For some reason he is wearing a sleeveless pullover over a fawn shirt! (I imagine characters in books that I read too.)
Thank you for sharing your stories.

Ali Honey said...

Oh Meggie,
Lucky escape there I think!

Cute little frog. Who do you suppose inhabits the toadstools? We have the red spotted ones.

mjd said...

Meggie, Your funny frog and toadstool pictures are delightful. Indeed, Xandau is the perfect name for this underworld. I like mushrooms and toadstool too, and try to photograph any that I see.

You have told an interesting story about Ted and his family.

smilnsigh said...

Love your froggie and your toadstools.

Yes, I too love to cut and lash at rogue vegetation! Mmm, does this desire grow with age maybe? -giggles-

"among the Xanadu."

Oh what is Xanadu? One of the leaves I presume but I never heard any vegetation called by that exotic name.

There really ARE red toadstool, with the white spots???!!!???

"Who ever thought I would one day have my Grandmother's skin! haha."

Yessssss! Aren't those teeny, tiny little lines, on lower arms and hands, a SHOCK?!? Eeek! How did that happen?!? I keep wondering if lots of cream, slathered on, day and night, would change such?

My son's old fashioned family Pharmacy makes a wonderrrrrrrrrful hand/skin cream, which I use a lot.. Wonder if 24/7 use, would 'do the trick.' -smile-


tracey petersen said...

Fantastic toadstool pics. They look just right for a fairy party.

Elaine Adair said...

Interesting story -- thanks for the visit to my blog, and for the introduction into how some of other people live ... 8-)

I'm adding you to my Bloglines, and I'll be back.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Oh, meggie, you are such a wonderful story teller. Just caught up on posts I'd missed and loved it all..your stories about your parents and little Glen have touched my heart...Ted! ginger and sticky toed frogs.......and overlaying it all.. your lovely sense of humor..

meggie said...

Hi All, thankyou for all your comments. Ted actually had his good points, & he was always kind to his mother- which has to be a plus. He was brown-eyed, which is probably why I was attracted to him initially. Though I have married a blue eyed man, I always loved brown eyes.

He did wear Vyella shirts, if that is a help! He may even have had a sleeveless pullover too! His hair was brown, & thinning & recedeing rapidly... my brother & I concluded it was because of all his migraines! LOL/

The Xanadu is a variety of Philodendron I think. It is rather smothered under the Ginger, which runs amok, but since the frogs like it, I dont like to remove it all.

smilnsigh said...

You mentioned the book, 'The Mill on the Floss,' in a comment. I've heard that name but never happened to read it. :-)