Watching the sun slowly rise over my rose bushes as I sipped my jasmine tea this morning I could almost have been in some tropical paradise. Ali, my gardener, his head bowed toward the east was in my garden on his knees, the dawn reflected by his white robe.
I glanced at the morning news, and swiftly found it depressing. Someone had been arrested for spying on a tech company and there were reports of any number of conspiracies. I really do get tired of these intrigues. I turned off the news and listened to some morning music instead. This really is the nicest part of the day, and I wasn’t going to have it ruined by scandals which I could do nothing about.
I do love my garden, but as I watched the light spread across the verdant greens and browns of fall foliage I noticed a disruption in the tranquility of the universe. My lawn, so lovingly maintained, was pock marked with the evidence of some burrowing creatures. The velvet green of my well manicured grass had evidently attracted an infestation. It was then that I realised that Ali was not praying but peering inquisitively into one of the invaders burrows.
He rose to his feet and then walked purposefully to my kitchen, where I sat enjoying my breakfast of croissants and English marmalade, dressed in a long pale green dressing gown, and creamy silk night dress, with a pink tie about the waist. I do so love the way the silk feels on my skin. It makes me shudder that once I constrained myself with horribly male cotton pyjamas with an image of spider man on blazened on the back. Still, I was eleven at the time.
“Good morning, Ali,” I said as he knocked on the kitchen door and then opened it. “Would you like some jasmine tea, it’s freshly brewed.”
Ali came in and I poured him some of the tea, and he looked at me earnestly.
“We have to act swiftly, madam,” said Ali.
“Well, I’m sure we do,” I said, wondering what on earth he was talking about.
“They’re taking over. Before long we’ll be over run,” he continued.
“Ali,” I said, still confused. “Have you been getting your news from Facebook again?”
“No madam,” he replied. “It’s the moles.”
“I heard something about it on the news,” I said.
“Really?” said Ali. “It must be worse than I thought,” he said, his gaze drawn to the garden. He then added, as an afterthought, “We need to stuff their holes.”
There was an awkward silence and then I said, “That seems a little extreme.”
Ali is a Syrian refugee and came to his new life in Canada a few years ago. Having walked halfway across Europe he and his lovely wife and two girls finally found a safe haven that welcomed them, here in Canada. I know he must have been through any number of traumas during his flight as the country fell into civil war. Still, the inhumane treatment of spies seemed a little harsh. It was then I noticed Ali looking at me rather quizzically.
“Oh, you mean the ‘moles’. In the garden…” I said, realising my mistake.
“Yes, madam. They’re getting in from Marjorie’s, next door.”
“Wine bottles,” he said as if that were all the explanation needed.
Sometimes I think Ali is just saying random words. I really should talk to his English teacher sometime.
“We push them in their holes,” he added.
“Oh, yes.” I said quite suddenly. “I think I saw a video of that once.”
“Yes, we block their holes with wine bottles, and they’ll soon leave,” said Ali.
“Then I suppose we’d better talk to Auntie Kittie.”
Auntie Kittie always has empty wine bottles about the place. I get the distinct impression they don’t stay full for very long with her. But that’s not the main reason I’m writing to you this morning. I thought I’d make a point of dropping you a line and telling you that Auntie’s Kittie’s diary is as popular as ever and this week anyone who signs up for it (just $1.99 a month, or $12 for the year) will get free entry into our Whatsapp Group (usually $10 a month). I wouldn’t want you to miss out.
Have a lovely week, and let me know how you are doing.