When we took up residence here there was one aspect of the Homestead location that caused us a little concern: the front fence bus stop. We quickly found, however, if we looked after it then people followed suit.
It’s not an arduous task: a quick shufti after dropping Farm Girl off at the Kingdom of Nova, some attention from neighbours Alan and Josie ‘s lawn mower once in a while, and a squirt with the hose now and then keeps it looking like a nice place to hang out until the next bus arrives. But two of our actions really changed the way “our” bus stop was treated. The first was replacing the old, paling fence with a see-through railing one, and the second: resurrecting the garden.
Today was warm but overcast and as such the perfect day to give the only Homestead garden heavy on the aesthetics some TLC. This task is never dull; you just never know who’s going to wander past as you work your way along, hauling out the couch grass, dandelions and, today at least, four Steinlager bottles.
While gingerly negotiating the Karakaberry, contemplating the difference between thorns and prickles, our attention was attracted by a lady keen to know the identity of that very plant. Information was imparted, the fledgling fruit and fence covering ability admired and we suddenly knew we had found a more deserving recipient of the cutting flourishing in the glasshouse than the dastardly berry filcher. A very pleasant ten minutes was spent discussing everything and nothing until we Homesteaders waved the bus off with cheery smiles and names exchanged (along with the promise of the aforementioned plant’s delivery to it’s new home, just around the corner, by the time our new friend, Anne, arrived home from her shopping trip).
All that remained to be done was a quick trim of the rampant daisies when the next prospective bus patron arrived. As we were effectively rummaging around her feet, a throw away comment was offered by way of a conversation opener. Nothing. The Renovator mimed this visitor was plugged into their music, obviously they were wanting to be left alone but it was a little awkward.. As we snipped and swept and yakked inanely not half a metre from this visitor, there was not a flicker of interest or an inkling of acknowledgement.
“Have a nice day,” The Goat Herd called, just a little sarcastically, as our companion finally boarded the bus.
“You, too.” called back the bus driver, “Go put your feet up for a while, you’ve earned it.”
The art of conversation, you either have it or you don’t.