The Garden

“De de de deee, de de de deee, dede, dedededeeeeeeeeeeee!” wailed the electric guitar in a close approximation of Guns N Roses Sweet Child O Mine. Jim stood in a magnificent rock pose, legs akimbo and guitar hung low in a proper Rock God manner. The effect was only slightly spoilt by the garden fence directly behind him, the budleigha off to the left and the summer house to the right.

Colin looked on fondly at his sons band, as they mauled their way through yet another cover version. The fondness was genuine but aided by several lukewarm beers that the summer day and the volume of rock music required.

The vegetation took the sonic pounding in it’s stride, which was something the audience could have done with a little bit of help with. It wasn’t aided by the eclectic mix of Jim and his band, the Shangri La Airforce, school mates and the mostly elderly neighbours who made up the impromptu audience. The presence of the elder had come to be expected; rather than suffering from their gardens had sought refuge at the alcohol stuffed cool box that Colin always provided for such occasions.

Not for the first time when his son had asked at short notice to abuse the garden in the name of heavy rock, did Colin wish he’d got round to sorting out the garage. A garage band should play in the garage, it’s a rite of passage but the problem, as Colin was all too aware of, was the passage in question, namely in and out of the garage, was baulked by accumulated junk. You’d be lucky to get a 5 year old with a uekele in there, let alone a double kick drum and rather too many guitarists he thought mordantly.

Colin was blessed and cursed in equal measure with his 160ft garden. It meant in summer he could duck behind the shrubbery off to the side of the summer house and retire to his potting shed for a bit of Radio 2 and some home brew with a nice book. But it also meant that the Shangri La Airforce flew into town rather too often for his liking.

Not that this seemed to be bothering old Mr Green from two doors down. He was sipping Stella straight from the can, nodding his head appreciatively at the buxom figure of Kate, the bassist, with both his hearing aids turned right down. When you’re 83, you have to take your enjoyment as you find it, and Mr Green was never shy of an offer of free drink.

Colin turned round to glimpse his wife Jane pottering ominously in the kitchen and decided it was time to head her off at the pass.

The muffled wailings of Led Zeppelin drifted through the double glazing as Colin attempted to stave off a potential situation.

“If you really want a repeat of the Nobody-understands-me-or-my-music-you-just-want-to-humiliate-me farrago of last month, by all means go ahead and pop those sausage rolls in the oven.” said Colin, “Because that’s what will happen, rock and roll and sausage rolls don’t mix.”

“Well I’m worried if we don’t get some food into Mr Green he might get arrested for sexual assault.” countered Jane.

Colin sighed, she did have a point. “Okay, we’ll pop your sausages on a tray by the cool box but no plates, and no special robot napkins.”

Disaster, if not averted, then postponed for a little while at least, Colin headed back to the garden. He briefly considered locking himself in the toilet for the duration but decided against it. Someone would only get caught short and end up weeing in the borders and he wasn’t sure if his perennials were that hardy.

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