“Frankie took one of the white plastic chairs from the shed and set it out in the middle of the back yard. She sat down and, resting her legs on a flowerpot full of wilting geraniums, lifted her face to the sun.”
In “Freecycling for Beginners” Frankie meets with her friends in clubs and at parties. If the novel had been set last year she would have been “seeing” them via TicTok Zoom, WhatsAp and whatever other digital platform sixteen year olds use. Or Amy and Emma could have come round and sat at the correct social distance in Frankie’s back yard.
That’s the way we’ve been seeing our friends over the past year and a half. In the first lockdown, we put our garden chairs out at the front of the house, partly because it is the sunniest spot but also because we could chat with friends and neighbours as they passed by.
The high spot of that lovely warm spring, was our five o’clock glass of wine with Heather. She would bring her chair and sit at the other side of the lavender bed that separates our gardens. I would bring glasses and a bottle of something cool and white, while Mike supervised the proceedings.
Being extra cautious, in those pre-vaccine days, Heather would put her glass at the bottom of the drive and I would fill it, then we’d toast each other and talk about the strangeness of life and how lucky we were to have sunshine and gardens and people we cared about living close.
PS The white plastic chair in the picture is not one we used.
PPS “Freecycling for Beginners” is out on September 16th. Available now for pre-order on Amazon.