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Monocle Weekend
Edition: Saturday

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The Opener / Andrew Tuck

Pushing up daisies

Pushing up daisies

Summer brings with it a plant-watering ritual that eases my transition from day to evening. I cycle home, open the garage door and pull out the hose (not a euphemism) and, for the pots beyond its trajectory, bring out the watering can. David hears my arrival and unlatches the front door, allowing Macy to run into the mews to greet me. I shout up to the open window of our neighbour Leo’s flat, telling him that I’m back and that he’s needed on hose duty. “I’ll be right down!” he says, poking his head out of the window. Then, the four of us tend to our thirsty verdant friends (frankly, Macy’s input is woeful), while discussing the day and drinking up the compliments from people walking past our floral display. It’s perfect. Except Leo’s gone and spoilt it.Last Friday, I ditched the other half and went solo to Mallorca; he’s about to be in a play and is banned from leaving the country until July. See ya! On Sunday morning I drove out of Palma, heading eastwards to the town of Felanitx, to explore and use my new camera. Just as the town edged into sight, my phone rang. It was David. I came off the highway and parked in a country lane so that I could answer. His voice was breaking, “Leo’s dead.”Last week was just a usual week in Leo’s life. Each morning, he got dressed in a perfectly ironed shirt, neatly pressed trousers and a nice pair of loafers, setting off at a measured pace to buy the newspaper and settle down for coffee in one of our neighbourhood cafés. La Fromagerie on Lamb’s Conduit Street was the current clear favourite. It had, after all, organised, with the help of lovely Maggie, a surprise 88th birthday breakfast for him just a couple of weeks ago. Then, during the day, he would no doubt have watched the races, rugby or some gloriously trashy TV. People would have dropped round. And then, later, post-watering, there might have been the ballet, theatre or just a good dinner with his extensive network of friends of all ages.

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