Open Day at the Manor

Hector and Edward have opened their garden. It is about the only time you ever see them.

There is a high wall around their house, which is built of soft, pale brown stone. It is the kind of house that seems to be gradually sinking into the foliage that surrounds it.

Most of the time you can only look through an ornamental wrought iron door down a path lined with lavender. (Deliveries go to the electric gates round the back).

But on this open day you can can go down the path and round the corner of the house, and then you can see the beds across the lawn.

Autumn borders. What an abundance of rusty reds, chocolate browns, mustard, yellow, mauve and powder blue.

One woman gave a little cry of shock at their flamboyance.

The two of them stand together, wearing blue blazers and cravats. Hector very much a Latin, with greying hair combed back across his head, Edward a little heavier, maybe an inch taller, bald with a little moustache. (Hector came originally from Paraguay)

If you speak to them, they defer to one another. Say you ask about a plant, Hector might say: “A sedum, I think. Am I right Eduardo?”

They must be well into their seventies now. Made their money in the City.  I heard someone say, “They were involved with Demats”. (I looked it up: it means dematerialization of stocks and shares so you don’t need to hold paper certificates any more).

We won’t see them for the rest of the year, or even know if they are there. I am told they go to Brazil.

I guess they are from a generation that simply barred straight people from their private lives if they were gay. As for Hector, I expect it was dangerous to be gay where he came from. Maybe it still is.