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  • Writer's pictureAlly Landes


“What are you doing all the way over there?” Louise cried out.

“What does it look like?” Penny was incessant when questioned and when in the moment, there was no stopping her.

Louise had just this moment come back from her short, but perfect coastal holiday in Portugal, and beamingly walked into an empty house looking for someone to boast to. She went over to the back door and peered out to see Penny crouched over the ground. Walking over to get a closer look, she gasped, “When did you start doing this? You don’t have green fingers Penny!”

Illustrated box of succulents

“Well, while you’ve been away travelling to find yourself amongst Portuguese lands, I decided to try my hand at greening. I have been propagating by division darling. Deal with it.”

“Propa-what? Is greening actually a word?” Penny’s eyes never once looked up and she continued to arrange the delicately coloured succulents in hues of green with hints of pink and purple amongst a neatly dispersed small stone trail. “Penny, it looks amazing. Have mum and dad seen it?”

“Well it’s our mother who came home with a box load of them because they were on sale and she thought they were ‘pretty’, and typical mother that she is, ended up having no idea what to do with them. You weren’t here, so she called me over and I got sucked in, so to speak. Louise if you’re going to hover over me, make yourself useful at least.”

Together, the sisters united and emanated the box of remaining succulents into the ground in a delectable mosaic, taking it up as the central feature of their childhood garden.

“So where are they anyway? I was coming home to a roast dinner family get together so I could unload my adventures to them. I’d waste them if I had to unload them on you.”

Both sisters let out soft giggles as they sat up to take a look at their newly found gardening skills. On doing so, they heard the front door shut in the background, followed by an incomprehensible chatter of verbal tennis. “What are they arguing about now?” Penny looked up towards the house and stood up as she brushed her hands free of soil over her old overalls – the kind that one always seems to save for moments such as these cutting-edge hobbies.

The girls went up to the house just in time to help unpack the shopping and find out what all the commotion was about.

“Oh Louise, you’re home! You must tell us all about Portugal darling. Terry, put the kettle on and do something useful! Your father reversed the car into a lamp post coming out of the supermarket parking lot.”

“Tea, Carol! Honestly, your daughter has just returned home and you want to brew tea? Get the gin out woman, we’re in for a long night with the slideshow she’s going to make us sit through. And it’s just a scratch, stop your waffling.”

“Well at least you’re both alright. No whiplash from Dad’s high speed reversing? How’s the lamp post doing? Will it survive?”

“Very funny Louise!” Terry was starting to look a little annoyed. Penny went up to ruffle his hair as this amused her greatly. She grabbed Louise’s hand to guide her back out to the garden to finish what they had started as Carol briskly shooed them out of her kitchen while she began to prep her ingredients.

In no time at all, a roast dinner was served, and as Penny glanced over approvingly at her sister, she nodded and said, “Succulent Louise. Just succulent!”

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