The Advance - Sophie Duffy

by Sophie Duffy

Late summer and the garden was a mess. Morley could see the state of it from his armchair in the window. Nothing wrong with his eyesight. He could make out the roses, branches splaying, petals scattered on a lawn in need of a short-back-and-sides. From the occasional venture to the vegetable patch he knew the courgettes were marrow-sized and there were enough unpicked blackberries to make crumbles for an army. He used to be on top of things. A keen gardener. Mulching. Hoeing. Now it had all gone to seed -- literally. Rheumatoid arthritis and a war wound had finally got the better of him. White flags came to mind.

Morley opened The Telegraph, focused on matters at hand; 8-Across.

If he had the money he’d get someone in, like his sister, Alice. She had a man-with-a-van who did her grass, odd jobs around the house. And a cleaner. Someone to dust the ornaments and rub away at the brass. What did she do with her time, aside from bridge and her wretched dogs? He had more time than he knew what to do with. Too much thinking. Too much remembering. Not enough action.