She’s going to kill me for that. Except Hilary McKay is too nice to kill anyone.
She asked for balloons by the gate. Not too much to ask for, but whereas I do have balloons, I have no gate, so it was foreign flag on the door instead. We’ve not actually been that festive since some birthday over a year ago. And Hilary brought the most beautiful flowers! (Which I got the Resident IT Consultant to find a vase for, seeing as my regular photographer-cum-putter-into-vase assistant was unavailable.)
You’ll soon be asking what I had to offer someone like Hilary, to make her journey all the way from Derbyshire worthwhile. Scones. Nothing more. Just that. Hilary even phoned to advise me of her ETA, and offered to delay if she was too early… You can see the headlines, can’t you? ‘Whitbread winner seen walking and waiting outside witch’s lair.’
In my usual bad hostess mode I did my interview with Hilary first. She had modestly suggested there was nothing to ask her, while I knew I needed the business side out of the way, so I could fully enjoy the chatting and the gossiping (only nicely, obviously). I enjoyed it so much that I have no photos to show for the afternoon, which is probably how my visitor prefers it.
Apart from one hairy moment when Hilary was all for kidnapping me and go visit St Sioux, we were fine. I decided it wasn’t too cold to sit outside, so she suffered through tea and scones on the deck, only protesting as New Neighbour started lopping branches off his apple tree. With apples on them!
After conversations about family and gardens and double garages in Scotland, I forced some books on Hilary as she got ready to leave in her beautifully blue car (which she talks to).
I think I must make the effort with balloons next time. It’s the least I could do.
The Resident IT Consultant asked permission to eat the crumbs left over from the scones orgy. In view of his services with both flowers and tea making I said he could.