after the iceberg roses come the tomatoes

‘If you don’t deadhead those roses you won’t get any more blooms.’ If she had said it once, Adelaide had said it a thousand times. They had a lovely lot of icebergs (roses, not lettuces) in their garden, if only her husband could drag himself away from the cricket to keep them maintained.

Not that Adelaide minded doing it for herself. Oh, no. It was lovely to spend a summer evening in the front garden clipping at the roses and nodding to the evening joggers as they passed by. They didn’t smile so much these days, Adelaide thought. And they all had ipods in their ears. Adelaide shook her head. She was old enough to know that progress couldn’t be stopped. If they wanted to deafen themselves then what business was it of hers?

But she didn’t have time for the roses this week. The tomatoes were coming in.

It seemed like they had to be tied a bit more every night. The ripe ones had to be picked. The water had to be kept up. Especially in this heat.

And soon there would be enough for making the sauce.

‘I won’t use so many cloves this year,’ Adelaide said to her husband. She wasn’t surprised that he didn’t answer, but she had thought that he might. He had been complaining about the cloves all year. It was one of those experiments gone wrong.

‘I might make some jars of pasta sauce,’ she said. ‘There’s a woman at work, her mum’s Italian, she said she’ll give me the family recipe.’ Adelaide patted at her hair as she spoke. It was quite a coup. Sophia didn’t give her recipe to just anyone.

‘Bugger,’ her husband said. ‘Ponting’s out.’

‘On the other hand,’ said Adelaide. ‘I quite like cloves.’ She smiled as they went to the commercial break.

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