Saturday 15 June 2019

'Pattern' by Anne O'Leary

White cotton 4-ply, 3mm hook.

Make a magic circle. Chain 2. 11 double crochets into circle. Slip stitch into second chain to complete round.

“Will I put these flowers in water for you, Mum?” Lisa says. She’s holding a bunch of daffodils that look like sunshine. 

“Oh, do. Aren’t they gorgeous? Who are they from?” I ask.

“I picked them up on my way over. I thought they’d be cheerful for you. Why don’t I put them here?” She touches a spot on the mantelpiece, skimming it with her fingers in a sneaky check for dust. She thinks I won’t notice.

Chain 2. *1 double crochet in the next stitch, 2 double crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from * to last stitch. Slip stitch into second chain to complete round.

“Tom will be here soon,” Lisa says, arranging the flowers nicely in a vase shaped like an egg timer. They’re yellow on the outside, orangey on the inside.

“Oh, that’s lovely. Why’s he coming all this way?”

“He just wants to see you. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Well, he must be very busy. What is it he does again?”

“He’s an engineer, Mum. He works for that company building all the stuff in the Docklands.”

Chain 2. *1 double crochet next 2 stitches. 2 double crochet next stitch. Repeat from * to last stitch. Slip stitch into second chain to complete round.

It’s looking very pleasing already, the pattern as satisfying as a cobweb.

Chain 2...

“And Majella sends her love,” she’s saying.

“Do I know a Majella?” I ask. It comes out sounding impatient, which I don’t mean to be, but I really want to concentrate and get this project finished today. 

“She’s an old friend of mine from school. You probably wouldn’t remember her,” she says. She’s found a cloth and is dusting the mantelpiece, cheeky pup.

“I don’t,” I say.

“Never mind,” she says, and turns away. She is so abrupt at times.

Chain 2. 1 double crochet in the next stitch, chain 3. Can’t work out where the next stitch…

“What is it you’re doing there, Mum?” she asks.

“I’m making a table centrepiece,” I tell her. “Getting there now.”

“Can I see?” She leans over me and holds out her hands for it. “Oh, it’s lovely,” she says.

There is nothing between her fingers but air. I’m about to ask her what on earth she’s playing at, why she’s trying to make a fool of me, when I spot some doodles, dulups - no, daffodils in an egg timer on the mantelpiece. They look like sunshine, yellow on the outside and that other colour - not yellow - on the inside.

“Aren’t they gorgeous?” I say. “Who are they from?”

“From me,” she says. “I thought they’d be cheerful for you.”

I’m touched by her thoughtfulness, she’s so sweet. Her name has slipped my mind momentarily, but I’m sure it begins with an ‘L’. Or an ‘M’. Yes, Majella, that’s right. 

Double crochet in the next stitch…

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