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Sydney the wood pigeon.

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Chapter 4

“Hello.” she said, “I am Jessica… Jess for short, and I have come to study your bathroom and kitchen.” “Yes, of course, I have made a list of things I think will be necessary and I will leave the rest to you.Can I get you a tea or coffee?.” said Mary. “No, thank you , maybe later when we can discuss my findings and designs.” “Perfect, when you are ready I will probably be upstairs somewhere.”

Mary went slowly up the stairs to the smaller bedroom. “Yes, I will definitely need a stair lift.”she jotted it down in her notepad.She started to clean from where she had left off.” “The dresser could do with a polish ,”she thought , on top of the dresser she found some more jewellery. “How strange, I am sure I picked it all up yesterday.” She slipped the pieces into her pocket.

Jess was very efficient and soon had her designs ready, she called to Mary, “OK, I am ready for that coffee now.” Mary came down stairs straight away, eager to see what Jess had designed.

She was really pleased with the designs, Jess was really artistic but she had kept everything as practical as possible and had designed the grab rails and other aids in a way that they blended in with the rest of the design without being obvious and an eyesore.She had thought of everything, even things Mary hadn’t thought of. She suggested that Mary should call one of those alarm firms that come if you press a button or pull a cord, Mary agreed , and looked up some phone numbers to get quotes.

Jess gave the designs to Mary, asking her to study them closely before deciding. Mary agreed, and made an appointment to meet the next day.The quote was a bit higher than Mary had expected, but it would be adding value to the property so it should be ok, she would phone her son later to ask what he thinks. Jess had estimated about three weeks to complete the work, which sounded good. Mary promised to have her answer ready the next day. Jess went back to the DIY store to check on some prices, she hoped she could get some discounts for Mary.

Mary went slowly up the stairs again, slightly out of breath, thinking ‘stairlift’ with every step.She went into the small bedroom.She guessed it must have been a child’s room at one point, judging by the wall paper, which was blue with boats all over.She would need a painter and decorator, and someone to take the rubbish and unwanted furniture to the skip.She jotted it into her notepad , she noticed she had written ‘stairlift’ three times.she laughed to herself, “I think I want a stairlift.”

In a corner of the room she saw a small chest of drawers, it needed some TLC , a splash of paint or varnish, “Yes, that would be very useful in the garage.” She opened the top drawer to inspect the condition of the drawers, to her surprise the drawer was full of papers and letters and allsorts.She started to look through the papers, mostly they were old school text books and designs by a child.She found a closed envelope and decided to open it, inside was a letter written by a child, it started , ‘Dear New owner, please feed the birds and look after them, they live here, this is their home, they were here before me.They like nuts and seeds.Best wishes, Mike.’ “Well, how extraordinary.” I guess I will have to start feeding the birds here too.People will start calling me ’The bird lady” or something, then they will lock me up and throw away the key! She laughed out loud, her voice echoed in the empty house. Silly thoughts were whirring round her head, “I could write a story,” she thought. “Yes , next I will have fairies and goblins and talking pigeons around the house.”

There was a knock at the door, it was Jonathan with lunch. “Hello my friend, come inside, I ’ll get the kettle on. Mary was thinking she could get used to all this.Life was looking good at the moment, even with Parkinsons.

The two friends chatted away telling each other of the events of the morning.Mary told Jonathan about the new pieces of jewellery and gave them to him.She told him about the letter too.They laughed about it all, time went by in a flash and it was soon time for Jonathan to get back to work. “Bye, Mary see you later for dinner, it is lasagne tonight, so don’t be late !” “Don’t worry , I am coming back as soon as the gardener has finished.”

Just as Jonathan was driving away, Mary saw a small white van with the DIY logo just parking by the gate. The gardener was very tanned from working outside, he had blond hair and green eyes, Mary thought he was quite handsome.

“Hello, I am Mary,” she said offering her hand, he shook her hand vigorously, “Hello, I am Charlie, pleased to meet you. Now, come for a walk with me around the garden and tell me what you would like.” Mary quite liked this way of doing things , she could explain her needs and what she would like to do. She explained about her illness and the need to be low maintenance, she wanted a special corner where she could sit and relax and watch the birds and other garden creatures, with a water feature. Of course it would need wheelchair friendly pathways.

When they had finished they went inside and Mary put the kettle on for tea, she put some biscuits on a plate. Meanwhile, Charlie was quickly sketching his design of her garden, and working out costs with a calculator.

The designs were stunning, he had captured exactly every detail, just how Mary had imagined it, they were perfect. Mary asked him also, to set up a maintenance program as she wouldn’t be able to cope by herself.

She signed all the consent forms and shook Charlie’s hand, “ I estimate it will take me a couple of weeks to get it all done. I will start tomorrow morning, is nine a.m ok for you?” he asked,” “Perfect.” she answered.

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