Debashish was attending a function there. It was to unveil a plaque to a botanist Edwin Butler who,interestingly, spent 15 years in British India in the early 1900s working in the field of plant and agriculture. Aaditya, our son,was fishing happily in a nearby river . I gave up trying to drag him with me and decided to wander the three and a half streets of Kilkee. Each one for himself or herself, I suppose.
I love gawking at gardens and houses. I must have been gawking at the pretty little cottages when I met a sprightly old lady walking out of one of them. We smiled at each other. And, as I quickly thought of what I should say, she spoke. In the course of a couple of minutes, hearing that I was hanging around, waiting for my husband, she had invited me to her home to share a cup of tea with her.
I went with her and, for an hour or so, absolutely enjoyed the warmth of her company and her home.
As I admired the very many flowers in her garden -she promptly brought out a pot and spade and dug out a clump of purple campanulas for me to plant in my home.
Her name was Margaret Prendergast ,all of 75 years old. She had owned a popular bed and breakfast at Kilkee called ‘King’s Arms’ and had retired when she turned 70. After Debashish had arrived and also had a cup of tea, she told me she would probably have been too awkward to have invited me home had she known that my husband was an ambassador .
She lives alone and when I last spoke to her a month ago -she was in the middle of a hair dressing party in her house ! I love her ! And I will wait for her campanulas to flower at India House in spring .
I call this special .
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