Making an entrance

How much do first impressions count with you? Do you judge other people by their clothes? Do you flick past books because the covers don’t grab you, even if the author is someone with a huge reputation?  Do you get a giggle from backgrounds for Zoom sessions when there’s a lampshade right on top of someone’s head? Or a bookcase so artfully arranged behind them that you KNOW they’ve tidied it specially?

I suspect appearances matter more than ever these days. The world is moving so fast, and not always in a good way. You don’t get long to form an opinion. Or, indeed, to make an impression.

Kris Pearson author's front garden

 I’m writing this as the USA changes Presidents, and I know many millions of people are holding their breath about what might happen next. What sort of impression would a first-time visitor to Washington DC gain this week?

I’ve had some time to myself lately because my husband ended up in hospital for a serious and most unexpected heart operation.  When I wasn’t visiting him in hospital I found I couldn’t write because I was a mess of worry. (He’s now doing well).  It’s no fun staring at the screen when last time’s words refuse to progress further, so I’ve been taking my annoyance out on the garden. Specifically the piece in front of the house. Literally making an entrance.

I’ve re-laid a lot of brick edgings. I’ve clipped hell out of all our box-hedging. We have plenty of that – it stops the birds flinging mulch all over the lawn and paths. Right now, weeds don’t dare make an appearance, but they’ll be back. Strangers who come to the front door will find a vision of order and beauty.

They’d better not walk around the corner of the house though – there they’ll find the gardener wearing no make-up, terrible old chinos spattered with water-lily mud, and a T-shirt that’s seen many better days.

At least I always get dressed before I start writing!