Evie and I had around an hour to use up before we collected Martha from school, so we went for a walk, our eventual destination being the nearest sweetie vending emporium. On the way, we walked past a very lovely shrub in a garden (pictured above) and I said,
I must get a picture of that on the way back because I'm sure Bert will know what it is.
On the return journey, I was camera ready. Evie held the Haribo and I got my pictures, one at a distance for the general shape of the bush and one close up for better identification. I hoped the people in the house weren't looking out and thinking me presumptuous. Job done, I put the camera away. Evie said,
Granny what's all that stuff? What happened to the house?
I looked at what she was looking at. Outside the front door was a pile of half-burnt and melted stuff. It looked like the type of thing people might stash in their roof space. I looked up. A vast hole in the roof, partially covered with a blue plastic sheet, tiles damaged or missing,
It was easy to find out what happened from the school lollipop man and his friends. An electrical fire in the roof space a few days ago. The people were away. The fire melted the plastic water tank and the house flooded. Scary. My own attic is full of just the sort of crap that those people had but there is no plastic water tank to put out the fire.
And...if it hadn't been for Evie I wouldn't even have noticed the fire damage. Talk about not seeing the wood for the trees.
The shrub? Bert identified it immediately - Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla. Who says Latin is a dead language? Not for horticulturists it isn't.
So what have I learned apart from the name of that covetable shrub?
1. To pay attention to my surroundings.
2. And get the attic cleared.