Marrow Escape (OS004)

Pam, one of my housemates, is really concerned about, what she calls, ‘my lack of purpose in life’. With the best of intentions, she presented me with a gift, a red letter day experience, namely a flying lesson.

“You need to do something completely different, an adventure to change your perspective of life.”

She has a point and what an amazing gift but I had to explain my reluctance to fly. Not long ago, I witnessed an unplanned landing of a light plane, where planes should not land. Fortunately, no one was hurt but nevertheless I’ve never felt the same about flying since.

It all started when I walked out of the house to the local shops. I spotted Prudence Ning, over the hedge, in the allotments. I shouted a greeting to her but Pru had a pair of headphones on and obviously couldn’t hear a thing. I knew that Pru was hooked on Topiary, trimming trees and bushes into interesting shapes and she was currently working on a trimming a shrub into to resemble a painting called the Scream. The grand unveiling was to be on Halloween but it was already looking amazing.

Pru is quite a celebrity in the village. When I first met her she was trimming the grass with scissors and an aerosol late in the evening wearing a Head Lamp. Some thought her a bit strange but if you saw her garden after the work, you’d be amazed. She had cut a picture in the grass of a young girl on a tablet PC. It looked like the PC was connected to a old windmill garden ornament. I didn’t get it but Pam said it was hilarious and coined the name ‘Grass Banksy’ for Pru.

After admiring her new creation I was aware of the light plane getting louder and louder and looked up to see it flying concerningly low. I was worried that it had flown through the fumes from the local incinerator which is known locally to incinerate narcotics (but not very well). Staring in disbelief, it looked as though it was lining up to land in the allotments. I waved wildly at the plane trying to stop the pilot landing but to no avail. It became clear that this was futile and I turned to Pru and shoulted my loudest. Clearly, I was not able compete with Jon Bon Jovi.

I watched, open mouthed as the plane touched down in the Kale. Avoiding the greenhouses and sheds, it sped though the cabbage, carrots and onions leaving a trail of Coleslaw behind it. It was getting closer and closer to Pru, I could neither bear to see what happened or avert my eyes. And then ….

A miracle happened, the plane ploughed into Albert’s prize Marrow which stopped it in its tracks. I raced over to see if I could help and pulled the pilot ‘Mike’ from the plane assisted by a guy who had been taking photographs of the crash landing. The pilot seemed blissfully unaware of what he had just done. At that moment, Pru turned round. She stared for a moment and must have been in shock as she greeted me seemingly oblivious to the small plane and the trail of salad which was previously the allotment.

The next day it was all over the local paper ‘Marrow escape for Pru Ning at the Allotment as Mike Rolight crashed his small plane’. The accompanying picture showed the mangled plane, embedded in Frank’s marrow and Pru, with headphones oblivious to the event but the shrub screaming for it’s life.


“So, Pam if it’s OK I’ll see if I can trade it in for something more ground based but great present. Thanks. Maybe …”

… Oliver Sudden

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