Conversations with Marjorie Nettlespawn


I heard her coming down the drive and then the rattle of the gauze door as she came in, puffing slightly, her hand on her Fitbit and a quick glance to see the steps she had travelled.

This was my neighbour Marjorie Nettlespawn who would pop in each morning at the end of her walk. On her feet where her red joggers, always resplendently clean and in her track suit I’m sure she ironed daily.

My reaction was to slip the kettle on and boil water for a coffee she always loved at the end of her walk.

“6000 steps,” she announced, “any news on no 5?”

This was a reference to my children in whom Marg took a very healthy interest. All my children she knew by number rather than by name, and I found it a quaint way to talk about them with her. Whatever the problem she always had an opinion and I was forever grateful that she didn’t judge them but rather reacted to their various issues with compassion and care. It was like she lived her life through my kids which was ok as I always thought I had enough to share with her.

“No,” I replied, “she still thinks her ex is going to bring the kids back on Christmas day, but we have reservations about that as he is going to be about 5 hours away on Christmas day and unlikely to drive all that way on Christmas day. So, we wait in hope, hope we don’t have a distraught mother her Christmas night.”

“Life’s hard sometimes isn’t,” she remarked. “Did 2 get away ok?”

“Yes, he and his family are away for two weeks. Back at Christmas. They have a time-share up north, and so they are spending a week there then catching up with friends in their old home town.”

“Good they spend some quality time together isn’t,” she remarked sipping on her coffee.

“Yes, they’ll be back for Christmas this year so that will be good having them around this year.”

“Christmas is such a good time,” said Marjorie, “so glad you let me share some of yours.”

“Well you are always welcome, and the kids like having you here.”

“Thank you. How is 6 going? Any luck with a job?”

“No nothing has changed. I ran into a neighbour who works in disability housing, and she was saying it’s not unusual for people with disabilities to change jobs, stop jobs even when you think they might be happy there. So, the struggle goes on.”

“I understand. So, how’s the garden looking?”

“Oh, picked you some roses this morning. Take them home with you I know how you like them and there’s a double black rose for you as well.


“Oh, so beautiful,” said Marj admiring them. “Thank you I do love the scent of those black roses; all that Turkish Delight comes to mind when I smell them.”

She sat there smelling the roses, which I’m sure took her to places other than here which was fine as I liked Marjorie a lot and enjoyed her company. Then suddenly as always happened, she was up and off saying thanks for the coffee, and she’d drop by the next morning.

I looked forward to it.


So, my day began, watering and a quick walk. Life was good most days.

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8 Responses to Conversations with Marjorie Nettlespawn

  1. Lyn says:

    Marjorie seems like a lovely lady. Always nice to have coffee with a friend 🙂

  2. BlueSky says:

    I truly enjoyed this Michael. I’ve had many a neighbor over the years that brought something interesting into my day. Marjorie sounds like one I’d have enjoyed–might have required a bit of patience with her often-need to get her two-cents worth in–but I find my patience grows as I get older, too. I do hope you’ll share more stories. Maybe if you get a Fitbit you’ll have a walking partner?

    • Michael says:

      I’m afraid the fitbit might add to the guilt of not walking enough….but thanks for stopping by BlueSky…..I’ll write some more as I find Marjorie a joy to write about….plus I’m waiting for her to tell me how she really likes her coffee….I think she is being very polite at present….but as I say she never judges but has opinions which I appreciate.

      • BlueSky says:

        Something to look forward to. Have a little creamer and Equal on hand.

      • Michael says:

        Lol…I shall keep that in mind….by creamer i take it you mean milk? Years ago we had a visitor from the US come for dinner and when I asked her how she liked her coffee she said with cream…I panicked as I didn’t have ‘cream’ as we know it until she explained she meant milk.

      • BlueSky says:

        When someone asks for creamer it’s safe to assume a liquid cream, half and half, or a dry powder, non-dairy creamer (my preference). There are also the multitude of flavored creamers. Usually asking for milk means they watch their waistline. (what’s that all about?) Lol. It might be cheaper to get up the nerve to ask Marjorie what she likes in her coffee 🙂

      • Michael says:

        Yes good point. And here I was thinking it was just a matter of a drop of milk….I’ve learned something new today, creamers eh?

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