News, Culture & Society

LIZ JONES’S DIARY: In which I receive a surprise bouquet

I returned home on Monday afternoon to find a bouquet of flowers on my doorstep. My heart sank. I hate people sending me flowers, especially Interflora ones with lilies and spiky leaves. I only like yellow roses. And tulips. No green filler stuff or glitter. Sending me flowers creates work: I have to unwrap them, find scissors, snip off the ends, find a vase. I am them poised, for days until they die, desperate to wash the vase and put it away. I got them inside, then opened the teeny envelope. ‘Who,’ I wondered, ‘has sent me more things to do?’

It was the day after Mothering Sunday, but I am not a mum, obviously, so the card perplexed me. ‘Thank you for being my new Mummy. Sorry these are late. Love, Missy.’

No name. Just a thank you from my new rescued Border Collie three year old. The ONE THING I simply cannot stand is people being cryptic. Who could have sent them? Barely a soul knows my address. I considered phoning my local florist to quiz them, but they were of course closed, it being a weekday during office hours. Could they be from my friend Helen, who stayed at Christmas? From Nic, Isobel, Dawn? I called Interflora customer services, who said that due to data protection, they are not allowed to give out a name. Damn! I’m now even more annoyed.

It’s the sort of cryptic, labour-intensive-on-my-part thing David would do but, as he had failed to send flowers on Valentine’s Day, to do so on Mother’s Day would be a bit creepy. I hadn’t heard from him, and started to wonder whether my last email, saying I was off soon to South America for work, had mistakenly made him jealous, thinking I was embarking on a rendezvous with the Hunk. So I emailed to reassure him: ‘Hi. Just in case you thought I was meeting the war reporting, recently divorced, Liam Neeson lookalike and really interesting man, just to reassure you that I’m not. He doesn’t live in South America, I was just protecting his identity. He really lives in Xxxxxxx.’

He replied. ‘What about my identity!?!’

Good point. I knew he was going to say that. ‘Unfortunately, you were already named in my column and book before you contacted me and we re-met.’

Oooh! An email! David. ‘So, how is your hearing now? It is everything you hoped for? X’

Me: ‘It’s amazing. Still getting used to them but can hear birds singing in the garden; I assumed they’d all been shot. I used to have the TV on 100, now I can hear perfectly on 13. I’ve started listening to music again; God, how I’ve missed it! My iPhone goes straight into my ears. I can hear announcements on the train. Traffic. Sirens. People talking in the street at they pass by. Shop assistants when they tell me how much something is. Who knew there was an extractor fan in my bathroom? Or a beeping noise to let me know Mini hasn’t put on her seatbelt? Or that Sweetie makes chirruping noises? Just like that awful woman in the Daily Telegraph who wrote an entire front page piece saying I had snubbed her in the local pub in Somerset, she must have thought I was ignoring her! I am doing my first interview of a celebrity tomorrow with ears.’

‘That is fantastic news. I am so happy for you. X’

Me: ‘So, did you send me flowers last week?’ (I’m sorry. I just have to know. It’s been driving me insane; well, more insane than I usually am.)

Him: ‘No. Missy did. X’

Ah. So it was him who sent them! He can’t be lying, as I hadn’t mentioned the new puppy at all when I asked if it was him.

‘That was kind and thoughtful and not weird and creepy at all. Mini Puppy still hates her; I can now hear her growling. What do the flowers mean? Anything? Nothing? More washing up?’

‘Naughty Mini. What do the flowers mean? I don’t know. I think of you. I miss you. X’