The Red Hot Putter

woody2Putters have a very special place in the heart of golfers.  They win matches. They can lose matches. It can take a lifetime to find the right one.  I loved my putter. And that was my downfall.

The thespian had started a new play.  Long days and early starts. Learning lines and catching trains. We shared the juicing challenge.

“I’ll prepare and you do the clearing up”.  It seemed a fair deal.

The supermarket delivered a trolley full of goodness. Fresh fruit and veg. Apples. Greens. Carrots, beetroot, celery, spinach.  Ginger.

“Have you got rabbits or horses?” asked the girl on the till.

Some days we would have a protein power smoothie.  Other days, cranberry apple and pineapple or carrot and orange.

The compost heap looked like a rainbow had collapsed and all the bands of colours mingled together.

Even the golf balls had to make way in the fruit bowl.  Sidelined to the wine rack, where they perched precariously with the Italian reds.

The Golf Police had long since decided he was not born to juice.

“Can’t stand the stuff”  he said.  “And get those balls out of my wine rack”.

Life was good and  fairways were found more often than the rough.

“You’re hitting the ball well.  Another mugging” said Big Rich, handing over the money.

“It’s all down to the juicing.  You should try it”. 

“Carbs and sugar for me” said Rich.

“Not my cup of tea” said Sid.

“Couldn’t be bothered with lugging all that fruit back and the mess” said Ruggy.

I smiled. Pocketed the winnings and headed back to the practice ground.

The thespian meets deadlines, becomes word perfect and finds some digs near the theatre.

“Want a lift?  I can drop you on the way to golf”.” I said, sipping another Juice Delight. H2O red body Tonic. Beetroot, apple, cucumber and lemon.  Rocket fuel of the vitamin world.

I take her to the station.  She travels light. A rucksack, script and laptop. I am weighed down with a recycling bag for the paper bank.

The platform is windy. The bag heavy. I lean it against a metal railing.

We become part of the congregation of commuters. Plugged into ipods, city girls in heels and guys in sharp suits.  I spot the golfer. Wearing his waterproof jacket more at home on the fairways than the platform. His hair tucked under a golf cap. I guess he is a single figure golfer and wonder what degree driver he carries in his bag. What putter he uses to win his matches.

“Oh my God. Why did you bring that bag full of old papers?” said the thespian, shivering and eyeing the abandoned bag.

“You can’t just leave it there.  People will think it’s a bomb.”

I look at the bag and  change the subject.  The train is delayed.  Leaves on the line.  We have time to kill.  We catch up on family news. Friends. Films and books to read.  Travel destinations and how many stars the digs will merit.

“Hope they will be ok”.  

Well they can’t be worse than the last ones. Remember the mouse?”

“And the one where the woman sent workmen round and they took out the bath. That was a first”.

The  station manager confirms the train is still delayed. The wind bites and we stand closer.

“Remember about the putter?” I said.

She shivered.  “Tell me again”.

I retold the tale.  She was three. Pig tails and cuteness. We were on the school run.  I had a golf match and had called in a favour from another mum.  I would take. She would collect.

“Somehow I squeezed you all in.  Kids. Clubs. P.E. kit and lunch boxes. It was a bit of a crush”.

The traffic was a nightmare.  I had been watching the clock and singing along to Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’.  We made good time. There would even be time to hit some balls on the range before the match. Have a few practice putts to get the feel of the greens.

“I hope you win” said the little-yet-to-be-thespian. Always thoughtful. Always kind. But this particular kindness came at a price.

“Thanks sweet heart” I said pulling out at a gridlocked T junction.

A few more lefts and rights and the school run would be complete.  It had been a good run.  I was five minutes up on the clock.

“You know I love you”  said the little thespian.

“So do I” said  her sibling, not to be outdone.

“You will win with your special club” said Little thesp.

“Which special club sweet heart?”

The shivering thespian laughed.  We knew how the story ended.  The special club she had taken out of my bag before we left the house.  The special club she put next to the radiator to keep it warm. The red hot putter.

“Still can’t see why it was my fault you lost.  You borrowed a putter, right?”

Some things can only be understood by a golfer. And some secrets are best kept by golfers.

We went out separate ways. I lost on the fairways, despite the juicing. She caught the late train.

In the evening she  sent a text.

Thanks for lift. My digs are ok.  No mouse and there is a bath. Hope you won.  Did you tell the Golf Police about the station scene xx

I spiked the creamy mashed potato with a fork before putting it under a hot  grill. The cheese melted on top and turned crispy brown.  The peas took three minutes in the microwave.  I thre them into a bowl with a knob of butter.   The kitchen smelt of gravy and onion and horseradish sauce. With a dash of parsley.

“So did you get down to the station in time?” said the Golf Police tucking into the shepherd’s pie and peas.

“Loads of time. The train was late”.

“Glad you took those papers to the paper bank”.

“Always good to recycle” I said.

I missed out the bit about the fast train which hurled through the station. I missed out the bit where the slip stream caught hold of the abandoned bag.  How the sports sections and business sections and all the other bits flew along the platform. Wrapped themselves around the legs of the men in sharp suits and the city girls in heels. Flew under seats and into the snack bar.  And the golfer in the waterproofs laughed conspiratorially, before returning to his ipod.

I put the juicer away in the cupboard, dished up the supper and when the plates were cleared away, I sent a text.

Glad you got there safely.  Some things are best not shared. love you  xxx