Just as we arrived, the sky opened up and poured down buckets. I could barely see anything.
“Go check it out, see if it’s worth going in,” said Frances.
I felt no great desire to get out of the car. “If we go in, we’ll still be outside. It is a garden,” I said, trying for once to use logic on Frances.
After a bit more prodding, I got out to reconnoiter. I peeked over a fence for a free look.
In good weather, the crumbling monastery sprouting plants and shrubs and flower beds must have looked quite delightful, but all I saw was an overgrown, sprawling, crumbling mess awaiting demolition. Only the keenest of enthusiasts could derive any joy from the garden in that downpour. And some did. I saw a flock of old ducks in see-through plastic bonnets, pointing out specimens to each other with unabashed excitement. Oblivious to the weather, they even smiled.
Straddling large puddles, I hurried back to the car and explained the situation to Frances, who was now in the back seat entertaining Kate. I suggested she check the place out for herself. Wisely, Frances declined to leave the warmth of the car. As we pulled out, a coach was pulling in, with obviously hardier types than us.
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