Sunday, January 23, 2011

RIP Nathaniel Boothby Featherington-Smythe II

Oh poor Nathaniel. Once you were healthy, leafy and beautiful. First adopted late Summer 2009, you boasted pretty purple leaves, bright and cheerful. You were a little temperamental, your stems drooping rapidly when deprived of water. But once nourished, your colour and strength would rapidly return, and your stems and flowers would cunningly ease aside the broken office blinds to feed your lust for sunlight.

I cared for Nathaniel dutifully, and of all the content room plants, you were the boldest, the one that thrived most. But alas, I could not care for you all the time. During my absence in India, the content office was taken down to create an open plan office*. On my return, I found my team decamped to the office kitchen downstairs, sat on temporary desks while the refurbishments were taking place.

You were tragically crippled by this move. Stuck in the dark and dim kitchen, deprived of natural sunlight, your beautiful petals were malting and discoloured; your stems drooping across the counter. I scorned my writers for this shameful neglect. I quickly found you a new spot in the sunlight, somewhere safe for your recovery. But I knew, even then, that you would never be the same again.

As the months went on your colour came back and you started to grow again. But your growth was always flat, your stems bent down towards the ground. Your leaves grew large, they soaked up the sun, but you were never able to stand tall. You managed, bravely, to grow a new flower or two. Never more than one though, you didn’t quite have the strength. Despite many promising new sprouts, few came to prominence.

You seemed your healthiest in many months but as autumn drew near, it would always be a difficult time. A move into the centre of the office, well away from the windows, helped neither. Your last flower fell in October. It helped not that your were being overwatered, the foolish and unsympathetic cleaner, emptying half the unfinished cups of water from the office over you.

Your large leaves began to lose their colour. I could see that you were suffering, and I restored your place in the window. It was too late though, your leaves dying, and going unreplaced; your time had come.

In your youth, your beauty was unparalleled. You were the bright light in a career that often seemed so full of darkness. It would have been wonderful to have taken you to my new job, but I suppose as this chapter of my life closes, I too should leave you behind.

*F**king modern barbarism