|Pressed clovers from a sketchbook in Séguret, France 1975|
It’s not that I really look for them, I simply seem to spot them when I’m walking along. I’ve also spied them riding my bike, on horseback and even from the car when temporary traffic lights caused me to stop on a country lane.
|Me with a handful of 4-leaf clovers in 1985|
My most recent find was when I visited my neighbour’s house and excitedly demanded a cutting from a potted plant outside her door. “Ooh a 4-leaf clover plant!” It was a lovely purple variegated variety but she hadn’t noticed the number of leaves, many of them with 4, 5, 6 or 7 leaves as well as the normal 3. In all the years the highest number of leaves I remember finding on a stalk is 13, a long way short of the world record of 56 (although it was grown on purpose by cross-breeding)
|My neighbour's Trifolium plant now on my windowsill|
A few months ago, we used a trip to the dentist as an excuse for a staycation in Worthing. I was only going along for the ride so missed the painful parts of the trip (mostly the bill)
After the appointment we walked along the seafront and out of the blue I said “It’s ages since I found a 4-leaf clover" and then looked down and spotted a solitary weed by a wall. I was amazed to realise it was a clover plant and I easily picked three 4-leafers, leaving some for Peter to spot but after a moment’s inspection he declared there weren’t any. I quickly squished my pickings safely in my diary and we continued our walk.
We ambled along the prom and walked to the end of the pier, having fun taking photos with the artwork which had been painted to encourage some comic selfies.
I looked down and saw something shiny and bent down to pick up what turned out to be a silver chain with two silver disks. One was engraved with “Will you marry me?” and the other “You said yes on the 27/05/21” which was a week after we ourselves had got married. It didn’t look very expensive but felt charged with emotion.
|"Will you marry me?"|
|Worthing evening light|
There was no-one in sight so I put the necklace in my bag deciding to post a photo of it on Facebook to see if the owners could be found. Sadly, despite the post being seen and shared by several friends with connections to Worthing, nobody came forward. I began to feel burdened by the responsibility of it and felt I should have left it where it was.
As we had to go to the dentist again a week later, I decided to take the necklace and put it back in a prominent place or leave it with one of the kiosks on the seafront.
Driving home, Peter dropped me off on the main road. I wanted to take a photo of the clover plant and see how many 4-leafers my Facebook friends could spot and maybe get a bit of root to plant at home.
I walked up and down where I thought I’d seen the plant but couldn’t find the place at all. As we only had a short time I decided to go and deal with the necklace instead. Then I couldn’t find that anywhere. I looked in my pockets, the various crannies and compartments in my bag (I’m sure handbags have a mind of their own and hide things until just after you need them, especially keys and coins for parking meters) but the necklace refused to reveal itself. Now I felt doubly guilty, thinking it had been lost a second time and its owners were now bound to contact me.
A couple of weeks later I bought a bag in a charity shop. This is a frequent event as I am always trying to upgrade my handbag to the ultimate carrier of my personal goods. Not too big or heavy, with flaps and zipped pockets for money and phone. I was pleased to get a simple bag with 4 compartments for under a fiver which later turned out to be real leather. I felt very pleased with myself and set about transferring items to their designated areas. About to recycle my old bag, I found the necklace right at the bottom.
I was even more determined to reunite this sentimental item to the newly-weds and searched again on Facebook. This time they had posted that it was lost and I was happy to contact them to return it.
Feeling more positive, I thought I could look on Google maps to see if I could locate the clover plant. After a few attempts at dragging the yellow man (I know now he’s called Pegman) I found the wall and extraordinarily the single clover plant.
|The clover plant at the bottom of the pillar|
The necklace owners live a few miles from Worthing and offered a reward but I sent them the photo from Google and asked instead if they could possibly take a photo of the plant and maybe get a cutting. I hoped they would also enjoy finding the plant and sharing the luck.
After stalking the postman for days, a mystery parcel arrived by courier which I noticed was a bit wet although it wasn’t raining. Inside a plastic box, with dampened kitchen roll there were several roots of clover with at least four 4-leafers. Very exciting!
They are now in water and I’m waiting for the roots to grow so I can plant them. As luck will have it I’m hoping to update this post with photos of a flourishing clover plant…