The Case of the Missing Zanzibar Gem.


Susan and Pam* got together regularly, to go for a walk and have a catch-up, like many in this idyllic suburb tended to do. They walked and talked, stopping on occasion to admire the plentiful buds on the magnolia trees.

“Look Susan,” Pam said “There must be a council clean up!”

She pointed to a sweet Art Deco cottage, with a lovely garden featuring a Magnolia with blooms so pink. It certainly was someones pride and joy. The bulbs were also coming through, with pungent jonquils waving in the winter breeze.

Susan and Pam crossed the road and had a look at the items that were left outside on the lawn. There were some items nearer the curb. Susan picked up a magnificent Zanzibar Gem plant which was sitting in an expensive-looking wicker basket.

“Why on earth would anyone want to get rid of this?”

So she picked it up.

“Pam, look at that lovely antique old school bench. Oh and that lovely side table. I am going to go home and get the car….”

And off they walked, with her new Zanzibar Gem. She had the most perfect spot for it.

Susan got home and placed her new find in the most perfect spot for it. She grabbed her car keys and drove back to the sweet little Art Deco cottage to retrieve the rest.

She pulled up to the house to find that she was too late. Someone else had already taken the items. She was still very pleased with her new plant.



The moving day went as well as can be expected I suppose. It is never fun. But we worked very hard and settled into the new house without too much drama. We managed to smash one painting, and my Zanzibar Gem got lost somewhere along the way which was annoying because it was the only indoor plant that I had manage not to kill.

We underestimated the amount of stuff we had so the removalists had to return to the old house to pick up the rest of the furniture.

The day we finally felt settled was recorded for prosperity on Instagram because der.

The dog door went in today so we are finally finished. I am never moving again. We somehow managed to lose a large indoor plant, which I think must have been stolen from the front yard during the move (I hope it dies you thieving turd) and only smashed one painting. I call that a win!

I had all but forgotten about the Zanzibar Gem until I received a text message from an known number.

“Very happy to return your “stolen” Plant. Send me your new address and it will come back to you”

Turns out, Pam had told her daughter about Susan’s lucky find and the daughter suggested that Susan had accidentally stolen Mrs Woog’s beloved botanical.

So guess what was waiting for me today when I got home from running errands!

So a few things to consider.

Instagram is not just for selling teeth whitening products and showing people what you had for lunch. It is a terrific tool for righting wrongs, even if they were purely innocent.

Susan I apologise for calling you a thieving turd. I would have done the same thing if I thought there was a council clean up.

Pam’s daughter – thank you for following me. You are a legend.

And that there are very decent people in the world. Susan didn’t have to track down my number via a tricky web of luck. She could have just kept it and said nothing.

When I spoke to her on the phone, she was absolutely lovely. She told me that the plant had two new growths and told me about what a keen gardener she was. I actually, in hindsight, should have let her keep it.

But it now sits in the lounge room as a permanent reminder to me that the world is full of amazing people and we should share these stories which can bring a glimmer of hope to some otherwise uncertain times.


*Names have been changed.