29 June 2022
The sun shone. It reminded me of my O-Level French exam where we were encouraged to regurgitate phrases we had carefully swatted up for our essay question. ‘Le soleil brillait,’ I remembered, ‘et les oiseaux chantait dans les arbres.’ Everything was beautiful in that well-ordered French world.
I counted the eggs in our nest box. There were four. Sage, who has been broody for the past three weeks, stopped laying but not yesterday nor today! There were four eggs. And the hens are getting old. I cut the grass and gave them a treat – a few handfuls of grass cuttings. Small pleasures. If only we could be as content.
I picked some of our strawberries. Whilst there was fruit last year, we were advised not to touch it for the sake of subsequent years. It is a useful spiritual discipline which we don’t always adhere to. We would rather have now than wait for next year.
But it was worth it. Whilst I was expecting the strawberries to be sweet, they were not but they weren’t bitter either. They were strawberry – and what a taste. It blew my mind, literally. The taste was all encompassing. From then on, we ate them as a delicacy, one at a time with sufficient periods between to savour and enjoy.
Carrots and beetroots had a very shooglie start. Only a handful of seeds germinated. I added more. Now there was such a profusion of sprouting seeds that I had to divide them up. Two full boxes. Let’s see if my luck continues to harvest time.
I laughed at Roger McGough. He has a poem, ‘Alphabet Soup’. It doesn’t have garden vegetables but twenty-six lines starting with a different letter of the alphabet. ‘Garlic-scented perfume at only £5 a bottle. Not to be sniffed at. Italics, so lazy they can’t be bothered to stand up straight. Mirrors are good at faces but terrible at names. Yo-yos in dusty cupboards discuss life’s ups and downs.’ And to finish, an important truth for the all our days, ‘Lips that love to smile live longest!’