And now I find that the Head Chef has a multitude of green reasons for sitting at the kitchen table listening to the mellifluous voices on Radio 4 (midoff, dismissal, sunshine, leg bye, three slips waiting for an edge and one in the gully . . . or was it a bat on the off stump, and another by the pavilion ?). The maidens are sending me to sleep and I have quite lost my way . . .
I hope people like eating thistledown, remarks the Head Chef, and moves his hand into the picture, quite spoiling the effect.
|Look closely and see those gossamer strands|
With a field of thistles to the left of us, another in front of us, and a south-southwesterly breeze, our little patch of land is being drenched with gossamer fibres - the sky is full of thistledown. When I was young and innocent I thought that these were fairies floating on the summer air - now I know that the silken strands will metamorphose into spiky green witches next summer, wickedly invading every last corner of our cottage garden, and running riot in the field.
But for now the greenness of the beans is quite magical, and we can chop them and store them for the long winter ahead. If we eat thistledown, we can munch its witchy magic into nothing.
And lo and behold! The blight hasn't ventured into the greenhouse, and the sunshine has - we have some tomatoes at last, all red and rotund and beaming from under the beans.
I seem to have lived this August afternoon with the sound of the cricket, and the chopping of the beans, and the filling of freezer bags so many times before, and remember beans from another garden, bagged by other hands, but the smell of the green growing things and the earth and the warm breeze on my face are forever the same.
And the imminent collapse of the English batting, or not - I seem to remember that this happens quite often too.