My favourite place to sit in Tunbridge Wells is outside the Italian delicatessen and snack bar, Gastronomia in the Pantiles. Last year when the weather was warm there was intense competition for outdoor tables. This year the owner, Giuseppi, has invested in several more tables and some smart black sunshades.
I watch a middle aged couple at a table. A glass of white and a glass of red wine is bought to them: the white for the woman, the red for the man. Was it predictable that it should be that way round?
Valerian is a medicinal herb, which was used by Arab physicians as long ago as the 10th Century. It is also highly decorative, producing magnificent pyramid-shaped, pink inflorescences, and requires no special cultivation. In front of a neigbouring house, it grows, this summer, without any human involvement from the intersection of a wall and a crude concrete forecourt, as though it was something that belonged in the Chelsea Flower Show.