Thursday, August 09, 2007

gaudy, conflict, footsteps

Mediterranean culture is encroaching on England. When I was young, courgettes (or zucchini), green and red peppers, aubergines, basil and other food from Mediterranean countries were strangers to green grocers shops. Now they are as common as spuds. I thought this today as I admired the bright yellow trumpets of the courgette flowers in the garden, and remembered Robert Browning's slighting reference to this "gaudy melon flower" when homesick for England.

In the Grove, a small child walks along one path, his parents another. The child looks round to see if his parents are following. He begins to cry noisily when he sees that they are not following, though they are keeping an eye on him. The reason for the conflict? He wants to go to the playground. The parents do not. I walk on, and turn round to see what has happened. The child has won and the parents are following him into the playground.

The sound of footsteps on gravel is pleasing - restrained, yet firm and assured.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

I'm trying to convince the head gardener it's worth growing courgettes just for the flowers; next door's look like big yellow handkerchiefs...

Plutarch said...

An Italian restaurateur whom I used to know had a corner of a local farmer's gourgette field set aside for his own use. In the height of the season, he would decorate a table with masses of the flowers arranged upright in a vegetable dish. He invariably cooked the flowers as well as serving them in salads.