A window is raised in the house at the side of the vegetable garden. It is at some distance and I have not recently seen or heard anyone in this house. A window is raised and a woman's head appears. "Hullo", it says. "Thank you for the view of your garden. Has all the rain this summer helped the vegetables? " I am picking runner beans, and I reply: "It has certainly helped the beans." "They're lovely," she says. "Jack and the Beanstalk beans".
Pictures of Paverotti, who died yesterday, on the tv all evening. He is shown performing on various stages, where he stand upright, while singing, yet is so relaxed that he might be talking to a neighbour about the weather; and all the time he is producing this immense, effortless, melliflous sound. You don't have to like opera to be impressed and moved.
At this time of year the nasturtiums, which seed themselves every year swarm over the vegetable beds, yellow and orange and lemon and scarlet. I have learnt how to select the freshest and brightest blooms, and so have the bees, which join me in this pursuit. I am after the flowers to arrange in a vase; the bees are after nectar.