A pot marigold in the herb garden. The petals provide streaks of gold scattered on salad and add the taste of spice.
As I walk through The Grove, I hear the roar of aircraft engines, not jets, but powerful internal combustion engines from a different era. I look up and low above the roofs of Little Mount Sion and Berkeley Road I see a World War 2 Lancaster bomber. Reader, I run forward to get a better view, hoping that it might return or that I might get another glimpse of it, and sure enough it circles and flies back directly overhead in the direction of The Common. It is very low and I can clearly see its camouflaged fuselage and rear gun cockpit. It is no longer a weapon of war intent on dropping bouncing bombs on reservoirs, but a working antique, an aircraft, which recalls a boy's wonder at what was then a monstrous, overwhelming machine. But now, in comparison with sleek, sinister, modern war planes, how small and innocent it looks! Earlier today I had caught sight of The Red Arrows, jets ripping through the sky over our house in formation, leaving behind thick vapour trails like grey streamers, and deduced that somewhere in Kent or Sussex, an airshow must be on. But this is more thrilling, than The Red Arrows acrobatic team, more unexpected, a stirring reminder that technical achievement does not belong entirely to the electronic age.
While I am sitting by the window this afternoon reading, I see in the corner of my eye the shadow of a wasp cross the wall. I look up. On the sunlit glass, there is the wasp itself. Tap tap. A faint buzzing. I am glad that the window is closed. The wasp flies off. For good.