This year's daffodils at Groombridge Place.
At the Compasses R complains about being retired. "I hate it," he says. I ask him what he did before retirement. "Among other things I did" he says, " was own a couple of betting shops." I 'm good with numbers. I can remember playing cards. I'd win lots of money playing brag. Once I won £5 000, because I could remember other people's cards. They came and asked me how I had cheated. 'Give us the money back', they said. ' I won it fairly' I said. 'Give it back,' they said - and they had one of those automatic nailing machines. They put it against my leg . 'If you don't we'll nail your legs to the pavement' I gave it back. I never played cards again.
Today a wonderful parcel arrives from France. It contains onion sets from Brittany. They are the Oignons Rosée from Roscoff, which have their own appellation controlée. They are a present from Lucy Kempton and a reminder that about 5 or is it 6 years ago I wrote in this blog about Roscoff onions which Sainsbury's happened to be selling at the time. Very special onions in their own right, they are. But especially special as Lucy, whom I didn't know at the time had discovered while researching them for her blog, and they served as the foundation of a special friendship. They were as it happened her local onions. She's that sort of girl. She knows her onions. She wrote to tell me more about them. Since then we have worked together on several projects including Handbook for Explorers the book with my sonnets and her photographs, which she has just published on Blurb. Tomorrow I will plant the sets in my vegetable garden. Here in Tunbridge Wells they may be called rosé but the Appellation Controlée rules strictly speaking forbid me to call them Rosé de Roscoff.