Monday, July 02, 2012

fumitory soapiness benches







This is the flower that I photographed on the roof of a building in The High Street beside a pigeon a few days ago.  It is yellow fumitory. My  book describes it as an "introduced perennial", a garden plant which is now naturalised. It seems to have taken a fancy to odd corners and footpaths in Tunbridge Wells. Sometimes, as it does here,  it looks as though it has been put there intentionally by an ebullient  gardener with a taste for random colour. Perhaps it is also common in other parts of the country.   It seems to be in particularly good fettle this year, a plant which likes wet, cold summers.

I wonder if other addicts of soap operas have noticed two current cliches. The first, is the response "What? " when one  character confronts another who remains silent but is supposed to be affronted. It is a form of dialogue, which I not think I have ever encountered in real life. Unless it is so common that I haven't noticed it. The other is the invitation, "come here" to express sympathy by means of a proferred embrace or cuddle. The first seems confined to TV soaps but the second is an everyday occurrence in East Enders (TV) as well as The Archers (Radio).  In real life this exchange is new to me too, but from time to time Mrs P and I adopt it in jest, as people sometimes use a phrase in a foreign language as a joke.

In Calverley Ground Mrs P and I look for a bench on which to sit where Mrs P can rest her new hip. To our surprise every bench seems to be soaking wet, though it hasn't rained for several hours. A park attendant in a van watches our vain attempt to find somewhere dry to sit, and eventually drives past us, stops and  lowers his window. "Sorry," he says. Only then do we notice a power hose on the back of his van. "I only do it it once a year." Clean benches are a blessing which we longer take for granted.












5 comments:

marja-leena said...

Such an odd name for a plant, and I don't think I know it by sight either. One site said it was of the smae family as bleeding hearts... hmm. Cold wet summer sounds right for us here, so far.

Are those soaps American or British? I think both expressions are common here but I don't know if they originate in American soaps as I don't watch them. It is fascinating to read about how language travels and the reactions to these new? expressions.

Give Mrs P our best wishes and hopes that the new hip is mending well.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

En route to Tesco we pass several bushes of yellow flowers like the one you show. I pointed them out to Mrs LdP who is usually an enthusiast for all types of flowers. But not these. They fringed the route to her school in Folkestone. Despite her successful passage through academe she doesn't care to be reminded about this period.

Lucy said...

I thought it was called canary creeper; are they the same? I think it might be related to nasturtium.

The 'come here' thing was rather successfully ridiculed by French and Saunders in a parody of Baywatch (a programme I never watched) where they were lolloping about in swimming costumes, pouting in a sultry manner and giving each other frequent comforting cuddles preceded by 'come here!'. I suppose on the Archers it's useful code to indicate a physical action which is of course not visible on radio. Anyway, I'm very glad you and Mrs P avail yourselves of the opportunity for such affectionate horseplay. Now I am pondering that I cannot imagine the original Mrs P Ma'am and Walter Gabriel indulging in comforting cuddles preceded by 'come here'. 'Doh!' perhaps...

Something that often strikes me on all kinds of TV drama is how often people walk away from others, leave the room etc, without replying or saying a word at the end of a dialogue. Again, not something that one sees in real life, as far as I know, where one would at least grunt, say 'Mmm' or 'Uh-huh', or comply with various formulae for closing a discussion and parting.

Plutarch said...

M-L They are British soaps, but the language could be American influenced.

L d P I don't blame Mrs L d P. They can seem garish and insistent like an unwelcome guest at a party. She is not alone in plants having bad associations for her. In my case it was hydrangas, which I am now getting over.

Lucy and all It is also called yellow corydalis or corydalis lutea. It belongs to the family Fumariaceae, and has curiously according to two sources been associated with Papavaraceae, though it bears little resemblance to any poppies that I know.

Odd how there appears to be a distinct language or behavoural pattern for people in TV drama. I suppose script writers pick things up from each other like viruses without realising it.

Lucy said...

No, it's not much like canary creeper at all, which I looked up and remember better now. And ML's right, it is related to bleeding heart.