Talk of Hastings and think of seagulls. In the old town where tall, black painted fisherman's huts dominate the architecture. The seagull are big, sleek and fat. Even the young in their grey-brown feathers with short necks are plump as piglets. No need to dispose tidily of a fish head. Just throw it on the pebbles and the birds fly up in a wild flurry screaming as they wheel and dive until they come down upon it as did the Assyrian like the wolf on the fold.
It's the same every year. Too many beans for comfort. I spend more time harvesting them than I did cultivating them. Lithe French beans and fleshier runner beans are on at the moment. Leave the runners too long and they become coarse and stringy. Even worse are the courgettes which quickly turn into old fashioned truncheons and eventually huge vegetable marrows. To persuade people to accept the gifts of surplus produce I find myself thinking up recipes to entice them. " Scatter pieces of feta over the beans. Grate the courgettes saute them, throw in some basil and make them into an omelet", I advise optimistically. Today a more distant neighbour says he would like beans and courgettes but looks askance at the green truncheon I offer him. My problem is that nothing beats the sheer pleasure of making the vegetable grow in the first place. What's all that about reaping where you sow.
In the fish mongers there are strings of French garlic. None in the garden this year. The string looks a bit cosy in the kitchen. Must be lavish with it.