Saturday, August 06, 2005

Emmanuel the Magnificent, butterflies, pigeon

There is an African charity party in the Pantiles. It is organised by Stephanie Benson, the Ghanian princess, who runs the Cafe Chocolat. Emmanuel the Magnificent is a magnificent acrobat and juggler. He performs with a group of African drummers, on the stage opposite The Corn Exchange. He spins basins on a wand while going through miraculous gyrations. He juggles with straw hats, catching them on his head. He brings small children on to the stage and teaches them to throw and catch the hats. He makes the audience clap in time as he strides faster and faster round the stage. The drums increase in tempo. This is Tunbridge Wells on a Saturday afternoon.

Butterflies are scarce nowadays. Yet this afternoon our garden seems full of them. They are Large Whites, a common variety once. But how delicately etched are the browny-black tips of their wings! My book says that it is the females which have two spots on their wings. It must be ladies' day.

The squeak of a pigeon's wings before it crashes into the branches of the lime tree opposite.

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