Thursday, July 27, 2006

a couple of drips, why do I like Flaubert so much? camoflage

We're sitting outside a pizza restaurant in the High Street. It is overcast and humid. Water seems to be condensing in the air. A waitress approaches us: "A couple of drips!" she says. "Oh, I didn't mean it like that!."

This morning I read, in Flaubert's letters to George Sand (written June 1867), where he is talking about the hatred that all "champions of order" feel for those who are outside the core of communal life. "Being always on the side of minorities, " he writes, " I am infuriated by it. It's true that many things infuriate me. The day I stop being indignant, I'll fall flat on my face like a puppet when you take away its prop."

In the garden, I pick the climbing beans with difficulty because they are so well camoflaged by their similarity in colour and appearance to the stems of the plants. This goes for the purple stems of the Blauhilde beans and the green stems of the Cobra beans. Even the flowers of the Blauhilde are of a rich purple. The difficulty of spotting the beans adds to the pleasure of picking them. It is like looking for and finding semi-precious stones or fossils.

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