Saturday, May 05, 2007

petition, acer, asparagus

A British bulldog looks on while a photograph of Winston Churchill presides over a stall where passers-by are invited to sign a petition against the introduction of identity cards. Winston Churchill, we are reminded, abolished identity cards, which were introduced during the World War 2, when the war was over.

There is a dark red acer near the entrance to Calverley Grounds. I note little green, winged fruit, less than two centimeters from tip to tip, among the feathery, palmate leaves. They comprise the winged seeds common to members of the maple family, which spin through the air later in the year. These pretty fruit, for that is what they are, are beautifully designed. There are two wings, pink at the upper edges and green where they join the thin brown stem. At the junction there a small swelling where, through the transparent membrane, you can see the single, as yet, unripe seed.

In the Farmers' Market there is an asparagus stall - bundles of stems in three degrees of thickness, starting with the thin sprue, freshly cut with the promise of fine, green flavours, their slightly purple heads waiting for melted butter. A photographer, who is patrolling the market, his camera at the ready, has a bunch sticking out of the pocket of his jacket.

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