These alliums are everywhere in gardens nowadays made popular by flower-shows such as Chelsea. And no wonder! They are onions I suppose. The genus includes lillaceous, strong smelling, bulbous plants such as onion and garlic. Last time I referred to them, perhaps a year ago, or was it two? Lorenzo da Ponte, then Barratt Bonden, punningly commented, " 'spem in alium' referring to Thomas Tallis setting from the Latin Mass: Spem in alium numquam, habui praeter in te Deus Israel. -" I have never put my hope in any other but though O God of Israel". So puns lead onions to music and to the scriptures as music does to almost everything, as the progenitor of Tone Deaf would surely agree.
From an open window this still afternoon when the air is heavy with unspent moisture and perhaps expectation, comes the sound of someone strumming a guitar. It is a gentle almost reluctant sound, speaking of ideleness and relaxation, calm and meditation. And its source is distant enough not to irritate.
The sight in a neghbouring garden of a hedge of deep blue lavender over which flow drifts of white roses. Colours which can only charm and never offend.
Many people say they are irritated to hear someone practising a musical instrument. Perhaps they belong to the same tribe which claims: I've always thought I could play the piano if I could spare the time. Forgivable among those who are also working on a cure for cancer, operating a soup kitchen, bringing up an obstreperous child or discouraging the middle classes from reading The Daily Mail.
There used to be a man who practised the trumpet in one of those sheltered seating places at the Hove end of Brighton prom, especially on very wet and windy winter nights. It was magical.
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