Neither had I until the one in our back garden went crazy with 8 foot high flower stalks.
The bees are mad for it.
Here’s what they look like normally…
A friend recently told me a story I’d like to share with you.
His mate had gone golfing and upon hitting a drive into the rough went to play his next shot but, in the process, stood in a dog turd that was hidden in the grass.
Leaning on a wire fence at the back of the rough he proceeded to wipe the jobby from his shoe and the motion of wiping caused the fence to vibrate.
Jumping to the wrong conclusion his companion assumed he was holding onto an electric fence and that he was having convulsions, so he ran to his aid, thwacking him across the forearm with his 3 iron to remove him from the fence.
A broken arm!
Not to be outdone, Pete Mill then told me that his mate was riding a horse and needed to relieve himself.
As he couldn’t be bothered dismounting he sat side saddle and peed from the horse.
The arc of pish made contact with a nearby electric fence and the current traversed the pish, ran through the man’s plonker and ended up grounding itself in the horse, thereby shocking the horse who then bolted, threw Pete’s mate to the ground and ended up breaking his collarbone.
James gave me a short collection of stories by this 19th Century American writer which is fronted by this strange little tale of a man being hanged from a bridge in Alabama.
What an odd and gripping tale it is.
The line that made me stop used the line “He unclosed his eyes”. What a remarkable twist of language. Every word in his stories is crafted and that is what makes them all so touching.
I shall now read the novel for which he is most famous; The Devil’s Dictionary.
The greatest discovery in literature that I have made in the past year has been this author.
A Greek American; he writes like only a Greek American can do. And not having read any other Greek American literature he therefore assumes uniqueness.
TheVirgin Suicides was Sophia Coppola’s first movie and is a more than passable attempt to bring this book to life, but it fall down in the third act.
The book, on the other hand, is flawless. I cannot recall any other book written in first person plural (like a modern day Greek chorus) and that adds to its amazing style.
Charting the fictional (I assume) suicides of five teenage sisters – that’s not a spoiler by the way – it captures the lust, love and awe inspired in a mid American suburb for these angelic specimens. It barries along at a hundred miles an hour but is written sparingly. How is this possible?
It’s funny, sexy, poignant, provocative, beautiful and unputdownable.
Eugenides’ follow up, Middlesex, which is about modern day hermaphroditism, is also a masterpiece.
Read both of them.
July has been an unrepeatable month in so many ways. Unrepeatable in one sense, in that I haven’t done a stroke of work. My “hard thinking” has had to be deployed into laying my dad to rest suitably.
However, from 25 July I’m back in the driving seat.
If you were holding back with a multi-million pound contract, hold back no more.
For those of you who have respected our privacy and sent thousands of good wishes to the family I can’t thank you enough. It has been a profoundly moving but uplifting, and occasionally hilarious few weeks.