An English In Kentucky


















Thursday March 14th 2019Tim Candler9


     Ground feels warm, it's drying rapidly, the yellow bloom of Forsythia has emerged, pond Frogs are leaping, Bloodroot is blooming and generally the smog of what could be tree pollen is upon us here where I live. But there's no pogo-stick, no rushing around desperately searching for his wintering compost pile thermometer, his kneeling pillow and that array of accoutrements and decorative accents a gardener requires to maintain that vital  sense of balance without which panic at the magnitude of the tasks in store quickly sets in. Better a gardener hunt around for sparks of excitement in his mental processes, pull them up by the root and deposit them in a plastic bag. And here I am perfectly aware that previous practice for disposing of sparks of excitement was to bury them deep in the brain stem, but it does sometimes seem that when retained anywhere within the corpus, sparks of excitement can fester, probably a venomous yeast of some sort, and soon enough they pop their cork and lo, you might as well be a teenage girl around a Beatle, which for me had always been the gold standard for behaviors totally lacking in decorum until probably Spring of 2016 when that standard was replaced by a bunch of mostly white males, a majority of them, and it hurts to say this, well past their teenage years. Purists will naturally raise an eyebrow at the idea of a black plastic bag, but let me assure them because it's an entirely non-biodegradable black plastic bag there's no chance sparks of excitement will spread, multiply, become like mumps or measles or memes and needlessly infect others.    



     It's also the case that the only gardener I'm aware of who has ever showed promise in the arena of politics is the current leader of the British Labour Party. He is a master grower of Marrows, a sure sign of the more dour varieties of stoic who has clearly mastered the craft of popping sparks of excitement into his black plastic bag. His Blackberry Jam is certainly a work of a creative mind unafraid of painstaking effort, the recipe includes sugar, water, slightly under-ripe Cooking Apples, slightly under-ripe Blackberries, a squeeze of Lemon and No Pectin. And if you want to know what a Cooking Apple is, it's the larger sourer apple too tart to eat raw, such as a Bramley. And like Quince under-ripe fruit tends to be more Pectin rich. As a fruit sweetens its Pectin content reduces. Why he's wasting his talents in politics no one really knows other than putting his initial decision to get involved into the perspective of the central role of a winter project other than alcohol to a gardener, and how very possible it is for this or that winter project to take on a life of it's own and become like an anchor around a gardener's neck. Nor am I saying the political class wouldn't benefit from a dramatic increase in its gardener content at the expense of let's call them lawyers who haven't practiced law for twenty years, rather, I am saying that the political class has, as a rule, an entirely contrary approach to sparks of excitement, they tend to think that something like discovering the whereabouts of a winter compost pile thermometer is cause for a barrage balloon, a flyby of military aircraft, a nationwide alleluia chorus, television interviews and endless press gaggling.


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