As I retreated indoors this evening, the sunset’s golden light was playing on the fresh Spring green of the poplar leaves to create an extraordinary red glittering effect. Of course, it is the brain behind my eyes that sees this and finds it pleasing. The great painter uses that brain to recapture the sensory effect. The photographer these days has a Mac to try and achieve the same fascination.
We are having classic Spring Lot-et-Garonne weather at the moment. Each day involves a series of tortuous decisions about layers, socks, hats, trousers and so forth. It’s very pleasant in the sun, and bloody freezing when a big enough cloud of dark grey depth drifts slowly by. Changes from blue to grey and sun to rain are swift. It’s fine to nod off for a siesta, but sudden droplets of rain chilled at 5000 ft are not the most gentle alarm clock in the world.
One looks around a garden at this time of year, and it’s like opening mail replete with tax demands and service bills: there are always at least twenty things that require attention: hedges, weeds, grass, seedlings, early vegetables, benches in need of paint, compost heaps to be turned, old branches to be lopped, creepers to control, and beer bottles to be emptied. There is an inverse correlation between the bottle-emptying and the compost-turning, but that’s not new news: the gap between human aspiration and achievement is ever-present.
Not that I care that much about Scotland, but I find myself a tad disturbed by the news tonight that the SNP are on course to win every seat north of the border. The Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon could thus – if and when the Scots win independence – become Nicoletta Sturgeone: the ruler of a One-Party mafia State with expansionist imperial ambitions. The Godmother.
Imagine a future in which La Dittatrice Sturgeone declares her Picts to be the rightful owners of the English Republic, and commands her Mcfascisti to swarm across the border in order to claim their historic birthright.
It would represent a calamity: London’s streets overflowing with staggering Rab Nesbitts, City gents forced to wear kilts with no underwear, every fish n ship shop required by law to offer deep-fried Snickers, and every football manager to be Scottish.
On the other hand, from the smug perspective of down here in delightful South West France….bring it on.