Colonel Mustard & Cress

The only nature I experienced growing up in the ‘60s living in between Wandsworth and Tooting Bec Commons, was as I wandered across them identifying (largely unsuccessfully) various flora and fauna.  (Until I started learning Latin, I thought Fauna was Flora’s brother or a type of small deer).

These days, as an adult, what you did with plants and flowers back then, has changed.  

No longer, due to social distancing, can you ascertain whether someone likes butter or not – unless you’ve a two-metre-long stick with a buttercup stuck on the end.

The moment you own a garden the thought of blowing off dandelion spores (regardless of whether you want to know the time or not) would be abhorrent – as if you haven’t got enough weeds!  Also, I’m at that age, and up in the night so frequently, picking them and thereby running the risk of wetting the bed, is largely academic!

When you’re older you tend not to throw sycamore leaves into the air and watch them descend pretending it’s a Messerschmidt 109 you’ve just shot down.

And bending down to pop open a snap dragon’s ‘mouth’ is far too onerous – although, Antirrhinum does sound like something you’d use to stop chafing.

I’d have made more daisy chains, but this was 1960s Wandsworth – not Woodstock.

This afternoon, I’ll be making mustard and cress as, over the years, I’ve collected a lot of old flannels.

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