Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Out at my workshop - and everywhere else in the British countryside this time of year - every inch of every acre is the setting for a relentless scene of sex and violence. Spring is far from peaceful.
I occasionally have to put down my tools and go to the door to shout at Pan to shut the fuck up, as I am either trying to sleep, or trying to work, and the constant rutting is putting me off my stroke.
Us humans tend to spread the procreation thing out over the full twelve months - as do feral pigeons - but the rest of God's creation has to pack it all in to a few weeks, for want of a roof over their heads.
The Dutch have understood this more than any other nation in the Northern Hemisphere, and a huge percentage of all that flat, reclaimed land is given over to acre upon acre of glasshouses, in which they force Flora to have sex under their watchful eye, having woken her up from her slumbers by turning the heating up.
If you have ever tried to drive off the Vlissingen/Sheerness ferry at 6.00 in the morning, you will have got some idea about the incomprehensibly massive scale of their operations. All those 40-ton flower lorries that are let off first, are loaded with blooms for the British markets only. The rest travel by land - every day of the week.
We have received a dire warning from the British daffodil growers this year. Daffodils are grown in various parts of the country according to the cycle of their species, and are planted to maintain as constant a supply as possible over the short period of time which can be loosely called 'Spring'.
This year, thanks to unseasonably high temperatures and three months of continuous rain, they have all bloomed at once, and some have even bloomed before their earlier rising relations. The implications of this catastrophic inversion of the cycle of nature means that - and get this - THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH DAFFODILS TO SUPPLY THE DEMAND FOR MOTHER'S DAY!!!!! Thank God my mother is dead and doesn't have to suffer the disappointment.
I don't usually have an irrational hatred for anything in the natural world, but there are two flowers which I either cannot abide, or just don't see what all the fuss is about. One is daffodils and the others are tulips.
I have a friend who is shortly going to go all the way to Holland, just to see the tulip fields. Holland is boring enough as it is in my experience, but the idea of making your way there just to see about 600 million tulips in two fields is completely beyond my understanding.
Looking at it rationally (!), I suppose it could be compared to going to North Korea - as many people do - to see the spectacle of 20,000 teenage girls high-step marching in bright red military uniforms. Just as unnatural and just as fascinating, I dare say.
Now I think of it, I can see the attraction of watching 20,000 teenage girls march past in short-skirt uniform, but the risks of being arrested as a spy are too great for me to make the trip.