Sunday, April 23, 2006

Men, women and potatoes

Yesterday we planted more potatoes. A day's work; turning over the land* - removing an inordinate amount of stone from the top soil so lovingly dumped by our builders (bless 'em) onto an already rocky plot- weeding, tilling and eventually planting the chitted 'Duke of York', 'Home Guard' and 'Charlotte' potatoes.

It got me thinking about fundamental differences between men and women. The potato being one. Men, being essentially hunter-gatherers, revel in the notion of its bounteous crop. Potatoes, providing blight doesn't strike, are very rewarding in this sense. At harvest the fork lifts more and more. And look: bigger and bigger! Whow! Kilos, pounds, tons. Bagfulls. They will last all winter. ...

Women though, programmed from birth to suspect anything so potentially high in carbs, are less enthusiastic. We are already devising an exit strategy which hopefully doesn't involve too much eating on our part. Counter-balancing salad crops? A stall at the end of the lane perhaps? Potato VODKA!!

Suggestions gratefully received.

*To be fair this piece of land's purpose is as yet undefined and potatoes are as good a way as any keeping it in good heart for the next 12 months.

Also today is Shakespeare's birthday. And also his dying day. Here is a sonnet:

'From you have I been absent in the spring...'
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play

(Sonnet 98 - William Shakespeare)

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