Saturday, 15 December 2018

Salad days and sweet clover

Our lawn is cut once a month by a man with a ride on mower. I love the short back and sides grass cut, but in the summer I also love the shaggy mullet of wild flowers which appear a few weeks later. In summer, we lie in bed at dusk and hear the grass and the weeds growing.

This year, as well as the regular wide leaf flowers like Queen Anne lace, hawksbeard and lesser hawkbit, and their bobbing cousins daisies and buttercups, we have clover, the white and the purple varieties.

As a child, I remember plucking each tiny petal of the clover and chewing the base for the sweet nectar it gave up. A milligram here, a milligram there. It was supposed to have magical qualities, and I dreamed that it would turn me into a princess. Dad kept a lawn worthy of a bowling green; his tiny daughter eating the clover which occasionally deigned to appear was not discouraged!

This lunchtime I threw together a quick salad and had to smile at the 1960s simplicity of the ingredients; lettuce, radish, tomatoes and cucumber - an assemblage which my dear uncle would only eat if it was smothered in Heinz salad cream. I recently found a bottle of this iniquitous dressing in a local supermarket and bought it purely for nostalgic reasons. It turned out to be half decent and I have found myself occasionally wanting to drown cold boiled eggs in it.

The memories are very healing for me. I miss my dad every day, and mum is so far away, physically and mentally that I feel I have lost her too. But there are so many wonderful memories jogging around I'm so very thankful and realise how blessed I have been. Thanks dad for letting me eat the lawn and mum for making simple salads. They made me who I am today.

1 comment: