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Date: 20/09/04

Plucked From The Gale

I was standing at the kitchen window late on Sunday afternoon, when I saw that there was a flower on the rose bush next to the shed.

I must admit that I've been neglecting the garden of late. I'm very busy on a major redecoration project.....sorry, that sounds like a load of corporate crap. I'll rephrase it at once in human language...I'm very busy redecorating the house from top to bottom after the central heating went in last month.

Anyway, there was this rose, a deep red rose, on the top of a very long stem (the bush has long stems so that it can see daylight over the long grass). It was being battered by the wind, which was increasing towards gale force. One of its lower petals was already hanging down limply, and it was only a matter of time before it blew off and was joined by the rest of the bloom.

Something made me uneasy about this prospect. I don't know what it was - I'm usually an 'Oh well, that's the way of the world' sort of bloke. The more I watched this, the more annoyed I became at the thought of this howling wind trying to dismember something so beautiful.

After a minute or two I couldn't stand any more of it, and there was nothing for it but for me to go out into the back garden and snip the flower off. I brought it back indoors, filled a tall glass with water, added a pinch of caster sugar to give it some limited nutritional value, and placed the rose in the water. It's there still.

It'll still fade and die, of course, as must all living things (which is why I'm more sentimental about things than people - I might expand on this point sometime). But I feel as if I've done something good, something worthwhile, in saving a thing of fragile beauty from being raped by the south-west wind. Although I can't help but wonder: some particularly fanciful people claim that plants scream when you cut them. Did the rose bush shout, "Oy! I need that, you bastard!" when I severed the bloom? I'm glad I'm not so sensitive as to be able to find out.