The clerodendron leaves, when crushed, have something of the smell of peanuts, but I wouldn't say it was really of peanut butter, that sweet, appetising, roasted aroma. I like peanut butter and I don't care if Elvis did die of it. I like that it is both sweet and savoury at once, and I also enjoy the quality in it that many people object to: the way it sticks to the roof of your mouth and your teeth. I call that good value in a foodstuff, it doesn't disappear too quickly. On the other hand, I don't much care for whole roasted peanuts in any form; I resent that they make me eat them when I don't really want to.
No, the leaves have rather the less agreeable odour of raw peanut husks, or of that fine papery, bitter skin between the husk and nut, or or stale peanuts, the ones you feed to birds in winter. Some years ago, I remember hearing, there was a huge batch of bad, poisoned peanuts deemed unfit for human consumption in the UK. They were sold as bird food, with catastrophic consequences for the bird population for many years. Reminds me in turn of an occasion of a serious deadly outbreak of some kind of toxin in a popular brand of tinned salmon. My parents had Bob the painter and decorator working on the house at the time, who remarked he had thrown away a couple of tins from his cupboard. He could have brought them for our cat, remarked my mother. Do you want to kill him? asked Bob.
Inconsequential stuff. I only pledged I would sit down and post at a given time every day, I didn't make any promises as to its worth. I could plead that I've just written away a good part of my substance in a very enjoyable e-mail exchange with a lovely blogging friend who wanted to know where she ought to go and eat in Amsterdam, and I fell into a dream of Indonesian rijstafels and such like delights, but that would be a poor excuse.
But it's been a good day, I made myself go out and scratched up some weeds and the last dead stems of the butternut plants, and sowed phacelia, and, as always, wondered why I'd been so reluctant to kick myself out of the house. It wasn't so summery as it has been but was still warm, and good for the spirits. Joe once recalled how his mother used to chase him out of doors into the fresh air on sunny days, 'and to some extent she still does'. Which is, of course, spot on.
I took the camera out with me as resolved and took just a few pictures, not too many, as also resolved, and edited them directly on the notebook computer, which I'm getting used to doing now.
Fungus and decay,
the finches have finished with the sunflowers,
but there are still poppies.
No frost yet.