17 March 2014
I have been sitting, kneeling, scribbling, here this afternoon and in between doing things I have made a commitment to do, albeit in one case rather late, I have been pondering the difference between plenty and enough. Take a particular writing commitment I have each month: enough time, insufficient motivation equals plenty of guilt. Or in the case of rhubarb, I have enough to make an early spring crumble, and possibly a cake, but it's too early to be plentiful yet, at least until the other crowns start coming through.
The purple sprouting broccolli is quite another matter. When I took this photo around ten days ago, delighted by its pertness and the prettiness of purple against the green, there was only just enough for two, and even then I felt a twinge at despoiling its beauty. Early this Sunday morning however when I cycled down to the plot before anyone else had woken up, more plants had sprouted and there was enough for a meal for five together with a salad of endive, rocket, red mustard and young beetroot leaves; leeks, potatoes; all homegrown. There was enough for everyone, plates were cleaned, everything eaten. It really was most pleasing, this sense of plenty.
That thinking time this afternoon helped me to sort out some of the feelings I'd been having about a family wedding this weekend. I'd decided I wanted to make my own dress - I have more than enough fabric stashed away over years and I'm determined to use some of it up before I even think about adding to the pile. But of course, once you have a new dress, there's all that other stuff - shoes, handbags (hate them), hats (ooh, love 'em). So I mooched around, picked stuff up, put it down, wondered whether I was just being mean, came home with some shoes, kept them in the box so I could take them back if I had to. And of course the dress was fine, the new shoes were an extravagance I could have done without but they rather brightened things up. And after all, who cares when the bride is so beautiful that she makes your heart beat faster and tears rise, when the sun slants through the church windows at such an angle that she sits glimmering in a pool of light, when you get to ride on an old Routemaster to the reception on a warm afternoon in the middle of London on the Ides of March and drink fizzy stuff outside until you're fuzzy.
It was all more than enough, more even than plenty.