Town Mouse

A feast for snails

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

THE chil­dren have been laid low by sick­ness this week, so per­mis­sion to at­tend a 70th-birth­day party in Sal­is­bury on Satur­day felt like leave of ab­sence from a plague ship. It was ex­traor­di­nar­ily up­lift­ing ar­riv­ing in the cathe­dral close. The sun­shine brought to life the stone and brick­work of its en­cir­cling build­ings and bestowed, for the first time this year, that touch of warmth that presages spring. Tourists and towns­folk basked in its un­fa­mil­iar rays, mov­ing slowly across the cathe­dral green with their heavy coats un­but­toned. Dom­i­nat­ing the whole scene was the vast, golden mass of the cathe­dral it­self, the prodi­gious spire rear­ing up into the empti­ness of the sky. Surely, there is here some of the quin­tes­sence of Eng­land.

It’s hard to imag­ine a space more ut­terly un­like the Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral Close in ev­ery par­tic­u­lar than our gar­den. The fol­low­ing day, how­ever, we broke the te­dium of an­other en­forced day at home by preparing this postage stamp of en­closed ground for spring. As I op­ti­misti­cally sowed a few veg­etable seeds, I re­flected on the bitter ex­pe­ri­ence of pre­vi­ous years: far from grow­ing fruits for our own ta­ble, we were preparing an elab­o­rate feast for the slugs and snails that pro­lif­er­ate here. JG

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