Town Mouse

Fe­bru­ary blues

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

WITH its plot hing­ing on a leap-year birth­day, there could surely be no more ap­pro­pri­ate be­gin­ning to a Fe­bru­ary half-term than a per­for­mance of The Pi­rates of Pen­zance. The mati­nee at the Coli­seum was filled with a quite im­prob­a­ble num­ber of chil­dren, some of them even dressed as pi­rates. They laughed their way de­light­edly through the per­for­mance and its sparkling music, quite as witty and satir­i­cal as the lyrics.

Out­side, win­ter gripped Lon­don, al­though the oc­ca­sional swirl of a snowflake caused an ec­stasy of ex­cite­ment in our fam­ily party. The stall­hold­ers of the lo­cal mar­ket, now re­turn­ing to their pitches af­ter tak­ing a well-earned Jan­uary break, were un­der­stand­ably less than en­thu­si­as­tic. At the newly re­opened fruit-and-veg­etable stall, how­ever, I spot­ted the first blood oranges of 2017. The chil­dren were be­wil­dered by my de­light and re­sponded with a vol­ley of ques­tions. They treated with crush­ing dis­dain my—as I thought—bril­liantly ex­tem­po­rised ex­pla­na­tion for the form of the fruit as well as the tim­ing and brevity of its sea­son (the ab­sorbed blood of hag­gises hunted in the orange groves of Spain for Burns Night). How­ever, they did en­joy them and agreed that they surely were one of na­ture’s an­swers to the Fe­bru­ary blues. JG

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