Friday, December 18, 2009

Strange fruit and Old Etonians

click photo to enlarge
The early life of any plant, animal or human is crucial in determining what it becomes. If you plant a cabbage seedling and restrict its water, nutrients and light you'll end up with a weedy specimen that's only good for composting. Similarly, if your dog doesn't get a balanced diet but is indulged with treats far too often then it will balloon, become lethargic and die younger than it would otherwise have done.

And so too with politicians. The leader of the Conservative Party claims that it is irrelevant that a large number of his shadow cabinet (and prospective government) were educated at Eton, an elite, expensive "public" (i.e. private) school, saying "It's not where you come from, but where you are going" that matters. He's right of course, unless, your privileged background and expensive education lead you to formulate policies designed to enrich and protect the interests of people like yourself. And that, it appears, is precisely what these Old Etonians are doing. So, in this instance it most certainly does matter where you come from. It always amazes me that many of the British public do not see that private education is just as much about protecting or securing position in society as it is about learning; is expressly designed to support the privileged; and is counter to the wider interests of our country.

Today's photograph of an over-exposed Physalis-variety fruit prompted this reflection. The spherical orange seed container has grown in a protected environment, insulated from its surroundings by the enveloping pod that I've prised open for my photograph. It isn't from a Physalis franchetii (Chinese Lantern), but a variety with blue flowers that produces black (not orange) lanterns.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: +2.0EV
Image Stabilisation: Off