Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chives, cutting and principles

click photo to enlarge
Our chives look a picture at the moment. However, there are those who say they shouldn't. Their argument is that if you want plenty of leaves for chopping up to use in your culinary dishes, then you need to cut the flowers hard as they appear. But then, of course, you don't get the display of purple pom-poms as seen in today's photograph. I think there's another argument about what and when to cut. This says that if you don't use that much in the way of chives then leave the flowers alone and enjoy their fulsome beauty, cut the leaves you need, and when the flowers have finished take the lot off with the shears to stimulate further leaf growth.

Politicians in the UK at the moment are also discussing two different methods of cutting. But it's in connection with the altogether tougher problem of reducing the budget deficit. There are those who say cut hard and cut soon, and others who advocate cutting less deeply, but steadily. Our coalition government looks like it is going to follow the first course, and in arriving at that judgement it has been fun (of a macabre kind) to watch the junior partners (the Liberal Democrats) fall into line with the Tories having campaigned vociferously in the election against cutting deeply and quickly because (as they then saw it) it was too damaging and wrong in principle. The Liberal Democrats' Vince Cable is reported as saying he has changed his mind on this, and furthermore that he "is not a socialist". He may not be a socialist and he doesn't appear to be a left-leaning or Keynsian liberal either. And he may be sincere about his change of heart, but unfortunately a volte face of this order makes him look like a Marxist. A Marxist, that is, of the Groucho persuasion rather than a follower of Karl. I can't remember in what context it was, but I do recall Groucho saying, "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." I can't help but think that many people who supported the Liberal Democrats in the election will feel that they have been duped when they look at U-turns of this sort.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On