Thursday, April 03, 2014

Changing tastes and flowering currants

click photo to enlarge
It's interesting how, as you journey through life, your tastes change. Not all of them, of course, but enough for you to notice that what was once loathed is now loved, and vice versa - what couldn't be countenanced now can. I became aware of a couple of examples of my changing tastes recently. The first was when I was talking to my two year old grand-daughter. She was eating her evening meal, a dish that included cucumber. As she chomped away I told her something that, with hindsight, was probably best left unsaid. I mentioned that I didn't like cucumber; that when I was younger I did like it, but now it was something I avoided. Given that she is trying many foods for the first time and putting her off particular types is inadvisable it would have been better if I'd said nothing. Fortunately, however, she was having none of it and told me in no uncertain terms, and repeatedly, that "cucumber is nice". Apparently she later quizzed her mother with great incredulity about my dislike of this lovely food. Clearly her grandfather was mad. But, the fact is, as I've aged I've gone off cucumber.

The opposite is true of flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum). Like many people I wasn't keen on the strong and distinctive smell of this early flowering shrub. Nor did I appreciate the colour combination of pink petals and green leaves. But, in recent years I've grown to appreciate the plant. I enjoy the contribution that it makes to the garden in early spring, both visually and in terms of its scent. In fact, the other day one of our bushes looked so magnificent that I took a couple of photographs of it in all its splendour. The example I post is the shot I liked best.

The interesting question is why tastes change in this way. I have no clear answer, except I do wonder if those initial likes and dislikes were ever firmly founded. Whether my liking of cucumber and dislike of flowering currant was nothing more than youthful postures adopted for the flimsiest of reasons - because I'd heard someone else express a liking or dislike.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon 5DMk2
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm Macro
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/160
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0
Image Stabilisation: On