As I was practising my arpeggios with Nancy Nightingale earlier today, a thought suddenly crossed my mind. “Nance” I said “It has just occurred to me that we have a lot in common, we both make our living from doing something we love.” “Yes” she agreed “Consider the fools that don’t!” And we laughed in a sinister manner, throwing our heads back with gloating glee.
Many years I go, I used to visit an acupuncturist who had only recently arrived in the country from his native China. Once the needles were safely in place, and he had a captive audience, Dong would quiz me on the vagaries of the English Language. These would be words or phrases he had heard throughout the previous week and had puzzled him. He was puzzled a great deal. I would do my best to explain why training shoes were called trainers, or why people said sorry all the time. The receptionist said that usually there was nothing but hushed voices coming from behind the closed door, when I was having my treatment there was raucous laughter. The best medicine they say. On one occasion Dong asked me what “sinister” meant. I was stumped for a while. I can’t remember what I said, but I wondered how this word had come into his world. Quite why I didn’t ask, I am not sure.
There is nothing sinister about this Magnolia stellata, quite the contrary in fact, it has something of the ethereal about it. The balance has been redressed.