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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

A Celandine Mystery
"That's celandine, isn't it?" I said out loud to myself today as I was walking to work along a public footpath. "I think so, but - oh, I wish I'd kept to my youthful resolution to learn the names of all the common wildflowers. Sorry, Younger Steepholm, I feel like I've let you down!"

I could sense my younger self staring at me reproachfully to my left. This caused me to turn to my right, and say, "Hey, Older Steepholm! You've got plenty of time on your hands! I may have dropped the ball on this, but perhaps you can make up for it in retirement."

"What? Oh, sure, have it with you by next Friday," mumbled my future self. Wily evasiveness or just senility? Sometimes it's hard to tell. "She will remember being me, / But what she is I cannot see" - a point I suspect her of exploiting shamelessly.

At this point it dawned on me that I'd had it wrong. I hadn't let down Younger Steepholm - Younger Steepholm had let down me! She was meant to have bequeathed me all this botanical lore, and had totally malingered. I turned back to my left, only to find that she had vanished from the footpath and was running gaily through the celandine (possibly) in the general direction of Mangotsfield. Older Steepholm snored heavily beneath her cloak of invisibility.

Sometimes I think I'm the only reliable one.