rites of spring

I don’t want to eat sweet asparagus, manicured from the piled earth; give me a tangled pot of wild greens, coarse and curled and bitter, to make spring feel less polite. There is something altogether too tennis-and-cucumber about much of an English spring, and a certain tendency among some writers to subscribe to these cut-price Bridesheadisms, as if all anyone wanted to do was sip gin amongst the aspidistras.

Personally, the first onset of hot weather combines with the latening nights to instil in me a desire to drink cold wine in an unrestrained and unrelenting torrent, as different from the furtive debauchery of winter drinking as it is from the full, lazy decadence of a good summer drunk. Spring is the right time for wild abandon. Skin a rabbit and braise it with alexanders; catch a mackerel and eat it raw.

Or maybe not, I don’t know. Wildness is such a luxury now, more so than white linen and pink gin, and spring is the right time to do as you like. Steam a trout and flake it off the bone alongside some hollandaise; ┬ámanicure piles of asparagus from the sweet earth, and dip their boiled tips into butter, hot and liquid in the cool shade.