Lizards don't usually hang around here; one human footfall, they're off. But this time in a garden to the north, developed by the Demon Botanist, they seemed not the least worried; two of them, in mid path, one a beefy fellow, much bigger than the other; but both possessed of the blue pulsating panels along their sides which turn up in the breeding season. Big lizard on top of small one. No need to guess what they were up to. Afterwards they lay still, tails coiled round each other. Very loving, thought Granny; 'post coital bliss,' she suggested - the lizard equivalent of the celebratory cigarette. Beloved did not go for this flight of fancy. 'The male making sure his sperm gets in there,' he said - more or less - ' so that no other male gets his in the way'. (The same might be said of the human version of the event, Granny thinks. But does not say. Even Beloved might prefer the less scientific explanation while sweeter moments last.) Someone went off to fetch a camera. But by that time the male was off, heavy footed, almost hauling himself along, no sign of the usual flickering briskness. 'Sated,' suggested Granny. Never mind. It was all very beautiful and rare too - at least seeing such a thing is rare. It didn't need explanations whether scientific or poetic - it didn't need photos come to that. It was just THERE.
Up in this northern town they plant palms trees following a birth; two for a boy, and one for a girl... Oh dear. A piece of information from the Demon Botanist reinforces the point; that the first gay marriages in Spain were celebrated on this island where there was for many years a significant inbalance of the sexes, owing to female infanticide; (most likely not practised to save the cost of the palm tree.) Taking a partner of the same gender was therefore the only recourse for many men and accepted if not openly acknowledged.
Doubt if this nugget of island life will appear in any tourist brochure. Or have any impact on lizard copulation, come to that.
Demon Botanist unaware probably of just how exposed their land is sent Granny and Beloved home with a great box full of plant cuttings, most of them indigenous, to plant in their garden. What with Beloved's bad back, and Granny's tendency to neck problems and frozen shoulders, neither are much up for digging, especially in solid soil like this. The task has been passed on to Mr Handsome. He is not pleased. Why can't he plant them he complains, when told who they've come from. Beloved is teaching today, so Granny gets the brunt of this. 'I'll water them once they're in,' she promises. Mr Handsome doesn't actually say 'big deal,' out loud but his face does. The only plants he's into are the ones people or animals can eat. Re-greening the island is not on his agenda.
Labels: Island life