Recently I read in the newspaper about the ring of Russian spies that were arrested in the U.S. It is curious what the media chooses to leave in or leave out. A female neighbour of one couple who were picked up as spies was quoted as saying: "They can't be spies. Look at those gardenias."
Quite how this makes any sense is beyond me. Does she imagine spies are too busy for gardening? Or that being an espionage agent precludes having any hobbies? Or did she imagine that, by their nature, spies are cruel people with no inherent sense of beauty?
I imagine the peaceful, meditative activity of gardening would be a welcome antidote from the stressful world of espionage. Can't you just see 007, after bedding several gorgeous fellow spies, killing several baddies and saving the world from annihilation one more time, coming home, shucking his Armani suit, slipping on his gumboots, torn Bermuda shorts and an old T-shirt and heading out to dead-head his roses. Nothing like stretching out on some garden furniture and sipping a Martini, shaken not stirred, while surrounded by the heady perfumed of flowers.