September 1993: a holiday with a companion in Co. Kerry. A peaceful, serene hiatus, amidst mountains and green fields, in a life that was at that point careering out of control with the speed of a express train. We walked lanes and paths bordered with mile upon mile of fuchsia hedges.
Previously I'd thought of the fuchsia as a well-behaved, cultivated suburban species. Rather boring in fact. I'd never seen anything like this riotous, unlimited abundance of colour and I marvelled.
It wasn't in the garden last year and I didn't plant it. Probably a passing bird.
For a start I wouldn't have placed it where it is growing now, right in the middle of a flourishing clump of other assorted blooms. But I can't deny that it lifts the heart to see it. The red and purple flowers glow and quiver like so many miniature, coloured lanterns. In the grey August dampness, uninvited, they shine.