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Lagos, sardine capital of the world

Lagos, sardine capital of the world

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Yet here there was no escaping thoughts of eating. Trees groaned with ripening lemons. Green olives bunched like grapes over garden walls. Every house had its little patch of harvestables.

Every garden, that was, except the tourist gardens. I wandered up the hill back towards my own villa, on loan from a wealthier friend. These gardens were owned and tended, by proxy, by Germans and Brits. A famous golfer (golf being next in importance only to sardines, down here) had once owned the swankiest house in this street. And not one of these gardens displayed anything more useful than artificially greened grass. The buried sprinklers and misters were principally for the purpose of making the view from the lounge as like a putting green as possible.

Perhaps this was the difference - a fundamental decline of interest among northern Europeans in providing their own food. Or perhaps the abundance of rain in the north made people forget the importance of providing for yourself against a bad harvest and the devastation of an utterly dry season. Gardening - for fruit or vegetables - had been relegated to a hobby, something you did as an option, for interest, to give yourself a bit of variety from the three or four species of fish or the regulation veg available at the supermarket. The three or four varieties, grown in massive bulk, and imported to the UK from...

Hmmm.

I sighed and went off for my supper. One thing was for sure - sardines would not be on the menu.



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