Today I heard that an old Italian friend, Roberto, had died suddenly. I will never forget his exclamation when he visited our old house and looked out of an upstairs window at the garden:
‘Ah but you have groceries in the garden’
His English, like everything else about him, was charming. He had not yet worked out the subtleties of the English language, where ‘groceries’ means things like tea and sugar and butter and ‘vegetables’ are what you find in gardens. It was not just his take on the English language but Roberto’s enthusiasm for such things as vegetables that I remember about him. We had lost touch but I am still shocked by this sudden and untimely loss. Roberto’s memory lives on in those who knew and loved him. I’m pleased still to have groceries in my garden.