Thomas stopped to talk to me when he passed the Cat allotment. First of all, he told me off for working in the north wind, saying that I'd catch a cold - not now, but when I went home.
On the back of his bike in an orange string bag he had some white stalks with green leaves that were half as big as him. I asked him what they were, and he said they were spinach. He offered me some, and I accepted two stalks. He told me to chop them into 2-inch lengths and cook them in water, then serve them with a little salt and some garlic. He said his children liked them but his grandchildren didn't. I said that was because they were English.
I brought them home and cooked them, putting some chopped up stalks in my tomato sauce and cooking the rest as spinach. I expected them to be coarse and taste strong, but instead, the tops were just like spinach, and the stalks I had cooked with them were mild and delicate with an excellent texture. I later discovered that what I was eating was Swiss chard. Another vegetable to add to my repertoire.