Despite the supermarket’s conservative estimate of a mere five-day lifetime, the same bunch of tulips has kept me entertained now for a full two weeks.
Last weekend I wrote about how they are more expressive than some cut flowers, struggling to escape captivity in the vase and writhing in torment as they die.
It was a mixed bunch, of which the variegated flowers seemed to be the least repressed, stretching wide open, then folding back on themselves, scattering the sooty powder from their stamens and eventually shedding their petals.
Their yellow sisters, on the other hand, just dried up, shrivelling and shrinking slightly but retaining their essential cup-like shape.
The red tulips were different again, their petals curling and twisting, like the cape of a toreador or the satin skirts of a flamenco dancer caught and frozen in mid twirl by the camera.