Keeping on with the pink theme, another quintessentially summer flower is thistle.
I like its punky hairdo and body covered in prickly piercings. It kind of reminds me of a housemate I had when I was a student. He was a goth and a punk and a med student. We had quite a few parties in that household, only one of which did some uninvited guests attempt to gate-crash. My friends were sitting out on the front steps of the house and got increasingly uncomfortable talking to some young, drunk men who wanted to join the party. I saw it from my vantage point in the hallway and came out, eventually saying, “Listen, it’s a private party and unless you can name one of the people who live in this house, you’re not coming in.” They blustered – trying a few common names – and got angry and began pushing through my friends, who hastily stood up. I, perhaps foolishly, headed down the stairs to, er, fill the doorway with my bulk (ha ha ha) and when I got about half way, one of them unaccountably stopped and said, “Ah, never mind.” They left. I turned to grin at my friends, pleased that I had, with bravado, scared them off. Instead of my friends, I saw my tall, goth-punk housemate in full regalia – black leather trousers, long black coat with an incongruous fluffy pink vest underneath – at the top of the stairs, hands on hips. “Oh,” said I, “You scared them.” My housemate grinned at me and said, “Nah, just back-up.” He seemed a prickly sort, but was really quite sweet. Much like thistle.