This is the flower shop on my street, the owner is an old French man who seems to only vaguely remember me whenever I walk in. He always assertively insists I’m French; mostly because I know that the photographs of the lavender fields in his shop are taken at Plateau de Valensole in Provence; a place I experienced myself a few years ago. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, however I can’t help but wish that my knowledge of it granted me the more graceful nationality of Francaise. Perhaps you remember the dusty pink roses individually arranged in vases around my house? I bought those from him, they are real flowers but he treats and dries them so they last for years. He has big bunches hanging upside down ; roses dangling into a new life that extends past a week in a vase of water. As a flower lover, I appreciate his zealous preservation. Collections of his cacti also cluster throughout my living room and office, usually of the undersized variety because tiny plants are as irresistible to me as tiny dogs. In fact, the smaller the plant, the higher purchase probability. And if it’s a tiny cactus, I’m almost certainly rummaging around for the change it takes to call it mine to then skip home, wondering if I have a pot for it under the sink or in a cupboard somewhere as I wait for the elevator. Now, I’m unsure what an acceptable number of cacti is but I’ve surely surpassed the reasonable limit. I even have an entire album on my iphone of cacti I’ve seen and loved on streets here and there. Enrique brought me a trio of tiny cacti a few months ago and I’ve never been happier with a present. I dream of finding that pink wall I always see on pinterest, the one lined in all kinds of crazy cacti in cool pots. So when I say I love them, I really do but why, I wonder? And while there are undeniably more important things to think about, I got to thinking about what I have such an intense affection for this plant. Now, one could argue cacti are the avocado of plants; trendy, similarly green in colour and undeniably ubiquitous. I’m not one for trends and I know claiming I loved both the fruit and the plant before the world put them on toast and all over instagram sounds obnoxiously hipster-like, but genuinely I did. As for cacti? They are always such amazingly strange shapes, this one looks like a bunny with ears, I have others that are hilariously phallic, or the top of a head full of crazy curls or round like angry peaches or striped white and green like plant zebras…I could go on, but I won’t. Another reason I adore them is they aren’t greedy, some of my other plants start to dramatically sulk if I neglect watering duties for even a day. Cacti aren’t hyperbolic like that, they are far too proud, self-sufficient yet prickly too, quite like me. They don’t want to be touched and yet still insist on admiration, again another trait I think we all as women can secretly relate to. Cacti are ugly but pretty too, I can sympathize with this dichotomy, feeling both traits simultaneously almost all the time. They aren’t expensive unlike so many of their stranger, more exotic plant counterparts, a cactus is yours for the coins at the bottom of your handbag. I like that. And there is something inexplicably satisfying in buying one, or two or ten like I have at home. So here’s to cacti, the kookiest, most creative of plants. From this point onwards, I will aspire to be more like a cactus. On another note, I’m impressed and mildly worried that I managed to create an entire story out of a 3 minute, 5 euro transaction between the French man that never remembers my name, a cactus and I.