Bronstein shrugged. "Perhaps it's just that, even for the middle-aged, gardening is preferable to sex with middle-aged people?" he suggested.
The Cow sighed deeply. "I think it's a cultural thing, or a national identity thing. Or something peculiarly British." She paused, wondering if "peculiarly British" constituted redundancy. "Anyway," she continued, "it's a bit like sport."
Bronstein scratched his head. He wasn't sure if the Cow meant that sex was like sport, in which case he agreed, or if she meant that gardening was like sport, in which case he didn't, really, beyond that he didn't engage in either.
"No, silly - I meant that the phenomenon, and its relationship to Britishness, was like sport and its relationship to Britishness!" humphed the Cow, as if all that was obvious.
"Take cricket, for example. The British loved it when they invented it, until all the colonies became better at it than they were, and then it vanished from their vocabulary - with the occasional slip when they managed to beat some second-rate colonial team, like the Ozzies."
Bronstein agreed. He'd noticed how rugby had been absent from the media, until the last match against the amabokkebokke, when it had bumped even tennis from the front page. Presumably because, on that occasion, the last great British hope had been defeated. By a damnyankee.
"Gmf!" the Cow retorted. "I get your point, but tennis isn't a sport, it's a game. Like rounders, or skipping, or that game girls play with elastic stretched around their legs. The only reason it's shown on TV is because it attracts sponsorship, and the only reason it attracts sponsorship is because it's something that Brits can occasionally do OK at, and so they inflate its status so that they can feel OK about themselves - a bit like Ozzies and netball, or cane toad racing!"
"Well," mused Bronstein, what else have they got, really? Knitting? Gardening? They'd be as boring to watch on the TV as snooker or golf!"
"Perhaps they should stick to games they haven't exported to the colonies," suggested the Cow. "They'd still be the champions at those! Like, caber tossing, or curling, or thistle plucking, or haggis hunting?"
"Aren't those all Scottish?" asked Bronstein, shocked. "That's hardly representative!"
"Well," chuckled the Cow, "so are all the 'British' successes at 'sport' of late, or hadn't you noticed?"
Bronstein blushed and looked uncomfortable. "It's been really nice chatting," he shuffled awkwardly, "but I really do need to run. The garden centre shuts in an hour..."