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A fruit story

I've always had a special relationship with fruit, ever since my childhood. Both my sets of grandparents had big gardens, with many fruit trees and bushes. Whenever I would visit, my grandparents would send me off deep into the garden with instructions what fruit were ripe to pick and eat. I didn't have to ask their permission though - I would go foraging for fruit whenever I wanted to, any time of day.

There was always something ripe in the garden from May to October: strawberries and raspberries, cherries, various sorts of apples, plums, peaches and pears. The only thing that was missing were apricots - the two apricot trees died when I was 6 or 7 and the apricots never came back. I didn't care about the quinces and medlars but I didn't mind them either. I loved the two walnut trees when the walnuts stopped being bitter late in the autumn and their hand-dyeing shells dried out and stopped presenting a cosmetic threat.

On the positive side of my fruit balance sheet, I didn't quite like the black currants my paternal grandfather had planted along the fence, so these were uprooted after a few years. I don't think my dislike of black currants had any impact on this decision. It was probably because they didn't produce good berry wine. Yet, this tickled my confidence in my importance in the life of the fruit in the garden.

I planted several peach trees in the garden in my teens but the highlight of my fruit patronage was the fig tree I planted in the garden. It never quite grew to tree size actually but it would still bear figs as a bush every autumn. That was a life lesson for me: you don't need a full-size tree to get sweet fruit: little people can do big things.

And then there were those giant poppies and the poppy seeds... But that's a whole new story.

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Themes in story:
  • raspberries
  • apples
  • fig
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