Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Flashes Of Memory

I grew up around fruit trees.

Our house was at the bottom of a valley and the garden was a long narrow strip that stretched up the hill to the wood on the upper slopes. It was arranged in steps. The first two steps were lawns- one of them with an apple tree at either end- and the third was an patch of rough grass we called The Orchard- with apple, pear and plum. I don't know how many trees there were- probably fewer than my memory insists. Let me take a guess. Eight? Possibly ten? It may only have been six. Still, six trees in a confined space makes for a branchy, enchanted, Arthur Rackhamy space.

My mother bottled the fruit and made jam. Surplus apples were stored on racks in the Anderson Shelter in the back yard- which was a fairy house buried under an artificial hill with a laburnum planted on top. It was one of many places I found uncanny- so I didn't go in there much even though it smelled wonderful. It was dark and poky and if you touched the walls or ceiling you brought down dirty cobwebs and flakes of white paint.
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