April 9th, 2019

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.

Life In The 21st Century

1.Ailz had me looking in her eye to see if there was an eyelash on the loose; there wasn't. We both have dry, itchy eyes. We spend too much time looking at screens.

2. We buy all sorts of funny little knicknacks and gadgets from China (Ailz loves knicknacks and gadgets) They can take months to arrive and sometimes they're rubbish but they're invariably cheap, so you never really feel cheated. It's like pulling crackers: sometimes you'll get a bottle opener that works and sometimes you'll get a clip-on plastic moustache.

(The Chinese government is one of the nastiest on earth- but the country is too big to boycott.)

3. Ailz bought some "rescued" mason jars. They have labels. The one that comes first to hand says, "HI, I'M JINNY. I'M A RESCUED MASON JAR... I was going to be thrown away but I was given a second chance. I have taken multiple super hot steamy showers and now I'm looking for a new home."

That's the way to get people to recycle; individualise everything. Mind you, I've been doing it all my life. One of the reasons I hoard is because I hate to hurt the feelings of things. I had a dish full of plastic toys out of crackers hanging around for months because, well, have a heart...